Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby specialized29 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:29 am

While finishing a ride at the very end of the Yellow trail on Saturday afternoon (sunny, 82F, and low humidity), approaching Germantown Parkway near the power lines, I experienced a painful electrical shock to both hands and fingers and both legs from the knees down to my feet. The shock lasted roughly 20 seconds. I had to jump off the bike.

Has anyone ever heard of such a thing or experienced anything similiar? Totally bizarre. I'll never ride under or near those power lines again.
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby Brad C » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:38 am

Oh yes, many times. I think that large line is 500,000 volts, so it generates a large magnetic and electrical field. That can induce a current in the metal parts of a bicycle, and give you a tingle!

I found some interesting information on a power company web site.

WIRE FENCES
Barbed wire and woven wire fences insulated from ground on wood posts can assume an induced voltage when located near power lines. If you are having a shock-related problem, call BPA for an investigation. The fence may need to be grounded if: it is located within the right-of-way; it parallels the line within 125 feet of the outside wire and is longer than 150 feet; or it parallels the line 125 to 250 feet from the outside wire and is longer than 6,000 feet. These fences should be grounded at each end and every 200 feet with a metal post driven at least 2 feet into the ground. Attach all wire strands of the fence to the metal post. Install the grounding posts at least 50 feet from the nearest transmission tower. If shocks are experienced when contacting a fence or gate, or if you have any questions about the need for grounding, call BPA.

VEHICLES
Under some high-voltage lines, vehicles can collect an induced voltage. This is particularly true if the vehicle is parked on a nonconductive surface such as asphalt or dry rock. You can drain the voltage from your vehicle to the ground by attaching a chain that reaches the ground or by leaning a metal bar against your vehicle. The only way to be sure you won’t get shocked is to park your car away from the high-voltage power line. BPA has specific restrictions for parking and roads within the right-of-way to keep possible shocks at a low level. Contact BPA to apply before locating roads and parking areas within the BPA right-of-way.
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby SteveK » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:31 pm

Those power lines will stop my heart rate monotor. Also I have seen dogs with metal collers yelp when tey pass under the lines.

Not evry time only when TVA is pumping up the power.
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby rich_k » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:45 pm

SteveK wrote:Those power lines will stop my heart rate monotor.


Hopefully your heart still functions...regardless of the lack of monitoring.
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby speedygregusa81 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:47 pm

This is really SHOCKING news!


Come on. Someone had to post it. :D
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby Mark T » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:52 pm

Yep, felt it many times. Usually when I have a good sweat going. 1st time I heard of it my wife was riding with me and she let out a yelp, I thought she was crazy. It got me the next time I rolled under.... :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby khskenny » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:23 pm

I ride under them all the time and I never get any shocks. I guess you have to go perpendicular? Maybe it's the carbon fiber bits :)
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby dantheman » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:06 pm

You guys must be loosing it. This is crazy. I'm gonna go try and see if it'll zap me,too.
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby Memphis_Buckeye » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:51 pm

Brad C wrote:Oh yes, many times. I think that large line is 500,000 volts, so it generates a large magnetic and electrical field. That can induce a current in the metal parts of a bicycle, and give you a tingle!

I found some interesting information on a power company web site.

WIRE FENCES
Barbed wire and woven wire fences insulated from ground on wood posts can assume an induced voltage when located near power lines. If you are having a shock-related problem, call BPA for an investigation. The fence may need to be grounded if: it is located within the right-of-way; it parallels the line within 125 feet of the outside wire and is longer than 150 feet; or it parallels the line 125 to 250 feet from the outside wire and is longer than 6,000 feet. These fences should be grounded at each end and every 200 feet with a metal post driven at least 2 feet into the ground. Attach all wire strands of the fence to the metal post. Install the grounding posts at least 50 feet from the nearest transmission tower. If shocks are experienced when contacting a fence or gate, or if you have any questions about the need for grounding, call BPA.

VEHICLES
Under some high-voltage lines, vehicles can collect an induced voltage. This is particularly true if the vehicle is parked on a nonconductive surface such as asphalt or dry rock. You can drain the voltage from your vehicle to the ground by attaching a chain that reaches the ground or by leaning a metal bar against your vehicle. The only way to be sure you won’t get shocked is to park your car away from the high-voltage power line. BPA has specific restrictions for parking and roads within the right-of-way to keep possible shocks at a low level. Contact BPA to apply before locating roads and parking areas within the BPA right-of-way.


Is that BPA Bonneville Power up in Washington? I know them well.
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Re: Electrical shock under power lines - Yellow Trail

Postby Brad C » Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:27 pm

Yes, that's them. Their web site has some good information.
http://www.bpa.gov/corporate/pubs/2009E ... -FINAL.pdf

Another site I have used in my work is the Duke Energy Indiana tech tips page.
http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-busi ... h-tips.asp
They had some helpful information I used to explain grounding problems to customers. It always helped when I could tell them it was not something from Simplex but from a power company out of our area. I still use them in the basic fire alarm course I teach at the IEC.
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