If I throw the breaker before leaving my cottage, will that protect the components on that circuit from lightning strikes?
You do the math… :shock:
In short ( sorry for the pun ), If lighting happen to strike your system what would make it choose to only travel through the conductor on the breaker. If it did happen lets hope your system is grounded to a proper grounding electrode conductor so it can minimize the chances of a fire from latteral arching.
Now a power surge would be a different story. Either way if someone wants to protect their house to the best they can I would suggest they install an SPD and also one locally at computers, expensive TV’s and so on as well. Two stages of protection is the best line of protection.
I saw damage caused by lightning which hit a roof mounted antenna and it was not pretty…even the water pump motor at bottom of the deep well was fried!
It your cottage is situated on high ground, you may want to consider installing lightning rods.
As Jeffrey said: All lightning strikes are different, but typically it is about 100,000,000V.
And that is a lot of energy!
If you are leaving the cottage for long periods, you might want to consider unplugging all your appliances. Left plugged in, nothing can guarantee that they would not be damaged by lightning. Lightning can induce current flow from hundreds of feet away.
It would also help to disconnect telephone and CATV.
The gap between open breaker contacts is pretty small - adequate for interrupting up to the breaker’s voltage rating. However, depending on how close the lightning strike is, the voltage applied to the breaker could be significantly larger than its rating and will easily jump the gap (among other nasty things it may do). The bottom line is that you really can’t tell about lightning damage potential. Unplugging applicances is the most secure option, but even that is no guarantee.
If you are in an area with a lot of lightning or near a body of water, install a 2nd copper ground rod and put it at least six feet from your foundation.
If you unplug a tv you must also remove the cable.
Don’t forget to unplug your garage door opener.
I never do any of that, but I have a long underground feed that helps dissipate spikes.
I turn off my well breaker in case of a leak but don’t bleed the pressure off when gone overnight.
I used to live on a lake, neighbor said lighting hit the water in the cove about 500 feet away. It took out the EPROM in my hot tub control panel from a strong magnetic burst.
Again…if you wish to truly be protected the best technology can do right now. consider installing a SPD Type 2 and 3 device(s) on your dwelling and ensure your grounding electrode system is complete.