Grounding Detail and use of #25-Z   Bimetallic splicer.

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FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

For Installation INSTRUCTIONS  Start with

FAQ #24  and BELOW:

Text Box:      SEE page 11 for
   MORE installation
  details and diagrams

(1) I'M NOT SURE HOW TO INSTALL LIGHTNING RODS ? Start with FAQ #24 and study the Basic Instructions below or: You can purchase a copy of the Installation instructions which has complete details for $12.00 postage paid. We also have a Designer/ Installer available to help with your questions. If you STUDY ALL of these FAQ's it will help you considerably.

(2) HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT YOUR EQUIPMENT WILL WORK ? Excluding some ornamental items, all of our Lightning Protection Equipment is proudly MADE IN THE USA and is manufactured to meet the requirements of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). You can be sure that the equipment that you buy from us is manufactured to the highest quality standards. Call for UL Listing reference numbers.

(3) I NEED A SPECIAL PART THAT I DON'T SEE ON YOUR SITE ? We have hundreds of parts for Homes, Trees, Commercial Buildings and other special applications.—If you don't see it here,  PLEASE ASK.

(4) WHAT ABOUT PRICE ? Our price is at manufactures wholesale. Our quality equipment is your best value in Quality, Service and Technical Support


(6) HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE LIGHTNING PROTECTION BUSINESS ? We are a family business that has installed thousands of Lightning Protection Systems since 1972 and you can count on us being there for you in the future.

(7) WHAT IS YOUR RETURNS POLICY? There is a 15% restocking fee on ALL returned items. NO Returns will be accepted after 20days.  No returns on cable and special orders.

(8) HOW AND WHEN DO YOU SHIP ? Except for decorative items and special orders, your order will usually leave the factory within 48 hours by UPS or US Postal Service whichever is the best way.

(9) DO YOU INSTALL OR INSPECT LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS ? Yes, We can arrange for installation and inspections in selected locations. Please call for information

Technical FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions):

(10) What were the Glass Balls for? Over 100 years ago glass balls were introduced to lightning rods as a decoration. They serve no function. Many people add them to lightning rods for fancy roof ornamentation. Contrary to belief the glass balls do not usually break when the rod is struck by Lightning.

(11) I have a bare metal roof, what materials can I use? Copper will stain Aluminum and Galvanized steel. Therefore DO NOT attach copper materials to these surfaces and DO NOT attach Aluminum to Copper for the same reason. In some cases, you can use Tinned (lead coated) Copper cable on metal surfaces. If you do need to connect copper to Aluminum, we have a special Bi-Metal connector for that purpose (#25-Z).

(12) I have a Flat Roof and I don’t want to use Nails or Screws? Penetrations should NOT be made on commercial type flat roofs. We have adhesive equipment specifically made for that purpose, also special connectors for metal roof’s (See page 2).

(13) Will Aluminum Cable and Rods work as well as Copper? Yes,  long as the installation rules are followed. Certainly Copper is a better conductor than aluminum but the Aluminum cable is larger than the copper cable therefore making up for aluminum's lesser conductivity.

(14) Can’t I use my own electrical wire and parts for my Lightning Rods? No! - The cable must be braided and ordinary electrical equipment is not designed to handle the immense power of lightning. If you are going to Install Lightning Rods, DO IT RIGHT and use the right equipment and braided cable that is designed especially for Lightning Protection (See FAQ #23).

(15) Won’t the cable get hot and burn my roof? NO! - The specially braided cable does not get hot from Lightning. A correctly grounded braided cable of adequate size provides a low resistance path to ground. If there is No Resistance, Then there is No Heat. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that you can install Lightning Protection Equipment on or through wood and most other building materials. The key here is to use the specially Braided Cable that is specifically designed for Lightning Protection. Never use cable or wire that is designed for regular electrical power.

(16) I have tall trees around my house, won’t the Lightning hit the tree first? It might hit the tree but with all of the metal, appliances, water pipes and electric wires that are in the house, lightning could flash over to the house on it’s way down the tree. A tree is NOT a substitute for Lightning Protection.

(17) I live in a low lying area, do I still need Lightning Protection: If the Lightning discharge is above your structure and if it is a shorter distance for the lightning to travel to your house than to nearby higher objects, then you will get struck. Your home which contains much metal and electrical wiring is usually a much better target for lightning than the higher terrain and tree’s. With few exceptions, most outdoor area’s are not immune from Lightning Strike’s.

(18) Is it true that Lightning Rods attract Lightning? NO! IT IS NOT. Lightning rods DO NOT attract lightning, however, since the rods are placed at the high points on roof’s and when correctly grounded, lightning will strike the rods. If lightning were going to strike your home, it would strike whether the rods are there or not. An ungrounded Lightning Rod is no different than any other metal object on your roof such as metal vents, pipes, antenna’s, weathervanes, etc.

(19) Someone told me that Lightning Rod’s don’t work? Lightning Rods are installed on; State Farm Insurance headquarters, The White House, Space Shuttle complex, and millions of other commercial buildings and houses around the world, in some countries, Lightning Rods are Mandatory. - Lightning Rods work by two simple laws of Physics;  (1) They Provide; The SHORTEST  PATH TO GROUND and (2) THEY PROVIDE THE PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE.

(20) Someone I knew had Lightning Rods and had damage to; TV and Appliances. WHY? Lightning Rods protect against a Direct Lightning Strike. Damage inside the house is sometimes due from Lightning entering through the Electric, TV, and Phone wires. A power pole can get struck (even mile’s away) and the current will follow the (above or underground) wires into the house and destroy electrical equipment. The Rods on the roof have nothing to do with that. That is why you should also install SURGE ARRESTERS on electric wires entering the structure.

