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I am about to build a new house with a ham shack incorporated in it. I am considering installing number 4 copper wire in the foundation around the perimeter as my ground ring. Is it necessary to install ground rods every 16 to 20 feet around the perimeter also?

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  • $\begingroup$ Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it better to put the ring outside the foundation than inside it? It would be much easier to inspect and repair if it's on the outside. $\endgroup$ – mrog Apr 8 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ If it was outside the foundation, it wouldn't be an Ufer ground. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ufer_ground $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Apr 8 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ Myron, may I assume that this ground is solely for lightning protection, rather than an RF ground? It would be best if you answered by editing your question rather than posting a comment. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 8 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ The link in the wikipedia says: 1) Copper doesn't work in concrete, steel wire is better. Use the reinforcing already in the concrete. 2) Additional ground rods are usually required. $\endgroup$ – tomnexus Apr 9 at 8:33
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I'm going to make the assumption that you live in the United States. With that assumption, I highly recommend you start with the National Electric Code (NEC) that applies to your area. Different jurisdictions have adopted different years of the NEC as their standard. You can access the NEC Online For Free. Your local library may have a copy you can use as well.

In addition to the NEC, Tim Kuhlman, KD7RUS has a good summary of the sections of the code that apply to amateur radio.

To specifically address the Ufer connection; the 2017 version of the NEC covers the requirements for concrete-encased electrode (Ufer). It does not mention a ground rod requirement for the ground ring.

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