Thunderstorm: why do you need a thunderbrow on the roof, and how to make lightning protection of the building

Although thunderstorms can be breathtaking natural occurrences, there is a serious risk to buildings from lightning strikes. Installing a lightning rod, also called a thunderbrow, is essential for shielding roofs from lightning damage. By safely rerouting the tremendous electrical energy from lightning strikes into the ground, this small but essential device helps to prevent potential fires, structural damage, and electrical hazards within the building.

The lightning rod itself, conductor cables that carry the electrical charge down the building, and grounding rods buried deep into the ground are the main components of most lightning protection systems. When lightning strikes, the rod, which is frequently positioned at the top of a building, functions as a magnet and directs the electrical current away from the conductors and into the ground. By doing this, the danger that lightning poses is effectively eliminated, protecting the building and its occupants.

A lightning protection system’s installation requires careful planning and adherence to safety regulations. Experts in this domain evaluate the distinct hazards presented by lightning strikes by considering the building’s orientation, elevation, and surrounding circumstances. After that, they create a system specifically designed to reduce these risks, guaranteeing complete protection and optimal safety.

For a lightning protection system to remain effective, regular maintenance is necessary. It is advised to conduct tests and inspections to ensure that every part is in good working order and able to withstand the high electrical currents caused by lightning strikes. Proper installation and maintenance can drastically lower the likelihood of expensive damage and guarantee the long-term safety of buildings for property owners.

"It is imperative to make sure your roof has a lightning rod installed in order to safeguard your house or structure in areas that are vulnerable to thunderstorms. In order to stop possible fires or damage, a thunderbrow, also known as a lightning rod, diverts the strong electrical discharge of lightning away from the building. In order to install lightning protection, rods must be positioned strategically on the highest points of the roof and connected to a grounding system that safely disperses electricity into the earth. You can protect your property and have peace of mind during stormy weather by taking these precautions."

Do you need a thunderbone on the roof of a private house?

From a security perspective, a thunderbone is always necessary; grounding and lightning protection will further lessen the likelihood of a zipper, even in cases where one is unlikely. In other words, it won’t get any worse. However, installing a lightning rod costs 30,000 rubles, and not everyone is willing to spend that much money to lessen the chance of a lightning strike by a tiny percentage. As such, they typically discuss separately the circumstances in which the lightning protection device is required and the circumstances in which installing a lightning rod is merely advised.

Lightning protection for roofs is a must:

  • When the house is in the cottage village, the village, the city private sector or is separate and there are no high -rise buildings near;
  • when covering the roof with any type of metal coatings, including corrugated board and metal tiles;
  • когда дом построен на возвышенности или под ним есть грунтовые воды неглубокого залегания;
  • If the building has a lot of working electronics or powerful equipment is installed.

Since there is a significant risk involved, installing lightning protection is a must when any of these conditions are met. Furthermore, the likelihood of lightning entering a house increases the higher it is located in the south, where thunderstorms occur more frequently than in the north. The following map illustrates how the number of days with thunderstorms increases as one moves southward, with multiple foci located near mountain ranges.

Naturally, no one can compel you to install a thunderbath on your home; official demands for this kind of work are limited to public, multi-apartment, commercial, and industrial buildings. The owner of a private home is free to choose whether or not to provide lightning protection. However, in a private residence, do not construct a thunderous house; this is not the same as failing to make a frame house fireproof by adding a wooden beam and installing closed wiring.

That’s quite another matter entirely when your home:

  1. Located in the immediate vicinity of the prevailing height: mobile tower, water tower, high -rise buildings. But take into account that direct proximity is not a kilometer or even 500 meters. This is when the farthest point of the house is located no more than in 1.2 ×h from a high -rise object where h – his high. That is, at the height of the base station of 100 m, each corner of your house should fall into the cone with the top at the highest point of the tower and with a base of a radius of 120 m.
  2. Built in a forest with tall trees. A radius of protection from one tree, if it is not sequoia, is not enough to block the whole house, but there are a lot of trees in the forest. Sometimes for the best protection to the top of the highest tree near the house, a thunderbroke is attached.
  3. Located in the area where thunderstorms are rare. If in numbers, then these are areas with an average of a year long thunderstorms up to 20 hours. On the map above, this is a red and pink zone.

