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Old 01-13-2007, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default Driving ground rods.

How do you drive rod electrodes (ground rods?). I was taught to use a sledgehammer, but that makes me super tired. When I missed the rod once upon a time, and smacked myself in the shin, I looked into other methods. Pictured below in the first picture is my low-tech home made solution. It is a 4' piece of RMC with a 4" diameter x 8" long solid steel chunk welded onto the end. The whole thing weighs a good 50lbs., and it does a find job whacking in ground rods. In the second picture is another method many guys use. It is a rotary hammer/drill with a ground rod driver bit.




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Old 01-13-2007, 07:47 PM   #2
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For other than sandy soil my choice is picture TWO!

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Old 01-13-2007, 08:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
For other than sandy soil my choice is picture TWO!
Did you notice my #4 solid copper trigger lock? That's an aftermarket accessory, not available from Milwaukee!
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:11 AM   #4
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I had an old guy tell me to soak the ground then pump the rod up and down till it quits moving, soak and repeat as needed. It works well down to about 3-4 ft of rod then it gets hard to pull back. But by then the rod drives well with a hammer.
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:06 PM   #5
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My problem is stones. You have to whack on the rod a good while to either split the stone or the rod curves and goes around the stone. Sometimes the roto hammer will stop at the same spot for 2 or 3 minutes, then the rod starts going. That's how I know I must have split a rock or curved the rod underground.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:09 AM   #6
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Ah yes, teh dreaded rock to hit. About half the county I live in has severe rocks the other half doesn't. Then how come 75% of the jobs are in the rocky half? Wife's relatives live in the southern part of the state and the northern part of Arkansas. they set fence posts down there with a rock drill!!!! Her uncle built a 1/2 mile line of fence and all the posts were set with an air powered rock drill that he borrowed form the other uncle's construction business. Standard fair on a basement is to have a blasting man on site.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:22 AM   #7
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Im in TN. it is so rocky here I was talking to the inspector about it and he recomended putting it in at a angle. I mean he showed me the angle and the end of the rod was maybe 5 feet off the ground. He said it had to be 8' and in the ground but never said it had to be straight down. Correct or not it works awsome and he passes it everytime. Seems when it hits a rock it bends better. I also use the drill and driver method.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:54 AM   #8
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We've also had good luck with a gadget sold at Home Depot (usually in the garden or fence materials section. It's original purpose is to drive those "T Posts", (metal, T shaped X-section with an arrow head shaped blade at the lower end). The driver operates on the same principal as Marc's 1st picture but it provides handles on each side so you can get both hands on it and really "put your back into it". Only time it didn't work was in AZ, where at about 4-5' down you hit something they call "Kaliche"(think rubberized, concretized frozen asphalt). We had to rent a 30# jackhammer.
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:39 PM   #9
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Default Ground rod driving

Guess I'm a generation X'er
There is no way I'll drive a ground rod by hand again.
TE-55 with driver bit. 1000watt inverter in truck.
1500watt Troy built generator on truck 24-7 just in case I can't get close enough!

and yes angles do help with obstructions.............good call

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Old 01-22-2007, 05:59 PM   #10
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I use about the same tool. The top driver is a SDS bit welded to a piece of 1/2" sch 80 pipe and I make them as need them. The smaller one is the prototype made of 316 SS.
Getting to old to drive them by hand.

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Old 01-22-2007, 06:08 PM   #11
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I see you make yours. Neat.

I've heard of people complaining that the commercial ground rod driver bits break easily. They are about 60 bucks a pop. I've never broken one. I'm still using my same one. I know that some guys with spline drive hammers just put the rod right in the chuck of the drill with no driver tool. That has to be hard on the drill.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:50 PM   #12
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I have an old 35 lb Kango model that is super good at driving the rods. I just stick the rod into the spline barrel and let er rip. Kango got bought out and they don't make em like they used to anymore.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:00 PM   #13
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I prever the Hilti method myself! No smashed body parts. As an apprentice I was the rod holder for my foreman. Then he hit me square on the knee with a 10 lb. sledge.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:00 PM   #14
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When we used just a hammer, the guy holding the rod is well advised to hold it with channel locks.
Mostly we use a fence post driver and a 6 foot ladder, we don't drive many rods so it's okay. Last time I did was 18 months ago doing 6 rods in a ground ring. You just drive em for a bit then do something else when you get tired.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:30 PM   #15
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Default The Greenlee multi-tool!!!

When I was a helper at my Dad's Co. we had o lash up kind of like the #1 pic for driving rods. Problem was, most of the time we needed it, it was on the other truck. Solution? Take a 1" Hickey, slide the handle over the end of the rod, and get busy. Had one rod that we just could not get in, moved it to several dif. spots trying to find one without cap rock below. Tryed everything short of dynamite. Ended up getting one of Dad's Mech. contractor buddies to come to job with compressor, big jack hammer, and bobcat. Rod drove then alright, the end of it pushed up dirt five feet away.....
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:33 PM   #16
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OLD THREAD ALERT

That ground rod driver is NICE though!
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:41 PM   #17
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Only downside is it won't run on an inverter. Typically it drives under it's own weight around here. Probably need a little force for rocks.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnettica
OLD THREAD ALERT

That ground rod driver is NICE though!
I've been duped.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:20 AM   #19
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I usually drive ground rods with my van.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:52 AM   #20
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the only way I've done it was with a bosh brute and a driver that's called ez drive or drive ease, can't remember which one.

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