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Q & A: lightning heating cables

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Most recent answer: 05/17/2015
I have installed a lightning condutor on a house I am building in Northern Thailand and was wondering if a strike occurs on the system, does the cabling running from the rods to the grounding areas heat up at all? I need to run some irrigation pipes over or under the cable, being plastic, heat isn't the best! Thanks Paul
- Paul Garland (age 58)

Yes, current from lightning would heat up the cables. I don't know if that would be enough to make problems for your plastic pipes. Your foresight in thinking about it is very impressive!

I guess it's good to consider is a worst-case-scenario. If lightning wiped out a little section of one of the pipes how big a problem would that be? Would water damage to the house occur quickly? If not, could you just repair that section the next day? If a damaged pipe would quickly make trouble, it sounds like a good idea to put some heat shield between the cable and the pipe. Maybe even something as simple as a few inches of styrofoam would help.

Mike W.

(published on 05/17/2015)

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