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Grounding Question

2746 Views 15 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  JamesK
I am installing a satalite system in my motorhome, the instuction manual talks about grounding the coax line, easy in a home (water pipe). What about a motorhome running on rubber tires, no actual ground. What can a person do to ground the coax in this situation?

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Ground it to the frame of the trailer. A standard 6' or 10' grounding rod would also be a good idea for a stationary trailer, for both the frame and dish.

So basically the frame of the motorhome is adequate? If thats the case then its going to be easy.

yes that will be fine.
As a side note, water pipes aren't always the direct ground source. A lot of homes in rural areas get their water from a well, which is connected to it through a rubber tube. However; there usually (hopefully) is a ground rod attached to the cold water at some part of it.
although the pipes go from copper to plastic when grounding to a copper pipe filled with water the pipe and the water are 1 as far as the ground is concerned you are actually grounding to the water as well.
the fact the copper goes to plastic is mute as far as i'm concerned.
I'd love to hear how water grounded becomes ungrounded when it enters a plastic pipe?
that's the same as saying a ground wire can't have a plastic sheild and must be bare?
Well, what if the pipe is dry? A good example, is someone shutting off the cold water to the outside for the cold season, while the tap outside is used as ground source.

What would builders run a ground wire around the water meter instead of using the water itself as a connection?

Just because a ground wire is shielded, doesn't mean you shouldn't strip the shielding to use it at a pipe strap or ground block, or any other grounding materials. the cover removes a chance of corrosion. As far as the stripped parts, if they're installed properly, they shouldn't corrode where the contact is met.

Plastic is non-conductive, and water isn't dependable. Your hot water pipes and gas lines are grounded, but would you ground it that way? It almost as stupid as grounding to plastic. And I'm not calling anyone anything.
i agree water pipes aren't the best ground source and yes if the pipe had no water then run to plastic ground. but the fact that it runs from copper to plastic is mute.
personally I've never grounded to a water pipe, if the coax runs within 20' of the metre I'll install a grounding block and a ground wire.
I'd love to hear how water grounded becomes ungrounded when it enters a plastic pipe?
Pure, ion free water is an insulator. Contaminants, such as salt etc. cause ions, which increase the conductivity of the water. Hard water, with it's high mineral content is a better conductor than soft water. So, water, by itself, cannot be relied on for a ground connection.

I'm an electrician and caution those here about grounding improperly regardless of application. (Especially in areas with Lighning Storms. Doing improper grounding is rolling the dice. Fine if you are a Gambler, and like playing the odds. :rolleyes:)

Check you local codes, but typically for houses tying the ground before cable entry into the house via the grounding stakes, or grid, is the best solution. Grounding via all Copper Water pipes are a second choice. If your feed is Plastic I'd wouldn't use this approach.

On the Motor Home, I'd too would tie it to the Frame (an unpainted area => you should scape off any contamination and bond to bare metal) or if easier, and you can get to the electrical panel; combine it to the Ground connections there. Incorporating it into the panel should result in little long term worry about corrosion like on a frame member exposed to the elements.

On this thread there is more discussion of grounding as well as general intallation issues.
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There are separate grounding rules for buildings connected to an urban metallic water grid and those that are not. I'm not going to discuss the, often inaccurate, information already presented other than to say the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) should be followed in all cases.

The OP simply asked how to ground a dish that was attached to a motor home. Grounding the motor home may also be required, depending on the circumstances. It's probably a good idea to ground the motor home in any event, even it is just a temporary ground.
Having seen the after effects of a direct lightening strike on a dish you need a very hefty earth ground conductor if you want to decrease the damage as much as possible, in this case the coax had evaporated completely leaving only a scorch mark where it had been.:eek:
For a mobile home, you should inquire what the news reporters use in their live feed vans?
Our Official Grounding Thread

Everything you will ever need to know about Grounding is in the following thread: Grounding Info & Standards: OTA/Dish/CATV/Telecom :)
The use of grounding it to minimize personal injury first and reduce extensive property damage second. If the RG6 goes up in smoke while nobody was hurt and nothing else was damaged, that was a perfect grounding job. If the lightning starts arcing through the trailer, causing damage and injury, that was a bad grounding job.
I remember seeing a cable co's tech zip tie a ground block onto a gas pipe outside. Not sure how much more dangerous it made it, I got rid of it either way.
That guy should have been reported to the cable company. Grounding to a gas line is illegal. Using a zip tie doesn't make for a good connection either.
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