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antenna at the roof top

How to Properly Ground a TV Antenna (4-Step Guide)

Updated On February 7, 2022

When it comes to outdoor antenna installation, you need to consider various factors. You’ll need to take some extra steps, including running a copper wire from the antenna mast and coaxial cable to your house ground.

You may be wondering; how to properly ground an outdoor tv antenna? Keep reading because this article explains the fundamentals of antenna grounding. And here, I will teach you how to properly ground a TV antenna.

Why Is It Necessary to Ground a TV Antenna?

grounding tv antenna

There are three basic purposes to ground an outdoor TV antenna.

To Keep The Sustainability of Your TV Equipment

The severe storms and the power surges surrounding them, whether from direct lightning strikes or the more ordinary build-up of static electricity put your household appliances and electronics at risk.

It Is Legally Required

Many areas legally require homeowners to ground their outdoor antennas for televisions.

Reduce or Eliminate Electromagnetic Interference

Whether it’s an amplifier or television, the route from your antenna to your television will usually include connections with AC-powered devices. Ordinarily, electrical appliances leak tiny amounts of unnoticeable current under normal conditions. If left unchecked, this electricity will go up the coaxial antenna cable and into the house, causing noise and interfering with reception. You should draw noise away from your antenna by grounding it.

A direct lightning strike on your antenna, for example, might cause damage. The implications are impossible to foresee if this occurs; however, antenna grounding provides a pathway that helps reduce harm.

On the other hand, you may harm residential electrical systems by even indirect lightning strikes nearby.

Materials Needed

Let’s take a look at the things that you’ll need to ground your antenna before we get started:

  • Antenna Coax
  • Mast
  • Ground Clamp
  • Coax Grounding Block
  • Grounding Conductors
  • Electric Service Meter Panel
  • Power Service Grounding Electrode System

How To Properly Ground An Outdoor Tv Antenna

Grounding your TV antenna is not a tricky procedure; it won’t cost you much, and it may even provide you with some peace of mind.

In any case, I feel this article will be very beneficial in assisting you in understanding how to ground an outdoor TV antenna correctly.

Step #1: Position Your TV Antenna

Choose where you’ll put your antenna. Place your TV antenna in a place that will offer you adequate structural support. Whatever place you choose, keep in mind the orientation of your transmission broadcast towers to ensure the best possible line of sight.

Securely attach your antenna. Mount your TV antenna to your roof or the wall of your house. For safe and stable antenna installation, make sure to follow all installation guidelines that come with your antenna. Note that if you’re attaching to your roof, ensure you cover the screws with roof sealant to prevent water from getting in.

Step #2: Find the Service Grounding Conductor in Your Home

You should see a firm copper wire running from your switchboard through your wall to the outside if you go down to your basement and pinpoint your electrical panel. You will need to connect a grounding electrode or a grounding plate to this line.

Locate the system’s grounding conductor and secure it with a ground clamp. Ground Clamps are available in a wide range of shapes and variations on Amazon, and they’re reasonably priced. You can typically determine the clamp’s size by the diameter of the wire you’re clamping.

Your house’s grounding conductor might be anywhere from a #2 AWG to a #6 AWG, relying on where you live and the capacity of your service.

I propose that you purchase a #6 AWG ground wire online. Since stranded wire can become frail over time when exposed to the weather, solid wire is recommended over the stranded wire.

Step #3: Antenna Ground Mast: How to Ground it Correctly

cold water clamp

Link the other end of the ground wire you attached in step #2 to your antenna mast with an Antenna Ground Mast Clamp and secure it tightly. The clamp you’ll need will be determined by the diameter of your antenna mast.

Step #4: Coax Cable Grounding

coaxial cable

It’s now time to ground the coax line of your TV antenna. The coax cable alone can accumulate a static electric charge. A TV antenna discharge unit or grounding block can be employed to dissipate that charge appropriately (again, check your local code rules). (1)

You can obtain these Coax Ground Blocks on Amazon for a reasonable price. I also propose utilizing Coax Surge Protectors with a rating of at least 1500 MHz, which are not shown in this picture, to add another layer of safety.

More Tips for You

  1. Scrape the places where the metal sections contact on the antenna masts that are painted, extensively rusted, or have some form of coating to guarantee excellent bonding. Repainting is unnecessary after the antenna mast hardware and mount are appropriately linked.
  2. Use staples or an appropriate zip-screw style wire clamp to securely tie the grounding wire to the wall of your house.
  3. Ensure your ground wire lines are as short as possible and avoid 90-degree bends. If the ground wire must be bent, make the bends as gentle and smooth as possible.

FAQs

What Happens If I Don’t Ground My Antenna?

grounding outdoor antenna

Grounding the antenna will assist it in avoiding being struck by lightning. Anything conductive that is not grounded will gather a static charge during a thunderstorm. The charge will attract lightning as it grows up. As a result, grounding the antenna discharges any charge that could attract a strike.

An ungrounded antenna that accumulates a charge can also inflict quite harmful to your equipment, as the charge will discharge down your cable when it reaches a high enough potential, causing damage to your TV tuner. You’ll just notice that your television can no longer tune to any channels. Have you ever heard someone say that their TV stopped working after a thunderstorm came through? This could be the reason. The grounding of all antennas and building wiring is necessary.

What Happens if Lightning Strikes?

ground antenna

Even if you’ve adequately grounded your TV antenna in the unusual case that lightning strikes it, there’s no certainty that it won’t be damaged.

The truth is that lightning will do whatever it wants when it strikes, and the best we can do is offer an excellent low impedance (resistance) conduit for that energy to return to the earth as swiftly and safely as possible. Nevertheless, the good news is that lightning strikes are very uncommon. (2)

If you’re still concerned about your equipment or television set being damaged in the event of a lightning strike, you may always disconnect the coax connection from your gadgets when a storm is approaching.

Is It Necessary to Ground an Indoor Antenna?

Why are ground indoor antennas (particularly those in attics) adequately shielded from thunderstorms and lightning?

Grounding the coaxial wire of an indoor antenna with a grounding block has two potential benefits, as it turns out:

  1. If your TV antenna requires an LTE or bandpass filter (to eliminate undesired cell phone signal disturbance), grounding the coaxial will improve the filter’s effectiveness. Unwanted radio frequency noise could otherwise get past the filter and into the coaxial connection.
  2. You will be protected from electric shock if you ground the coaxial line. The coaxial cable is then linked to your television or converter box. Even when it’s working correctly, all AC-operated equipment leaks. However, grounding the coaxial cable will safely divert any excess current to the ground if your equipment fails.

Remember that if your TV or converter box has a 3-prong power connection, it’s typically grounded. Thus, there’s less of a risk of an electrical shock (and no need to ground the cable with a grounding block separately).

However, if it has a 2-prong power cable, there may be a risk of dangerous leakage current.

Here are other product and learning guides that you can bookmark for future references. Until our next article!






References
(1) electric charge – https://www.britannica.com/science/electric-charge
(2) lightning – https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/lightning/

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About the author 

John Temple