Lightning Protection

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I live out here in Central Florida, lightning capitol of the country, and want to install some lightning protection. I have googled around and listened to the home shows. Was wondering if any of you folks out there have any suggestions on what to buy or not to buy....thanks in advance....Ross
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You mean surge protection, or house protection (ligthning rods)?
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When I was a kid, and a thunderstorm interfered with the TV reception, my brothers used to strip me naked, strap a tv antenna to my head and make me go stand outside.
I only got hit once or twice, that I can remember.
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have
Time for a trip to the library. Your looking for UL96A at least that is what it was called.
Lightning protection that does not carry a master label is not worth much and can be more problems than with out it. Best check with your insurance agent on this.
You know; if you manage to get a strike your looking at a sacrificial system? Just like surge protectors it will work once.
http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_pls/multi_recommendation.html
This has some interesting data.
http://www.lightningstorm.com/tux/jsp/about/news/acquisition.jsp
A google search will find 20 or so companies that if you send them a drawing of the structure and the surrounding area, they will design and sell you the products. It is not all that hard nor is it that expensive to install as long as you do not mind getting close the edges.
The only house that I have even work on that had been hit was a total loss electrically. It had lightning rods, and surge protectors installed by the utility. They had an iron clad guarantee if you had this stuff installed. I was hired to rip out the drywall and completely rewire the home. All of the copper pipes were fused so the plumber was jack hammering up the concrete as well. All of the stucco had to be removed cause all of the staples holding the lath to the studs had dissolved and the outside looked like chicken pox. I am pretty sure that a bull dozer and starting over from scratch would not have been all that much more expensive.
Good luck
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On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 13:43:17 -0500, "Ross Mac"

IMHO:
If you are serious, you have this professionally done. Why? Because most of home owners are use to seeing nothing more thatn 4 awg as a ground for our electrical system, and misconcieve that for lightning protection. It isn't and the pro's use monster sized cables. Reason I heard for that, is because a lightning rod is working 24/7 and it's constantly hit with static charge, even if you don't see it. static electricity(lightning) is a very high frequency, so it tends to travel over the surface of conductors, leading to the use of braded high guage conductors.
So, like I said, seek professional services, and check with your local bbb, and chamber of commerce for references, and background checks.
hth,
tom @ www.BookmarkAdmin.com
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All the above....good protection from lightning that won't make my house look like transmitting tower. .....Ross
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wrote:

Agreed Tom....I don't plan on doing this myself...thanks....Ross
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Maybe we should call you Rodney Dangerfield....Ross
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Thanks Travis....this is quite interesting....I will look around to see them.....I'm over in Clermont....I think where the only hills in Florida exist....Take Care, Ross
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This system looks great to me. I will have to check if I can put one of these things up, since I live on a golf course, they have a big ole set of rules as you can imagine...but hey, thanks so much for the great info and I will post after I contact them....thanks again, Ross
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Thanks Joe....Ross
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Ross Mac wrote:

And right in the neighborhood we have a company doing something unusual - http://www.windemuller.com/wmtext.html
Whether you buy this technology or not, I'm sure seeing a lot of it installed on commercial and high-end residential housing in the Tampa Bay area. A few weeks ago I saw some in Orlando on hotels along I-4 near the Colonial Drive exit. Look for the "flying saucers on a pole".
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Ross Mac wrote:

