How to construct an electrical ground in the soil? (please, practical advice, no code fightings)

Hi,
I have no ground on my house. I bought a surge protector for my PC but I realized that it doesn't works if not connected to a real ground. The water pipes are plastics so I can't attach the ground wire to it. But I have a garden of soil very near the surge protector I want to ground so I'm considering to build a ground by myself. What I need to do? Just clamp a copper tube on the soil (how many inches)? I hear coal helps to make the grounding better... What I ned to do?. Just consider I'll need to work with basic materials. I'm not living in US. My country have no construction codes (at least nobody takes care of them) so please give me some real practical guidance. I'm telling this 'cause I've been looking around in this group and the only I've found about the topic is people fighting around construction code interpretation but none practical guidance on how to build a working grounding
Thanks in advance, any hint is welcomed Sammy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

coal makes a ground better? that is a new one on me.
Grounding to a water pipe is not acceptable any more, it is called "bonding" .
Simplest method I can think of is drive 2-8 foot long ground rods more than 10 feet apart. Connect them with an acceptable connector, my area you could use an acorn clamp. Run a bare solid ground wire of the needed size to the ground rods. A #2 bare would be acceptable where I live for a 100 amp panel. Attach the #2 bare to the ground bus in the electrical service.
My description will work most places in North America.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
SQLit wrote:

#6 copper wire is all you need for a "made electrode" Use #4 if the wire is exposed to severe abuse (only because it can take more abuse)
To the original poster, I would use ten feet of 3/4" galvanized water pipe driven into the ground. Or connect to a metal well casing if there happens to be one nearby. What country are you in?
Best regards, Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have driven slightly larger galvanized by running water through a hose in the middle of the pipe. Goes down quite fast. Galvanized corrodes rather rapidly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You could use a copper or galvanized pipe. Drive it into the ground eight feet if you can, then attach a copper wire to it and to the grounded conductor of your electric service

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

To do a good job drive two rods about 5/8 inches in diameter that are atleast 8 feet long in the ground. Place them atleast 6 feet apart. Use one continious piece of wire # 6 or larger from the first rod to the second rod and then to the surge protector. Do not use the coal. While you did not ask for fights about the code in the US (maybe other countries) the two 8 foot long rods are now the code in lots of places. They must be atleast 6 feet apart or the ground will not be much beter than one rod. Where they bond with the earth they are like a bunch of parallel resistors with the earth. Closer than 6 feet and you might as well only have one rod.
For surges and not personal protection you want as short and direct path to the ground rods as you can get. Also do not make sharp bends but wide turns in the wire. The quick rise time of a surge will see sharp bends as almost an open circuit.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ralph Mowery wrote:

What kind of soil are you dealing with? If it is not hardpan or very rocky then buy two ten foot copper clad ground rods and a rod coupler. Drive in the first rod, couple it to the second rod, and drive that section in. You then have a copper rod driven twenty feet into the earth. The objective is to get the rod driven below the permanent moisture leval or water table of the local soil. A fence post driver or an electric demolition hammer makes a low effort method of driving the stacked rods. Unless you are in a desert area that will put the electrode well into moist soil and get the impedance of your driven rod electrode below 25 ohms. -- Tom
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Sammy. I understand your need to install a good ground. The previous postings to your questions have given you some good information. We can probably give you more help if you tell us what country you are in? Also what materials are accessible to you? Are you able to purchase ground rods and #6 or #4 copper wire? What are the soil conditions in your garden? Are you in a dry climate or do you get rain? If you cannot purchase ground rods are you able to get long lengths of copper pipe? If not how about bare copper wire? What type of electrical service is coming into your house? How many volts and amps?
Pictures would be helpful.
You can click here for some information on installing a ground in the USA: http://www.mrelectrician.tv/questions&answers.html#ground
John Grabowski http://www.mrelectrician.tv

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

in the web for Mexico, I'll appreciate it very much.

steel pipe

grains, humidity is high.

Thank you very much for your interest. Sammy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't know about codes for Mexico, but you can purchase a copy of the National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) from Amazon.com or from NFPA.org. Read article 250 on grounding. You could try contacting your local power company for advice also. I recall the last time I was in Mexico observing the haphazard wiring on the outside of many buildings. It didn't appear to have any uniformity and certainly no safety standards. Does your area have something like what we have for code enforcement or for building plan approval? I would think that someone must be responsible for authorizing new construction.
Dry dusty soil is probably not the best soil conditions for grounding purposes. You will need to get as much copper as you can in contact with the soil. If you have a basement you can drive a few ground rods in the floor or in the side walls. Ground rods, by code should be a minimum of 6' apart. However 8' rods are most effective when they are 16' or more apart.
If ground rods are not available, heavy wall copper pipe will have to do. You can also run a long length of bare copper wire (#2) directly in the soil for at least 20', but longer is better. It should be buried a few feet down.
I don't know if Mexico uses a grounded electrical system so I'm not sure if you can bring your grounding electrode conductor into your main electrical service. One way to possibly check is to go look at the transformer that is feeding your house. Assuming it is on a pole, you may see a ground rod at the base of the pole with a wire from it going up the pole to the transformer.
If your service is not a grounded type, you can bring your grounding electrode to termination on a solid copper bar or plate that can be mounted near your electrical service.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Not only are protectors ineffective without an earth ground, but the distance to earth, how the ground wire is routed, etc are all essential factors that may conspire against you. Just more reasons why plug-in protector don't even claim to provide effective protection AND why 'whole house' protectors (that cost tens of times less money per protected appliance) are so effective.
Some things in your post such as galvanized earth ground rod are not advisable. But first learn some basics. Currently posted are those fundamentals for both transistor safety and human safety in a discussion entitled "Wierd Ground Problem?" in the newsgroup sci.electronics.misc starting 2 Nov 2005. Understand the 'earthed at far end' antenna example. Most informative would be today's (8 Nov 2005) reply to Cindy.
SammyBar wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Appreciate that some answers define 'human safety' ground. Others also address transient protection - also called 'transistor safety'. Which ground do you need? A minimally acceptable earth ground addresses both.
Remember, National Electrical Code (NEC) is only about human safety. You are earthing for both human safety and transistor safety. Some posts here do address transistor safety grounding.
Surge protector adjacent to a computer provides ineffective earthing - which is why such products avoid an earthing discussion. That is a damning fact - avoids all discussion about earthing. Single point earthing applies to transistor safety. Plug-in protector hopes you never learn WHY single point earth ground and the short connection to earth is essential to transistor safety. This above paragraph goes directly to your question.
EVen a 1950s house must have earth ground; to provide human safety. This ground - typically to a water pipe - is insufficient for transistor safety. Distance to earth ground and other factors such as 'no sharp bend', 'no splices', and other electrical requirements are for transistor protection. Some have addressed the concepts in previous posts.
Adjacent or plug-in protector manufacturers hopes you never learn these concept to reap gross profits. Also hopes you never learn why the protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
Earthing explains why 'whole house' protectors are so effective and why products from companies such as APC are so ineffective. BTW, the safety ground in a wall receptacle is not earth ground. Just another fact that ineffective protector manufacturers hope you never learn.
A single eight foot copper clad rod connected 'less then 10 feet' to a 'whole house' protector can create a massive increase in transistor safety. Two rods (installed as others have defined) improve effectiveness of 'whole house' protectors. Why? The protector is only as effective as its earth ground - including distance to that earthing. Distance to earth is not relevant to human safety. But distance to a .... single point earth ground ... defines quality of transistor safety. Ineffective plug-in protectors hope you never learn about earthing - their profits being too large to be so honest.
SammyBar wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.