Hints on driving ground rods?

I need to drive eight or ten standard ground rods ( eight foot long, 5/8 inch diameter, copper clad steel ). These things seem to be a serious pain in the tail to install. Any hints on how to get them into the ground without beating up the part that sticks out of the ground?
This is part of a serious lightning protection project for an out- building. The grounds are in a star configuration connected with copper strap and silver grease. This feeds into a 100 amp PolyPhaser series/shunt 240 volt impulse/lightning protection device.
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Ed Clarke wrote:

A T-post driver, until only about 2 feet is sticking up. Then I use a small short-handled sledge hammer. I drove one into clay soil that was still frozen solid early this spring (it was a bitch.)
If you're going into rock, maybe there's a cup you can put on a jackhammer for driving them? But I wouldn't want to use a jackhammer on top of a stepladder...
Bob
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apart from whats been said, turn the hose on a little and use the water to help the rods go in.
randy

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use a eletric jack hammer
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Jet them in. Hook a piece of pipe to your garden hose and hydraulically drill a hole to drop them in. They should go in pretty easy unless you have rocky soil.
SJF
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I wouldn't advise using water to bore a hole for the rods. To be effective for lightning protection, ground rods need to have a very low impedance, which means they need to be tightly in contact with the earth. If you jet out a hole, you wind up with pocket around the rod, which is not what u want.
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Chet Hayes wrote: .

For about a day.
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Rent a large rotory/chipping hammer and use it in the "hammer only" mode. Some may require an adapter. Bosch doesn't.
Or, get the rod started with an up and down motion, then pour a small amount of water into the hole and repeat the up and down motion. Repeat with the small amount of water. That should get the rod in 3 or 4 feet, then drive it home with a sledge hammer. It helps if you have a helper (wearing gloves) to hold the rod steady with a pair of large channel locks. Put the acorn nut on the rod _before_ you start driving with the sledge hammer. Fence post drivers work too. Don't use water to try to blast your way through...it's messy plus it results in bad contact between the rod and the soil (not good). Ground rods should be _driven_.
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Ed Clarke wrote:

Try a hammer drill with a cup of some sort on the end. Maybe a socket wrench, just to keep it from slipping off the end. They may even make some sort of adapter to use with a hammer drill.
Bill Gill
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Ed Clarke writes:

If you have compressed air, consider a $10 air hammer. You'll need an adapter or to turn down the rod ends on a lathe since the standard hammer accepts a 10mm (0.394") shaft. But should make this job very easy.
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All good suggestions,
Before you try a rotohammer know this if you just stick the rod into the chuck you could screw up the hammer. Hilti makes a bit specifically for this.
I would like the web site for this equipment. I have installed 30 or so systems in my career and NEVER installed an black box in the system ( your polyphase what you call it)
UL-96A is the standard for installations of this type. For the application to receive an "MASTER LABEL" there must be an UL inspection. This is the only thing insurance companies care about.
I hope your spacing the rods more than their length apart in all directions. Other wise your not going to get much protection.
I am a big fan of testing grounds/ground systems. Without knowing the ohmic value of the system you could have a higher potential than your electrical service. You are tying the two together correctly?
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This is how I drove mine. I had a length of 3/4" pipe cut into 2' sections and threaded. Then I joined them together with couplings. On one end I put a coupling and a pipe plug. Drop it over the ground rod & start driving. When the pipe hits the ground, unscrew a section & keep driving. Drive the last 2 feet with a large hammer, then cut off the inch or so on the end that the hammer peened over.
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040731 1830 - David Starr posted:

I haven't seen this one before. Sounds like a great idea. I've seen a piece of 1" about 2' long with a threaded cap on the end used, but this one would give more control over starting the drive and then the finish.
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wrote:

I should add, use a coupling and plug on the driving end. About 6 whacks will break a cap.
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On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 20:38:49 -0700, Ed Clarke wrote

Bosch makes a ground rod driving bit for 1-1/8" demolition hammers. It's Model HS2172. Never seen one for rent, but they cost about $70 mail-order. You can rent the demo hammer. Drives a ground rod through anything but solid rock pretty easily.
Driveze makes a driving bit that slides on the ground rod so you don't need to haul the demo hammer up a ladder. It apparently can be ordered with shafts to fit different collet sizes. I've never used one, but it looks like a robust tool.
There are also slide hammers for ground rod driving. I have one called a "REM Driver" for use where there's no power for the demo hammer. Don't know if that company's still in business, but Demark and Condux also make them.
Good Luck. That's a lot of ground rods for one job...
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Ed Clarke wrote:

Just to clairify, you're not putting in "Lightning Rods." Lightning rods don't conduct lightning - they repel it. As such, almost any dinky, pointed rod with #20 wire will work.
You're actually trying to CAPTURE lighting so you can re-animate a creature put together in your laboratory, right?
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Ed Clarke wrote:

Is it too late to install a Ufer grounding system?
BTW, I've never had a problem with the tops mushrooming just driving the rods with a post-driver followed by a short-handled sledge hammer (like a "drilling hammer") I have only installed about a dozen ground rods, but they have a beveled top and they seem to be pretty hard steel.
Bob
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Ed Clarke wrote:

All you need is a ground rod pounder and a 6 ft 4, 250 lb. son. No problem.
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No big son? Trying renting an electric jack hammer. Worked great for me.
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When I last did this I used a heavy duty Hilti hammer drill in hammer only mode with the accessory ground rod driver bit. After you install the bit, make sure the tool is unplugged then tape the trigger switch into the "ON" position. Place the tool onto the rod's end, then stand the whole works upright. When it is vertical and in the right spot have a frined plug the hammer drill in. Be a little patient if you have lots of rocks, but that sucker will walk right in. When the rod is driven far enough simply remove the tool from the end of the rod. Note that the Hilti drill is not a wimpy 3/8" home-owner thing, but a serious contractor grade spline shank tool. You might be able to rent one locally.
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