Since there is very little chance of lightning in any of these scenarios, many home owners choose to rely on case rather than implement lightning protection. On the one hand, there is very little chance. However, losses in the event that "something goes wrong" will be substantial because, even in the absence of a fire, all of the house’s electronics, including the heating boilers, will undoubtedly burn down. Each homeowner determines how warranted these savings are for themselves.

Even though it happens infrequently, lightning can strike a structure that is shielded by a dominant height.

How lightning protection works, and why it is effective

Effective lightning protection for the house comes from a thunderbroke on the roof. However, how does it happen? Why is a tiny metal pin that can withstand discharges up to millions of kilowatts connected to grounding? Understanding where lightning originates from and why it beats hundreds of times more frequently in some locations is essential to understanding how a thunderbroke operates.

The birth of lightning and the "choice" of the goal

Thunderclouds produce an electric field when it rains. Positive charges ascend within the cloud, while negative charges accumulate along its lower edge. An avalanche-like ionization of air is caused by a strong enough field, which is why a positive charge builds up at the earth’s surface. The tension that results between the land and the clouds thus starts to increase and eventually reaches critical meanings. This is the precise instant when the category occurs—lightning. Lightning can occasionally strike the cloud’s upper layers, at which point it will be drawn to negatively charged objects. However, that hardly ever occurs.

The category is always found in the highest tension areas. In other words, high objects—such as water bodies, metal structures, and power lines—as well as any other location where positive charges can readily accumulate are found in the risk zone because there is less space between them and clouds.

However, it is impossible to precisely forecast the location and timing of lightning strikes. All that is known is that lightning travels through the ion channel that exists between the clouds and the object-object, and that channel does not instantly vanish following a strike. Thus, lightning may strike the same spot more than once if a significant charge has built up in the thunderclouds. Furthermore, physicists at the University of Arizona found that there is a 67% chance that the second lightning strike will occur within a few tens of meters of the initial strike location.

Even though it is impossible to pinpoint the precise location where lightning will strike, you can use a thunderbone to safeguard every building in the danger area.

Building lightning protection device: we understand the details

A private home’s lightning protection system is a straightforward one that typically consists of three components:

  • A thunderbroke on the roof or, as it is correctly called, is a lightning receiver;
  • current or grounding conductor;
  • Grounding the house.

The last 15 to 20 years have seen the addition of the fourth component to lightning protection for homes: protection against voltage jumps and pulsed interference. This is an optional but desirable addition to the system that prevents sensitive electronics from being damaged by a zipper that strikes not only a lightning receiver on the house’s roof but also a location that is only 1-2 kilometers away from the building.

The house’s lightning protection system should allow the zipper to pass through the structure and safely slide into the ground along the conductor. Her primary responsibility is this. However, there’s another one: by lowering the tension close to the lightning receptionist, lightning protection of structures theoretically lessens the chance that a discharge will enter the building.

Lightning receiver

The purpose of a thunderbone, which is the first component of lightning protection, is to "meet" the zipper and keep lightning from striking an exposed roof. The lightning receiver is mounted on the pediment, forceps, turrets, and in conjunction with a weather vane in the most exposed areas of the house. Typically, a country house thunderbone is affixed to the highest point of the pediment located in the middle of the ridge. A large cottage’s lightning receiver is mounted higher, on a specialized mast a few meters high, or it is made like a cable stretched between metal rods along the length of the roof.

