Stray Voltage – Who Knew?
If you do not live on a farm or involved in the farming industry you might not know that stray voltage is even a thing?
What is stray voltage? Stray voltage is electricity that is “lost”, or travels in a different direction away from where the normal use of that electricity is intended. Some examples of “lost” electricity or stray voltage can be caused by; poor or faulty wiring, improper grounding, unbalanced loading of circuits, overloading of circuits or panels, defective equipment, etc.
Why does stray voltage matter? Stray voltage is very important to farmers as it can affect their animal’s health leading to lost production and profit. Some effects on the animals can be; reluctant to enter a certain area of the barn, reduce the animals appetite for water and food, the animals can become nervous or aggressive in behaviour, dairy cows can suffer increased somatic cell count (bacteria in the milk), and lower milk production, etc. None of these side effects are good for anyone and can cause real problems.
This problem is so prevalent that Hydro One has even assembled a special team called the “Farm Rapid Response Team”. When I saw their booth at a farm trade show I found it alarming that this problem is so wide spread that a special department was formed.
To all the farmers out there, I hope you do not have any stray voltage and if you do that you get it under control.
As I finish writing this, I wonder how much stray voltage is going through me right now and if it is affecting my productivity!!!