WRONG TOOL/RIGHT TOOL: Ground your antenna

WRONG TOOL: Flat wire.

OK. So you’ve realized you have to ground anything that you put up on the roof. That’s great, really. Most people just go ahead, putting the antenna or dish on the roof without any sort of grounding. there are even plenty of installers who do this.

So you know where the cold water supply line is, and you know that it’s a good way of grounding an antenna. But you don’t have any ground wire… so you look around. Maybe the homeowner before you had an antenna up in the roof and there’s a bunch of old 300 ohm flat antenna wire up there. So you decide to use that, hey better than nothing, right?


The thin leads in 300 ohm antenna wire won’t help you one bit in the case of a serious electrical discharge. The copper will just melt, and you’ll be completely unprotected. Worst case scenario, they actually spread an electrical discharge inside your walls, where dust and other flammable materials may turn your home into a powder keg. Just don’t do it.

RIGHT TOOL: 10 gauge copper wire with green sheath

Yes it’s heavy. Yes it’s relatively expensive. But friends, this is how you run a ground wire. It should be a heavy-gauge wire designed to take a hit from thousands of volts of current. The green outer sheath tells the next homeowner that you planned ahead, and if you ever need an electrician, he’ll recognize the ground wire instantly.

Take the time to pick up some of this ground wire and you’ll be glad you did. After all, you’re grounding in order to keep your house safe, not just for fun. You’re grounding because it’s the right thing to do… and this is the right way to do it.

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 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.