Is it worth electrically isolating the control box of a gate opener from a well grounded steel fence? Or does the grounding of the fence have the same effect?
My house is in a very lightning prone spot and has been struck with much damage twice in 10 years. The lot is surrounded by 2000' of steel wire fence attached to 1' deep steel t-posts every 12' and 2 3' deep 2.5" steel posts every 200'.
I'm installing a gate opener and am afraid it won't last long in these conditions. I can isolate the control box and everything connected to it except the wires from the gate lock and the actuator, which are bolted or welded to the steel gate and fence. I can run those wires through heavy duty surge protectors, which aren't cheap. Then I can ground the control box to a ground rod separate from the fence.
The gate opener is powered by a 12 volt battery in the control box, charged by a solar panel.
But is it worth going to this expense when the fence itself is grounded by the fence posts? Or since the fence is grounded can I just attach the control box directly to the steel posts with no difference? Is it worth doing something in between, or does only the weakest link matter?