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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello to all,

I recently had a lightening hit but didn't know if it was an errant or direct hit. I now think I found the main source. Pic 1

Pic 2 is the light switch that blew up and is right under the roof of pic 1. The hole in the galvanized metal roof & charred wiring & 2x4 fried both the switch & the porcelain light fixture that the L-switch operates. In the next room of the shed where the junction box is located and that feeds the blown fixtures, has 2 more light switches and 4 light fixtures. All of them still work fine.

The junction box is fed by 150ft of undergrd wiring in conduit buried 16" and runs to a 100amp garage panel. The garage panel is fed by the main house panel. At the time of the hit, I had the breaker turned off bc that same light switch was blown b4 when an oak tree next to the shed was hit (6-8 yrs ago),

The main house panel had 4 single pole breakers flipped, but no double poles. A 110 outlet was fried along w an adapter converting the 2 plug out to a 3 plug.

Too conclude, I know w lightening all bets are off, but how is the best way to ground the building that's taken 2 hits? I have a ground rod hooked to panel in garage. I was thinking of putting lightening rods on shed and linking it to new grounding rods. Any suggestions on how to best go?

In another thread, I was seeking advice in expanding house panel from 100 to 200amp and installs SPD bc current panel is maxed. Nothing is going to stop lightening, but just trying to put better odds on my side that's realistic and cost effective. I'm cking w SBECoop if they can install SPD on meter.

Finally, if a circuit/breaker is turned off at the area it feeds and that area is hit by lightening, can it still jump the breaker and travel up stream?

Thanks
tstex
 

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If that shed has been hit more than once, a lightning rod might be a good idea. If it's near a large tree, what hit might have been a side-strike from the tree.



A lightning rod may be a project that you want to hire a professional for, as it needs to be done right, using the right materials. It's more involved that putting a spike on the roof and connecting it to ground. There are folks who do nothing but lightning protection systems. There are also some web sites that can help steer you.


The other thing that I would recommend is installing whole-house SPD type 2 surge protectors in the shed and your garage and house panels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks RAL.

If I only have a junction box in the shed, how would I install a SPD there? Would I need to pull it and install a small e-panel?

My e-panel in the garage is a subpanel to the house panel. I have the garage panel hooked to a DP 50amp breaker, then there's a total of 8 slots in garage mini panel w 4 slots taken, which house 4 breakers. These breakers go to the shed in question, a pavilion, a Sm electric water heater in garage shower & a 110 outlet in garage. I only use one area at a time and never exceed (16amp usage) of 20amp circuit. Never had a circuit trip in 12 yrs since ininstalled it except the prior lightening hit. The tree took the hit 8 yrs ago and it jumped to shed; this time shed took a direct hit.

Re lightening rod installation, I would only do so if it's not too complicated & didn't have to buy special tools for a one-time use. Regardkess, would have it inspected by a professional to insure all meets exceeds specs.
 

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The other thing that I would recommend is installing whole-house SPD type 2 surge protectors in the shed and your garage and house panels.
Your electric utility provider most likely has surge protectors to sell you.
They can also advise you as to where to install them.
I worked in a nature park that had several pumped waterfalls.
Every thunder storm with substantial lightening would mean a hike up the hill to change at least one of them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
*****UPDATE*****

Called the Power/electrical provider and here's what he said:

* The majority of hits that a house takes (99%), comes in via errant lightening and not through the meter/pole to the house. He said in 16 yrs he's been there, they've only replaced one meter surge protector

* The majority of hits that a house takes is from any line that feeds into a house, and a phone line or a flood light on a pole or tree that the wiring comes back into the house.

* Said the best protection in my case would be a lightening rod-system to divert the strikes into the ground, or as it's supposed to do. He also stated that surge protection devices at the e-panel and on each particular device in the house is the best way to go for anything other than a direct lightening hit, which a lightening rod system is the only possible way to intercept the hit....But, as we all agreed, w lightening, all best are off and it goes where it wants when it wants.

I have an old phone line that goes into my house that I will cut the connection at the box outside. They also will disconnect your service to your house 8-5pm at no charge for any work to the house.

Let me know if this changes any thoughts.

regards,
tstex
 
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