Florida has been dubbed by some as the lightning capitol of the world. It is by far the lightning capitol of America. So ask yourself, when was the last time you noticed lightning rods on a home?
In the past, lightning rods/protection was far more used mostly to protect barns where people kept their prized possessions, their horses, livestock and hay. You will still likely find lightning protection on most horse barns across America, especially horses of higher value. But whatever happened to protecting your home?
Consider the deductible on your homeowners insurance. Now consider the cost and hassle of losing all, or most of your electronic equipment in your home due to one direct lightning strike. Here is a list of some items that could be destroyed:
• Ceiling Fans
• Motors and Pumps
The destruction to a home after a direct lightning strike is devastating. It may not happen to you, but if it does, it is one experience where we truly sympathize with the customer.
A home lightning protection system can avoid this potential disaster. It is like building a lightning shield around your home protecting you from a lightning strike. If an entire system is a little over budget there are some low cost adjustments you can make. Below is an outline of the various options and types of lightning protection systems available to you.
The first recommendation is to call us out to measure the resistance-to-ground of your electrical grounding system. We can install additional ground rods if needed. Most homes over 5 years old need some type of service to the grounding system. Grounding systems are generally connected using lugs and clamps. Over time these connections become loose and can possibly come apart. The home is then a sitting duck, not to mention the potential damage to electronics or electrocution.
Another low cost protection device is provided by your power company. This device is a surge arrester that attaches directly to your meter. In Phaze Electric does sell and install similar devices but we highly recommend installing the devices provided by the utility company. On average they cost an additional $5.00 per month and come with a warranty. We also recommend connecting your highly sensitive electronic equipment such as TV’s, computers, printers, faxes, monitors and phones to an uninterrupted power system (U.P.S) /surge protection strip that plugs into your receptacle outlet. These can be bought at most stores that sell any type of electronics. Check the warranty of the surge protection strip. These warranties are what you are paying for and in this case you get what you pay for. Spare no expense when it comes to whole house power surge protection. Remember to NEVER plug a surge protection strip into another. In the event of a surge the two devices connected together can create a minor explosion within the device or at a minimum they can overheat and melt carpet or burn flooring.
There is one other thing to mention with regards to lightning surge protection and your home’s grounding system: Most homes electrical grounding systems installed from the early 1900′s up until the early 90′s were connected to the homes plumbing system. Most of these homes had copper plumbing that were sometimes piped under the slab of the house. Simply put, the low current, combined with water, copper, and in Florida, the salt content of the soil, make for a very likely potential of a leaking pipe under the home. We highly recommend taking the grounding conductor off of the piping system and tying to a newly installed 10′ grounded electrode which is hammered into the ground within 6 feet of your electrical service equipment.
Grounding is the most essential part of any electrical system especially with regards to life safety. What goes in must come out. It is vital to ensure that every home is properly grounded. If you have any further questions please feel free to call or e-mail.