Everything You Need To Know About Lightning Conductor Installation

Lightning rods are highly recommended for people living in mountainous regions or cities with skyscrapers. It will help you to keep your appliances away from danger. Indeed, this tool allows you to protect your homes in case of a lightning strike.

In this article, we tell you everything about lightning rods in order to protect you from these unavoidable weather hazards.

What is a lightning rod?


Benjamin Franklin invented the first lightning rod system in the 18th century thanks to a study he made with a kite and the electrical nature of lightning. Indeed, thanks to this study, he was able to implement a device to protect buildings. That, by redirecting directly into the ground, the electricity is discharged during times of storms.

How does a lightning conductor work?

The principle of operation of a lightning conductor is to encourage the lightning to come down on him rather than on the building or elsewhere. To do this, a lightning conductor is mainly composed of a rod placed on a high point. This rod is then connected to the ground by down conductors (metal cables) in order to direct the discharged electricity directly into the ground.

In addition, for the proper functioning of the lightning capture device, the lightning conductor is also made up of grounding conductors connected to each other by metallic grounds.

The different types of lightning conductors

Several types of lightning conductors differ from each other on the market, depending on their usefulness and level of complexity.

1. The lightning conductor with a “simple rod.”

The PTS is composed of a metal tip that can go up to 8 meters high in order to encompass the entire structure to be protected. It is connected to two copper down conductors, which are then connected to earth connections. It can provide protection over a radius of approximately 30 meters. However, it is strictly reserved for the protection of small structures.

2. The “enameled cage.”


The “enameled cage” lightning conductor is composed of a mesh covering the whole structure to be protected. For this purpose, numerous spikes are positioned on the roof, with meshes ranging from 5 to 20 meters long, depending on the level of protection required.

This type of lightning conductor requires a rather high installation cost and is rather reserved for complex buildings.

3. The lightning conductor with “priming device.”

The PDA creates a privileged point of impact on its tip with the help of an ionization device. It is capable of capturing lightning strikes more quickly than a PTS. Moreover, it can also offer a more expansive protection zone (about 120 m). This allows it to protect large structures.

The installation of this type of lightning conductor is inexpensive, despite the fact that it can protect both the building and its surroundings.

Is the installation of a lightning rod mandatory?

Generally, the usefulness of installing a lightning conductor will be determined mainly by the geographical location of your home. Obviously, storms are more prevalent in mountainous regions than elsewhere.

Nevertheless, if you have the means, nothing prevents you from installing this protection device, even if you are located in a region that is not very affected by lightning strikes.

Procedure for installing a lightning conductor


This lightning protection device can easily be found in stores. However, the installation of a lightning conductor always requires the intervention of a professional. Indeed, the lightning conductor, placed at the top of your house, must respect strict characteristics, including:

  • The position of the tip must be above the highest point.
  • The resistance of the earth connection must be at the lowest level.
  • The cable connecting the lightning conductor to the ground must be short and direct. It must be separated from any other type of pipe (gas, water…)

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Electrical Installation: Why Install A Lightning Arrester?

Lightning can cause damage not only to your home through your electrical and telecommunications installations but also to your electrical appliances. It is a protection material for surges of atmospheric origin caused by lightning. In this aspect, for your safety, that of your house, and your electrical appliances, the installation of a lightning arrester is essential.

People often tend to confuse the lightning arrester, also called surge protector and the lightning rod. However, these devices are different, and each has its own role. In addition to its function of protecting electrical installations and appliances, the lightning arrester can limit the duration and amplitude of the current. It is also used to prevent damage that can be caused by voltage imbalance

As for the lightning, the conductor is a device that protects the building by preventing lightning from falling or directing it directly to the ground. It prevents fire and damage to the structure of buildings.

Mandatory criteria for the installation of a lightning arrester


The mandatory nature of the installation of the lightning arrester depends on several parameters. These include the characteristics and power supply of the buildings as well as the lightning density. The installation of the lightning arrester must be carried out according to the regulations in force, in particular the standard NFC15-100 and the guide UTE C 15-443. According to the NF C 15-100 standard, the use of a lightning arrester is mandatory when the buildings are located less than 50 meters from a large metallic structure such as a lightning conductor and a GSM antenna. 

This is also the case for buildings that are powered by an overhead line. The installation of a lightning arrester is also mandatory for buildings that are located in areas frequently struck by lightning. This is the case in the south of France.

Lightning arrester installation techniques


The lightning arrester can be installed in two ways. If it is intended to protect your entire installation, it is placed inside the electrical panel with a differential circuit breaker and a divisional circuit breaker. The lightning arrester can also be installed individually through the use of power strips with a lightning arrester function. The price for this installation can go up to 700 dollars. 

For this, it is necessary to put it in contact with the most sensitive and expensive receivers, which must be protected like computers and data centers as well as the equipment connected to them. In this sense, the device must be plugged into a socket or power strip and connected to the electrical device.

Types of surge protectors


There are three types of surge protectors: type 1, type 2, and type 3. Type 1″ surge protectors have the ability to conduct a strong lightning current from the ground to a power distribution system. These arresters are placed in the electrical panel of buildings if they are equipped with a lightning conductor. 

Then there are the “type 2” lightning arresters which are also installed in the electrical panel. They can drain the lightning currents that cause high transient overvoltages on the power distribution network. Finally, as far as “type 3” arresters are concerned, their ability to discharge lightning current is very limited compared to the other two types of arresters mentioned above. 

They must be installed with “type 2” surge protectors to reduce surges on sensitive and critical devices and equipment effectively.

Therefore, for optimal protection of your building and your safety, contact the appropriate authorities, or a company that specialized in installing and maintaining lightning arresters. Thanks to their skills and expertise, you can benefit from an impeccable service.

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