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ground fault / adding grounding rod help
Old 19th January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
ground fault / adding grounding rod help

Hello!

My gear buzz's and my tube amps shock me. Upon inspection, I've found that my home lacks a true ground rod and is instead grounded to the incoming water main. My understanding is that this is often employed as a secondary ground but is rarely the only ground source for a home. In any case, I have a ground fault and need to fix it.

I will be installing a ground rod, and my question is this: can I run the ground wire directly from the main outlet in my control room instead of from the ground-bar in my circuit breaker panel? This would save me a lot of time and energy, and would allow me to keep the mains connected to the water pipe for extra grounding. Also, the run of copper wire would only need to be 3 feet long if I did it from the control room, instead of from the breaker box, which would be a good 15 feet.

Any issues with this? Of course, I know all work must be performed by a licensed and certified electrician, just want to get my ducks in a row and purchase supplies without having to pay the electrician by the hour to do it.

thanks slutz!
Old 19th January 2013
  #2
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popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
When we moved in here, I had an electrician do it. He took it from the main box, deep through concrete into earth. I don't know why it would save you distance. Mine ones out of the house and directly down through the concrete.
Old 19th January 2013 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by popmann ➑️
When we moved in here, I had an electrician do it. He took it from the main box, deep through concrete into earth. I don't know why it would save you distance. Mine ones out of the house and directly down through the concrete.

Annoyingly, mine is in the middle of my basement, a good 15+ feet from an outside wall. My control room, on the other hand, has an outside wall and all that would need be done is to drill a small hole in the foundation and run copper wire a few feet to the ground rod. Additionally, less distance=less impedance which, theoretically, means less noise.
Old 20th January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
You should check your local electrical code. There are usually very strict rules about grounding rods and where they must be connected.
Old 20th January 2013
  #5
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MarkF48's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Importantly first off, what do you have for a tube amp and does it have a 2 or 3 prong plug? How old is your house and what kind of wiring does it have, Romex plastic covered, BX metal sheathed, or knob and tube? Are the electrical outlets 2 or 3 prong.

I would suggest getting an outlet tester and use it to check your outlets for correct wiring...
Amazon.com: GE 50542 Receptacle Tester, 3-Wire Light Improper Wiring Indicator: Home Improvement

Unless the metal water pipe transitions to plastic outside the house, the electrical grounding to it should be adequate. Possibly the water pipe may have been a valid ground at one time, but if the system got an upgrade, it may have changed over to plastic which can't provide the protection required. If the pipe is proven to not provide an adequate ground, yes you will need to add a ground rod and possibly more than one depending on the resistance of the soil around your house.

Buzzing is may be caused by florescent light fixtures, other appliances, or computers and grounding of your electrical system may not be the solution, although it may help some.
Old 20th January 2013
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hi guys, thanks for the helpful responses. As to the building codes, I do know where it needs to be in relation to the foundation. In respect to wiring, the house is old but wired 3 prong through-out. Also, I have tested the wiring already and do know that a fault is present. Additionally, I do not know what, if any, upgrades were done to the water system or the electrical prior to a few months ago when I moved in. I simply know where I am at now, and wish to deal with the issue at hand.

Prior to this my studio was set up in a different house and I did not have these issues. Which led me to inspecting the electrical in the house. Which led me to finding the fault. Which let me to inspecting the ground, which is why I wish to install a specific, control room only, ground to my house. Very much like star grounding everything, but with an actually, buried in the earth, ground rod.

*I want to run it from the outlet in the studio where all of my gear is powered. Is this possible, or is this dumb/a fire hazard/a waste of time?*
Old 20th January 2013
  #7
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MarkF48's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
A large part of having a ground at the breaker panel is if there is a lighting hit or a fault on the feeder there is a path for a potential surge to ground. If you install an additional ground at your control room area it may lend itself to creating a surge path through your gear rather than at the breaker panel. Be careful about this and consult an electrician whether this will meet code or not.

The reason I ask asked about the amp is if it's an older one still having a two prong plug, depending on the way it's plugged in can cause the hot side of the line to be connected to the amp chassis thus causing the shock you feel. This is not a fault of the house wiring, but one of the amp needing to be upgraded with a proper 3 prong plug grounded in the amp.
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