Many customer ask how to ground the antenna and if it is necessary. Although the Mohu website says that the Sky 60 antenna is lightning resistant, any antenna mounted on a roof has a chance of being struck by lightning. While we do not mandate that our antenna be grounded we know that some customers feel more secure with a ground in place. Please see the information below that was taken from https://www.groundedreason.com/how-to-ground-an-outdoor-antenna/ for tips on grounding your antenna. You can also reach out to a local electrician for grounding services.
Before I get into how and why you should ground your antenna, I wanted to let you know I am not an electrician. I’m a DIY weekend warrior that relies on Google search-fu to learn how to do household repairs and installs. For any engineers or electricians that stop by, I welcome any critiques or corrections in the comments. Accuracy is extremely important to me, and I appreciate any corrections or adjustments you can offer. That said, years of working in enterprise architecture make me a bit of a stickler for standards and practices. If you are as well, you may want to check out Article 810 of the National Electric Code. It covers all the codes and standards for installing the cabling for TV and radio transmitters.
However, if you are like most people, you’d rather hit your thumb repeatedly with a hammer than suffer through technical manuals. In that case, I’ll do my best to walk you through what I did after looking over the code. Below is a picture describing exactly what we are going to do. It illustrates how to ground your antenna by connecting it to your house’s ground wire. Notice you should not only ground the coaxial cable, but the antenna mast as well.
Grounding an antenna isn’t difficult to accomplish yourself, but it shouldn’t be too expensive to have a professional come out and do this for you. If you want to attempt this, below are are the steps I took to recreate what is essentially depicted in the diagram.
1. Locate your house service ground wire
In the diagram, the house ground wire is labeled as the “Power System Grounding Electrode.” You will typically find this wire near your electric meter or where power service enters your house. This is typically near your breaker panel, but on the outside of the house. It should be a thick gauge copper wire coming out of the ground. Here is a photo of what mine looks like.
The preferred way to ground an antenna is by using your house service ground. Please check out the NEC manual linked above for more information.
2. Connect the ground wire to the house ground
Notice the clamp on the ground wire in the picture above? Here is a close up picture of what it looks like.
Use a solid copper wire and use the ground clamp to connect it to the house service ground. The minimum size wire you should use to connect the antenna to the house service ground is 10 AWG (American Wire Gauge ), which is 1/10th of an inch in diameter. The type of clamp connector will depend on the size of your ground wire. The house ground wire is required to be at least 2 AWG. This is about 1/4 inch in diameter. Use this table to get an idea of the AWG of your ground wire and then you can buy a clamp that will connect the antenna ground wire to your house ground wire. You can use any size wire for your antenna ground as long as it’s larger than 10 AWG (and smaller than your house ground. They sell various clamps and wires online at Amazon. You want to be sure to get a solid copper wire, as stranded wire can become brittle over time. I personally used a 6 AWG solid copper wire and clamped it to my house ground wire as seen in the picture below.
3. Connect the Antenna to Ground
To connect the antenna to ground, simply connect the other end of your ground wire to coaxial grounding block. The block will have two female coaxial connectors and a slot to connect your ground wire. The picture below illustrates what this looks like.
The left coaxial connector connects to my antenna on the roof, while the right coaxial enters my house and goes to my digital tuner. Your coaxial is now grounded. Be sure to check your channels on your television to ensure they still are being received. If done properly, there should be little noise added to the system. In fact, after grounding the antenna I actually gained 1 channel. However, that could have just been a coincidence.
If the antenna is already installed and there is no coaxial joint that can be unscrewed to connect the block, don’t worry. I explain what to do at the end of the post.
Update: It’s been pointed out that I should use compression fittings to avoid water seepage into the line. Furthermore, make sure the cables are connected horizontally at the block to avoid water traveling down the cable and into the connection.
4. Ground the Antenna Mast
Grounding the coaxial was the hard part. Grounding the mast is easy. Simply attach an 8 or 10 AWG copper wire to the mast using a mast ground clamp and run the other end of the copper wire to the house ground. It’s recommended to use a separate clamp, and not the one used to ground the coaxial to the house ground.
You can see the black mast ground wire in the picture at the end of step 2. As you can see, I need to purchase a second clamp.
Congratulations! Your antenna is fully grounded.