Monday, October 3, 2016

A startling experience with stray voltage [Hoard's Dairyman Post]

Outlet damaged by lightning causes problems...

Sometimes heifers bellow for a reason.

One group of heifers wouldn’t stop bellowing. At first we thought they were just being typical heifers . . . the kind that expect a pail of grain every time you walk by the pen. But they’d had their grain for the morning and they had a fresh bale of alfalfa hay.

Maybe their automatic waterer needed cleaning, we thought. So Glen grabbed a scrub brush and went to scrub it out.

Holding onto the steel column next to the waterer with one hand, Glen scrubbed the sides of the water trough. Then his hand dipped into the water as he reached to scrub the bottom and he felt a jolt of electricity.

He didn’t believe he’d actually been shocked, so he put one hand on the steel column and touched the surface of the water again. He felt the tingle of an electric shock again.

The breaker that powers the heating elements in our automatic waterers is still turned off for the warm weather season, so the shock Glen felt had to be from stray voltage. Still in disbelief, Glen went to get his digital multimeter to verify his findings.

The multimeter showed 3.1 volts of electricity flowing between the column and the water. No wonder the heifers wouldn’t be quiet. Bovines are even more sensitive to stray voltage than humans.

We immediately called our electrician.

[Read the rest of this post in the Hoard's Dairyman Notebook.]

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