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Understanding some myths and facts about lightning protection can help you properly market, sell, and guarantee your lightning protection work.
Myth 1. Active systems are better than passive systems.
In Part 1, we mentioned “snake oil salesmen.” Those are the people who hawk so-called active systems. “Active systems” don’t provide additional protection in theory or in practice. Don’t waste your money.
Myth 2. The more “rods” (air terminals) you add, the better.
Actually, it’s not a numbers game, but a geometry game.
Myth 3. If you install surge protectors, you don’t need a lightning protection system.
In reality, you need a series of “shields” at progressively lower energy levels as you work your way from the outside to the final point of use. The lightning protection system is your first layer. Its provides a preferential path to divert a lightning strike to ground instead of into the structure.
Myth 4. A good surge suppressor can handle anything lightning throws at it.
Actually, lightning can jump across a surge suppressor. You can’t control lightning, but you can divert it.
Myth 5. Electricity takes the path of least resistance.
If this idea were true, nothing we design with parallel circuits would work. Electricity divides among all available paths (inverse to the resistance), rather than choosing only one; this is basic electrical theory (see Kirchoff’s Law).