• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Ground Rod Install Horror

Status
Not open for further replies.

Airdorn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
428
#1
OH MY GOD

I was reading some stuff on here, and a few other websites and got all fired-up about grounding/bonding everything. I went to the hardware store and bought an 8 foot copper ground rod. I think it's 1/2 in diameter, or there 'bouts.

So I got this LONG fairly heavy rod and I gotta get it into the ground.....

OK, maybe I'm just a sissy, or else I have extra hard ground... or maybe a little of both.. ;) ..But it took me 45 mins. the first day to bang that thing down about 4ft using a tiny 3lb sledge... then I hit something I couldn't pass.

The next day, it took me about 2 hours GETTING IT BACK OUT OF THE GROUND using a shovel, a sharpshooter, a drill with a long bit to "loosen up" the dirt, and a lot of elbow grease and cussing. I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell now for what I said. (sorry grandma)

After another hour or so, I managed to get the damn thing beat down about 7.5 ft. into the ground using a 10lb sledge... I was sweating like a pig.. the horrors!

I thought it would be easy, but damn that was a workout!

I noticed that the first 3ft. was very easy.. I could have used a simple carpenter's hammer for that.. but below 3ft. I ran into a "trash" layer.. probably refuse from the construction of my house, including broken brick pieces, misc stones, etc.

Beyond that, the ground got VERY resistant to my efforts. I would say I was in clay. That stuff just wouldn't 'give' like the top fill dirt would.. about 6 inches into that, and the rod was very difficult to drive.. and it only got harder and harder.

So anyway, that one is done, but I might want to install another 1 or 2. Is there any easier way without renting expensive equipment? I'm pretty sure the home builders have a way of doing it fast using something electrical.. maybe a pneumatic hammer of sorts. Is there anything else, or any other tricks that just a single hobbiest like myself can casually do to get that 8' rod in the ground without such a pathetic production that I gave to the neighbors? :)

Thanks!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
5,907
Location
175 DME, HEC 358° Radial
#2
Well, your account made for some good reading. I can just see the antics taking place... and hear the cursing. Been there!

There's a ton of tricks out there on the net, including hydro drilling using water. A hammer-drill is another popular technique. I like my method though... I throw money at an electrician, point to the spot where I want the ground rod, and go away for an hour. When I come back, I have a ground rod right where I wanted it. Magic... although that magic kinda sounded like a jackhammer.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
1,103
#4
Had some guys at an entertainment event last summer try to put a rod in the ground for the Comm Vehicle. Ran straight through a water pipe and caused a minor disaster until they could get some maintenance guys out there.
 

kd4bas

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
210
Location
Morganfield, KY
#5
Take a 2 liter bottle full of water, when you drive the rod into the ground, pour a little of the water into the hole. Keep pulling the rod back up every once in a while to add more water (it may take more that 1 bottle of water) but it will go into the ground.

I have used this method to sink 10' ground rod into mid summer ground by hand using this method and it works.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2004
Messages
311
Location
Stevensville, MI
#6
Are you sure you weren't hitting the foundation?

I had a similar problem when I put a ground rod in next to the house, but when I [ut one in next to my swimming pool, it was fairly easy.

Randy
 

mrdinks

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
62
Location
Iowa
#7
I can sink an 8' rod in ten minutes with just my hands and a bucket of water. I dig out a piece of sod and fill the hole with water. Stick the rod in the ground and start working up and down. You will be shocked at how fast it sinks.
I am not going to say its not tough work, you have to keep at it and dont leave the rod half way in and take a break. Pull it out every so often and dump in a little more water. When you get down within a foot or so just step on the top (have on good work boots) and push it in the rest of the way.
I was amazed the first time I seen it done, but it has worked dozens of times for me.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
1,376
Location
Balto/Carroll, MD
#8
k8tmk said:
Are you sure you weren't hitting the foundation?

I had a similar problem when I put a ground rod in next to the house, but when I [ut one in next to my swimming pool, it was fairly easy.

