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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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I have a sprinkler system that I pull the supply water out

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I have a sprinkler system that I pull the supply water out of a lake. I lose at least one pump starter relay a year due to lightning. My question is what is the best way to ground or stop this from happening?

Welcome. My name is XXXXX XXXXX would be glad to assist.

I do not know what you have in place at the moment, so if any part is existing just omit it from the description.

I would first have the main feed to the pump with a disconnect between the breaker and the starter.

At the disconnect, be sure and have the ground wire attach to the metal can portion with a small terminal bar similar to the house panel.

With that ground wire, run another #8 to the starter can and ground it the same way.

Run a #8 bare copper grounding wire from that same bar to a ground rod several feet away.
Go another 7 feet from that rod and drive another rod 8' long and connect it with the same #8 grounding wire.

If you bury the #8 directly in the ground between the rods, that just adds to the ground effect and is a plus.

That should help drastically to allow any lightning surge to dissipate to ground.

I would also, get a whole house surge protector and connect to the line side of the starter, to help with the surge on the power wiring.

That is about the best possible solution.

Any lightning strike that is a direct hit cannot be dissipated but all close by surges should stay to ground and not run into the starter.

Let me know if any clarification is needed, thanks

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