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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I've noticed some unusual conditions with some of appliances, and I believe that the cause of the problem may lie with the way my house is wired, but I'm not sure.

After our house was finished, someone gave us a very heavy duty microwave oven, which is very nearly commercial quality. The microwave has a bare brushed aluminum chassis, instead of the usual white enamel found on most microwaves, and when I took it out of the box I noticed that the power cord itself appeared to be very heavy duty, with what appeared to be maybe a 14 or 12 gauge cord. The plug at the end of the appears to be identical to a typical three prong cord found on many appliances (I believe it is called type B) in the US, but of course this unit is built to run on 220v.

One day someone touched the microwave while barefoot, and got a strong electrical shock. I got a multimeter and found that there were 220v running from the aluminum shell of the microwave, to the grout between the tiles on my kitchen floor. I get somewhat of a lower reading when a place the multimeter probe directly at the center of the tile. Next, I shut off the circuit breaker, and pulled out the receptacle from the kitchen wall. During the construction I asked the electrician to install three prong power receptacles so that I would have a ground for my appliances. Unfortunately I wasn't around through the entire construction of our house, and the electrician simply installed the three prong receptacles I asked for, but he did not connect the ground screw on the back of the receptacle to anything, therefore none of my appliances were grounded.

I have since drilled a hole right through the back of the orange plastic junction box, and made a hole to the exterior of my house. Next, I took a piece of rebarb (what they call deformed bar) and drove it into the ground as far as I could. I ran a 14 gauge insulated wire back through the hole I drilled, into the plastic electrical box, and attached it the ground screw on the back of power receptacle. Now the problem seems to be somewhat solved with the microwave, but I have to clean the rust off the rebarb every few weeks so that it maintains a ground. (Can't seem to find a grounding rod in any hardware store, and people don't know what I'm talking about. Anyone know where I can find it?)

Also, back in the US used to use appliances without the third prong all the time, without being shocked. Did the microwave give a shock simply because it is using 220v, and it is much easier for voltage leakage to occur, without a ground, or did the shock occur because their maybe something wrong with the microwave's power-supply unit? The microwave seems to function normally, so I'm hoping that this is just a case of normal voltage leakage, which would not have occurred if I were using 110v back in the US?

I also encountered a similar problem with my desktop PC. which I bought with me from the US, and one day I plugged my camera into a USB port, and it gave me a big shock. I did the same thing as with the microwave, but in this case I also added a 500 watt transformer, and stepped the voltage down to 110v, again thinking that 110v would be less likely to leak from the power supply, and shock someone. (The power supply on my computer can handle both 110v or 220v, with the flick of a switch.)

I don't know if this is the most efficient way for me to deal with this problem, or if I'm correctly seeing things in front of my eyes? I hope that someone out there has a stronger electrical background than I do and can offer some advice?

Also, to add insult to injury, the so called electrician who wired my house reversed the poliarty on some electrical receptacles, and luckily I discovered this during my microwave machine issues, and before I unpacked and plugged in my computer. Maybe this will save the next person some trouble.
 

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I've had the same problem for years with the computer and even the USB hub. My understanding is that it is the electric power itself and not just the wiring So I'll also be interested in replies on this thread.

Your wiring issue though I'm not surprised at all. Electricians like plumbers, painters, mechanics, and sometimes even doctors here---are a jack of all trades and masters of none. It can be difficult and sometimes downright impossible to find truly qualified tradesmen for most anything that needs to be done...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've had the same problem for years with the computer and even the USB hub. My understanding is that it is the electric power itself and not just the wiring So I'll also be interested in replies on this thread.

Your wiring issue though I'm not surprised at all. Electricians like plumbers, painters, mechanics, and sometimes even doctors here---are a jack of all trades and masters of none. It can be difficult and sometimes downright impossible to find truly qualified tradesmen for most anything that needs to be done...
Hey Jet, Well, I'm not expert, but I do know that having stray transient voltage running around in side your computer case is not good, and I believe that it would be especially hard on your computer's ram (memory) modules. Also, it just isn't much fun getting a 220v shock while using your PC. I know that chassis of most computer cases are made out of mild cold-rolled steel, and that the casing for the computer power supply is made of aluminum. The power-supply is mounted to the steel chassis of the computer with metallic screws creating a perfect path for current to flow.

