Lightning rod proximity to propane line

Came across this lightning rod grounding line yesterday which was in close proximity to the buried propane line for the fireplace. I’m thinking this is generally a bad idea to send all the lighting energy down into the ground directly next to buried propane line, but I couldn’t find anything specifically prohibiting this. Thoughts or references you may have come across previously?

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Hmm… atmospheric conditions that bring lightning also change barometric pressure, thus the likelihood of a lightning strike/discharge at/close to the same time as a LP pressure regulator discharge…

LP gas regulator safety | LP gas regulator installation.

Perfect. Thanks Jeffrey!

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Are you implying that lightning is an “ignition source” per this standard?

Is the gas line not grounded? IE. CSST grounding issues. Please discuss your thoughts as to how this situation causes ignition.

Asking for a friend…


No CSST. Copper gas line. I’m concerned that a lighting strike could damage or rupture the gas line or regulator just due to proximity, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think it could be an ignition source. Why, what are you thinking?

I won’t even try. You are way more knowledgeable than I, so I concede to your expertise.
But, this article and the following comment touches on some of my thoughts, thus my “Hmm…” in my post…

The photo does not show a problem in my opinion. Even if the gas line should become energized and even if the gas piping is not well bonded to a ground source and even if there is a grounded source close to the solid gas piping for the lightning electricity to jump to, it is unlikely to burn through exposing the gas inside to air outside.


I am referring to what happens to CSST when not properly grounded, not that it will happen to the gas line here.

The copper pipe in the pic is “soft refrigerant pipping” which is very thick and can be buried in the ground.

“Path of least resistance” applies, but a lightning strike is so strong the normal perception of how electrical circuits work does not apply the same. Foil-Backed OSB causes fires from lightning strikes that don’t even hit the structure. That is some horsepower! So where do we put the gas line?

Lightning rods are about grounding, and bad grounding is where problems arise.

Lightning travels across the top of the ground and on the outside of conductive objects. It is about objects that are ionized. The air in the path of the lightning bolt gets ionized and directs it’s path in a crazy, unpredictable path. Should it find the gas pipe as the best path back to the source, it could blow the pipe and anything else it comes in contact with apart. But how can you avoid this? When I say “back to the source”; electricity from a power plant and a lightning strike do not have the same source and will not follow the same path.

If you want to discuss this in your report and call it out, I recommend you determine how the grounding rods are installed and measure their conductivity to ground before you give it a yea, or nay. You may need several rods driven over a long distance from one another for it to work due to local geology.


Thanks David. Yes those were the kinds of things I was concerned about. I’ve seen lightning do some crazy things.

I’m not willing to take responsibility for the ground rods conductivity so I will recommend that they have an electrician verify that to avoid any issues here.

Appreciate your response!

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