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Lightning Protection

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by agrostis, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,294

    I have seen a lot of irrigation system damage caused by lightning. What would any of you use/do for lightning protection ?
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,976

    An electro-mechanical clock. :rolleyes:
  3. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    hydraulic clock :)
  5. regularguy

    regularguy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152

    Along the same lines as the product above I use these:

    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
  6. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    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.
  7. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,976

    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.
  8. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    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!
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,673

    Never grounded an electromechanical controller and it never was an issue.
  10. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    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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