My understanding is that the power-supplies in many appliances such as computers, have capacitors located between the power supplies main inputs (household current) and ground for the purpose of reducing radio interference. My understanding is that the amount of current (amps) leaking across these capacitors should be very low, but will still register as 220v on your multimeter.

I asked the electrician why he didn't hook up the ground connections in my house like I asked him to, and he said, "Sir, here in the Philippines, the ground prong on plug is only a decoration, and we do not use it here." Hmmm.... I can't believe that nobody grounds their equipment and appliances here?
 

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Hey Jet, Well, I'm not expert, but I do know that having stray transient voltage running around in side your computer case is not good, and I believe that it would be especially hard on your computer's ram (memory) modules. Also, it just isn't much fun getting a 220v shock while using your PC. I know that chassis of most computer cases are made out of mild cold-rolled steel, and that the casing for the computer power supply is made of aluminum. The power-supply is mounted to the steel chassis of the computer with metallic screws creating a perfect path for current to flow.

My understanding is that the power-supplies in many appliances such as computers, have capacitors located between the power supplies main inputs (household current) and ground for the purpose of reducing radio interference. My understanding is that the amount of current (amps) leaking across these capacitors should be very low, but will still register as 220v on your multimeter.

I asked the electrician why he didn't hook up the ground connections in my house like I asked him to, and he said, "Sir, here in the Philippines, the ground prong on plug is only a decoration, and we do not use it here." Hmmm.... I can't believe that nobody grounds their equipment and appliances here?
Thanks for the post reply,

Well, your knowledge in electronics is greater than mine for sure. I just figure that most oddities here are that people just don't know the right way or things in most areas of life.

The thought expressed to you that the third (grounding) wire and prong is just a decoration gave me a good laugh. I heard that statement before that something was just a decoration but was uses as an explanation why all bottles of A-1 steak sauce on every table in a stake house were empty LOL!!!
I've lived here a lot of years and still can't figure out the logic (or lack thereof) in thinking here. Actually gets more confusing as time goes by-Hahaha...


Jet Lag
 

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Apparently grounding rods are available in the Philippines although I wouldn't know where to buy one. When I first built our house I brought everything I needed from the UK so the whole house is three wire multi circuit. Didn't that cause confusion when a failing bulb blow a trip but the sockets still worked. Much head scratching late they asked me and I pointed out the tripped trip. The only problem now is with the electricity company who insist the wire outside going the ground rod is a jumper and I'm stealing electricity:doh: A while back I had a complaint from the wife's sister that the plastic sockets in the store were live as that kept getting a belt from the screws holding the socket to the back box. It was induced voltage in the ground wire as someone had stolen the ground wire for the copper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Apparently grounding rods are available in the Philippines although I wouldn't know where to buy one. When I first built our house I brought everything I needed from the UK so the whole house is three wire multi circuit. Didn't that cause confusion when a failing bulb blow a trip but the sockets still worked. Much head scratching late they asked me and I pointed out the tripped trip. The only problem now is with the electricity company who insist the wire outside going the ground rod is a jumper and I'm stealing electricity:doh: A while back I had a complaint from the wife's sister that the plastic sockets in the store were live as that kept getting a belt from the screws holding the socket to the back box. It was induced voltage in the ground wire as someone had stolen the ground wire for the copper.
Back in the states we usually use a 1/2/ - 5/8 inch diameter copper plated rod. Most professional electricians recommend driving the ground into the Earth approximately eight feet, but I have found that hammering the rod down about four feet usually works well enough. Yeah, I've heard about the electrical company being suspicious of grounding rods as well, and the only thing that I can think of, is that maybe they mistakenly believe you are using a wire-to-ground configuration, and that you have taken one of your main incoming powerlines, run it through your household circuitry, and then ran it to the Earth, instead of sending it back to the through the other main incoming powerlines. I've never seen this done, but I guess people in the states used to do this back in the 1930s, and some people say that the power meter will only register half the power you are using, but it is very dangerous. Well, I'm amazed by the number of people I meet who seem to have grounding issues in their home or business, and they seem to take the electrical shocks as just being a normal daily occurrence. Yeah, that's quite a story about someone stealing the ground wire for the copper. The other problem is people making illegal connections onto your power mains, after the power meter, and getting free power.
 

