How to Install Lightning Rods

Updated April 17, 2017

A lightning rod can not be installed by itself. A lightning rod system consists of multiple lightning rods and a heavy duty cabling system to guide electrical current to the ground. The parts of a lightning rod system are made from particular materials to certain specifications, so don't try to make your own parts. Only use components specifically designed for lightning protection. A lightning rod installation kit should come with all the materials and specific instructions you will need.

Drive metal grounding rods into the ground, at least 2 feet away from the corner of the house. Any lightning rod assembly must have at least two grounding locations, preferably at opposite corners of the building.

Install the air terminals on the ridge of the roof. You can use special brackets that screw onto the roof and attach the air terminals. Place the air terminals at intervals of 20 feet along the length of the roof.

Connect all the air terminals together with braided conductor wire. Connect the conductor cable to the building with clamps, every three feet. Connect any metal structures within six feet of any of the lightning rod equipment to the conductor cable with more lightning wire cable.

Run one end of the conductor cable down the corner of the building to attach to the ground rod on the side. Do the same with the conductor wire at the opposite end of the building.

Attach the conductor wires to the ground rods. You will have to use a special metal connector to attach the conductor cable to the grounding cable from the round plate.

Bury the grounding cables underground up to the point they attach to the side of the building.

Install a lightning arrester or surge arrester at the building's main circuit box or fuse panel.

Things You'll Need

  • Air terminals
  • Ground rods
  • Braided Conductor Cable
  • Connectors and clamps
  • Surge arrester
  • Shovel
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About the Author

Michael Signal began writing professionally in 2010, with his work appearing on eHow. He has expert knowledge in aviation, computer hardware and software, elementary education and interpersonal communication. He has been an aircraft mechanic, business-to-business salesman and teacher. He holds a master's degree in education from Lesley University.