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Long ago in my youth, I was working for an electrician and he asked me to drive a ground rod for him.  After sinking the rod, I tried to put the ground clamp over the head but found the mushroomed head too wide. The electrician laughed and said that next time I’d remember to put the clamp on before I drove the rod. Using a tool like the Sluggo-Ox might have saved me that embarrassment.

Not only does the Sluggo-Ox prevent the ground rod head from mushrooming while you drive it, it provides a much larger target for you to whack with a mallet. It works with 5/8″ or 3/4″ ground rods, or similarly sized rebar and other rods. To prevent corrosion and protect your investment, the Sluggo-Ox is coated with a yellow zinc chromate.

Their website claims if you order online you can purchase the Sluggo-Ox for $100 shipped. This is probably your best price since the other retailer listed looks cheaper at $90 but charges $12 shipping and handling.

Sluggo-Ox [Corporate Site]
Sluggo-Ox [Corporate Store]
Sluggo-Ox [How to Wire A House]

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21 Responses to No More Mushroomed Ground Rods

  1. Bob says:

    I thought you just cut the mushroom off with a hacksaw. 🙂

  2. Toolhearty says:

    Does this thing really prevent mushrooming? After all, you might be hitting this instead of the rod, but this thing, in turn, still hits the rod (and for a 5/8″ rod, the hole is still >3/4″ so there’s room).

    A hundred bucks for a steel round with a blind hole in it? I don’t care if it is anodized (anodizing won’t be around for long, anyway).

  3. jc says:

    It’s a good idea (as someone who has driven a few ground rods. I’m an amateur radio operator). But the price is insane. $10, I could see. $100? Definitely insane.

    In fact, are you sure that isn’t a misprint or shift decimal point somewhere there?

  4. Shopmonger says:

    Yeah i am thinking a piece of tubing…..and some welding rod and POOF my own Anti-schrooom anvil……

    AntiShroom- the sixties are truly dead aren’t they?

    ShopMonger

  5. Andrew C says:

    Another amateur radio operator I know suggested just using a pneumatic hammer (with the ground rod as the “bit”) when driving ground rods. Not sure if that will prevent mushrooming, but it certainly seems like more fun than using a sledge.

  6. fred says:

    Milwaukee makes an SDS Max bit for driving ground rods – just about the same prices as this at Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-48-62-3070-Ground-Rod-Driver/dp/B00004XPGN

    but about $50 if you shop around (maybe Toolbarn or Plumber’s Surplus ?). I’ve never seen one used so have no comment about its efficacy.

  7. Chris C. says:

    An even better tool: a hose.

    Make a 2″ hole. Pour some water in it. Start tapping the rod up and down in the hole until the rod sinks down a few inches. Pull it out, add more water, repeat.

    I was able to sink a 8′ rod in 2 minutes with no mushroom this way. Once the water drained it was in the ground as solid as solid can be…

  8. fred says:

    @Chris

    I’m no expert on this – but have heard that “washing in” a ground rod is likely to result in a poor or questionable ground because of spotty contact with the soil. On Large commercial installations, I’ve seen the electric company folks testing the ground rod impedance with clamp-on instruments – so I suppose you could check the results.

  9. Cameron Watt says:

    Didn’t the old-timers pour a little copper sulfate around the rod after it was driven?

  10. Cameron Watt says:

    …..to ensure good contact?

  11. murray says:

    @Andrew

    Often tool rental places carry the ground rod bit for their chipping hammers. Or you can forgo the bit and just place the chipping hammer chuck on the rod and drive away.

  12. matt says:

    Why wouldn’t he attach the heater hose to the cut off chisel instead of the ground rod. He could leave it on there forever…

  13. kyle says:

    I like the hammer drill idea, plus it only costs $30 more than the anti mushroom driver!

  14. Olderthanyou says:

    This is totally crackpipe. Oops, sorry, wrong blog.

  15. fred says:

    A bit more looking at Amazon – and I see taht they’re selling some Hitachi variants for as little as $30 (if you have an older hex drive rotohammer) or about $50 for an SDS-Max unit:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=hitachi+ground+rod+driver&x=8&y=14

  16. kyle says:

    a t post driver will also work with minimal mushrooming and if it does cut it off with a grinder

  17. Sam says:

    I find it interesting that people can comment on a product WITHOUT EVER trying it. Sluggo-Ox has been on the market for 4 years and NOT ONE complaint has been filed. Not only can you buy it on the website it is also sold by electrical supply stores across the country. So as Sluggo-Ox motto says “POUND THIS”

  18. Chris says:

    Sam: Whether you’ve used something or not doesn’t make comments about its high price any less valid, especially when the average machine shop could custom-make one out of one-inch steel rod in 15 minutes for less than a fifth the retail price of this thing.

    I don’t see anyone claiming it won’t work. I see a lot of complaints about the price, and that’s a VERY valid criticism.

    cl

  19. Sam says:

    AND IT WON’T STAND UP TO THE UNENDING POUNDING AND BE A TOOL THAT WILL LAST LONG…..PRICE ALSO GOES WITH QUALITY……..

  20. Chris says:

    Sam: A $5000 Rolex does not keep time two orders of magnitude more accurately than a $50 Seiko. The Rolex also doesn’t require two orders of magnitude less maintenance or last two orders of magnitude longer on a battery. Price and quality are related to some degree, yes, but it’s certainly not anything approaching a proportional relationship.

    But let’s assume for a moment that price and quality *are* proportional. If I can make a widget that lasts for a year and costs $10, and Acme Widgets charges $100 for a widget that lasts ten years, the total cost over ten years to the consumer is (roughly) the same. However, which widget are you more likely to carry spares of in the truck — the $10 widget or the $100 widget?

    I don’t understand, at all, why something like this should cost anywhere NEAR $100. I can buy a five-pound (drop-forged and hardened carbon-steel) splitting wedge, like you’d use for splitting wood, for five bucks or so *retail*. This is basically the same thing, with a blind hole drilled in it and an anti-corrosion coating, but a slightly different shape. That’s ten or fifteen bucks, max, in quantity. Unless you can explain to us why this tool costs so more than that to manufacture in bulk, you sound like a company shill. Stop shouting for a moment and try making a cogent argument instead. We’re all adults here. It’d be good if you’d start acting like one.

    cl

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