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In many places here in the Philippines the wiring is done cheaply and very sub-standard. The only safe and reliable thing to do, especially if you import American 120V products, you need a voltage converter that you buy from Radio Shack which costs almost $100/unit. Otherwise you buy products made here. Some things from America you can't run because of the difference between voltages and frequency. USA = 120VAC/60Hz, PHIL = 240VAC/50Hz. Even American made TV sets can't be used because of the differences in video compatibility, USA = SEACAM, PHIL = PAL. It costs a lot of money to convert a Philippine house from 240VAC to 120VAC and you still have to deal with the frequency. My original desktop computer that I bought here in the Philippines, I had an uninterruptable power supply and it didn't last long. I wish I had another but the wife vetoed that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In many places here in the Philippines the wiring is done cheaply and very sub-standard. The only safe and reliable thing to do, especially if you import American 120V products, you need a voltage converter that you buy from Radio Shack which costs almost $100/unit. Otherwise you buy products made here. Some things from America you can't run because of the difference between voltages and frequency. USA = 120VAC/60Hz, PHIL = 240VAC/50Hz. Even American made TV sets can't be used because of the differences in video compatibility, USA = SEACAM, PHIL = PAL. It costs a lot of money to convert a Philippine house from 240VAC to 120VAC and you still have to deal with the frequency. My original desktop computer that I bought here in the Philippines, I had an uninterruptable power supply and it didn't last long. I wish I had another but the wife vetoed that.
You're right, the quality of the workmanship was pretty surprising, and after I poked around a bit, I found that the "electrician" used tape instead of wire nuts or solder to join my wires inside all the junction boxes around the house. Not sure what I'm going to do about that, but one thing at a time.

Also, I have imported a couple of things from home, which can only use 120v, (charger for one of my cells, and small alarm clock) and I found that the local Ace Hardware in my area had some reasonably priced transformers which will step down the 220v here in the Philippines for my few US appliances which can only use 120v. These were smaller transformers only capable of handling 100 watts. I think they cost me around 800 Peso each, but not sure as it has been a few months since I purchased them. However, for my computer I purchased a larger step down transformer, able to handle 500 watts, and this particular was around 2,500 Peso at Ace. Not sure if it was a good idea or not, but I decided to step the power down for my PC, thinking that 120v would be more stable, and less vulnerable to spikes and voltage drop offs coming from the local power company.

I also had some strange problems with my Magic Jack device, and I found that it kept getting hot, and would stop working. I looked around on the Internet, and found someone who was having the same problem as me, and he said the problem was due to the voltage occasionally dropping below 220v in my area. Of course I had a surge protector to protect against voltage spikes above 220v, but I didn't think about the voltage dropping below 220v. I purchased a small automatic voltage regulator, and then plugged my Magic Jack into that and since I then I have not had any more overheating problems with it. I guess it has trouble when the voltage dips too far below 220v, and somehow that leads to it overheating, but I'm not completely certain. All I can say is that it hasn't given me any trouble since I added the automatic voltage regulator. - Wonder if voltage drop offs may have been was caused your uninterpretable power supply to die? I've talked to a lot of people and they have told me that low voltage problems can cause a lot of problems even for the appliances which are designed to be used here on 220v?

Also, I checked on a website called voltage valet dot com, and according to them the Philippines is using 220v at 60Hz. But I don't know accurate this information, or if it up to date.
 

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You're right, the quality of the workmanship was pretty surprising, and after I poked around a bit, I found that the "electrician" used tape instead of wire nuts or solder to join my wires inside all the junction boxes around the house. Not sure what I'm going to do about that, but one thing at a time.

