DON’T DO THIS: Use a chimney cap as an antenna

So the other day…

This guy says he wants to know the right ground strap for a chimney cap. For those who live in wetter parts of the nation, a chimney cap is a metal cover used on the top of a chimney that stops embers from leaving the chimney. It’s required by code in drier climates to reduce the risk of fire.

Now we’re all about grounding, we know that grounding is important, and your chimney cap should be grounded if it’s the tallest part of the house. But the question was, why was this person calling Solid Signal for this part? It turns out that he had this idea to turn his chimney cap into an antenna. It’s metal, he figured, and it’s up pretty high, so it should work.

Folks, don’t do this. A chimney cap makes a really poor antenna. It’s made of iron, which isn’t as good at pulling in signals as aluminum. It’s going to get covered in soot so that’s going to make it even worse at pulling in a signal. If you tried to use a chimney cap as an antenna, and it worked, all that means is that putting a coat hanger up on the roof would work too. You could probably do just as well with old-fashioned rabbit ears on top of the TV.

DO keep your chimney cap grounded. DON’T try to use it as an antenna.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.