Stray Voltage Concerns?
Electrical systems are grounded to the earth to make them as safe as possible and ensure their reliability. As a result there is usually a small amount of current flow through the earth. Stray voltage is an electrical voltage measured between two points an animal may touch at the same time. If a voltage is present, current may flow through the animal between these contact points. The amount of current depends on the voltage and total resistance of the circuit that involves the animal. Animals respond to the resulting current flow, and not to the voltage.
Stray voltage is a complex issue and often believed to be the cause of a variety of issues members may experience on their farms. There are many firms and products in the marketplace offering cures for stray voltage. However, with a little investigation and some corrective action, stray voltage issues can be resolved if they are found to be the true source of the problems being experienced.
As a member of MVEC, if you believe you are experiencing issues due to stray voltage we will come to your location and complete a stray voltage investigation at no cost to you. After the investigation is complete you will get a report outlining what was found. Below are a few ideas that will help prevent stray voltage issues.
1. Have a qualified electrician inspect the whole farmstead for electrical problems, and correct them in accordance with the National Electric Code.
2. Balance ALL 120-volt loads as much as possible in an effort to reduce neutral currents.
3. Size service wires according to the electrical load they are serving.
4. Install an equipotential grounding plane in the floor for all new livestock buildings.
5. Install ground rods and insulated wire to all electric fencers/cow trainers.
If you have further questions or concerns on stray voltage, please call Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative at 800-927-6068.
Or feel free to download your free version of the Iowa Stray Voltage Guide at http://www.iowastrayvoltageguide.com/