Also, I have imported a couple of things from home, which can only use 120v, (charger for one of my cells, and small alarm clock) and I found that the local Ace Hardware in my area had some reasonably priced transformers which will step down the 220v here in the Philippines for my few US appliances which can only use 120v. These were smaller transformers only capable of handling 100 watts. I think they cost me around 800 Peso each, but not sure as it has been a few months since I purchased them. However, for my computer I purchased a larger step down transformer, able to handle 500 watts, and this particular was around 2,500 Peso at Ace. Not sure if it was a good idea or not, but I decided to step the power down for my PC, thinking that 120v would be more stable, and less vulnerable to spikes and voltage drop offs coming from the local power company.

I also had some strange problems with my Magic Jack device, and I found that it kept getting hot, and would stop working. I looked around on the Internet, and found someone who was having the same problem as me, and he said the problem was due to the voltage occasionally dropping below 220v in my area. Of course I had a surge protector to protect against voltage spikes above 220v, but I didn't think about the voltage dropping below 220v. I purchased a small automatic voltage regulator, and then plugged my Magic Jack into that and since I then I have not had any more overheating problems with it. I guess it has trouble when the voltage dips too far below 220v, and somehow that leads to it overheating, but I'm not completely certain. All I can say is that it hasn't given me any trouble since I added the automatic voltage regulator. - Wonder if voltage drop offs may have been was caused your uninterpretable power supply to die? I've talked to a lot of people and they have told me that low voltage problems can cause a lot of problems even for the appliances which are designed to be used here on 220v?

Also, I checked on a website called voltage valet dot com, and according to them the Philippines is using 220v at 60Hz. But I don't know accurate this information, or if it up to date.
Yes the Philippines is 220V 60Hz. There may be a few locations around old US bases where 110V 60Hz is available, or more likely centre tapped 220V (2x110V). Depending how far down the line you are the voltage can vary by quiet a lot. When I first visited 20 years ago we had to put the lights on about 4 oclock in the afternoon as if you left it until after dark there wasn't enough voltage to strike up the floresents. Philippine supply is largly hot to ground, they do not carry a neutral like we are used to in the west. If you look at some of the electricity poles you will see a heavy braided cable stappled to the side of the pole. This cable is buried with the bottom of the pole and is the second wire you get in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
From Gary D: "... Philippine supply is largly hot to ground, they do not carry a neutral like we are used to in the west. If you look at some of the electricity poles you will see a heavy braided cable stappled to the side of the pole. This cable is buried with the bottom of the pole and is the second wire you get in the house....."

Ah ha! Now this has got me thinking! I saw that there were two wires coming into my house, and I just blindly assumed that one of them would be hot, and the other one would be neutral (like back home). When I put my multimeter between one side of the receptacle and the floor of my house I got 220v, so I assumed that was the hot side of the circuit, and when I did the same thing to the other side of the receptacle I mistakenly assumed that side must be neutral, because I didn't get any reading.

Not sure if this is directly related to being shocked by our appliances, or not, but it is still good to know for future reference. I noticed that there is a power transformer located on a pole about 200 meters from our gate, and this morning I took a walk down there to look around, and there was the ground right there next to the pole, as you said.

(I thought that a hot to ground configuration would look a little bit different, and I imagined that hot would be run to a ground right next to house, so they could save money by not having too run the second wire all the way back out to the poles. Looks like I have a lot to learn yet.)
 

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From Gary D: "... Philippine supply is largly hot to ground, they do not carry a neutral like we are used to in the west. If you look at some of the electricity poles you will see a heavy braided cable stappled to the side of the pole. This cable is buried with the bottom of the pole and is the second wire you get in the house....."

Ah ha! Now this has got me thinking! I saw that there were two wires coming into my house, and I just blindly assumed that one of them would be hot, and the other one would be neutral (like back home). When I put my multimeter between one side of the receptacle and the floor of my house I got 220v, so I assumed that was the hot side of the circuit, and when I did the same thing to the other side of the receptacle I mistakenly assumed that side must be neutral, because I didn't get any reading.

