Who to Contact

Even people with minimal electrical experience can detect simple cases of stray voltage, if they use the right equipment and use it the right way. On the other hand, identifying sources of stray voltage can be very complicated and require considerable expertise.

In general, only persons knowledgeable about the following areas should make voltage and current measurements to define stray voltage issues:

  • Farm Electrification,
  • Measurement Instruments and How To Use Them, and
  • How to Interpret Measured Values.

The persons best able to diagnose stray voltage problems include one or more of these professionals:

  • Farm Equipment Suppliers often possess special knowledge about the operating characteristics of the equipment they sell and install.
  • Electricians and Installers are knowledgeable of electrical codes, and are certainly qualified to do farmstead wiring. Electricians with prior stray voltage experience generally know their way around measurement instruments. Have these individuals do the testing, help with the diagnostics, and make the modifications required to resolve problems.
  • County Extension Agents can be good sources of assistance. They may be able to directly assist in an investigation of stray voltage or at least identify other sources of assistance.
  • Electrical Consultants, generally engineers with stray voltage experience, can often help identify problem sources, conduct the investigation, assess the existing electrical system, and recommend mitigation measures.
  • Power Utility Engineers are knowledgeable about electrical circuits and systems both on the farm and the utility system that supplies it. These individuals should always be a part of any investigation of stray voltage/current problems.

Electrical systems canbe dangerous. Persons without the proper training should never attempt to investigate or repair electrical distribution or farm electrical systems. Don't even open electrical service panels.

Voltages that cause stray voltage problems are normally so low they can't even be detected without special instruments. Therefore, if an electrical shock can actually be felt, or if animals are knocked down, it qualifies as dangerous and potentially life threatening. The device or electric circuit responsible for this kind of shock should be immediately disconnected. Unplug or de-energize the circuit at the service panel. The problem circuit or piece of equipment should be examined by an electrical professional as the earliest possible opportunity.