Where can you get accurate grounding information? (This one’s pretty easy)

So ok, this is going to be a short article. If you’ve read our Guide to Grounding you have some idea of the stuff you’ll need in order to properly ground your system, and you have some idea of how important grounding is. Without proper grounding, you risk losing everything you own if you put something metal up on the roof. Yes folks, it’s that important.

And yet, our guide doesn’t tell you definitively what you’ll need, just gives you some general parts and guidelines. That’s because grounding ordinances are set by your city, county and state. A place like Southern California has different rules than, for example, southern Illinois, because California’s largely dry and the fear is more from sparks than lightning. Illinois, on the other hand, can get some spectacular storms and that means a lot more chances that your dish or antenna will be a conduit for a gigantic power surge that could fry your equipment and set fire to your home.

When you’re ready to do that grounding project, head on down to the city planner’s office or at least the information desk at city hall. Some cities publish their ordinances online, but unless you’re completely sure that you’re getting the latest information, it’s best to actually get up and drive downtown. Yeah, I’m talking about going and asking a person, I know that sounds archaic.

If you haven’t checked the state of your equipment in a while, it’s not a bad idea to get a copy of the latest ordinances and check every part of your system. Grounding straps can corrode and snap, screws can get loose, anything can happen. Taking a good look every year or so is a small price to pay to know that you’re safe from a fire, right?