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Country Talk Discussion Board

Re: Re: 3 wire verses 4 wire [question for jimbob]

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Posted by RayP(MI) on March 03, 2003 at 18:41:35 from (

In Reply to: Re: 3 wire verses 4 wire [question for jimbob] posted by Lazy Al /Mi on March 03, 2003 at 14:03:53:

Well, if you live in Consumer's Power service area, you'd understand. Their system is baleing wire and chewing tobacco! Poorly built, old, rarely updated. Your best defense for stray voltage is plenty of properly installed grounds on your own system. Your electrical contractor may not figure that many is necessary, but you should always exceed the minimum by several!

Let me share with you a stray voltage problem that 'bout drove us crazy here on our dairy farm years ago. First thing we noticed was that the cows were avoiding drinking from the water cups in the manger, which were fastened to the metal stanchions. The cups were getting smelly and gross, and when we reached in with our hands to clean out the cups, we'd get a tingle! Then we noticed when we kneeled down beside the cow for milking, if our sweaty back was in contact with the metal divider between the cows, and you reached up to touch the udder, the cow reacted rather violently, and we'd get a shock on the back. Well, we worked on that one quite a while!

Here's what happened: We had a electric fencer which consisted of a simple high voltage transformer in a metal case - about the size if a pound coffee can. Seems the wire on the hot side of the transformer came in contact with the inside case of the unit. Electricity came out the case, through a metal "L" hook screwed into a wooden panel attached to the concrete wall. The "L" hook was long enough to penetrate the panel, and was in contact with the concrete wall. From the wall, electricity worked it's way through the concrete floor over to the stancion area where the cows were. The part of the stanchion where the cow stuck her head was lined with wood, and the cow didn't get shocked unless she touched the metal framework, water fountain, or the farmer touching the framework. We drilled out the rivets holding the cannister together, corrected the short and used that fencer for many years afterward!

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