The principle of operation of the lightning receiver is simple. This is a sharp conductor, which is why the field strength near it is very high. A strong electric field leads to the appearance of a crown charge near the hilt of the thunderbone, which causes a strong ionization of the surrounding air. As a result, the tension between the ground and the lower edge of the clouds at the point where the lightning recreation is installed, decreases and, therefore, the likelihood of a lightning strike is reduced. However, at the high height of the house, the discharge effect is very insignificant, but the crown charge still allows you to intercept the zipper on the approach and force it to go through a thunderbate to the ground, and not along the rafter system of the roof.

Depending on the kind of lightning receiver that is employed in the system, there are different categories of lightning protection:

  1. Metal pin. The most common and oldest type of thunderbone. As a rule, this is a steel metal rod with a length of 0.5 to 4 m and with a diameter of 10-12 mm. Copper for the manufacture of a pins is better suited, but in this case all lightning protection will have to be made from copper rods and plates, which is expensive.
  2. Trose lightning. This is a steel cable with a diameter of 10 mm, which is pulled along the skate of the roof and its upper breaks. Such a lightning rod is made on the roofs of a complex shape and large area, since the height of the pin lightning receiver is insufficient to provide reliable protection of the entire building.
  3. Mesh lightning. This type of lightning protection is used on large commercial and public buildings. In this case, several lightning receivers are installed at once in vulnerable parts of the roof and connect with each other cables. It turns out a conductive grid that protects the entire roof of the building.

The quality of the lightning receiver’s connection with current release is crucial, regardless of the type. Recall that this node will be subjected to millions of volts, so any flaws could cause the connection to melt and have all the associated consequences.


Tokoowater is a common 6–10 mm diameter steel or copper conductor. Delivering the charge to the grounding contour in a safe manner is its job. They use welding or a unique bolt connection to secure a current freezer to a lightning receiver, but it must be welded to the grounding contour.

In order to enhance safety, the current release is lowered from the roof along the deaf wall, if it is not feasible to do so from the side of the house entrance. The current is run as far away from the windows as feasible if the building lacks deaf walls. When installing, it is adjusted so that the wire stays away from the roof’s surface and the walls. In this instance, the current wear should have as few bends as possible. Turning the wire from the roof and turning at the ground to connect with a grounding contour are the two that should ideally be the only ones.


To disperse lightning energy in the ground, a grounding circuit is required. Usually, the fourth horizontal conductor connects the three guides that are built in a line to a single circuit. For example, this entire design is hidden at the fence, far from the house.

Every now and then, токоотвод подклячаят к уже готовому заземляющему контуру здания. This is an error. A private home may provide an extra risk factor if it is used as the entire property rather than dependable protection. The truth is that lightning’s energy is so great that it takes time for it to evaporate into the earth. Electrical appliances grounded on the same circuit may also experience significant problems during these brief moments. As a result, not only should the circuit for lightning protection and the house’s grounding be separated as much as possible, but they also need to be arranged from different sides of the house.

In addition to being linear, the ground circuit can also be triangular. The effectiveness of these designs varies in no discernible way. The issue is more one of installation convenience; in situations where a long trench cannot be dug, a triangle circuit is created. The drive connection scheme for each case’s home is shown below.

Protection of the power grid of the house

The majority of private homes already have safeguards against abnormal operating modes, short circuits, and overstrain. As a result, installing only one type of equipment—devices for protection against pulsed interference (ultrasound) or discharge—is typically sufficient to provide lightning protection.

Unlike a regular overvoltage relay, Uzip will not work from a difference of 10, 50 or 100 V. Its task is to save a power grid from a catastrophic increase in voltage when it hit with lightning either to the house itself, or next to it, or next to the air line from which your cottage is written. In such a situation, the voltage on the network can grow up to several thousand volts in a fraction of a second, which will disable all equipment if it is not hidden by the ultimate. A simple overvoltage relay will help a little with such a jump in stress – it will rather melt and burn together with the rest of the equipment itself.

