The catch was the home had to comply with the National
Electrical Code, and very, very few homes ever do (mine does, but did not when I bought
I fixed one severe violation of Article 250 (her water pipes weren't bonded to the
electrical system--she lives in a duplex and her system was bonded to her neighbor's pipes
and the two systems weren't bonded together). I then installed a very fine supplemental
grounding system, using buried #4 wire and driven rods.
OK, I know your eyes are probably
glazing over at this point, but bear with me.
Her home sits between two trees. In a recent lightning
storm, these trees were hit badly (as the photos show). One tree got so hot at the point
of the lightning strike that the leaves were instantly desiccated. This, and other
evidence, shows she had a huge electrical field present at the back of her home.
In the photos, you can see where an electrical charge
blackened the outer surfaces of the grounding electrode conductor and the top of one
ground rod. You can also see where energy discolored gravel.
On the other side of the fence, her hot tub was
destroyed. Inside the house, nothing was damaged, as the Meter Treater was able to shunt
the electrical surge to ground.
If not for this grounding system, her house may well
have burned down. Yet, I installed this system for about $30 in parts. If you have not
hired an electrician to beef up your home's grounding system, I urge you to do so. It's a
cheap insurance policy.
If you are an electrician, follow the National
Electrical Code, Article 250, to the letter. Get a copy of IEEE-142,
and read it carefully.
Photo 1: North tree. Notice the damage from the lightning blast. This part
of the tree is sitting directly on power lines.