How Does a Lightning Arrester Work?

Posted on: February 20, 2017

When you’re talking about electricity, safety is always one of the most important points to be made. Protecting yourself, your home, and your electrical appliances is a big part of having a functional home here in Tampa. And in our area, one of the biggest risks that can come up is a lighting storm. Lightning arresters are a great, effective way of taming these storms, and today we’d like to talk about what they are, how they work, and what they can do for you and your home!

Ready to equip your home with the best lighting defense there is? Our experts are proud to provide. Our service is fast, affordable, and always top-class. Contact Hoffman Electrical online today to set up a date for your installation consultation!

What Is a Lightning Arrester?

Lightning arresters, or surge arresters, since in this case the terms are somewhat interchangeable, are a device that is installed to protect homes, structures, and power lines from dangerous surges of power. As you might expect, the primary defense is against lightning and the damage it can cause, however residential surge arresters also provide defense against surges from other sources as well.

You’ve actually seen these before, whether you know it or not! Ever noticed those cylindrical, sort of ribbed bits on power lines? They’re usually a foot or two long, sometimes longer. Well, these are commercial arresters used to protect power lines from the dangers of lightning storms.

How Does an Arrester Work?

You might be thinking about a lightning rod right about now. And in fact you wouldn’t be too far off. But lightning rods are actually very limited in comparison, and have far les versatility in use. Though the real big difference is simple: an arrester is charged and “operates” when working, while the rod simply attracts and diverts incoming lightning.

Arresters are typically installed near critical appliances or points of entry, such as an electrical panel or near a generator. When potentially dangerous lightning strikes, the arrester activates and diverts the lightning to ground, where it will disperse harmlessly. It’s important to note that an arrester does not stop lightning, since that would actually be dangerous. It does, in fact, limit and mitigate the electrical charge, but divert is the accurate term, as it sort of gives the lightning a safe route to travel, rather than through your important electrical devices. You can kind of think of it as a detour for dangerous electricity, which actually wouldn’t be far off at all.

Arresters are a whole-home defense against lightning damage and help to drastically reduce the risks of damage. Something we can all be happy to have here in Tampa, where our storms can get all kinds of rowdy.

Surge Arrester Installation in Tampa & St. Petersburg, FL

As a Florida resident, you understand how important it is to protect your property from the damage caused by lightning. If you’re ready to install lightning arresters in your home or at your commercial property, contact us today for a free surge arrester estimate in Hillsborough or Pinellas County!