Neutral-To-Earth Voltage

Safety tips and much more...
Neutral-to-earth voltage (N-E), sometimes called “stray voltage,” is a condition that results when an electrical current flows through a neutral conductor. Most (110 volt) electric lines contain three wires- one “hot” or powered, one neutral and the ground wire. Traditionally, the hot wire is black and the neutral white. Normally, electricity flows through the black wire, through the device to be powered and returns to the source through the neutral (white wire).

Stray voltage occurs when electricity “leaks” from the black wire directly to the white or ground wires before passing through the device to be powered. These leaks produce only small amounts of electricity. Direct contact between the white and black wires would “short” the system and blow a fuse or circuit breaker.

Stray voltage can result from arcing at equipment connections, frayed insulation and other mechanical problems. In addition, multiple grounds that are not interconnected can create ground currents capable of shocking livestock. Leaks and non-connected ground systems create electric charges in the earth that aren’t normal when an electric system is operating properly.

When these ground-based currents are present, animals or persons that contact well-grounded equipment-such as metal stanchions or metal fence posts-will receive a shock as the electricity passes through their bodies. These N-E voltages, through rare, exist on all devices and are most common on farm feeding and milking equipment.


Who is Affected?
What are the Symptoms?
What is the Source of Neutral-To-Earth Voltage?
What are the best possible remedies?
What to do if you suspect Neutral-To-Earth Voltage?
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