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Protecting Your Home Against Lightning

A “ground” can be thought of in a handful of ways, but simply put, it is the return path of current within a given electrical circuit. This ground path may be a ground that is derived from a battery terminal or circuit board, which is technically referred to as a ground plane.

Another form of grounding is just as it says, an electrode that is driven into the earth called a grounding electrode, which is the point of connection in the electrical circuit where any static voltage or stray voltages such as a short to ground are connected. A short to ground is what is commonly referred to as a short. A short will be noticed by a loud pop followed by smoke and possibly fire and will always create some sort of bright arc. If there were no grounding within an electrical circuit, the voltage would travel the shortest path to a large potential ground, which could be your body.

Electrocution occurs when a human body gets between the path to ground and you become the conductor. Grounding is by far the most important aspect of electrical installation with regards to life safety and proper electrical operation.

As mentioned prior, it is our opinion that connecting the grounding electrode to the cold water piping of your home or business is not a good idea. Our reasoning for this is electrolysis. When copper tubing runs underground protruding through concrete, combined with the salt content of the soil and water of Florida and possible residual current, these copper pipes will eventually develop small pinholes and can leak under the slab. The Code allows for a few other means of connection, such as a grounding electrode, which is driven 8 feet into the ground. You can also connect to the rebar within the footer if it is new construction. Connection to building steel structure is also allowed by code.

The National Electric Code, Article 250 is written for Grounding and Bonding and is the largest article of Chapter 2, Wiring and Protection. Grounding and bonding is the most important element of an electrical circuit.

As the residential electrician Winter Park, FL and nearby areas turn to for lightning protection, In Phaze Electric Inc offers a grounding system that is specified in many government design specifications. We refer to it as a Delta Ground due to the triangular shape. The installation involves adding a third grounding electrode to the current grounding system and connecting the proper size grounding electrode conductor to the additional ground rod.

We also increase the size conductor of the single point of connection at the service to the first ground rod. This form of grounding increases the potential to ground, which could save your electronics the event of a lightning strike. This is a fairly inexpensive cost for the security it provides regarding life safety and overvoltages.

Ask our residential electrician Winter Park, FL relies on to check for any loose connections when they come to look at your grounding.

Surge Protection

If your home or office takes a direct lightning strike, there isn’t anything on the market that will 100% protect you. However, by combining proper grounding, adequate surge protection, and if your budget allows, a listed lightning protection system, your odds of suffering greater damage drop dramatically.

Surge protection in the case of commercial and residential usage can be purchased in numerous ways.

  • Whole home or business surge protection: You can lease a whole home or business surge protector from your power company for around $5 per month. This device plugs directly between the meter can and the power company meter. In Phaze Electric Inc offers and installs numerous brands and models of whole home or business surge protection. For residential homes, prices can range from around $150 to $2,500 depending on your size of home and the type and model you request.
  • Power strip surge protection: You may also purchase a surge protector strip with or without a battery backup (UPS) that will allow you to plug in multiple devices or appliances. Some surge protectors are better than others, so you get what you pay for in this case. Also note that when making the purchase, your main concern should be the warranty. Most good surge protection strip devices offer a warranty that can cover your insurance deductible or full replacement of the device or appliance.
  • Low voltage surge protection: To be honest, most electronics, such as computers, televisions, and phones, are almost always destroyed with even a minor lightning strike from many yards away from your home or business. The conductors that carry the voltage are designed for no more than 50 volts. These conductors cannot carry the overvoltage back to ground, thus sending the overvoltage into the electronic device, which destroys the power supply. It is usually possible to have the device repaired, but there are no real guarantees.

As the residential electrician Sanford, FL and nearby areas count on, In Phaze Electric Inc can help you in deciding your route to go when considering lightning surge protection for your home or business. Give us a call; we are here when you need us.

Protect Your Home From Lightning and Surges

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In Phaze came by to install recessed lighting in my house. Great price, on time, friendly, and took the estimated amount of time to complete the job.

- Spencer Goodnow, Google Reviews