I'm not sure what the answer is but I need some protection, too. Last summer two tall White Pine trees got struck in my front yard. Although the house wasn't hit, I lost a computer router (cable modem was OK), the DVD player part of my VCR/DVD/CD machine (CD and VCR were OK), and a TV set.
So, the pine trees didn't serve as lightning rods and they were struck. Lightning rods have a sharp point and electric fields concentrate on conductors with the smallest radius of curvature. Lightning rods are supposed to passively and continuously discharge the fields, avoiding a strike. So we need more effective protection.
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Other observers have noted that white pines appear to be superior lightning rods. However you define electronics damage from another part of the lightning strike circuit. Learn lessons from campers. Lightning strike the tree near their camp site. Those campers sleeping tangent to the tree were OK. Two campers sleeping pointed to the tree were seriously hurt. No again we must understand the electrical circuit.
Lightning builds a conductor between earth borne and cloud borne charges. It the shortest path from cloud five miles to those charges? Of course not. Electrically shortest path is three miles directly down to that tree. Then four miles through earth to those charges.
Where campers were sleeping tangent, the current passed underneath them. Where campers were sleeping point, current rose up from earth at the feet, passed through body, and reentered earth at the head.
This also applies to your building. It is why we want all utilities to enter at one common point - the single point earth ground. With utilities enters from opposite directions, then lightning rises up from the earth, takes a shorter electrical path through household appliances, then drops back down to earth at other end of building.
White pines did their job. They earthed the incoming lightning strike. But we humans still build new homes as if the transistor did not exist. You have demonstrated how humans create lightning damage to household appliances.
A figure from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST - the government standards agency) demonstrate what may be your problem. Their figure shows how improperly earthing causes damage to a fax machine: http://www.epri-peac.com/tutorials/sol01tut.html
So what should you do in a thunderstorm. Experts recommend keeping your feet together so that lightning need not find a shorter path up one leg and down the other. Meantime, review how your house is earthed to avoid future damage.: Learn much starting (and this is only introductory) with this from a utility: http://www.cinergy.com/surge/ttip08.htm
Experiments have demonstrated your pointed rod explanation is incorrect. Furthermore lightning rods don't discharge the air to avoid lightning strikes. You will be hard pressed to find a single peer reviewed paper that makes that claim. Lightning rods have always been about shunting. Shunt the direct strike into a path that is not destructive. Nothing stops, blocks, dissipates, or absorbs such surges. And yet we routinely suffer direct lightning strikes without damage. How? We shunt - earth the direct strike. Give it what it wants without putting good household appliances or church steeples in that path.
"William W. Plummer" wrote:

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SQLit wrote:

The insurance against damage offered by some utilities and lighting contractors may be more valuable that the system itself.
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Ross Mac wrote:

I was surprised when these 'protectors' starting showing up on new construction here in the Tampa area. At first I thought they were either rain gauge senders or maybe GPS antennas, but I couldn't figure out why they were being installed so high up. On St. Pete Beach there is one on a condo that must be 40 or 50 feet above the roof line. I guess it needs to be that high to provide a zone of protection? Most of the homes here have them in the center of the house about 15 feet or so above the roof line. From an asthetic point of view they probably aren't as nice looking as a collection of simple roof mounted rods, but then maybe the improved protection would be worth it. If you were a ham radio operator or a scanner buff I suppose you could mount a small yagi on the side of the pole and have a dual-use structure.
Let us know what you decide to do.
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Ross Mac wrote:

Ross Materials are not the big issue. Installation practices are the snake in that brush and it is poisonous. Do a reasonable amount of research and you will be able to answer your own materials questions. Some of the issues you will want to be up to speed on on are; side flash, common system bonding, and secondary damage caused by installation. If you do not learn these and other issues and the effective techniques to abate them you may make your situation worse rather than better.
In defiance of conventional DIY wisdom that anyone can do the job with a few paragraphs of advice from Usenet or a magazine article I will warn you that having a fully effective lightning protection system will take a serious investment on your part. You can either invest the large amount of time that is necessary to learn the fundamentals of system installation or you can invest the larger amount of money to have it done by folks who have already done the training. To put it another way you can have it cheap, fast, good, but you can only have two of them in any given job. -- Tom H
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Hiring Pro's on this one Tom and thanks for your advice...I was more interested in the best system...then I will contract it out....My days up on a roof are drawing to a close...take care and thanks, Ross
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Travis Jordan wrote:

Extensive review by a team of lightning protection scientist coordinated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology concluded that the claims of such systems are based on junk science and that they do not perform better than Franklin air terminal systems The one thing that I can say they perform better on is the profit margins of the firms that offer them. -- Tom H
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HorneTD wrote:

Citation, please?
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