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Grounding Mega Tree?


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So does anyone ground the pole to their mega tree? I bought the tree parts from christmas lightshow and built a 28' tree. Got to thinking yesterday that it's taller than my house and it sits on a concrete pad on the side of my house. granted I have a 138kV transmission line running in the lot next door but I'm kind of a safety nut b/c i've worked in the utiliy business for a while.

should I ground my tree?

what size wire should i use to ground it?

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Guest wbottomley

So does anyone ground the pole to their mega tree? I bought the tree parts from christmas lightshow and built a 28' tree. Got to thinking yesterday that it's taller than my house and it sits on a concrete pad on the side of my house. granted I have a 138kV transmission line running in the lot next door but I'm kind of a safety nut b/c i've worked in the utiliy business for a while.

should I ground my tree?

what size wire should i use to ground it?

Wasting your time.

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Then I wouldnt make it 28' tall... jus' sayin'...

That wasn't the original plan. just wanted it suspended abvoe the fence line. forgot to caculate all the piece's. It's about 4' taller than I needed and it's up and I'm not taking back down. I'll fix it for next year.

I would think the Lighting would strike the transmission poles before it will get my tree....

Just wondering if anyone has grounded their tree's?

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Here is the thing about lightning....

It's going to hit where-ever the heck it wants, and follow what-ever the heck path it wants. Sure, you can try to give it a preferred path.... And then it will laugh at you as it jumps across and fries everything else you thought was safe. Zillions of volts & amps from miles in the sky make an 8' ground rod look the same as an ant trying to pick up a Buick. About the only thing you can count on is that it will take out your most EXPENSIVE stuff (but that is more a function of Murphy's laws than Voltaire's or Ampere's)

Many moons ago when we all had external, roof mounted TV antennas mine was struck. It was properly grounded (per the code), both with an 8' ground rod, AND grounding on the signal wires.

It still came DOWN the signal wire, arced through the wall into the copper plumbing and then arced through the walls into the grounded appliances across much of the house -- frying things like the range, TVs, water heater, and fusing every electric baseboard heater so they were ON FULL BLAST.

Thankfully we were not home at the time -- we were camping and came home 3 days later. The potatoes in the bins were cooked by the heaters, and every candle melted. If you listened closely to the sky you could hear a Nelson Muntz 'Ha ha!' from the clouds.

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I live in the lightning capital of the US. We have three mega-trees ranging from 18 to 35'. All are inserted about 3' into 6' steel sleeves buried in the ground with concrete bases. We have a drainage control pond one one side and a wetland on the other. Our ground is wet, sandy loam and the trees and guy wires are therefore well grounded. This will be our 7th year at this location and we have been very lucky with no known lightning damage.

Before this we lived in a condo 10 miles away and lightning figured a way to hit a 30" high utility transformer (for our underground power) that was under a very large 25-30' tree. The tree was not damaged but our TV, cooktop, oven, cable modem, computers, NICs, christmas lights, and a lot of other equipment was all burned beyond repair.

I don't really know if the fact that our megatrees are grounded has helped or if lightning is just fickle.

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Ditto on lighting being fickled, and goes where ever it feels like. And those who try to shunt it away from valuable items are practicing white magic. But it is just that, an art that is being practiced. Even if your mega tree was grounded and the lighting followed down the pipe and over to the ground wires to the ground rods. A very high voltage can be induced into the wires and light strings. I have seen this. Once worked at a government contractor that made the Harpoon missile. Very big grounding rods about 100' tall with a grounding cable that looked like a double wheel with many spokes. I had a cable in the ground that must have paralleled the ground wire and it zapped a fire alarm zone input. Crazy stuff that lighting is.

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