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Old 08-15-2011, 01:04 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
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Lightning Protection

I have seen a lot of irrigation system damage caused by lightning. What would any of you use/do for lightning protection ?
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:12 PM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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Originally Posted by agrostis View Post
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.
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:30 PM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is offline
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If you're looking to protect the controller itself I'd start with something like this....

http://www.controltechusa.com/Universal%20Series.html
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:30 PM
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Wet_Boots Wet_Boots is offline
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hydraulic clock
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:53 PM
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regularguy regularguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalLandscapeMgmt View Post
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
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:30 PM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is offline
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Originally Posted by regularguy View Post
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.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:36 PM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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Originally Posted by regularguy View Post
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.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:48 PM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
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!
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:05 PM
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Wet_Boots Wet_Boots is offline
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Never grounded an electromechanical controller and it never was an issue.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:17 PM
rlitman rlitman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCalLandscapeMgmt View Post
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.
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