How to Attach a TV Antenna
LESLIE: Now we’re going to take a call from Harris in Michigan who wants to install an antenna to the chimney.
Harris, what is this antenna for? Because I haven’t seen one in ages.
HARRIS: It’s for the television. I don’t have cable.
LESLIE: OK, so your question is where to attach or what kind of antenna to get? How can we help?
HARRIS: Is that the best place to attach it; to the chimney? Or would it better to attach it to the side of the house? And how to ground it.
TOM: Well, you know, a chimney is a pretty good structure for a light antenna to attach to but the best-case scenario would be for you to attach it to the roof and to make sure it’s tied off on three places; or attach it to the house and make sure it’s tied off on a couple of places.
LESLIE: Especially because where they are, in Upper Peninsula, Michigan, you guys get a lot of wind and a lot of snowstorms, correct?
TOM: Yeah. So you really want to make sure it’s attached really, really well and now’s the time to do it because you really don’t want to have to fix it when that roof is covered in ice and snow. So the chimney is OK if it’s not too heavy but you’re probably better off just attaching it to the roof and tying it off in three places using some of the roof tie-down cables that work well for that.
In terms of grounding it, in the best-case scenario, you’re going to ground that right to the plumbing pipe where it goes out your house. So you want to run it down to the basement, if you can run a cable, and attach it to the main plumbing line; or run it to a ground stake, perhaps where your other ground stake is near your electric meter, and ground it right there. That’s really the best way to do it. If you ground it somewhere short of that, then if there’s a lightning strike, it could go through and electrify your whole plumbing system. You really want to get it from the antenna right to the ground stake as quickly as possible.
HARRIS: OK. I really appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.