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Questions& Answers about certification for lightning protection systems & installers:
FAQs about UL listing or certification of lightning protection system components, installations, inspectors, & installers.
This lightning protection system article series escribes common lightning protection systems, certification, installation, and lightning protection system inspection. We provide information about lightning strikes, lightning hazards, related equipment, sources of lightning protection system installers, and lightning strike risk assessment
On 2017-05-13 by (mod) re: where to find manufacturers of UL Listed Lightning Protection Equipment or UL Listed Lightning System Installation or Inspection
Thanks for asking a great question, Jack.
First let's be clear that UL-Listed lightning protection equipment is NOT the same as UL-Listed lightning protection system *installers*. Some installers may buy and install UL-listed equipment but may not themselves meet UL-listing requirements for their company or employees.
A UL-Listed lightning protection system *installer* will of course also only use UL-listed devices and components, but in addition the installed system will bear a UL Master Label(R) Inspection Certificate certifying that the system is properly installed.
I confess that I was unable to find a public directory or list of all of the manufacturers whose lightning protection devices or equipment are UL-listed, though you may obtain that from UL.
However you can check for a UL Listing certificate on any lightning protection equipment you are considering from any manufacturer. U.S. readers can contact UL by email: LightningProtection@ul.com or by telephone 1.877.854.3577 or at UL LLC, 333 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook, IL 60062
On 2017-05-13 15:46:47.524932 by Jack
Where can I find a list of UL listed Lightning Protection Component Manufacturers?
On 2017-01-20 19:39:08.430862 by anthony
I have a client who has a lightning protection system on a commercial roof. the rods and cables were detached from the parapet walls and roof to repaint and remembrance the roof. He wants me to re glue the cable and rods back.
Does this require any special certification. the system was never detached from the water piping and ground system of the building.
On 2016-07-10 by (mod) re: solar roof fan bonding to lightning protection systems
Good question, TJ, I don't know, specifically TJ but
In general, rooftop mounted electrical equipment must be bonded to the lightning protection system.
(Mike Holt and Abdul M. Mousa, Ph.D., P. Eng., Fellow IEEE emphasize that basic point, and warn that in the event of a lightning strike, nearby electrical components (such as a rooftop A/C unit) may otherwise be at ground potential and the result could be a "side flash" inviting fire or equipment damage.
The "side flash" is between the lightning arresting system and the other rooftop equipment. Mousa notes that by bonding the equipment together, current is discharged in a safe manner.
Ref: "Lightning Protection of Roof Top Equipment" as cited above, at www.mikeholt.com/mojonewsarchive/SV-HTML/HTML/Lightning-Protection-of-Roof-Top-Equipment~20050711.php
NEC 250 covers basic bonding and grounding; Roof mounted systems such as photovoltaics PV are a model / example and are covered in 690.43 Requirements for an additional electrode (required for some situations) are in NEC 690.47(D)
I am guessing that your solar roof fan may not be connected to the rest of the electrical system. So one might think that it can be ignored. I'm not so sure. There may still be a potential for a side flash even with a local solar fan.
On 2016-07-07 by T. J. Central Florida
Do solar roof fans need to be bonded to an existing lightning rod (UL Certified) system when they are installed after the system was installed??
On 2015-06-10 by (mod) re: how to become a certified lightning system protection system installer
Anon: the following information about becoming a UL Listed lightning protection system installer was obtained from UL, for whom we also include contact information,
To become a UL Listed installer, a company or its representative(s)
must achieve a minimum level of competency.
UL’s initial assessment of installers requires either an in-house training program or participation in an instructor-led course delivered through UL Knowledge Services which offers knowledge based accredited training classes that are an integral part of becoming a Listed installer. ul.com/lightning
how can one become certified as a lighting strike installer
On 2015-06-10 by (mod) r: obligation to be sure that a lightning protection system is properly installed
Shucks. Owners or property managers of public buildings as well as installers an building inspectors are obligated to do something to make certain that the lightning protection system is properly installed. Perhaps it'd be worth hiring a certified installer to both inspect the entire system and replace the connectors.
On 2015-06-10 14:56:25.811580 by Keith
Thanks I had the same thoughts as you have. But what would be your opinion on a commercial public assembly building.
On 2015-06-10 by (mod)
Keith I haven't found a reliable published source that answers your question.
My OPINION is that technically and for insurance reasons the answer is "yes" but my OPINION is that for trivial re-connectcions of an existing system the cost of bringing in an expert to make one or two reconnections of a lightning conductor / protection system is probably so high that few homeowners would do so, choosing a local electrical contractor or other experienced contractor who is on-site for other reasons to re-make the original connection using the same listed, approved connectors, devices, and methods.
You're smart to ask. I've seen re-roofs whose idiot roofers disconnected the lightning protection system and left it that way.
On 2015-06-10 by Keith
When replacing a roof that has a lightning system attached do you have to have a certified installer to reattach lighting rod cables?
Question: check existing electrical ground before installing a lightning protection system?
My home has had problems with lightning strike damage. We are considering putting in lightening rod/ESE etc but want to know the status of our current grounding quality - fixes needed? Which electrician type/or inspection do we need? - V.R., Leander TX
You raise an important question. Indeed, if a building's local electrical ground system, the conductor(s) and grounding electrodes, are improperly installed or even missing, the system may be more dangeous than meets the eye.
Virtually always, when a building lightning protection system is installed it includes a new ground rod, or more than one ground rod (grouding electrode) of a specified length & location depending on the site and building requirements.
