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Grounding right in the desert.

SAND IS A POOR CONDUCTOR.

THIS MEANS THAT GETTING A GOOD EARTH GROUND IN THE DESERT REQUIRES EXTRA TIME AND EFFORT.

BUT IS IT WORTH IT?

A GOOD GROUND IS A MUST TO PREVENT ELECTRICAL SHOCK TO YOU AND DAMAGE TO YOUR EQUIPMENT.

Soil Preparation

THE FIRST STEP TOWARD A GOOD GROUND IN THE DESERT IS PREPARING THE SOIL.

SOIL CONDUCTIVITY CAN BE IMPROVED BY KEEPING THE SOIL MOIST AND BY ADDING A SALT-WATER MIXTURE TO THE AREA AROUND THE GROUND ROD.

USE A POUND OF SALT FOR EACH GALLON OF WATER.

START WITH 5 GALLONS OF THE MIXTURE.

DIG A SHALLOW TRENCH AROUND THE GROUND ROD AT A DISTANCE OF 18 INCHES SO THAT THE MIXTURE DOES NOT RUN OFF.

POUR IT SLOWLY SO IT SINKS INTO THE GROUND.

USE THE SALT AND WATER MIXTURE OFTEN. IT MAY TAKE A DAILY 5-GAL MIX AND SEVERAL POURS TO DO THE JOB.

YOU'RE DOING THAT AGAIN TODAY?!

YEP. TODAY AND EVERYDAY!

IT IS A GOOD IDEA IF THE GROUNDING ROD REACHES THE WATER TABLE,

USE A SECTIONAL GROUND ROD AND ADD EXTENSIONS TO REACH DEEPER INTO THE SOIL UNTIL THE ROD NO LONGER CAN BE DRIVEN.

STILL HAVE A WAY TO GO-GOTTA USE MORE EXTENSIONS.

IF YOU CAN, LOCATE YOUR EQUIPMENT NEAR AN OASIS OR SUBTERRANEAN WATER.

IF YOU CAN'T, MAKE SURE YOU USE THE SALT AND WATER MIXTURE.

Before You Drive

MAKE SURE THE GROUNDING ROD IS CLEAN, GREASE, OIL, PAINT AND CORROSION ON THE ROD MAKE IT A POOR CONDUCTOR.

IF YOU USE A SLEDGE HAMMER, WEAR SAFETY GLOVES TO PROTECT YOUR HANDS FROM METAL FRAGMENTS WHEN YOU DRIVE IN THE ROD

WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES, TOO!

BEFORE YOUR DRIVE, DIG A HOLE AT LEAST 12 INCHES DEEP AND 36 INCHES ACROSS.

THE TOP OF THE ROD MUST BE BELOW GROUND LEVEL.

FAR TOO MANY GROUND RODS ARE LEFT STICKING ABOVE THE GROUND.

DRIVE THE ROD IN THE CENTER OF THE HOLE. DRIVE IT STRAIGHT.

IF THE SOIL WON'T PERMIT THE ROD TO GO IN STRAIGHT, MAKE SURE THE DRIVING ANGLE IS NO MORE THAN 45 DEGREES.

WHEN ADDING ROD EXTENSIONS MAKE SURE EACH SECTION IS TIGHTLY CONNECTED TO THE PREVIOUS ONE.

IF THEY'RE NOT TIGHT, WHEN YOU DRIVE IN THE ROD, YOU'LL DAMAGE THE COUPLING SLEEVE THREADS.

DON'T HIT THE THREADED END OF THE ROD WITH THE HAMMER. THIS WILL DAMAGE THE THREADS, TOO.

DON'T DAMAGE THE THREADS, MAN!

USE A DRIVING BOLT ON THE TOP SECTION AND MAKE SURE IT'S TIGHT.

A LOOSE BOLT WILL BREAK OFF.

IF POSSIBLE, USE A SLIDE HAMMER WHEN INSTALLING A SECTIONED GROUND ROD.

SLIDE HAMMER, NSN 5120-01-013-1676, MAKES IT EASIER TO DRIVE RODS, AND EASIER TO GET THEM OUT, TOO.

FOR DRIVING RODS INTO VERY HARD DESERT GROUND, USE A 12-LB SLEDGE HAMMER NSN 5120-00-293-0887.

IF YOU CANNOT REACH THE WATER TABLE WITH A SINGLE GROUND ROD OR ONE WITH EXTENSIONS, USE MULTIPLE GROUNDS AND THE SALT-WATER MIXTURE.

DRIVE IN THE ADDITIONAL RODS TWO TO FOUR ROD LENGTHS APART.

IF THREE RODS ARE USED, DRIVE THEM IN A TRIANGLE PATTERN.

IF FOUR OR MORE RODS ARE USED, PUT THEM IN A STRAIGHT LINE OR A STAR PATTERN.

WHEN USING MULTIPLE RODS ALWAYS CONNECT ALL THE RODS TOGETHER, THE FINAL ROD BEING CONNECTED TO THE EQUIPMENT TO BE GROUNDED.

IF YOUR CAN'T DRIVE A GROUND ROD MORE THAN 4 FEET, BURY THE ROD HORIZONTALLY 1 1/2 FEET DEEP. THEN ADD THE SALT-WATER MIXTURE.

ORDERING THE GROUND ROD ASSEMBLY, NSN 5975-00-878-3791, GETS YOU THE FOLLOWING ...

Grounding Plates

SINCE SAND IS EASY TO MOVE, GROUNDING PLATES CAN BE A GOOD IDEA IN THE DESERT.

THEY ALSO GIVE YOU A LARGE, METALLIC AREA THAT IS IN CONTACT WITH THE SOIL.

THE GROUND PLATES-USE TWO TO FOUR-SHOULD BE SPACED AT LEAST 10 FEET APART.

TO MAKE AROUND PLATE, START WITH A CLEAN, BARE METAL PLATE OR SHEET 1/4 INCH THICK.

ALONG WITH THE PLATE YOU'LL NEED A METAL BOLT, NUT AND LOCK WASHER TO ATTACH THE GROUND WIRE.

DRILL A HOLE IN THE CENTER OF THE PLATE JUST LARGE ENOUGH FOR THE BOLT.

DO NOT USE ALUMINUM. THE PLATE SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST 3 SQUARE FEET OF SURFACE CONTACT WITH THE GROUND. THE LARGER THE PLATE, THE LOWER THE RESISTANCE AND THE BETTER THE GROUND.

DIG A HOLE SOT THAT THE PLATE CAN BE BURIED VERTICALLY THE TOP EDGE ABOUT 5 FEET BELOW THE SURFACE.

IT'S EASIER TO BURY THE PLATE VERTICALLY AND STILL ENSURE GOOD SOIL CONTACT ON THE BOTH SIDES OF THE PLATE.

POUR YOUR MIXTURE OF WATER AND SALT INTO THE SOIL AROUND THE PLATE TO FURTHER INCREASE CONDUCTIVITY.

[ILLUSTRATIONS OMITTED]
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:electrical grounding
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Date:Aug 1, 2005
Words:769
Previous Article:No launcher means no launching.
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