Ground rod question

Copper plating is very easy to do. Plated copper will respond to heat as any copper does.
Reply to
Don Foreman
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Today, a friend called me who was doing a project. They had a copper coated
steel rod about 5/8" dia. that was to be used as a ground rod for
electrical. They had no means of bending it, as it had to make a couple of
three doglegs to get around concrete. I told him that heating it would melt
the copper, and did not know if the inspector would pass it with the copper
gone. He said that was what the inspector told him to do. We'll see. If
it works, okay, if it doesn't, I'll set up a jig and bend it cold.
Now to the point. As I heated the copper, I noticed a beautiful color
change. Like peacock colors. Would it be possible to dissolve copper into
a solution, possibly using acid or electrolysis, then have the copper be
deposited on metal sheeting so that it could be heated again to get the
iridescent hues?
I've read a lot about electrolytic removal of rust, and it seems pretty
straightforward. This would be (?) a two step process. I'm going to Google
up on it. Anyone ever try it?
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
The solution is copper sulphate (as strong as it will go), with a drop of acid added. Anode can be any clean scrap copper (I used bits of pipe). If plating on iron/steel, watch out, as copper will naturally displace iron, without applying any current. Unfortunately, the resulting copper coating is usually weak. If you can survive that, use a low, steady current (trial & error, or there are tables), to put on the copper. I once rebuilt a worn brass shaft this way, having nothing else. Plated it up with copper, then trued in the lathe.
In your case, could you heat/bend the rod as needed, then re-plate it?
Reply to
David R Brooks
Usually done right on the job with a 1/2" "hickey bender". That is a manual bender for 1/2" rigid conduit. Most construction electricians will have one on their truck somewhere.
Vaughn
Reply to
Vaughn Simon
You would need a Solution 20-25% of Hydrofluoric acid (Nasty Stuff) 50% Nitric acid, and 20-40 Volt, 1 Amp power supply. Depending on time and current, you can get a nice copper coating on any surface. Google Hydrofluoric acid before you even try it. Not something you want to get on any part of your body. As Simon says, go with cold forming.
Jim
Reply to
Jim
It is trivial to get a strike coating of copper on steel. Just put the steel into some copper sulfate (sulphate if you're British).
Grant
Reply to
Grant Erwin
-snip-
-snip-
Problem is the colors aren't permanent. Here's a thread on heat painting copper- [and attempts at preserving the colors]
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And here's a Copper artist's site-
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Beautiful stuff-
Jim
Reply to
Jim Elbrecht
Rather than attempting the improbable you can get the iridescence by passivating the copper deposited on your material.This involves a short dip in a dilute chromic solution Potassium Dichromate is a good candidate and you can get a similar effect on bright zinc it is a process used to reduce the reactivity of the surface layer of electroplated materials. If my memory serves we used to derust electrolitically using a sodium hydroxide solution with a small quantity of surfactant to wet the job. That was a long time ago approx 30 years so the details are not that fresh when I was a lab technician at GKN Hilton and Tuck Electroplating Division in the UK Derek
Reply to
Derek
Why do you need copper plating? The electrical conduction through a steel rod is plenty for a ground, and a thin layer of copper on the surface isn;t going to make a significant difference.
Is it for preventing rust? Galvanizing would probably be better. I say just bend it. If you need heat, then you will damage the copper in those areas, but the thing will still make a usable ground which should last for years. You could paint the damaged parts with some zinc primer, or smear on some roofing cement.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
********* Code in my area calls for each ground rod to be driven straight into the ground (approx. 6.5 feet). If ones house system is not grounded onto a municiple iron pipe water system, then two such ground rods are needed, 6 feet apart, connected by an unbroken #8 bare copper solid wire to each other and the meter. If connected to a water system, then no ground rod(s) are needed. If the ground wire between the two rods, and the meter is not encased in PVC conduit, then the metal conduits have to be grounded to the bare wire also.
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Reply to
theChas
On Wed, 30 Apr 2008 23:45:54 -0800 in rec.crafts.metalworking, "SteveB" wrote,
Are they going to drive the rod into the ground with bends in it? I don't see how that is going to work.
Reply to
David Harmon
That is why you cold-bend them in place. A typical situation is where a foundation extends beyond a wall (usually a few inches under ground), but you want the ground rod to emerge from the dirt next to the wall. First you drive the rod into the ground (usually a foot or two away from the wall) and then bend it so that it wraps around the top of the foundation and pops up right next to the wall. Any electrician with more than a few weeks on the job should be able to do that in his sleep.
Vaughn
Reply to
Vaughn Simon
Copper in solution can be super saturated and dip deposited. That is normally a thin layer at best. Plating is the best way - take a copper pipe/sheet/wire.... and the sheet you want as the other electrode.
There are reasonable web sites that show electro-plating and offer chemicals to aid and do the whole job.
Often large crow feet are used with the object suspended above the foot.
Martin Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
The copper clad can carry hundreds of amps when asked upon. The steel can't. Electrons flow on the skin. A clamp on the outside puts or gets electrons to or from the ground.
The ground is the important point that the electric company uses at your house.
When you have a power line hit and you have a protective circuit dump the garbage signal (noise) onto the ground line, you don't want it to float. Floating puts it on all of the other ground lines in the house. You save the PC on phase 1, but kill the Plasma TV on Phase 2 - both sharing the common line in the box and common ground connected to the common line.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
Just a quick question here. If the extremely thin electroplated coating on a steel ground rod will carry hundreds of amps, as you say, hows come my 250 amp welder has them big thick cables coming out the front, there?
Bruce-in-Bangkok (correct Address is bpaige125atgmaildotcom)
Reply to
Bruce in Bangkok
I think Martin is generalizing incorrectly about the skin effect, which applies only to high frequency AC. It's a phenomenon that becomes important at radio frequencies. At DC, or at low frequencies, conduction is uniform, or nearly so, across the whole section of a conductor.
Of course, copper has something like 10 times the conductivity of steel, so you have to take the thickness of the copper cladding into account, too.
-- Ed Huntress
Reply to
Ed Huntress
No, if the fire charred rod is unacceptable to the inspector, I will just cold bend the next one. I was wanting to coat some other pieces of metal with copper for decorative work, and wondered how to do it.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
Saw a used one today at the pawn shop for $10. Is that a good price? Looked new.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
The ditch has been dug. They just wanted to make it conform to the concrete foundation and follow the concrete outside that. It will be placed in there and buried.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
Most of the copper coated ground rods I see are electroplated and the plating is maybe 0.0005 thick. I don't believe it carries much current.
Bruce-in-Bangkok (correct Address is bpaige125atgmaildotcom)
Reply to
Bruce in Bangkok

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