How to Ground a TV Antenna
Properly grounding a television antenna reduces the chance of serious damage to your property in the event of a lightning strike. It also dispels static electricity build-up on the antenna array and the coaxial cable that runs from the antenna to the connected TV equipment inside your home. Grounding TV antennas is a legal requirement of the National Electrical Code and many local municipality codes.
Things You'll Need
- No. 8 or No. 10 copper or aluminum wire
- Adjustable wrench
- Cable ties
- Wire staples
- Waterproof sealant or metal paint
- Copper-clad steel grounding rod
- Grounding clamp
- Wire cutters
Loosen one of the bolts on the antenna mast by turning it counter clockwise a few turns with the wrench. Remove any paint or protective coating from the area on the antenna mast where you will be connecting the ground wire.
Wind one end of the ground wire around the exposed bolt. Tighten the bolt by turning it clockwise with the wrench. Seal any exposed metal with paint or sealant to prevent rusting.
Run the ground wire to the ground. Secure the wire to the mast with cable ties at 4- to 6-feet intervals. If the ground rod is not directly beneath the antenna use a gradual slope in the ground wire and secure the wire to the side of the house using wire staples.
Drive a copper-clad steel grounding rod at least three feet into the ground with the sledgehammer. Optimum grounding is achieved by driving the rod 8 feet into the ground.
Slide the grounding clamp over the exposed end of the grounding rod and tighten completely by turning the two bolts clockwise with the wrench.
Insert the end of the grounding wire into the grounding clamp. Pull any excess slack from the wire.
Turn the screw on the grounding clamp clockwise to secure the wire in the clamp. Snip off any excess wire within an inch of the grounding clamp.
Tips & Warnings
- The ground wire must contact bare metal to be effective.
- Unless you feel competent to work on electrical systems in your home you should consider hiring a professional to install and ground your TV antenna.
- Never bend the ground wire. If you must slope the wire, keep all angles to less than 90 degrees.
- Never use water pipes to ground electrical devices.