GroundLinx Gradiance™ systems can:
dramatically reduce the probability of lightning caused fires, and electronic device losses.
protect vital digital data from surge related corruption.
add great peace of mind, knowing your home has state-of-the-art protection against lightning and electrical-system-caused damage.
Making your home safer from the ground up
For many homeowners, the concept and necessity of electrical grounding / earthing is obscure at best. In fact, it is safe to say most aren’t even aware the electrical system of their home is hard-wired directly to the Earth. But, when a family loses critical computer files due to a “fried” power supply, or big home theater system “takes a hit” from a major power surge or spike – it quickly becomes apparent what electrical grounding/earthing is – and why it is important.
Because of this very limited awareness, convincing homeowners to upgrade the grounding capacity of their residences is not an automatic process. Generally speaking, grounding just isn’t a problem...right up until the point where it really IS a big problem. Additionally, most residential insurance policies will cover surge, spike, and lightning damage to a home and its contents, at least for a limited number of claims. Therefore, as an unknown risk which usually doesn’t result in financial loss other than an insurance deductible, concern for grounding is further minimized.
Real losses, real costs
But insurance payments for unexpected losses are not comprehensive: The intangible value of family heirlooms, or digital photographs residing on a hard drive – not backed up off-site – just can’t be calculated. More seriously – and occurring far too often – structure fires frequently start when insufficiently grounded homes are struck by lightning. The results are costly disruptions to daily life and tremendous loss of value that no insurance policy can cover completely.
At this point, some data from the Insurance Information Institute regarding lightning-related losses in the United States would be helpful.
In the United States, during the three year period from 2014 through 2016, residential policy holders:
Filed over 308,000 claims for lightning damage totaling $2.36 billion;
Received an average of $7,637 per claim, 43% higher than 2008 ($4,296 per claim.)
Florida alone experienced over 10 percent of these damage claims, and over 12 percent of the total payments. Georgia and Texas are generally in second and third place with slightly lower numbers.
So….why the big increase in average claim payments? Thunderstorm frequency hasn’t changed, and economic inflation has been minimal over the period. What’s driving this change?
Overall, as home prices and housing density increase, combined with our growing dependence on electronic devices, both the frequency and monetary value of losses due to lightning strikes and other electric supply anomalies are sure to continue increasing. Therefore, the importance of minimizing the probability of damage or loss from these faults quickly becomes clear.
Without question, the best way to do this is to ensure your home has a very low-resistance, highly durable electrical grounding system.
Although some lightning and surge protection devices can offer a certain level of fault-current defense, their efficacy is quickly diminished if the grounding system to which they channel this excess current is of insufficient capacity or has a high resistance-to-ground. Building lightning and fault current protection “from the ground up”, insures a higher degree of security against lightning and surge related losses.³
Because of its superior current mitigation, and durability properties, installing a GroundLinx Gradiance™ system is the best place to start.
The first answer is, homeowners are rapidly adding expensive electronic devices to their homes – devices that are highly sensitive to surges and spikes. Miniaturized control circuitry in everything from refrigerators to washers to entertainment systems and HVAC equipment can be quickly destroyed by abnormal electric supply events. And home surge protectors are only minimally effective (if at all) when the grounding system of the home is of excessively high resistance. Amazingly, this condition is extremely common in many areas of the world.
But this is only part of the story. Structure fires can easily occur when lightning strikes insufficiently grounded homes. In the United States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”, which also issues the National Electric Code), more than 4000 home fires every year are ignited by lightning strikes. These fires result in over $450 million in claims payments each year averaging in excess of $100,000 per claim. (Data are from 2007-2011, which are the latest available.)
Good grounding really IS important
GroundLinx Gradiance™ kits for residential use are designed either to be combined with a standard National Electric Code (US-NEC) compliant ground rod in stand-alone grounding systems for new and existing structures, or installed as a supplemental, super-enhanced grounding pathway for existing homes. In all cases, installing a Gradiance™ kit is a simple, relatively inexpensive process and results in a dramatic reduction in resistance-to-ground for the electric system of the home. Hence, the probability for damage to property (and costs) from electric current anomalies is substantially cut.
In supplemental applications, in moderate-to-high resistivity soils (where most grounding problems occur), a Gradiance™ system routinely reduces resistance-to-ground by 55% to 85%. Furthermore, Gradiance™ kits typically maintain their resistance performance at +/-5%, in varying soil moisture conditions. Standard ground rods alone, on the other hand, frequently vary +/-40% in their resistance-to-ground performance between high and low soil moisture levels.
Grounding really IS important, even when it doesn’t seem to be. Where soil resistivity is high, the odds are very strong an existing grounding system simply is not suitable for today’s electronics-driven home, or for protection from lightning-caused fires. GroundLinx Gradiance™ licensed installers are trained to fully analyze existing grounding conditions in residential (and commercial) settings, and to design systems which mitigate exposed deficiencies. After installation, hard data on the improved performance (and reduced risk for damage from electrical anomalies) within a given home is provided. This is often an eye-opening experience.
Improving grounding performance and reliability is exactly why the Gradiance™ system was developed, and why having a Gradiance™ ground is a wise decision for your home. As a bonus, your insurance carrier may view the risk-reduction afforded by a Gradiance™ grounding system worthy of a discount on your homeowner’s insurance cost.
Proper grounding is essential in the protection of your home, your possessions, and even your life. GroundLinx Technologies welcomes your inquiry, and will be happy to connect you with one of our licensed representatives toward making your home safer….from the ground up.
³ In that lightning strikes are nearly random in their electrical characteristics and distribution, and are Acts of God, no grounding system or lightning protection device can offer complete defense against lightning-caused damage. No warranty is expressed or implied herewith by GroundLinx Technologies, LLC and/or its affiliated companies regarding any losses incurred directly or indirectly by lightning.