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agrostis
08-15-2011, 01:04 PM
I have seen a lot of irrigation system damage caused by lightning. What would any of you use/do for lightning protection ?

Mike Leary
08-15-2011, 01:12 PM
I have seen a lot of irrigation system damage caused by lightning. What would any of you use/do for lightning protection ?

An electro-mechanical clock. :rolleyes:

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
08-15-2011, 01:30 PM
If you're looking to protect the controller itself I'd start with something like this....

http://www.controltechusa.com/Universal%20Series.html

Wet_Boots
08-15-2011, 01:30 PM
hydraulic clock :)

regularguy
08-15-2011, 05:53 PM
If you're looking to protect the controller itself I'd start with something like this....

http://www.controltechusa.com/Universal%20Series.html

Along the same lines as the product above I use these:
http://www.tmanufacturing.com/surgeprotection.html

Of course nothing will prevent damage if you experience a direct hit, also remember that these devices do not last forever, at some point they become ineffective and I'm not sure how you can tell when they are no longer effective - short of burn marks

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
08-15-2011, 06:30 PM
Along the same lines as the product above I use these:
http://www.tmanufacturing.com/surgeprotection.html

Of course nothing will prevent damage if you experience a direct hit, also remember that these devices do not last forever, at some point they become ineffective and I'm not sure how you can tell when they are no longer effective - short of burn marks

the TManufacturing unit is similar to the Control Tech board but probably not as heavy duty. They are using MOV protection which will give a limited amount of protection. The Control Tech boards are using chokes and gas discharge tubes. They can handle a little more abuse and have a much quicker reaction time than the MOV do. Of course as you pointed out nothing will save a controller from a direct of very near strike.

Mike Leary
08-15-2011, 06:36 PM
Of course nothing will prevent damage if you experience a direct hit, also remember that these devices do not last forever, at some point they become ineffective and I'm not sure how you can tell when they are no longer effective - short of burn marks

I had a Hardie "Touch Command" that supposedly had surge protection. The client called and said he took a lightning hit. I asked how he knew that and he said, "come on over". Walking into the garage, the smell was unmistakable.

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
08-15-2011, 06:48 PM
I had a Hardie "Touch Command" that supposedly had surge protection. The client called and said he took a lightning hit. I asked how he knew that and he said, "come on over". Walking into the garage, the smell was unmistakable.

Until you get into some of the large Golf satellite contollers you don't see much in the way of substantial lightning protection. The MOV and transorb schemes that most of the manufacturers are using will give limited protection from small surges and field problems but they are not anything that can really handle much in the way of lightning related damage. The biggest thing that I see is that people fail to ground their controllers. I know that the Rain Master and Rain Bird controllers have dedicated earth ground lugs that sould be grounded to an 8' copper rod with at least a #4 cable. Mike is right though... there is an unmistakable smell to surge damaged controllers! When I was repairing controllers it smelled like money to me!

Wet_Boots
08-15-2011, 07:05 PM
Never grounded an electromechanical controller and it never was an issue.

rlitman
08-15-2011, 07:17 PM
the TManufacturing unit is similar to the Control Tech board but probably not as heavy duty. They are using MOV protection which will give a limited amount of protection. The Control Tech boards are using chokes and gas discharge tubes. They can handle a little more abuse and have a much quicker reaction time than the MOV do. Of course as you pointed out nothing will save a controller from a direct of very near strike.

Actually MOV has a much faster reaction time and significantly lower clamping voltage than GDT. Their limited lifetime is their drawback, but quality MOV surge supressors can indicate whether or not they are still providing protection.

Regardless, all TVSS requires a quality ground source. The better the ground, the better the surge supressor will work. A 10 gauge solid copper ground is not overkill for a short run. Also, the ground wire should be "radiused" to its connections. That means that it should not have any sharp bends or kinks.

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
08-15-2011, 07:56 PM
Actually MOV has a much faster reaction time and significantly lower clamping voltage than GDT.

I stand corrected..... I must have misunderstood the info that I was given. I had an EE working for me at one point who was designing an "intelligent" output board to provide the controller with protection from any type of field damage. He seemed to indicate that the GDT and Choke setup had a faster clamping rate..... Of course that was 3 or 4 years ago so I may have remembered wrong!

regularguy
08-16-2011, 03:35 PM
If you're looking to protect the controller itself I'd start with something like this....

http://www.controltechusa.com/Universal%20Series.html


Have you used this product in the past and if so how are they performing? This company is really proud of their products and the price certainly reflects it. I have had numerous strikes/power surges on my sprinklers and every time the damage is substantial. I have added a whole house surge protector as well as a high end plug in model for the house voltage side and the T manufacturing boards for the low voltage side and that seems to protect the controllers, now the lightning simply destroys the field wiring, 3 cables so far this year.

AI Inc
08-16-2011, 04:38 PM
Thats where the strike is coming from, the field.

agrostis
08-16-2011, 11:06 PM
I have had the most problems from a golf course with a toro NW8000 system.
The field wiring is a giant conductor for electro-magnetic pulses. I have seen a satellite on fire after a thunderstorm. Repair was about 5000 annually from lightning damage. It is now about 50 (not counting fried solenoids) after D+B 120v surge protectors and data line protectors were installed in each satellite. About 300 for each satellite. http://www.dbpowerinc.com/Irrigation%20Protection/default.html