Three levels of mounting are used for the dischargers to ensure dependable protection:

  1. First class module put on an introductory shield in the house, and it extinguishes the main category.
  2. Second class module installed in the distribution shield in the house, and he takes on a residual impulse.
  3. Third class module put for a specific consumer. Usually it is a sensitive electronics or a critical equipment for life, for example, apparatus of artificial ventilation in medical centers.

You can only use the Uzip of the second class in order to lower the system’s cost. However, it can burn in the absence of a filter in the form of a first-class discharge.

How to make a thunderbone in the house

You can easily create a thunderbate with your hands if you know how to operate a welding machine. It’s also simple to ground and conduct an outer. The installation of ulzip in the house’s shields is the only situation in which seeking professional assistance is preferable.

A piece of reinforcement that is at least 10 mm in diameter and between two and six meters long can be used to create the most basic lightning rod. Using a grinder to sharpen the pin’s tip, it must be fastened to the pipe or pediment using clamps or anchor bolts. The lightning rod’s second iteration is a 3/4˝ steel pipe with brewing around the edges. The quality of the welding is the most important factor. You can save between $60 and $100 on a lightning protection device by manufacturing your own lightning rod; for that amount, you can purchase an industrially produced thunderbroke.

A 10 mm-diameter steel rod is used to make tokoohole. It is obvious that such a track will need to be assembled from separate components by welding them together or using unique fasteners. Although this is unavoidable, it is still important to plan the current-wrap path to minimize the number of rod joints. To avoid bending a rod using makeshift methods, it is preferable to order one that is already bent.

Although metal holders are used during current-wire installation, they are preferable to composite non-conductive materials. The current is installed at least 30 centimeters away from any metal components, such as gutters, window grilles, and castings, to prevent breakdowns.

A grounding device is the final step. The same guidelines that apply to grounding in a private residence are followed here:

  • Far from the paths and the porch is dug up a trench with a depth of 2 m;
  • Three steel corners 40 × 40 mm at a distance of 1.5-2 m from each other are vertically driven into the bottom of the trench;
  • A steel strip 5 mm thick or more is welded on top of the corners;
  • A current -outer is welded to the steel strip;
  • The grounding circuit for lightning protection is buried, while it should be at least a meter from the surface.

The outline is frequently closed in the shape of an equilateral triangle because grounding is not always possible in a linear type house. The current outer is welded to the contour in any shape, as long as the connection is at least 25 centimeters above the surface.

It’s crucial to keep the following four guidelines in mind when installing lightning protection for buildings:

  1. You can not paint either a lightning receiver, nor a current -wrap, nor grounding rods, otherwise lightning protection simply will not work.
  2. Check all the connections thoroughly and more than once – through them a charge will pass in millions of volts.
  3. Try not to use heterogeneous materials: in the place of connection of steel with copper, electrochemical corrosion will begin over time, which will greatly increase the resistance in this area.
  4. Control the moisture content of the so grounding circuit. In arid days, sandy and sandy loams must be periodically shed with water, since in dry sand grounding loses efficiency.

Remember the guidelines for working at heights as well, which include wearing insurance at all times, avoiding unrelated roof walks, and avoiding working on hot days.

Installing lightning rods, sometimes called thunderbrows, to protect buildings is essential for public safety in thunderstorm-prone areas. These tools aid in distributing the tremendous electrical energy produced by lightning strikes, averting possible fires, structural deterioration, and injury to occupants.

Lightning rods are positioned strategically at the highest points of the roof in order to install a lightning protection system. These rods are attached to conductive cables that safely direct the electrical charge away from the building and into the ground. Effective protection against lightning strikes is ensured by competent professionals performing the installation.

Air terminals, also known as lightning rods, conductors, bonding connections, and grounding electrodes are essential parts of a lightning protection system. By working together, these parts create a network that minimizes the chance of damage or injury by guiding the electrical charge of lightning away from the structure.

For lightning protection systems to remain effective, regular maintenance and inspection are necessary. Conductors, connections, and grounding should all be inspected to make sure everything is in good working order and can withstand a lightning strike.

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Alexandra Fedorova

Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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