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How To Ground a Television or Communications Antenna


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Install an Earth Grounding and Bond for Communication Antenna: Guide for Grounding an Antenna System

Guide for Grounding an Antenna System

Electrical Question: I would like to install a small outdoor television antenna (side of the house, not the roof), and I’d like to be sure it’s sufficiently grounded.

This electrical wiring question came from: Udayan, a Homeowner from Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Additional Comments: Great site – thanks.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Udayan.

Yes, you are correct, your antenna should be grounded, however lets take a look at the correct and acceptable methods so we make sure this is done right:


How to Install an Earth Grounding and Bond for Communication Antenna
NEC, National Electrical Code references shown below.

The National Electrical Code required earth grounding of telecommunications NEC 800-40(b), antennas and lead-in cables NEC 810-21(f), CATV NEC 820-40(b), and network-powered broadband communications systems NEC 830-40(b). This is accomplished by bonding the communications systems to the building earth ground.

The Communications Systems must be bonded to any of the following Earth Ground Locations

  1. Building or structure grounding electrode system as described in Section 250-50.
  2. Interior metal water pipe meeting the requirements of Section 250-104(a). The limitation of 5 feet in Section 250-50 does not apply.
  3. Metal service raceway. (metal conduit)
  4. Service equipment enclosure.(electrical panel)
  5. Building or structure grounding electrode conductor.
  6. Metal enclosure enclosing the building or structure grounding electrode conductor.
  7. Accessible bonding means such as six inches of No. 6 copper conductor connected to the service equipment or raceway [250-92(b)].

When an electrode such as a ground rod is installed for the communications systems, it must be bonded with a No. 6 copper or larger bare or insulated conductor to the grounding electrode system at the building or structure served.

Important Note:
When an electrode such as a ground rod is installed for the communications systems, it must be bonded with a No. 6 copper bare or insulated conductor to the grounding electrode system at the building or structure served. (this refers to the main electrical panel)

Do not install a separate ground rod if the antenna is mounted on the house structure.

Summary:
As you can see, it is highly recommended to install the ground wire to the main electrical panel where it may be bonded with the main electrical ground system which will provide maximum protection and functionality.

If it is possible, locate the antenna near the electrical panel and install the antenna cable from that point to the desired locations.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

3 Responses to “How To Ground a Television or Communications Antenna”
  1. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Roy,
    Yes – Driving the ground rod would create an isolated ground, and yes – there could be a voltage differential between the two ground sources depending on the soil and environmental conditions. This could also be identified as a ground loop. If you do drive the ground rod it should be bonded to the main ground system, or you could just ground the antenna with a continuous cable back to the main panel and bond it there.
    Dave

  2. Roy Quinn says:

    I am installing an outdoor tv antenna and rotator mounted to the chimney. The chimney is not used any longer (furnace has been removed.) The electrical service panel, and electrical service grounding rod are at the opposite end of the house from the chimney. I plan to run the lead in cable and rotator wire inside the chimney to the basement, across the ceiling in basement, and attach the lead in cable and rotator wire to the ground inside the electrical panel.

    I do have a 6′ copper rod available and could drive it into the ground next to the chimney but, wouldn’t that be creating an isolated ground? Wouldn’t there be a voltage differential between the two grounds?

  3. Tom Righter says:

    antenna is work to clear the picture of a television. but now a days wireless connection is so easy to antenna.