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The Telephone and Cable TV Demarcations were Grounded to an Old Pipe

Grounding TV and Telephone

Dear Mr. Electrician:  What can I do about grounding TV and telephone in my house?  I want to have good lightning protection.  My neighbor was blown out of her chair when lightning hit her TV.  How can I prevent that from happening to me? Answer:  Even with fantastic grounding TV and Telephone there is no 100% full proof method of lightning protection or stopping a lightning strike from doing damage. NOTE: Some text links below go to applicable products on Amazon or EMP Shield.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However several things can be done to prevent or reduce lightning damage.  Basically everything electrical needs to be properly grounded and bonded in such a manner as to provide a good direct path for lightning to flow to the earth. An excellent book on the subject of lightning protection installations is NFPA 780. The photos below depict an actual job of mine correcting the grounding for a 1940's single family detached house. Article 250 in the National Electrical Code concerns grounding and bonding.  Some relevant sections are: 250.8, 250.52, 250.90, 250.94, 250.104.  Also read article 800.100 on grounding communication circuits and 820.100 which concerns the grounding of cable TV systems. LIGHTNING PROTECTION FOR POWER, TV, TELEPHONE The above photo depicts how I found the TV and telephone lines grounded.  It turns out that this pipe was not connected to anything.  It was in the ground only a few inches and contained a piece of cut electrical cable, the remains of which is protruding from the pipe.  Needless to say, this would not be adequate protection if lightning were to strike. The telephone demarcation point and the cable TV demarcation terminal both need to be bonded to the grounding electrode conductor for the main electrical service.  Newer electrical installations have an intersystem bonding termination for the grounding conductor from the telephone and cable TV to connect to. On older houses the telephone and cable TV grounding conductors are sometimes connected to an existing ground rod, or have their own ground rod, or are connected to the grounding electrode conductor. CLICK HERE to Read FAQ's About EMP Shield's Surge Protection Devices That Protect Against an EMI Pulse  Above was the existing ground connection for the cable TV service to the house.  I installed a new #10 copper wire and clamped it to the grounding electrode conductor which was connected to the water pipe inside of the house. The copper wire for grounding TV and telephone must be no smaller than #10 AWG.  #8 wire would probably be too big for most demarcation terminals. Additionally all interior metal piping must be bonded to each other using water pipe ground clamps with wire jumpers around water meters, water filters, and other devices whose removal would interrupt ground continuity. The hot and cold metal water pipes must have a jumper between them.  This is usually done at the water heater.  Although the code requires gas pipes to be bonded, some local areas do not want that.  Best to check with your local building department about bonding...