A ground rod is a metal shaft or pipe---often copper---that is used for grounding. Grounding is the process of creating a means of dissipating dangerous levels of voltages. This is often done by directing the electrical charge into an object or matter that can absorb a large amount of current. Ground rods are used to help direct the electrical charge into an object (generally, the earth). Ground rods can connect with bedrock but cannot be dug through bedrock. The following are instructions for how to install a ground rod where there is bedrock.
Things you need
8-foot long metal shaft (copper is preferable)Copper wire (optional)
1 Find a spot for your ground rod. A ground rod is used as a conductor for protecting towers or houses from lightening strikes. As the lightening strikes the rod rather than the object (such as a house), the metal rod conducts the electricity into the earth, rendering the lightening strike harmless.
2 Dig a hole into the dirt where you would like the ground rod. The hole does not have to be deep, but the deeper you have it at first, the easier your job will be. The circumference of the hole also does not have to be large, just adequate enough for you to dig some more if you need to.
3 Pour enough water into the hole to fill much of the hole. Let the water sit for a few minutes, then dig a little bit deeper. Fill the hole with water again (if necessary) and let it sit for a few more minutes.
4 Push the ground rod into the ground a few inches at a time. Remove the ground rod, and let the water flow deeper. If you prefer, you can dig deeper a third time, but that will probably be the limit to how much you can dig by hand. After the third dig, only use the ground rod and water method to insert the ground rod. Make sure there is always enough water in the hole to moisten the dirt. Continue to push the rod in deeper as the ground softens, and pull out the rod to let the water flow in deeper.
5 If you hit solid (bed) rock before you have reached 8 feet, you need to add several strips of copper wires to help dissipate the charges. Attach one end of a length of copper wire to the ground rod, and make a circle around the rod that is approximately 3 feet in diameter. This wire does not need to be buried, but it is better and safer if it is; the closer it is to the bedrock the safer it will be.
Tips and warnings
You can have a ground rod of longer than 8 feet if you like, but 8 feet is the minimum for safety purposes.
Do not place your ground rod too near a house or where young children may play.