Not sure if this is directly related to being shocked by our appliances, or not, but it is still good to know for future reference. I noticed that there is a power transformer located on a pole about 200 meters from our gate, and this morning I took a walk down there to look around, and there was the ground right there next to the pole, as you said.

(I thought that a hot to ground configuration would look a little bit different, and I imagined that hot would be run to a ground right next to house, so they could save money by not having too run the second wire all the way back out to the poles. Looks like I have a lot to learn yet.)

The second wire is the stringer to support the copper hot wire and may be made of galvanised steel.

There are a lot of misconseptions about the return neutral. Neutral is really a ground connection. The centre tap of a 3-phase generator/transformer if balanced should sit at about 0v but rarely is. This centre point is then connected to an earth rod, both at the power station and often at large ditribution points. This ground rod will be massive and go many metres into the ground. This connection appears at our outlets as neutral. The problem with this nuetral is that the return current due to wire resistance will have an induced voltage on is, 10-15V is not unusual. The third wire which we call ground should realy be called a clean earth or safety earth as the only time it will carry any current would be under a fault condition.
 

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The electrical supply in our area (Lipa City Batangas) is actually live and neutral, carried on 2 wires on poles. Yes there is a smallish voltage (~5V) on the neutral, but it is still a neutral. My previous houses in Singapore and Scotland had similar neutral voltages due to IR drop in the supply wires. That's why neutral should not be used as a safety ground connection.

The type of wires normally used in Philippine houses does not identify between the live and neutral lines, so it is pure chance whether power switches are switching the live side or the neutral side. This means that you cannot guarantee that an appliance is not live unless you unplug it completely from the supply.

Devices like computers use filter capacitors connected from the power lines to the casing to suppress interference from the internal switched-mode power supply which is extremely noisy. The problem is that most houses here do not have any ground connection to bond the casing to, hence there is a standing AC voltage on the casing that can give you a shock.

I had a house built last year, and specified 3-wire connections for all the power outlets. The electrician used a 3m grounding rod (made from rebar) near the incoming power meter and it seems to still be working fine after more than a year of operation.

We also get periods of undervoltage in the incoming supply. Sometimes it drops to 200V or even a bit less, and I have one room where the lights will not stop switching on and off if the voltage is below 105V.

Richard
 

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Meralco don't fine any one who has a jumper I assume because Meralco know the drama with taking some one to court,so the locals get free power most business running a heavy load such as welding switch the power on and off as needed,,,but we all pay as per the dispute going on now with meralco wanting to up the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The second wire is the stringer to support the copper hot wire and may be made of galvanised steel.

There are a lot of misconseptions about the return neutral. Neutral is really a ground connection. The centre tap of a 3-phase generator/transformer if balanced should sit at about 0v but rarely is. This centre point is then connected to an earth rod, both at the power station and often at large ditribution points. This ground rod will be massive and go many metres into the ground. This connection appears at our outlets as neutral. The problem with this nuetral is that the return current due to wire resistance will have an induced voltage on is, 10-15V is not unusual. The third wire which we call ground should realy be called a clean earth or safety earth as the only time it will carry any current would be under a fault condition.
Thanks Gary. I think that this hot to ground configuration was confusing me while I was trying to figure out my household electrical system. Back in the states we usually have two hot mains (out of phase with one another) and a neutral coming into our main circuit breaker panel. The two mains are connected to two vertical rows of circuit breakers, while the neutral is connected to a bar, where all the other neutrals coming back from household wiring are connected. Also, the neutral bar is usually connected to grounding wire, which leads back to an Earth ground localed somewhere near the household power meter.

When I looked at the two wires coming into my house here in the Philippines, and the two rows of circuit breakers inside my inside my panel, I said to myself, "Ah ha, the power company must be giving me to hot leads of 110v out of phase with another, and that is how I'm getting my 220v. Of course I was wrong about that. When I took off the cover of my circuit breaker box I discovered that both rows of breakers were being supplied by the same hot lead. Then things slowly started to dawn on me, and your description of a hot to ground configuration gave me the last piece of the puzzle.

