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How do I know if I have stray voltage?

Typically, stray voltage doesn’t present any harm and is the by-product of the normal delivery and use of electricity. However, if the voltage level is high enough, it may affect livestock behaviour and health.


As long as electricity is supplied to farms, the issue of stray voltage is present. Although research has found that stray voltage is rarely strong enough to affect the behaviour or production of livestock, many farmers still consider its existence to cause herd, animal health and production problems. 


Cows in a barn eating

A common example is the small voltage difference between the water bowl and the floor of a barn – points that an animal can touch simultaneously. If the stray voltage is large enough, it can cause a current to flow through animals, like pigs or cows, creating a tingling sensation that can be unpleasant, and possibly disturb herd health. As a result, animals like dairy cows may be reluctant to come for milking, they could exhibit nervous behaviour during milking, eat or drink less or produce less milk.


Suspect stray voltage?

If stray voltage is suspected, a two-step approach is recommended to address the issue.

  • Monitor and maintain electrical systems

Regular monitoring and maintenance of electrical systems is essential keep farm equipment and infrastructure, like heaters, fans and motors functioning properly. Monitoring and maintenance can also help prevent or diagnose stray voltage.

  • Neutralize stray currents with specialized equipment

Investing in products specifically designed to manage stray voltage, like filters and shock neutralizers, can help manage this disruptive problem and help to maintain a healthy and productive farm environment.


Next steps

Stray currents and voltage sources can usually be found and corrected by conducting a thorough investigation with an electrician or industry specialists, like Agrivolt. 


With more than 30 years of experience helping farmers manage their electrical systems across North America, Agrivolt has extensive experience and expertise diagnosing and managing stray voltage. The company offers a range of technologies, products and specialized experts to detect and neutralize stray voltage, helping farmers manage the health of their herd and farm productivity.



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