(21) I heard that it takes a specialist to install lightning rods? If you use the right equipment,  study the instructions and take safety precautions, then there is no reason why you can’t do it yourself.—A copy of the installation instructions are available here or by going to the UL and NFPA web site’s.

(22) I thought that my house was grounded when it was built: Yes it is grounded, but the electrical ground is mainly to provide electric power. The electrical grounding is of little help if Lightning Strikes your roof and the Lightning has to travel down through your house to get to the “ground”. The Lightning Rods and Heavy Braided cable is the only way to protect the roof and structure from physical damage.

(23) Technical facts: Lightning Travels on the surface of the Lightning Rods and cable. The many strands in the specially designed braided cable adds greatly to it’s surface area. The BRAIDING in the Lightning Cable is very important as it has the effect of cancelling the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP). As current travels down each braided strand of wire and since the strands “cris-cross” each other, and “like charges repel”, The braided cable has the effect of cancelling the EMP. Compared to regular electrical wire, the EMP around regular wire can couple with other wires under roof and behind walls and can transfer very high voltages into the electrical wiring. EXCEPTION: On structural steel buildings and below ground, un-stranded cable of sufficient size is ok since the EMP will be absorbed by the steel in the structure and in the earth.

(24)- BASIC INSTALLATION DETAILS: Roof Rods (called Air Terminals) that are shorter than 24” tall should be spaced no more than 20’ apart along Ridges and Flat Roof perimeter’s.—If the Rod’s are over 24” tall they can be spaced 25’ Apart.—Rods should be placed within 2’ of  ends of ridges and outside corners of roof’s. Each Lightning Rod should provide a two way path to Ground and one of the cables must maintain a horizontal or downward path down to a ground rod or plate. - GROUND RODS or GROUND PLATES Should be placed 2’ or more away from the building. The top of the Ground Rod as well as the copper connecting cable should be buried below ground. - No Structure shall have less than 2 ground rods or plates. Aluminum cable should never be installed underground (See grounding detail below). - Cable’s Should be attached to the building every 3’ or less and the cable shall maintain a smooth flow with No Sharp Bends.—BONDING: Anywhere that the Lightning Rod cable is placed within 6’ of Large Metal Objects such as roof vents, there should be a connection between the two to prevent a side flash.—Utilities such as electric service ground should also be connected to the Lightning Rod System. Bare Copper should not be installed on Galvanized or Aluminum surfaces (See FAQ #11). —ELECTRONIC SURGE ARRESTERS should be installed on equipment to prevent surges from entering through the utility wires (See FAQ #20).

Installation Details:
*Note: - For Complete details, please order a copy of the installation instructions Catalog Number “BOOK” - $12.00 Post Paid (shipped by First Class Mail).

The System
A lightning protection system performs a simple task. It provides a specified path on which lightning can travel. When a home is equipped with a lightning protection system, the destructive power of the lightning strike is directed safely into the ground, leaving the home, family members and personal belongings unharmed.

The Primary Components
A lightning protection system should include all of the following elements, which work together to prevent lightning damage.

· Air Terminals (rods)

· Conductor (cable)

· Bonds with metallic bodies

· Ground Terminations

· Surge Arrestors


Electronic Protection:

Modern homes are especially vulnerable to havoc that lightning can wreak on electronic equipment. T assure the highest level of protection, UL Listed Surge Arrestors should be installed on electrical service panels and other incoming lines.

Lightning Rods protect the home from a direct strike to the home thus protecting the structure from physical damage or fire bur Arrestors are the first line of defense against harmful electrical surges from entering through electrical power lines.

General Design Rules
All buildings must have two groundings as widely separated as possible, preferably at diagonally opposite corners if perimeter distance around the building at ground level is 250 feet or less.

If building perimeter is between 250 feet and 350 feet, then three groundings are required. If building is between 350 feet and 450 feet, then four groundings, etc.

Lightning Protection System shall be applied to metal covered buildings in like manner as on buildings without metal coverings.

Cables shall be free of sharp turns and "u" or "v" pockets. Cables shall remain horizontal or downward path towards the ground.

Cautions in the Use of Both Copper and Aluminum:

1—Copper equipment shall not be used on aluminum roofs or other aluminum surfaces - including bare galvanized steel. (Use Aluminum Equipment for these).

2—Copper and aluminum conductors shall not be interconnected except with acceptable bimetallic connectors (Order #A-100)

3—Aluminum equipment shall not be used underground.

4—Aluminum equipment shall not be used on copper roofing or other copper surfaces.


(Order Catalog #"Book" for full details)

Design Rules:  Space roof lightning rods (Air Terminals) evenly, no more than 20 feet apart or 25 ft. apart if Lightning Rods are over 24” tall.  End rods should be no more than 2 feet from the end of roof or outside corner’s.  Fasten cable every 3 feet with #2 loop’s and nail’s or screws. Connect vents and antennas with clamp or lug if within 6 feet of the lightning cable.  For a neat job run the down cables next to down spouts, molding, etc. and then connect to ground rods (make ground connection below ground as shown at right).

A Lightning Protection System is intended to last the lifetime of the structure that it protects and typically only requires maintenance when a home or structure is changed structurally or mechanically.

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   Fax: (410) 734-0215


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         Fax: (410) 734-0215