Install question - White PVC vs Grey PVC (electrical) SCH 80

I can’t find schedule 80 white PVC around here, but all the local stores stock the schedule 80 grey electrical PVC. They grey electrical PVC is rated for outdoor use and is UV resistant. Is there any reason not to use the grey electrical stuff for a 6’ pole mount on the end of a roof gable?

Check the outer diameter of those pipes to see if they are the same. I personally use a vinyl wrapped closet pole that I purchased from Home Depot:

Gray vs. white pipe size are identical. If you use PVC, gray still is affected by UV, it just takes much longer. I would paint the pipe with PVC adhering paint if you want it to look nice long term. The vinyl coated closet rods I’ve had in place from several years are doing just great.

Thanks for the replies. I guess the wood closet rod is a popular option and it would look like white PVC in an install photo. They have them in stock at my local HD so that may well be the way to go. I will probably put a coat of paint on top of the vinyl coated rod just to add another layer of longevity protection since it will up on the roof and I’m going to have to get a friend to install it (I’m older, disabled and have no business on a ladder much less the roof)

I wonder if the vinyl coating discourages “wood bees” from tunneling into it? That would be a concern as they love to bore into anything pine that is dry around here. I would need to cap the bottom for sure, and the Tempest will cap the top end.

You may want to paint the ends before installing. The Tempest Pole mount doesn’t completely seal the top. There are small holes (pathways?) that could let the bees in to the bare wood.

Another benefit to using the wood closer rod is that any vibration is of a low enough frequency that wind doesn’t trigger the Tempest rain sensor. At least it hasn’t in my situation.

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First dward51, WELCOME.
Weather monitoring and tracking is a great hobby.

If access and finances allow, there is no substitute for a heavy-gauge antenna mast or a 1" galvanized fence pipe for $20.

Please refer to the message boards with all the “false rain” reported becuase of vibration :slight_smile:
Do yourself a huge favor, don’t use a wooden or PVC pole to mount a scientific instrument.
All the paint and wood sealer in the world will not prevent vibration.

Below are my stations, that never report false-rain.

Enjoy your station, install it in a robust way and you’ll never need to look back :slight_smile:


Have you a los seen the posts of vibrations from the metal pipe mounts, too? It is the high frequency vibrations that are the problem, not the low frequency ones. That is why the vinyl coated closet rod works so well.

@dward51, do yourself a favor and don’t pick one mount over another just because someone thinks you should. Read what others have done that works for them, then decide what you think will work best for your situation and give it a go. Please report back on the success, or lack thereof, of what you tried. Most of all, enjoy the adventure.

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You likely should consider the fence post top rail so many people suggest. Works perfectly. I highly recommend the conduit hangers to match as well as stainless bolts+nuts so you can assemble/deassemble without tools as needed.

If you use PVC ‘eventually’ it will weaken in sunlight and bend. Been there.

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I personally chose a wood closet rod for my install because it’s my understanding that you need to ground metal posts if you use them. Is that not correct as I don’t see found wires used in @steve.palmieri’s post above.

Hey, great conversation and I enjoy hearing people’s different takes and solutions to the same problem and the reasons for doing so. I do not come at this as an argument, just as discussion of fellow hobbyists.

To address the grounding and what that is typically used for; it dissipates static and electrical charge to prevent it from damaging the equipment or entering your house like if you had an antenna or satellite dish connected to equipment in your house.
As you know nothing enters the house with a Tempest and I seriously doubt the unit would survive a direct strike even with grounding. A direct strike would ruin the Tempest and I’ll get another one, nothing else would happen. All that being said, I can’t say your wrong, grounding is a good idea and most-likely in the building code somewhere but I don’t think the result would be catastrophic.

For people like me that live in hurricane areas (Florida) a 1" wooden pole would be the last thing to use. Just when I want to see weather the most, during a hurricane, my Tempest will be in someone’s pool a mile away with a broken wooden pole sticking out of the bottom :slight_smile:

If you have a ROKU streaming device, install my WeatherFlow Channel.
You will like it !!!
WeatherFlow on ROKU v5 - Tempest Owners - The Tempest Weather Community


Man, I honestly hope when I said “do yourself a favor” did not come across as condescending; I get the impression from your response it did . . . not my intention.
Apologies if needed . . .

Back when I was determined to collect data at 33’ I had a LONG mast that absolutely created vibration (false rain). The mast was a small gauge Radio Shack mast (dating myself). Like all the hobbyists in this group would do, I fixed it, and added tight guy-wires with turnbuckles. See the picture, it worked great !!

Fantastic, I was collecting telemetry at 33’ and I eliminated all measurable vibration.
EXCEPT, when my solar panel failed, and I needed to service the unit. I had created the world’s most dangerous situation :slight_smile:

That’s when I accepted < 33’ observations and put a heavy gauge mast.

We’re all learning, mount your equipment the way you feel best.
If you like it, I love it !!


Wow!!! Lots of great information here… I was originally thinking of not using a metal mast to avoid making it a lightning rod on top of the house, and dealing with grounding on that end of the roof. For a short section of metal mast (6 to 8’ total) is grounding necessary since there are no grounding points in the Tempest housing? 6 to 8’ should get the unit at about 30’ above ground level and in the cleanest wind flow and sunlight for our lot. Right now I have it screwed to a decking post until I figure out the final home for the Tempest.

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There have been discussions in this group regarding the requirement and reasons for grounding a metal rod with respect to insurance and if it changes the likelyhood of attracting or reducing the chance of a direct strike and the end result, and even how to spell the different lightning words. I suggest using the search to find those discussions. There are differing opinions.
I hear warnings not to use your telephone during a thunderstorm from intelligent people who use a cordless telephone. If there are no wires from the telephone hand set there is no reason to avoid using it. Similar with the Tempest, but I think a Tempest did get a direct strike from some one on these forums. Wondering if a metal or wooden pole would make a difference makes me think a live tree containing sap and moisture will attract lightning, so would a dry curtain rod? I dont know.
I have used a metal pole high on my roof on top of a hill with lots of lightning storms hitting the ground around me sometimes in the street and garden less than 100m from my house, for over 30 years. When I first mounted the pole I connected a small wire to ground it to ground. That wire eventually broke and I did not replace it. I have not had a direct strike. I believe I have had feeder lines of voltage go through my insulation of wires. Before a lightning strike there are lines that search out the best ppath for the main strike. I now include a power supply to my hub mounted beside my tempest on top of my non grounded metal pole. I run the wiring up the inside of the pole. I also have a raspberry pi up there taking photographs.
Summary from my opinion is that using a metal pole does not require grounding. But grounding is an option. But your insurance may have some clause in it?
And I am not concerned about vibrations because I do not use my Tempest for my rain readings.
My guess is there are many thousands of Tempests mounted on metal poles on roofs with no grounding.
Cheers Ian :slight_smile:


Thanks, Ian. That was a detailed reply. Plenty of trees in the yard that are higher than my intended mounting height. That gable peak is the one spot that gets the most sunlight and the cleanest wind flow. I think I may need to rethink metal again…

This is what I settled with after testing a variety of poles. The PVC was simply too flexible (even Sch 80) and the steel top fence rail was too cumbersome and heavy. The vinyl wrapped wood does not deflect and is easy to work with (and same price as the others, essentially)

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