Improper farm electrical wiring can have hidden dangers


Improper farm electrical wiring can have hidden dangers

Many farms have grown over the years, but there might be hidden danger in some of that growth. 

Corey Kuchka is an agricultural consultant for Wisconsin Public Service.  Kuchta says their display at the Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show helps farmers know signs of trouble so they can take steps to make their farms safer. “We’ve got some good examples of how to properly wire and ground panels and make things safe on the farm, and we actually have a table of bad connections of where things have gone bad, of putting aluminum and copper wire together with split bolts or things that have shorted out, and things that have caused problems.”

Kuchta tells Brownfield as farms add new electrical circuits, new buildings, or change their power requirements, there’s a right way and a wrong way to upgrade electrical service. “Usually, you get some relative or someone to add on, or things aren’t done to code so we actually have a farm rewiring program that helps pay for rewiring on the farm and get things done, and then it gets inspected to make sure things are done properly.”

Kuchta says the energy needs of the modern farm are much different than a generation ago. “Farms are getting bigger and bigger and there are more power requirements and so they’re drawing more amperage and more circuits and doing more things on the farm so they’re putting bigger panels in. It’s important to do it right and do it safely, and do it efficiently.”

Kuchta says it is wise to utilize a licensed electrician and the utility’s farm rewiring program to provide safe power and save money on upgrades.

Brownfield interviewed Kuchta during the 60th annual Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin