Tool for Driving Ground Rod

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The last time I put in a ground rod at this house, it took me a full day with a pipe-style post-pounder, and another day to recover. The soil here is about an inch thich over serious hardpan.
I've decided that I need another ground rod, closer to the service entrance panel, to keep the GFCI breakers from tripping needlessly.
I'd be willing to buy a power tool to do this, if it doesn't cost more than $50 or so, and would do the job in 1/2-hour or less. Does such a beast exist?
--
Thanks,
croy

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On 12/14/12 7:01 PM, croy wrote:

These http://tinyurl.com/c4rzguo (link to Amazon) I have no idea how well they work. I guess a rotary hammer is the tool to use with these. Maybe a rental place would have something. We use sledge hammers with pipes welded into the heads in place of the wooden handles. The toughest one I did took maybe an hour. Or twenty years in dog years.
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I have had the same problem for years until I saw someone drilling a hole to place dynamite to bring down a rock cliff on TV. My only problem is that after doing extensive research on Google to find the 6’ drill bit that I saw I was unable to find who makes or sells them. I would greatly appreciate anyone that can help me with this.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Google sez go here:
http://drillbitwarehouse.com/home?page=shop.browse&category_idc
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Thank you Smitty Two but I need a masonry bit that’s at least six feet long and those aren’t it.
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Ground rods will not keep a GFCI from tripping needlessy. Either it is defective or there is a good reason for it to trip.
They do make tools like an electric jack hammer that will do the job. It will cost much more than the $ 50. For a one time deal you may be able to get some electrician to install the rod for you for that price. It may also be possiable to rent one at a tool rental center.
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On Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:37:46 -0500, "Ralph Mowery"

Well, something is sure causing them to trip. There's nothing plugged into the circuit, and still they trip. New ones do the same. Some one in this group said that if the connection to earth is too far from the panel, that can happen.
If that's not the cause, then the only thing I can think of is induction along the run near other wires.
--
croy

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Who ever said that if the ground was too far from the GFCI would cause them to trip is wrong. The gound wire has nothing to do with the tripping. The GFCI monitors the current in the hot and neutral wires. If there is an unbalance , they will trip. The usual way is when the hot wire finds some other path back to the neutral on the other side of the GFCI or ground path.
If they trip with nothing plugged in, it is time to look at the wiring. It is also possiable for moisture to get into the outlets.
One other thing is that it could be wired wrong. Some one could have picked off the neutral or hot wire to run somewhere without the other wrie.
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Good answer, but I was thinking of noise or similar that might fool the GFI sense circuit to trip falsely, coming in from the power source.
Greg
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On 12/16/2012 7:31 PM, croy wrote:

One of the companies we do work for has a national contract for installing electrical power connections for Red Box DVD kiosks and there was a lot of nuisance tripping with certain brands of GFI breakers. The company has settled on Square D breakers since there don't seem to be nuisance trips with them. Whatever you have connected to the GFI could be causing the nuisance trips even though the piece of gear is completely safe and a different brand of GFI may be less sensitive to whatever anomaly is causing it to trip. I just reread your post and you write there is nothing connected to the circuit and the GFI trips. Have you inspected the GFI that's tripping or is it more than one? It could be that the GFI has corrosion or it could be damaged by voltage spikes coming in on the power line. You didn't mention whether you've replaced any of the GFI outlets. ^_^
TDD
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On Sun, 16 Dec 2012 20:58:51 -0600, The Daring Dufas

Two. Both GFCI breakers are at the service entrance panel, and both are on new circuits that I installed. The first was installed about 5 years ago, and didn't trip for 3 years. Then it tripped at random intervals from 10 seconds to 6 months. I bought the second GFCI breaker as a replacement for the first, but the results were the same. When I installed the second circuit, I put the first GFCI breaker on it, but a few days later it tripped (nothing plugged in), and continued to trip. I finally jerked them both out and replaced them with standard breakers (for now).

If you mean outlets with the GFCI circitry built into them, there are none of those. If you mean regular outlets on the GFCI circuits, they are all new--either Cooper Arrow-Hart or Leviton. I used all new 12 ga grounded cable when I installed the circuits.
Panel and breakers are GE. Panel is close to 30 years old now, but I'd think that it *should* be good for 30 more. Panel was the choice of the installer I hired then. Not sure it was a wise choice. I would try to clean the busses where the breakers connect, but I'm not sure if they are thinly plated copper, or worse. Doubtful they are pure silver!
--
croy

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On 12/17/2012 9:35 PM, croy wrote:

I was working for an electrical supplier when the ground fault devices for residential use first became a common item on the market. This was around the same time CB radio took off and GFI devices were tripping every time someone with a strong transmitter keyed the microphone. It took a while for manufacturers to figure out and fix that one. I'm now wondering if you may have something arcing in your electrical system or something with a switching power supply somewhere that could be putting spikes on your electrical system that could be affecting the GFI breakers? O_o
TDD
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I don't know why they make things better. One day at the hospital, the power went off. I now forget the scenario. They did manage to get something back on line. The switches went down in the power switchover room, or were tripped. Manufacturer recommended no radios to be operated in area. So they labeled one hallway, no cell phones, radio transmitters. I don't think it ever happened again that I know of.
Greg
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wrote:

If outlets are subject to high humidity, the circuit may fault. Try obtaining a ground fault receptacle and put at the first outlet as feed thru. If it trips, move to next outlet and on until problem location is identified. I have found Leviton to be fairly reliable.
--
Mr.E

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On 12/14/2012 7:01 PM, croy wrote:

You can rent a big hammer drill with a ground rod driver attachment or a small electric jackhammer which will do a good job driving a ground rod. ^_^
TDD
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I once drilled though 2' of concrete with a homemade drillbit and a 1/2" drill. The drill bit was 1/2" pipe with carbide bits brazed to the pipe's OD and a 1/2" rod to the other end. Slow, but worked. Use a piece of rebar for the shaft/bit and put a carbide chip on the end. I'd try water, first.
nb
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Whether you need another ?
Been over this before. If you don't hit any rock, all you need is some water. The rod will go down with simple up down movement. Keep adding water. I don't know if this works in sand or unusual soil types. Some use a water hose.
Greg
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Need a video ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
πdyf-fibzg
Greg
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On 12/14/12 8:54 PM, gregz wrote:

Have there been any studies done comparing the effectiveness of a ground rod installed with water vs. hammering one in?
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i would assume a hammered one has beter contact with the soil, and is a better ground
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