How Does a Lightning Arrester Work?

Posted on: October 27, 2022

Three single-phase pole-mounted distribution transformers. During an overcast sky or before a storm.

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 lightning storm. Lightning arresters are a great, effective way of taming these storms, and below, we’ll discuss 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 & A/C online today to schedule for your installation consultation!

What Is a Lightning Arrester?

Lightning arresters, or surge arresters, 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 notice those cylindrical, ribbed bits on power lines? They’re usually a foot or two long, sometimes longer. 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. And you wouldn’t be too far off. But lightning rods are actually limited in comparison and have far less versatility in use. Though the real 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 the ground, where it will disperse harmlessly. It’s important to note that an arrester does not stop lightning. It does limit and mitigate the electrical charge, but “diverts” is the accurate term, as it gives the lightning a safe route to travel rather than through your important electrical devices. You can think of it as a detour for dangerous electricity.

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 extreme.

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!