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   See how Lightning Protection works

Installation Details*
For Complete details, please order a copy of the installation book Catalog Number book - $12.00 Post Paid (shipped First Class Mail)

The System
A lightning protection system performs a simple task. It provides a specified path on which lightning can travel. When a home is equipped with a lightning protection system, the destructive power of the lightning strike is directed safely into the ground, leaving the home, family members and personal belongings unharmed. It is important that the cable (wire) that is used MUST be braided and be designed specifically for Lightning Protection System installations. Electrical grounding cable should not be used.

The Primary Components
A lightning protection system should include all of the following elements, which work together to prevent lightning damage.

  • Air Terminals (Lightning Rods)
  • Braided Conductor (Cable)
  • Bonds to metallic bodies
  • Ground Rods or Ground Plates
  • Surge Arrestors
Electronic Protection
Modern homes are especially vulnerable to the havoc that lightning can wreak on sensitive electronic equipment. To assure the highest level or protection, UL-listed lightning surge arrestors are installed on electrical service panels and other incoming lines. Arrestors are the first line of defense against harmful electrical surges that can enter a structure through power lines. On the other hand, Lightning rods protect the structure from a direct lightning strike.

General Design Rules
All buildings must have two groundings as widely separated as possible, preferably at diagonally opposite corners if perimeter distance around the building at ground level is 250 feet or less.

If building perimeter is between 250 feet and 350 feet, then three groundings are required. If building is between 350 feet and 450 feet, then four groundings, etc.

Lightning Protection System shall be applied to metal covered buildings in like manner as on buildings without metal coverings.

Cables shall be free of sharp turns and "u" or "v" pockets. Cables shall remain horizontal or downward path towards the ground.

Cautions in the Use of Both Copper and Aluminum

  1. Copper equipment shall not be used on aluminum roofs, aluminum sidings, or other aluminum surfaces - including bare galvanized steel.
    (Use Aluminum Equipment for these).
  2. Copper and aluminum conductors shall not be interconnected except with acceptable bimetallic connectors (Order #A-100)
  3. Aluminum equipment shall not be used underground.
  4. Aluminum equipment shall not be used on copper roofing or other copper surfaces.

(Please order Catalog #"Book" for full details)

Design Rules:  Space rods evenly, no more than 20 feet apart.  End rods should be no more than than 2 feet from the end (1 foot is typical).  Fasten cable every 3 feet.  Connect vents and antennas with clamp or lug if within 6 feet of the lightning cable.  For a neat job run the down cables next to or behind down spouts, molding, etc. and connect to ground rods (make connections to ground rods or ground plates below ground).  

A lightning protection system is intended to last the life of the structure and typically only requires maintenance if a home is changed structurally or mechanically


How a Lightning Protection System Protects My Home, Family and Possessions


A Lightning strike consists of opposite charges of electrical energy. Negative charges build up in the bottom part of the cloud closest to earth and positive charges build up directly underneath in the ground. Separating these two opposite charges is a non-conducting dry air belt. As the charges build up in intensity and the dry air belt becomes moist, lightning starts downward toward the earth in 150 foot jagged steps or intervals. The positive ground charge is attracted upward utilizing the lightning protection system as an outlet.


As the negative leader stroke from the cloud continues toward the earth, the positive ground charge travels up through the lightning protection system and when the negative leader stroke is about 150 feet above the top of the protected building, the positive ground charge starts upward to meet and neutralize the downward leader stroke.


The two opposite charges are neutralized emptying the negative charge from the cloud and dissipating the ground charge. This all occurs in about 1/5000th of a second and the home, occupants and possessions are safe from the devastating effects of lightning. Without protection, the positive charges would be trapped under and within the home, and the home could suffer a direct hit.


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