Randy
Ha! when the guys came by with the big augur to drill the hole for my 40' tower they kept getting stuck. Didn't occur to any of us that they had hit the footer for the house.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
7,509
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
#9
Make a slide hammer out of a few ft of 3/4" steel pipe with a pipe cap on one end and a flared flange on the other end. Stack a bunch of weights from your home gym set over the pipe and rest them on the flange. Slide the whole thing over the ground rod and pound away. You usually only have to lift the affair up and then drop it letting the weights do all the work. If you get too aggressive you might need to stick some washers in the pip cap to keep the rod from blowing through the cap.
prcguy
 

iMONITOR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
6,320
Location
MACOMB, MI.
#10
I feel your pain! I have solid clay about three inches below my sod and it's like rock! Good thing you didn't hit a natural gas main!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
5,907
Location
175 DME, HEC 358° Radial
#12
mrdinks said:
I can sink an 8' rod in ten minutes with just my hands and a bucket of water.
Must be nice! I live on an alluvial fan, so the soil is extremely rocky. Drive a ground rod in, and the chances are slim to none that it won't hit a boulder within the first 18 inches.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
1,359
Location
Paige, Republic of Texas
#13
I watched an apprentice electrician drive one with a hammer one day it took him the better part of a half hour. A couple hundred feet away the master electrician was shaking is head and chuckling to himself. He put his ground rod in the ground, picked up a Hilti hammer drill with no bit in it, slid it over the end of the rod, pulled the trigger, and two minutes later the rod was completely driven to ground level.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
1,983
#14
Did you get the pointed cap to solder onto the tip? Usually they have those at the store with the pipes. That makes it a lot easier, because you then only have friction happening on the outside. When the earth comes up the inside, you then have more friction, plus it starts acting like a blunt object once the end gets plugged tight. I've done the water drill way, but you have to solder a fitting on the end. We use to run sprinkler pipes under sidewalks that way, until one day my old boss got the bright idea to crank up the main to the house to get more pressure and blew out a pipe in the house. Whoops.

Dave
www.DPDProductions.com
Antennas & Accessories for the RF Professional & Radio Hobbyist
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
338
Location
Ossining, NY
#15
The National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) states that rod electrodes (ground rods) may be installed at up to a 45 degree angle if rock is encountered (NFPA 70 article 250.53G).
 

Airdorn

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 9, 2008
Messages
428
#16
Next day, I'm sore as hell

Taloniilm said:
you might consider sharping one end to a point before driving it in the ground
Yeah.. the rod I bought had a nice little point on it.

Turns out, my ground is just dense clay after 4ft. down. That stuff just doesn't give at all..

I like the idea of the water in the hole over and over.. I'll try that next time.

Thanks for the tips!
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
134
#17
For putting them in, I always used the 10 pound sledge. When I hit rock, I find the best way to get the rod back out is a floor jack from the garage. Lock the fitting on that comes with it for the wire clamp, jack it up two or three cranks, lower the clamp and start again...experience proves if you go over about three cranks before you lower and start again, you will bend the rod...otherwise, its always worked for me. Also don't forget to lay some plywood or a 2x6 under the jack, otherwise the rod stays in and you end up jacking your nice garage jack into the dirt instead. Last tip, go slowly...otherwise you probably could end up jamming the clamp.
Ryan
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
345
Location
MOUNT JOY, PA 17552
#18
Hell a sure way to get it done is to invite some close friends over for some beer, get em drunk , and then bet them they can't drive the rod into the ground... As a reward tell them , you will let them see your wife's boobies You would be impressed what some drunks can get done when there is a bet on the line.

It doesn't exhaust you as much when you sit there and watch as the continuously fail to pound the stake into the ground.......
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Messages
114
Location
Cromwell CT
#20
The slide hammer works best...With the end going into the ground capped...Putting the dock in the water every year is always an adventure where I am, we use 12 footers in the water and 5s on land to anchor the catwalk to the ground, an easy removal tip that hasnt failed me yet...Take a split log, or something to that extent (anything that of that sort will work), then take a pipe wrench, open it up put it around your pipe and slide it down so it is sitting on the log or whatever you use, close the pipe wrench and step on the handle to the pipe wrench, really good lever action there....for those of you who deal with docks this works really well too, just put the weight of your body near the pipe and let the other end of the dock rise out of the water, while its up tighten the wrench and then slowly walk to the other end of the dock (not recomended for people with bad balance issues), lather rinse and repeat till you can pull the pipe by hand.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top