Electrical safety is important on the farm

A utility farm electrical consultant says when remodeling, building new, or just using what is there, farmers should keep electrical safety top-of-mind. 

Corey Kutchka with utility provider Wisconsin Public Service tells Brownfield when any changes are made to a farm building, most states consider that a commercial building and they must be wired according to that area’s electrical code and inspected. “More load being added in bigger operations and making sure you have proper grounding, and things hooked up for code is very important for safety and liability on the farm.”

And he says many older facilities were wired differently, and adding circuits to an older system requires some knowledge. “Now, it’s all four-wire systems where grounds and neutrals are separated, so the grounding system is on its own separate grounding bus, and the neutral is now the current carrying conductor. It helps lower stray voltage, and that’s code now on any livestock facilities.”

Kutchka says regularly inspecting farm buildings for damaged boxes, loose connections that can arc, and appliances such as cattle waterers and tank heaters are important to prevent fires and electrical shocks to humans and animals.

Kutchka discussed electrical safety with Brownfield’s Larry Lee during the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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