How is my home grounded?

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Old 08-06-17, 04:04 PM
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How is my home grounded?

Hi Everyone, this is my first post on with this forum. I did some reading and looked around but could not find an answer to my problem so please forgive me if this question has already been asked somewhere else. I am providing as many details as possible so that you guys get a good description of what's going one.

I am trying to locate where my house is grounded. We purchased the home back in March 2017 and no issues came up in the initial inspection. Home was built in 1971. Also, we had an electrician perform some remodel work that required a permit which is finished now and the permit cleared inspection as well.

So far I have followed a bare copper wire that exits the top of the breaker box and leads into the house where it connects to the copper cold water supply. There is also a copper wire that exits the breaker box through an opening in the back. This opening is also where the main power comes in.

My question is, where is this copper wire going? I see the copper wire going out of the box but I don't know where it is going. Shouldn't there be a grounding rod in the vicinity of the meter that sticks out of the ground? I have not found one. Is it grounded below ground?

My breaker box is located inside the garage and the meter connects directly with the breaker box on the outside of the garage.

This whole searched was caused because at some point an aerial tv antenna was installed on the top of the roof that is not grounded. I am looking into solutions for grounding the antenna because I would like to use. Currently there are absolutely no wires attached to the antenna so I am looking into solutions for wiring the coax and grounding it. But first I need to find where the best place to ground it is.

I understand that this project should be handled by a professional electrician but before I call one out I want to do some research and get a better idea of the work that will need to be done and if there is an issue with the grounding.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 05:54 PM
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Your house looks to be officially grounded by the water pipe. The wire would be the GEC which is what you can attach an antenna ground to. Easiest for now to use a clamp or intersystem grounding bridge to attach.

The copper wire out the back looks like it goes to the meter box. That normally isn't allowed anymore. Might have been required by the power company at the time the service was installed. Codes and practices have changed a bit in 45 years.

Old codes didn't require more than a water pipe. Current codes require a grounding rod or other to supplement. If you want a project then have a couple ground rods installed, run a wire to the ground strip of the panel. Then on this wire attach the intersystem bonding terminal.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 06:07 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Your electrical service is grounded by a grounding system. It is grounded by the grounded conductor (The neutral) coming underground from the power companies transformer to the meter. The ground wire (bare) coming from the meter can is connected to the neutral in the meter and is there to ensure a good path around the concentric KO's of the meter can and the steel panel. The wire going to the water pipe is called the grounding electrode conductor and the copper pipe is being used as the grounding electrode.

A supplemental grounding electrode (rod, pipe or plate electrode) was not required when your house was built. You can add one if you choose.

An antenna does need to be grounded to operate, and really if the coax cable is grounded someplace, so will the antenna. (they make connectors to ground coax) However, grounding through the coax will not handle a direct lightning strike. Best way to do that is to run a separate copper wire (I suggest #6 or larger bare copper) down to an 8' ground rod driven into the ground. You can double this rod up to your panel.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 06:41 PM
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Thanks tolyn-ironhand and astuff. I'm glad to hear the house appears to be correctly grounded. The GEC that runs from the breaker to the copper plumbing is easily accessible as it runs up into the garage attic. Would it be acceptable to run a GEC from the antenna into the garage attic and clamp it to the GEC that runs from the breaker to the copper plumbing?
 
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Old 08-06-17, 07:04 PM
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I would say yes. If it were me, however, I would want a direct path to the earth and add a ground rod.
 
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Old 08-06-17, 07:46 PM
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Agreed, if I put an 8' rod as close as possible to the antenna, do I need to worry about a ground loop becoming an issue? Do I need to bond the the 8' rod to the homes grounding system?
 
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Old 08-06-17, 08:53 PM
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All the grounding in the house needs to be bonded together. You would run a jumper between the waterline and the rod.
 
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Old 08-07-17, 09:13 AM
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Would it be acceptable to bond the grounding rod directly to the breaker box or clamp it to the GEC that runs to the copper plumbing?
 
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Old 08-07-17, 04:41 PM
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Would it be acceptable to bond the grounding rod directly to the breaker box
Yes. That is how I would do it. Code now is to provide an inter-system bonding connect to the wire going to the ground rod. You can connect the ground wire from the antenna to that. You will then have a common grounding point.

Example: BURNDY Intersystem Bonding Bridge Aluminum Wire Connector-RACIBB - The Home Depot
 
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