House Ground Rod

kelkoNovember 14, 2011

My grounding rod has rusted through and broken off about ground level. How are these things repaired? Do I call an electrician or is there some kind of DIY that I can do? It was suggested that perhaps another rod could be slipped inside the broken one, but I want this thing fixed correctly. Any suggestions/advice?

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This should be posted in the electrical forum.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2011 at 10:16PM
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From your description it is would appear that someone used a piece of steel pipe to make your ground rod.

Ground rods are required to be copper and copper will not rust.

The solution would be to get an approved copper grounding rod and drive it beside the current ground, then connect the grounding cable to the copper ground rod with an approved grounding connector.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:14AM
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Just replace the steel rod with an approved solid copper rod and a new clamp.

The ground rod is for lightning protection and to provide a path for leakage in the pole transformer.

If you have a metal water pipe with at least 10 feet in contact with the earth it is required to be the primary grounding electrode.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:07PM
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Thank you all so much for your responses. This rod looks like a piece of galvanized pipe and it's probably been in place for at least 40 years (the house was built in 1962). I was reading on the internet that the pipe needs to be driven into the ground at least 8 feet, something I don't think I could do myself. I will call an electrician and see what they say. Thank you again. I appreciate your input.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 12:18PM
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The ground is for leakeage in your house wiring system...Pole transformers have their own ground at the base of the pole.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Thank you, lazypup, for your response. Unfortunately, you're talking way over my head. I did contact an electrician and he said all that needs to be done is to replace the rod with an 8' copper clad one. His charge is somewhere around $120. Sounds reasonable to me so I'm happy with that. Thanks again for responding.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 3:15PM
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"Pole transformers have their own ground at the base of the pole."

To bad if you do not have a ground rod at the service there is no path to get back to the pole ground.

If you had an electric service with no earth ground connection it can charge up to the pole primary voltage from leakage (though the wiring usually fails long before the voltage gets to 7.2 kV since it is only rated for 600 V).

The ground at the pole and at the service produce a path for leakage on the secondary from the primary side to return.

Electricity does not try to get to an earth ground, it tries to return to the other side of its source.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 4:32PM
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Thank you, brickeyee. You are very knowledgeable about electrical issues. I wish I could say that I understand what you're talking about, but such is not the case. Perhaps if someone else has this problem, these responses will help them. I'm just going to let the electrician deal with it....much safer I'm sure. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 6:48PM
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