J’s Lightning Rod Installation

J&H’s house has been hit by lightning twice in two years, and they finally decided to take that as a subtle hint that maybe they’re vulnerable to, you know, lightning. So they dipped into the fund they’d been laying by for more solar panels, and yesterday the installer came and did the deed. I took pix this morning.

They’ve got four lightning rods, three on the ends of the eaves and one on top of the stovepipe.


The rods connect to braided aluminum cable, that connect together and run down the corners of the house.


Near the ground, the aluminum cable connects to braided copper cable. That cable goes to copper ground plates buried underground. Normally, I’m told they use ground rods. But the ground is so rocky here they had to come up with an alternative.


There are two ground plates, and they’re buried at opposite corners of the house. Everything metal that enters the house is tied to the copper cable…


…like the propane pipe, for example. That would be important, I suppose.

They also went through and grounded the living hell out of all the electrical infrastructure. In theory that ties the whole system together. As far as I can tell nobody really knows if the current goes from the strike to ground, or vice versa, or both at different times. This way seems to work no matter which theory you pick.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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2 Responses to J’s Lightning Rod Installation

  1. Anonymous says:

    Do you still think this is DIY for the lair?

    -S

  2. Joel says:

    Yeah, it really doesn’t look like rocket science from here. I need a bunch of very heavy-gauge cable, and I’ll research to see if there’s a reason you can’t use ground rods for lightning rods. But other than that it just doesn’t look all that un-DIY-able.

To the stake with the heretic!