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How Does a Lightning Arrester Work?
How Does a Lightning Arrester Work?
August 26, 2023

How Does a Lightning Arrester Work?

Lightning poses a very real threat. It can disrupt, damage, or even destroy unprotected electrical installations. A lightning arrester is an essential device designed to protect electrical systems from the effects of sudden voltage surges, and it plays a pivotal role in protecting against unpredictable and destructive forces of nature. At Neighborhood Electric, we provide professional electrical repair service for our local clients and work hard to ensure that their electrical systems are safe and well defended against issues caused by lightning. Read below to learn about the workings of a lightning arrester and the importance of professional installation.

How Does a Lightning Arrester Work?

A lightning arrester provides a low resistance path to the ground for voltage surges. When there's a lightning strike or any event that triggers a voltage surge in the power line, the arrester quickly detects it. In response, the arrester springs into action, forging a direct path for the surge, leading it safely to the ground. Following the successful grounding of the surge, the arrester seamlessly reverts to its dormant state, allowing the electrical system to resume its regular operations.

What Are the Key Features of a Surge Arrester?

An effective surge arrester is distinguished by several critical attributes. First and foremost, it must respond instantaneously, grounding the surge before it inflicts any damage. In addition to its speed, it should be built durably, capable of withstanding the high voltages it's designed to manage without succumbing to wear and tear. Top-tier arresters typically demand minimal maintenance, due to their quality and suitability for extended use. They possess a broad operating range, equipped to deal with a variety of voltage surges, from minor fluctuations to the dramatic spikes caused by lightning.

Ideal Location for a Lightning Arrester

Placement is critical for the effectiveness of a surge arrester. Here's where you should consider placing them:

  • Near Entry Points: Install arresters where electrical lines enter a building. This provides the first line of defense against surges.
  • Close to Sensitive Equipment: For facilities housing crucial electrical installations, placing arresters nearby ensures direct protection.
  • High Ground: If possible, installing on elevated ground can offer added protection, as lightning is more likely to strike at higher points.
  • Clear of Other Structures: Ensure that the arrester isn't shadowed by other tall structures, which can diminish its effectiveness.

Dependable Surge Arrester Installation

The efficiency of a surge arrester is not just contingent on its design but also its installation. Before embarking on the installation process, you must hire a professional electrician for the task. Quality should never be compromised when selecting materials, especially concerning the grounding wire and the arrester itself. This commitment to quality ensures both durability and peak performance. The grounding connection must also be secure. If the grounding is weak, even the best arrester will be compromised. While arresters inherently require low maintenance, it's a good idea to schedule regular inspections. These check-ups can identify and address any issues, ensuring the longevity of your investment.

Do You Need a Professional Electrical Repair Service?

Are you concerned that your electrical system may be vulnerable to lightning strikes? If you need a professional lightning arrester installation, repair, or replacement, call Neighborhood Electric today. Our team will discuss your needs one-on-one and can also schedule a convenient appointment with a reliable electrician in your community.