Well, I can't try to reinvent the wheel over here, and my main goal is have a ground to all of my appliances that require it. I tried fishing a bare wire through my conduit to see if I could pull and extra wire throughout my house for to ground all the receptacles. (My receptacles all have three prongs) But the electrical tape this guy used as made things difficult, and I'm encountering too much resistance when I try to feed a pulling wire through the tube. My plan was to get that through from one box to the next, then I could link them all with a grounding wire back to the Earth ground. Looks like I'll have to come up with another plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The electrical supply in our area (Lipa City Batangas) is actually live and neutral, carried on 2 wires on poles. Yes there is a smallish voltage (~5V) on the neutral, but it is still a neutral. My previous houses in Singapore and Scotland had similar neutral voltages due to IR drop in the supply wires. That's why neutral should not be used as a safety ground connection.

The type of wires normally used in Philippine houses does not identify between the live and neutral lines, so it is pure chance whether power switches are switching the live side or the neutral side. This means that you cannot guarantee that an appliance is not live unless you unplug it completely from the supply.

Devices like computers use filter capacitors connected from the power lines to the casing to suppress interference from the internal switched-mode power supply which is extremely noisy. The problem is that most houses here do not have any ground connection to bond the casing to, hence there is a standing AC voltage on the casing that can give you a shock.

I had a house built last year, and specified 3-wire connections for all the power outlets. The electrician used a 3m grounding rod (made from rebar) near the incoming power meter and it seems to still be working fine after more than a year of operation.

We also get periods of undervoltage in the incoming supply. Sometimes it drops to 200V or even a bit less, and I have one room where the lights will not stop switching on and off if the voltage is below 105V.

Richard
Hi Richard, I'm also using two sections of 1/2" rebar as Earth grounds (for two different areas of my house) and I have noticed that the section of rebar inserted below the ground is deteriorating, and both rods have lost about 15 - 20% of their mass during the past 7 - 8 months that I have been using them. I take both rods out about every two weeks, and clean them with a wire brush before putting back in ground. The corrosion occurring below ground level looks as though the rod is being eroded away, while the section above ground tends to develop the ordinary orange rust you see everywhere here. I suppose it's not a big deal, I have a lot of spare time on my hands, and when the rods reach a certain point, I'll just replace them with new ones (If I can't find a proper rod). I'm wondering if I can put some oil, like WD40 on the surface of my rebar grounds to prevent corrosion, or will that cause interference and prevent a good ground?



.
 

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Any thing would do if you can find metal water pipe or a fence as long as it is in the ground not concrete..plus in high humidity you can get a tingle just from the amount of moisture in the air.
 

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Hi Richard, I'm also using two sections of 1/2" rebar as Earth grounds (for two different areas of my house) and I have noticed that the section of rebar inserted below the ground is deteriorating, and both rods have lost about 15 - 20% of their mass during the past 7 - 8 months that I have been using them. I take both rods out about every two weeks, and clean them with a wire brush before putting back in ground. The corrosion occurring below ground level looks as though the rod is being eroded away, while the section above ground tends to develop the ordinary orange rust you see everywhere here. I suppose it's not a big deal, I have a lot of spare time on my hands, and when the rods reach a certain point, I'll just replace them with new ones (If I can't find a proper rod). I'm wondering if I can put some oil, like WD40 on the surface of my rebar grounds to prevent corrosion, or will that cause interference and prevent a good ground?



.
Hi. Maybe a silver loaded paint would be a better way to reduce rusting of the rebar, and would provide better contact resistance than oil.

Today I saw the local Sky Cable installers fit a one meter copper rod, around 20mm diameter, into the ground near the cable entry point to the house. They said it is for lightning protection. The electrical connection was made using a clamp that was similar to what you see on car battery terminals, very solid and easy to tighten. If it had been tin plated it would withstand corrosion for much longer, but I didn't see any sign of that.

