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Thread: Grounding practice for a chain of steel containers

  1. #1
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    Grounding practice for a chain of steel containers

    This is the question from my customer who is creating a 12-mile recreation trail that includes several train trestles that have to be improved for use.:

    "Maybe you can help with a question that came up related to using steel containers on our high trestle, 193 feet long & 40 feet above the ground. We are considering using 4 or 5 containers, with windows cut out, to span that trestle. As a lay person, it seems there would be risk for lightning strikes".

    Could you share a thought or two related to that and how we might manage that potential risk?

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    What is the trestle made of?

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    There is always a risk of lightning strike and very little you can do to prevent one. If the guy thinks it is a risk, he should hire a competent professional to evaluate the risk, and determine if mitigation is required and if so, how to go about mitigating the risk.
    Bob

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    So, these are garbage cans?

    -Hal

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    As a lay person, he is apparently quite misinformed. Using metal in construction does not increase the likelihood of a lightning strike.

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    More to the point, much like a public pool or golf course, the operator should evacuate the trestles at the first sign of an impending storm.

    -Hal

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaggedben View Post
    ... Using metal in construction does not increase the likelihood of a lightning strike.
    If it's elevated, pointy and grounded metal, it might. But we just don't have enough details about the project to offer an intelligent & applicable suggestion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drcampbell View Post
    If it's elevated, pointy and grounded metal, it might. But we just don't have enough details about the project to offer an intelligent & applicable suggestion.

    I believe only the elevated and pointy parts are meaningfully relevant to the likelihood of lightning strikes. The question is whether the OP's customer understands that, or whether they erroneously think the materials are equally important. If it's elevated and pointy then perhaps there should be some grounded metal at the top, but see post 3.

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    Does it really matter if the garbage cans are blown up as long as there is no one around?

    -Hal

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    when he says containers, does he mean shipping containers?
    Dave Ruth

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