When it comes to grounding antennas outdoor, there are many rules and regulations that the citizens of the United States of America have to abide by.
These laws are different in each state. However, the how-to provided below will be helpful for most people out there who are facing problems to ground the antenna.
Do remember to read through the laws and rules in the state or province you are living in before you start any part of the process as some actions might not be allowed or may even be illegal in your respective area.
There are many factors that have to be thought of and handled when it comes to the installation of an antenna.
These may be very difficult for an average person who has little knowledge of how to do all the work.
So, it is best to consult with a professional or to hire someone to do the job. But those who are willing and able to tackle the job on their own, read on to more about the topic.
What Does Ground an Antenna Mean?
It means that the metal part of the electrical equipment or gadget has been secured in the ground or earth. If for some reason it isn’t ‘grounded’ properly, then a high voltage is put on the device in case of lightning.
The grounding work also includes installing the metal of the equipment into the earth, meaning that the connection will be semi-permanent. This would create an electrically conductive path which will allow it to conduct current.
Why Do Antennas Have to Be Grounded?
For Safety: As the antenna is metallic, there is fear that it might come alive. It could be that the antenna is connected to a faulty device which produces live voltage in it.
And these voltages could lead to the accidental live power line. These things are dangerous and have happened many times in the past.
For Lightning: Now lightning may strike anywhere, and the result cannot be predetermined. Proper bonding of the tv antenna, mounting pole, and the conduit causes a low resistance path to the earth through the grounding conductor in case of lightning. Without the path, the lightning will find its way into the house.
The antenna does not ensure that nothing will happen in case of lightning. However, it reduces the chances of danger if lightning does strike.
How Can We Ground an Antenna?
According to the NCE, all antenna masts have to be grounded to the earth directly. You should be using copper round wire and clamps to assist you with your work.
As I said before, there are different rules in different part of the country, but the basics are still the same and can be followed anywhere.
Step 1: To begin with, anyone who wants to install their own antenna should take a look at the image provides by NCE as an example. The image itself would be of a lot of help as it will give you an idea regarding how it should look when you are finally done with your installation.
Step 2: At the very beginning, you should determine where you would like to mount the tv antenna.
You should choose a location where you have good structural support for the antenna. Not just that, you also have to consider which location would be the best to get the clearest signal from the transmission broadcasting tower.
Step 3: Once the previous step is done, you should be able to safely mount the antenna.
Mounting tools are always provided with the unit, and you should make use of that. With the help of the included tools, mount the antenna to the roof or by the side of your house.
All these you will be able to see in the image of the example. Meanwhile, be sure to follow the information given in the instruction manual.
Step 4: The next thing you have to do is, find your house’s service grounding conductor. Now, you should be able to locate the conductor near the meter that controls the power, or you can find it in your basement where your electrical panel is.
In the panel, you will most likely find a copper wire that goes through the wall from inside the panel.
This copper wire has to be joined or connected with a ground rod or plate.
Step 5: In the next step, you have to find out where your system grounding conductor is, and then you must place a ground clamp on it.
These clamps tend to be inexpensive and can be found in any hardware store. Make sure you buy a clamp according to the size of your wire.
There are many tables on the internet which will guide you in choosing the clamp for your wire.
Step 6: Based off of the NCE requirement, in order to ground the antenna, you must use a solid copper wire which is a #10 AWG (American Wire Gauge) minimum. It is 1/10th of an inch in diameter.
Make sure that you are using a solid wire rather than a standard one, as the latter become brittle quickly over time.
Step 7: At this point in the process, you will have to connect the tv antenna to the earth. Here what you will simply have to do is connecting a coax grounding black to an end of the wire you have. The block is needed as the coax cable builds up a static electric charge. It makes the charge disappear.
This coax block is most likely to have two coaxial connectors and one opening where you will have to put in the ground wire.
Now one of the connectors should go to the antenna that is set up on the roof of the house, and the other one on the block should go to the tuner which is inside the house.
Make sure that you check the reception of your television to see if there is a difference. Because, if the process is done right then there should be a low-frequency sound coming for the tv.
Step 8: A simple tip for you; make sure that the cables you have connected are not set vertically, as it might enable water to trickle down and get into the connection.
Finally, you must ground the mast of the antenna, which is actually one of the easiest parts of the whole job.
You just have to use a mast ground clamp to connect the AWG wire to the mast. The other side of the solid copper wire you are using should be attached safely to the earth. Make sure that you are using different clamps for the two.
And with all of this, your job is done.
What if Coaxial Joint Cannot Be Unscrewed?
In order to install the coax cable, you must pick up the right tools. Here those will be a few male connectors and coaxial tool. Be sure to choose the RG-6 connectors, as these tend to create less noise.
Now while cutting the cable, remember to leave some room for errors. Inside the cable, you are likely to find a very thin copper wire in the very middle which has foil shielding.
The coaxial you bought from the hardware store or online should have a stripper for the outer layer of the cable. Clamp down the stripper of the tool and use it around the cable to turn it around.
After a rotation or two, you should easily be able to pull off the piece of outer layer you snipped off from the cable. Once you have removed the outer layer of the cable, you should now be able to see the foil that covers the copper wire.
The foil layer will have to be removed in the same way as the outer layer. Clamp the foil layer into the stripper, rotate it a few times. Make sure not to do it too hard, as the thin wire inside might end up coming off with the foil. This will only make the process longer.
And finally, once you have the copper wire sticking out of the cable, you need to make sure that the end of the cable is pushed up to the connector. You must do so till the copper wire comes all the way through the connector.
Now all you have to do is compress the connector to the cable as hard as you can. Do ensure that it does not come off or become loose.
2 Tips When Grounding the Antenna
- 1Avoid buying antennas that have some sort of coating or paint on them. If there is, make sure to scrape it off where the metal parts meet. Or else the bonding might not be good. You can easily paint it afterward.
- 2Make sure you tightly fasten the grounding wire to the side of your house.
The article written above should be used as a reference or guide when you are grounding your television antenna.
As previously mentioned, it would be wise to consult someone who has already done this before. They might be able to let you know the exact tools and equipment you may need to do the job. They may also direct you to stores that sell those things.
Hope the steps and tips provided here were of help and gave you a good idea on how to do it properly.