If you own property on a lake, one of the issues you’re going to have to consider is the safety of your electricity down at the dock and next to the water. As outdoor electricians in Forsyth County, GA, we frequently work with people who have waterfront property, and just about every time we analyze people’s property, we find some stray voltage in the water, meaning the water has at least some level of electrical charge. There are very few docks you’ll find without any stray voltage.
Why is this important to know, and what is involved with checking the voltage? Here’s some information you should be aware of as a person who owns or enjoys visiting waterfront property.
Searching for stray voltage
Checking the voltage of the water is as simple as checking the voltage of any other item or material. Simply place a voltage detector in the water and check the readings.
Many times, the readings will only be in the millivolts range. This is a negligible amount of electricity that will be unlikely to have any sort of effect. However, any higher than that and you need to start being concerned about safety. Electrical shock drowning can occur with as little as two volts in the water. This happens when an electrical current found in the water passes through an individual in that area’s water. The person could become paralyzed as a result of the current, unable to swim away or keep floating.
Ideally, then, there should be no voltage at all in the water when you perform the inspection. If there is stray voltage, it’s important to determine what is causing it and how you can remedy the issue.
Even if the dock is wired to code, there is still a chance it will give off stray voltage. In some cases, there may be ground wires for motors on boat lifts that are too thin, in which case there is more resistance for the electricity. It becomes easier for the electricity to pass through the water rather than the ground wire.
There may also be an issue with electrical panels being wired the same as they would be in homes, rather than wired with neutral wires isolated. Outdoor electricians will understand the differences in wiring indoor versus outdoor panels and the safety issues associated with that.
In cases of higher levels of stray voltage, the electrical problems may be more obvious or severe.
In any case, a professional electrician can analyze your dock electricity in Forsyth County, GA to determine if it is at safe levels. If you’re interested in learning more about stray voltage in water and how it occurs, we encourage you to contact Duke Electric Co. today about our services and about the methods we use to analyze stray voltage. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you have, and we look forward to coming out to analyze your dock and property to ensure your risk of electrocution in the water is eliminated.
Categorised in: Outdoor Electrician
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