Stray Voltage May Impact Your Livestock Before You Know It

US - Winter has arrived and brought snow, ice, and cold temperatures along with it. That means a lot of different things to different people.
calendar icon 8 January 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

One of the problems that winter conditions bring for livestock producers to have to deal with is difficulty in maintaining the availability of a fresh and clean water supply. Obviously, water freezes when the temperature is below 32 degrees F. Therefore, we have to figure out how to provide water to our livestock during these cold months.

Many producers use some form of electrical device to maintain available water. This may be a heater (floating or submerged) placed in the water, a heating element under the tank, a pump or bubbler to maintain water movement, or some other mechanical device. Each of these can be effective at keeping a water tank open and free from ice. Yet, you should carefully inspect these devices before installing them and routinely during their use, as they may potentially increase your chances of having stray voltage on your operation.

Also referred to as neutral-to-ground, neutral-to-earth, and tingle voltage; stray voltage can occur at any time of the year. It can be a result of electric motors on the feed auger, lighting fixtures, ventilation equipment, the power poles crossing your farm, or one of a number of other causes. However, the intermittent use of electrical tank heating equipment may provide additional opportunities for this occurrence. The voltage escapes the equipment that it is intended for and moves through the ground, pipes, fences, metal crates, metal walls, milking equipment, water, and even concrete; just to name a few conductors.

Source: High Plains Journal

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