lightning rods

readydave8

remember
A friend asked me:

1. Why do we sometimes see lightning rods on older houses but almost never
on new construction?

2. He is planning to replace composite ridge cap with copper ridge cap, will this
increase chance of lightning strike?
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Not likely, metal roofs are the big going thing here. Haven’t seen an increase in lightning strikes. Most come through utilities or tall trees nearby. Last one I looked at was a pine tree that got hit, traveled to the buried phone line, blew it out of the ground for about 50-60’, but apparently the protector did its job, no damage to the house.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Like action Dave, I have a two story house.
I have never considered them either. The chance of a direct hit is so rare and I have good insurance...
 
Like action Dave, I have a two story house.
I have never considered them either. The chance of a direct hit is so rare and I have good insurance...
Years ago blood-letting was a widely accepted medical procedure.

I think lightning rods will be remembered as one of the classic up-sell oppourtunities of the 20th century, possibly before that as well.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
I live in a high lightning area. I considered doing lightning protection as part of my business, but the only jobs you get are government, hospitals, and a few commercial. There is no residential market. People don't spend money protecting against things they don't perceive as a threat unless the money they are spending is not theirs.
 

winnie

Senior Member
Lightning just traveled a couple of kilometers through open air. The conductivity of your ridge cap or a lightning rod will make no difference in the chance of a lightning strike.

_If_ your house draws the short straw and gets hit, _then_ conductive materials make a difference in terms of damage caused. If the arc can attach to something that carries the current safely to earth, then more sensitive materials can be protected.


Probably. no guarantees with lightning.
 

GeorgeB

ElectroHydraulics engineer (retired)
Perhaps 10 years ago, my wife "won their lottery" and we were able to purchase tickets to the Masters practice round. Watching the golf and seeing the beautiful grounds were enough. Of interest to me were the braided copper cables (memory says about 5/8") going up many of the (mostly pine) trees on the course to what I THINK I saw as electrodes above greenery.

Is this common in areas with lots of lightning?
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
They had a lightning strike during a tournament last year in Atlanta. Hit a pine tree near the pond. The tournament broadcast severe weather was approaching, so take shelter. Several people thought it was a good idea to get under the pine tree. Luckily, they only got minor injuries from flying bark.
 
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