Watch out: If your installer wanted to just connect the lightning system to the existing electrical ground system I'd be suspicious of his/her expertise.
In a companion article at Outdoor Lightning Protection Design we describe the typical components & connections of a building lightning protection system. There you'll see that once the new lightning protection system is installed, the building water piping (metal) is bonded to the new grounding system.
What would make sense to me would be to have the lightning protection system installed, and at that time, ask the installer to review the building electrical ground system, at least from the electrical panel out to your building ground connections. Depending on the age of your building and what's installed you may find this a good time to upgrade to current electrial system grounding specifications, such as providing at least two independent ground rods.
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Portions of this information are based on UL publication 200-81 11/87 and other local service company information about lightning protection systems and lightning strike hazards.
Special thanks to Associated Lightning Rod Company, Cooper Road Box 329A, Millerton NY who has been contributing technical content in presentations
to NY ASHI home inspectors since 1996. Some of that information [on lightning system material and installation details] was edited for clarity. ALRCi can be reached at 518-789-4603, 845-373-8309, 860-364-1498 and will inspect your lightning protection
system at no charge. [We have no financial nor any other business relationship with any company or product discussed at this website--DF]
Lightning strike risk assessment: for the full body of this excellent article which summarizes recent opinions about lightning
strike risk assessment and safe practices for individuals or groups needing to avoid being struck by lightning, see Updated Recommendations for Lightning Safety - 1998 Ronald L. Holle and Raul E. Lopez from National Severe Storms Laboratory,
NOAA and Norman, Oklahoma, Christoph Zimmermann Global Atmospherics, Inc. Tucson, Arizona
As we indicated in an original version of this article, a lightning strike risk assessment guide can be found in Appendix I of the
National Fire Protection Association's Lightning Protection Code, NFPA #780.
The guide considers type of structure, type
of construction, structure location, topography, occupancy, contents and lightning frequency. Contact NFPA, Batterymarch
Park, Quincy, MA 02269 617-770-3000.
Lightning Protection Institute, 3365 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Suite J., Arlington Heights IL 60004
Underwriters Laboratory Standard UL96A. These requirements cover the installation of lightning protection systems on all types of structures other than structures used for the production, handling, or storage of ammunition, explosives, flammable liquids or gases, and other explosive ingredients including dust. These requirements apply to lightning protection systems that are complete and cover all parts of a structure. Partial systems are not covered by this standard. These requirements do not cover the installation of lightning protection systems for electrical generating, distribution, or transmission systems. These requirements do not cover lightning protection components, which are covered by the Standard for Lightning Protection Components, UL 96.
Underwriters Laboratory Standard UL96: These requirements cover lightning protection components for use in the installation of complete systems of lightning protection on buildings and structures. These requirements do not cover the installation of lightning protection components. Products of this type are covered by the Standard for Installation Requirements for Lightning Protection Systems, UL 96A.
Cianos, N. and Pierce, E.T., A Ground-Lightning Environment for Engineering Usage,
Menlo Park, California: Stanford Research Institute, 1972. Figure 25, pp. 66.
Crouch, K.E., Lightning Technologies Incorporated, Pittsfield, MA 2007
Kithil, R., Lightning Protection for Engineers, Louisville, CO: National Lightning
Safety Institute, 2005.
Martzloff, F. D. and Crouch, K. E., “Coordination de la Protection Contre les
Surtensions dans les Reseaux Basse Tension Residentiels”, Proceedings 1978 IEEE
Canadian Conference on Communications and Power, 78CH1373-0, pp. 451-454.
"Lightning Awareness," Gerry Schulte, BMW ON magazine, June 2007 pp. 58-60, provided some technical details about lightning, and refers readers to www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/outdoors.htm
Anderson, R.B. and Eriksson, A.J., Lightning Parameters for Engineering Applications,
Suceava, Roumania: Colloquium and Study Committee Meeting, Cigre Study
Committee 33, 1979.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Armor Lightning Protection Inc Manchester Center, VT, 802-375-0266
state-of-the-art lightning protection and surge protection for residential and commercial buildings in Vermont, New England, and throughout the Northeast
Associated Lightning Rod Company, Inc., Box 329A, Cooper Road, Millerton, NY 12546 914/373-8309 518/789-4603
A-C Lightning Security, Inc., 2100 East First St., PO Box 329, Maryville MO 64468 816-582-8115 800-821-5575 816-562-2932. In New York, Hudson Valley, contact Christensen Electrical Power Systems, Richard G. Christensen, 518-537-4128.
Lightning Eliminators & Consultants6687 Arapahoe Road Boulder, CO 80303 (303) 447-2828. "Engineering Solutions For Lightning, Grounding and Surge Protection Worldwide Since 1971"
UL - Underwriters Labs Lightning equipment certification program.
"Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) has been testing and certifying lightning protection equipment since 1908. UL issues certificates of conformance for systems, inspecting system components and checking completed installations. Installations are required to comply with UL's internationally recognized Standards for lightning protection systems. Manufacturers, suppliers and installers demonstrate their commitment to safety by building,
selling and installing only those lightning protection products that pass UL's rigorous testing." -- (Op.Cit.)
Aluminum Wiring Information WebsiteAluminum Electrical Wiring Hazards and Repairs: in-depth authoritative info, photos, documents including selection of proper vs. ineffective repair methods. E.g.: Ideal 65 "Twister" purple connector fails in field and lab testing with aluminum wire.
Electrical Panels, How to Inspect in buildings, safety for electrical inspectors, electrical panel, fusing, wiring defects, defective products. Inspection Class Presentation
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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