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The Importance Of Maintaining A Lightning Rod Protection System

Lightning rods must undergo periodic inspections and maintenance, as indicated by national and international regulations. These periodic inspections allow the detection of deviation from reference standards or anomalies in the installations caused by environmental conditions such as corrosions, incorrect handling or expansion of the building where the lighting rod protection is installed.

Maintenance of an effective lightning rod protection system is essential due to the following:

  • Efficiently dissipate heavy fault currents and electrical surges, both in magnitude and duration, to protect equipment being damaged so as to minimize downtime, service interruptions and replacement costs
  • Provide a stable reference for electrical and RF circuits at the installation to minimize noise during normal operations
  • Protection of personnel who work within the area from dangerous electrical shocks

For a lightning rod protection system to work optimally, each and every part needs to be in good condition. For example, lightning rods must work correctly, down conductors must maintain continuity at all times, ground resistance must be below 10 ohms, etc.

Generally, lighting rod protection maintenance consists of two types:

Visual inspection

  • No physical damage due to a lightning strike
  • All the elements within the lightning rod are in good state
  • Fixings are in good conditions
  • No parts are damaged by corrosion
  • State of equipotential bonding is correct
  • Report of systems for compliance with current codes

Complete verification

This includes physical verification mentioned above along with other necessary measures as specified by our engineers at the time of installation – electrical tests, performance parameters, resistance testing, continuity testing and ground, and soil resistivity testing.

In the hands of experienced engineers from LEC, proper testing and maintenance of lightning rod protection system can become a routine, minus any harassment. At the very least, the consequences of not taking a thorough approach could incur unnecessary costs, and given the destructive potential of a lightning strike, those consequences could be much worse.

At the end of the day, regardless of the industry, whether an electric power plant, power generation facility, utility, or sub-station, oil gas upstream or downstream, platform, rig, tank farm or the building that houses the operational equipment or sensitive equipment, all must be protected and that protection must be checked continuously in order to work.

Lastly, because changes are likely if not inevitable, all building maintenance schedules should include annual lightning protection equipment maintenance.

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