(1) I'M NOT SURE HOW TO INSTALL LIGHTNING RODS?
You can purchase a copy of the Installation instructions which has complete details for $4.99 PDF FILE FORMAT. 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
(5) WHAT ABOUT REFERENCES?
Yes, References are important. Here are a few of our better known customers; AMERICA WEST AIRLINES, BASS AND PRO SHOPS, HERTZ RENT A CAR, DUPONT COMPANY, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE AND COAST GUARD, HARFORD MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, USF&G INSURANCE HEADQUARTERS, WORLDCOM TELEPHONE COMPANY, GREYHOUND NATIONAL, USDA FOREST SERVICE, US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, UNISYS CORPORATION, BECHTEL CORPORATION, BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD, LOYOLA COLLEGE, WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC, BANK OF AMERICA AND MANY OTHERS.
(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?
See the Shipping and Returns page here.
(8) HOW AND WHEN DO YOU SHIP?
Your protection equipment order will usually leave the factory within 48 hours by FedEx Ground. We do offer overnight FedEx options, so please email or call us for assistance. For fancy items, we use UPS or USPS.
(9) DO YOU INSTALL OR INSPECT LIGHTNING PROTECTION SYSTEMS?
We do not install, however, we can assist you in finding an installer near you.
(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)
(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 roofs. Use the #13 Adhesive Cable Holders for this application and M-1 Adhesive.
(13) Will Aluminum Cable and Rods work as well as Copper?
Yes, as 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.
(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 Strikes.
(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, and 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 their 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 for $4.99 as a licensed ebook or by going to the UL and NFPA web sites. Our installation booklet will provide basic knowledge for DIY system installation.
(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.
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.
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).