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 09-11-2002, 06:06 Post: 42271
Glenn Fitzgerald



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 Cabin roof/Chimney Grounding

I recently built a cabin with a metal roof and stainless steel chimney(2-3'above roof line). The site is on the south side of a hill about half way up the hillside. The clearing(site) is surrounded by hardwoods. The clearing is about 150'x90' around the cabin.I don't or won't have electricity for about a year or so. Should the stainless chimney be grounded or left floating? Did you ever hear of persons grounding metal roofs? I didn't test for continuity between the roof panels so I'm not sure if that's practical? There are some pretty bad storms up there so I'm concerned about lightning.Any suggestions?






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 09-11-2002, 06:53 Post: 42273
TomG

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 Cabin roof/Chimney Grounding

Actual lightening protection is sort of a big deal. Extensive grounding and the use of heavy braided conductors are required. Some radio transmitter buildings use grounding rods at opposite corners of the building. The idea to equalize electrical potential inside the building so the chance of 'jumps' inside is reduced.

The general idea is that a strike draws current from a wide area through the ground. Sometimes the air is the least path of resistance and so a jump occurs. What isn't desirable is for something inside to be part of the path of least resistance.

I've done the opposite corners grounding thing at our house and camp but using standard 200A grounding wire as part of the service grounds. My inspector says 'Oh that's the old lightening trick. May not do much but it won't hurt either.' Some years back I did the same thing at a rented cabin without electrical service. I had a base antenna for a battery operated CB as far up a nearby tree as I could put it.

Whether this sort of thing helps or whether the lightening risk is appreciable is anybody's guess. I don't think that getting electrical service will make much difference to the lightening risk. As I mentioned, actual protection is a big deal, and I don't have it. I opted for a bit comfort from a maybe marginal solution and maybe no solution at all.






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 09-11-2002, 07:25 Post: 42276
Peters

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 Cabin roof/Chimney Grounding

As we learn more about lightning the less we know. The initial path runner travels from the ground to the sky and then the return strike is what is visible.
The distance of protection is smaller that we think. The area many be less than 10 ft.
There is a site that sell lightning protection. Very few people are placing protection on new buildings today.






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 09-11-2002, 08:12 Post: 42279
TomG

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Hi Peters. I just came back with an after-thought and you sort of beat me to it.

I'm not sure that doing actual grounding that would make the building into a more attractive path of least resistance say compared to a nearby tree is a good idea. That might make a strike on the building more likely than to the tree, and it's unlikely that any reasonable effort on the building would actually provide protection.

In each example, I mentioned there already was an attractive path due to the service/utility grounding or the CB antenna. I don’t know how much a steel chimney that wasn’t partially buried would change the building’s resistance. The opposite corner grounding trick wouldn't change further decrease the buildings' resistance to strikes, but it might decrease the possibility on jumps inside or maybe not. I'll note that electrical ground has nothing to do with lightening protection. It may increase the chances.






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