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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo. area.
    Posts
    276

    Default Lightening Collector?

    I inspected a home yesterday that had what appeared to be a fairly elaborate lightening arresting system installed on it. My question is about a component that was hanging loose off the rear of the house. It is different from the other components, and it had been mounted up under the rear eave area, but its anchor had come loose, leaving it just hanging on its grounding cable. Is this just another collector, like the spikes on the roof and chimney, and how can it be effective mounted where it was? Photos show part of the roof mounted system, and this device in question.

    Thanks a lot for your help with this.

    Mike Chambers
    St. Louis

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    26,248

    Default Re: Lightening Collector?

    The spikes on the roof are called "air terminals".

    That other thing is called ... (I have no idea as I have never seen one before - I will have to do some searching for it) ... but I can't see what good it would do there or in the way it is made.

    The conductor attached to the air terminal is the 'ground conductor', 'primary conductor', or 'down conductor' (depends on which installation instructions are being read) - but that conductor should always be going "down" (which is why it is called the "down conductor") to earth ground (which is why it is called the "ground conductor"), it is also the "primary conductor" because sometimes there will be secondary conductors connecting air terminals to the primary/ground/down conductor.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Lightening Collector?

    I didn't find anything like that in multiple Google searches - 'it must be' some type of air terminal, but I doubt its location was as any use.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Lightening Collector?

    I have never seen one like that. I wonder whether it could have been positioned adjacent to overhead service wires to draw a voltage surge to ground?


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: Lightening Collector?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: Lightening Collector?

    Those are Tesla's original designs, and while the theory behind the one in the photo under the gutter may be the same for the similar design (very vaguely similar), I doubt the usefulness of that is ... well ... useful ...

    The debate between pointed lightning rods and ball end lightning rods has 'sort of' been resolved to blunt pointed end (neither pointed nor ball end) lightning rod ... but not enough difference to make going back and replacing either type (pointed or ball end) which has already been installed with blunt pointed types ... that is waffling out of a decision on which is best/better if anyone has ever waffled out of anything before.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo. area.
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Lightening Collector?

    You guys are amazing! I'm always blown away by how quickly you come back with really good information and insight.

    Raymond found an illustration that's fairly close to what this thing looks like, Jerry gave me the terminology to make me look like I know what I'm talking about in my report, and Mark's speculating about the intent of this component may be fairly close to the truth. It's hard to see in the attached photo, but this gizmo is on the "down conductor" just to the left of the window closest to the electric service, which comes to the house at a diagonal from the left.

    Thanks once again for being such a great resource!

    Mike

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