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Drunken hobbit 04-10-2018 04:32 PM

Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?
 
Last night there was an electrical storm just a few kilometers from my yurt. And now my mother (who lives in a house in the city) is scared I'm going to be killed by lightning. She's desperate for me to put a lightning rod on the top of my chimney, and earth the firebox.
Do you think it's a good idea?
Yurt is in the middle of an open field.
It has Reflectix insulation, and a steel wood-fire firebox, and steel chimney, so the whole thing is basically electrically conductive!
Wire sheep-fence about 50 yards away. Tall pine trees about 70 yards in the other direction.
I think I'll be okay. There are higher and more interesting things for the lightning bolts to hit.
Would it make me a bigger target, if I earthed the firebox and flue? Or is that a good idea to earth the firebox?
Thanks for your opinions!

Jafo 04-10-2018 04:39 PM

Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?
 
Well, is the steel chimney supported by a metal pole that is cemented into the ground? Here is how mine is:

https://www.yurtforum.com/forums/bui...3.html#post678

I would think any strike would go directly to the fastest route to ground, at least that is how I understand it works. If however, you are running the stack say, straight through the roof, then your mother may have a point. Here is a link to a page where they show how to ground such an install:

Grounding a metal chimney - Fine Homebuilding

Bob Rowlands 04-10-2018 11:23 PM

Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?
 
Our house was hit by lightning last year. Blew a hole in the roof. about 11' from my wife, who was lounging in the bathtub.lol Why it struck where it did beats me there's no metal near the strike point. BTW our house is grounded with a standard grade copper ground rod pounded way into the earth. I should know....I pounded it in myself with a sledge. That's all I got. Sorry, I don't even have a suggestion on this.

Drunken hobbit 04-11-2018 03:25 AM

Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands (Post 8778)
Our house was hit by lightning last year. Blew a hole in the roof. about 11' from my wife, who was lounging in the bathtub.lol Why it struck where it did beats me there's no metal near the strike point. BTW our house is grounded with a standard grade copper ground rod pounded way into the earth. I should know....I pounded it in myself with a sledge. That's all I got. Sorry, I don't even have a suggestion on this.

Wow! Lightning is weird stuff eh. I remember you telling the story of how you were up hiking in that electrical storm, that was an amazing story too.

I've decided to earth the chimney and reflectix. It will make my mother happy, but what decided me is the link Jafo provided, where the electrician says:
Quote:

The bottom wire grounds any leftover charge that has followed the chimney and would have nowhere to go except to arc to you
Yeah, no thanks, I don't want a million volts of white hot plasma arc with nowhere to go except wet, conductive me!

If anyone wants to add their opinion maybe years after this post, please feel welcome, it's an interesting topic.

Bob Rowlands 04-11-2018 06:29 PM

Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?
 
I'm actually afraid of lightning after my experiences with it. That time climbing 14ers, now that was flat out terrifying. I just wanted to be back with my family. Way above timberline there is absolutely no place to hide. There is literally no place to crawl into for safety. You are completely exposed and that is what is scary. Hair standing straight up, blue glow on the rocks, metal pack frame singing, rocks singing. Sounds like bs but it's the truth.

Ewmetzler 04-24-2018 08:58 PM

Re: Lightning rod for a yurt in an open field?
 
Our yurt with an amazing view is at 7500 ft with water table perhaps 600 feet below ground. We put it on a concrete foundation and the building inspector reminded our builder to install Ufer ground (rebar post connected to rebar in the concrete - look it up on Wikipedia). An electrician friend gave me some heavy-guage coated wire and clamps to attach the woodstove (with all-metal chimney) to the Ufer ground.

Good luck!


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