If you take one thing away from this video, let it be to call a licensed electrician!
Interview with an Expert Electrician: Charlie Porterfield
Allen spoke with Charlie Porterfield from Thunderbolt Electric to find out what poultry farmers should know about protecting their farms from damage caused by lightning. While no one can stop lightning, you can take some precautions to minimize its damage if and when it hits your farm.
Charlie says that while the effects of a direct hit from lightning can be devastating, they're not extremely common. However, the effects of a strike upon a power line down the road can also cause instantaneous surges on your farm should it be connected to that line.
For poultry houses, Charlie's biggest recommendations are lightning arrestors and surge protectors.
A lightning arrestor absorbs the high spike from lightning and dissipates it through the ground. In the case of our office building, the grounding wire goes through an encasement in the slab and connects to a 20 foot rebar. The purpose of a grounding rod is to work as an electricity conductor to steer danger away from your property by moving incoming electricity to the ground.
Grounding is so important because if you have surge protectors and lightning arrestors but no proper grounding, they will be ineffective. There is nowhere to send the negative charge to if it's not grounding.
As a farmer, all you have to do with your surge protector is make sure it's installed properly. Again, we recommend calling a professional! Then, you can just focus on general maintenance. More than anything, just make sure all the connections stay tight. Charlie says that as an electrician, loose connections are one of the biggest reasons he gets service calls on a day-to-day basis.
Be sure to maintain your connections on a yearly basis. Wires expand and contract due to heating and cooling throughout the seasons, which is what loosens connections. Tighten up any human-tightened connections. This maintenance is important because loose connections create a lot of heat. A connection that is too hot can cause a burn and big cost in your farm!
Have any questions or ideas for future Poultry Biosecurity videos? Contact Allen Reynolds at email@example.com or 800-608-3755.