I just came across this site, appears to be an online supplier of electrical items including earthing rods, but I haven't really looked at it yet. Might be of interest to you when you decide to change your rods.

"YOUR PHILIPPINE FOREIGNERS AND PHILIPPINE PROVINCES ELECTRICAL SUPPLIER": Lightning Protection With Lightning Rods

Richard
 

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Hi Richard, I'm also using two sections of 1/2" rebar as Earth grounds (for two different areas of my house) and I have noticed that the section of rebar inserted below the ground is deteriorating, and both rods have lost about 15 - 20% of their mass during the past 7 - 8 months that I have been using them. I take both rods out about every two weeks, and clean them with a wire brush before putting back in ground. The corrosion occurring below ground level looks as though the rod is being eroded away, while the section above ground tends to develop the ordinary orange rust you see everywhere here. I suppose it's not a big deal, I have a lot of spare time on my hands, and when the rods reach a certain point, I'll just replace them with new ones (If I can't find a proper rod). I'm wondering if I can put some oil, like WD40 on the surface of my rebar grounds to prevent corrosion, or will that cause interference and prevent a good ground?

.
I wonder if there is any standing current flowing in your ground rod giving some type of galvanic corrosion. In very dry weather it is a good idea to water your earth rod to keep a good contact with the soil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wonder if there is any standing current flowing in your ground rod giving some type of galvanic corrosion. In very dry weather it is a good idea to water your earth rod to keep a good contact with the soil.
I don't know. I was wondering if the eroding of the bar might be due to the Ph level of my soil? Well, I guess I can live with my two rods slowly eroding into the soil, as for the time being they seem to be supplying a decent Earth ground. I guess I'll worry about them a little bit later.

My only other problem is that my refrigerator has a three prong cord, just like the microwave, but of course the receptacle isn't grounded. If you touch the refrigerator when the motor is running, you can get a shock from it. I'm worried about someone spilling a liquid on the floor, and then touching the refrigerator at the wrong time?

Well, since the refrigerator is against an interior wall of the house, I can simply drill through to the outside as I did before, and what I did is I took one of those small adapters, used to plug a three prong appliance into a two prong receptacle. This particular adapter has a small brass tab on it, so I soldered a wire (2 mm) onto the prong. When my wife isn't around I plan on drilling a small hole into the side of lower kitchen cabinet, and then placing a long screw into the bottom shelf. The bottom shelf is actually concrete, and is the same as the floor of our kitchen. The only other way would be to run the a cord all the way over to the same receptacle as the microwave, but that would look ugly, and my would just unplug it. Well, one thing at a time I guess.
 

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I don't know. I was wondering if the eroding of the bar might be due to the Ph level of my soil? Well, I guess I can live with my two rods slowly eroding into the soil, as for the time being they seem to be supplying a decent Earth ground. I guess I'll worry about them a little bit later.

My only other problem is that my refrigerator has a three prong cord, just like the microwave, but of course the receptacle isn't grounded. If you touch the refrigerator when the motor is running, you can get a shock from it. I'm worried about someone spilling a liquid on the floor, and then touching the refrigerator at the wrong time?

Well, since the refrigerator is against an interior wall of the house, I can simply drill through to the outside as I did before, and what I did is I took one of those small adapters, used to plug a three prong appliance into a two prong receptacle. This particular adapter has a small brass tab on it, so I soldered a wire (2 mm) onto the prong. When my wife isn't around I plan on drilling a small hole into the side of lower kitchen cabinet, and then placing a long screw into the bottom shelf. The bottom shelf is actually concrete, and is the same as the floor of our kitchen. The only other way would be to run the a cord all the way over to the same receptacle as the microwave, but that would look ugly, and my would just unplug it. Well, one thing at a time I guess.
The ground rod doesn't have to be outside. Assuming you are not on the first floor just drill the concrete behind the fridge and insert a ground rod just there and run a wire to the fridge chassis. We bought a new fridge just this last December and it came with a two wire cord and a seperate ground wire with instruction to connect to a ground rod.
 
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