Stray Voltage Working Group

Meeting Minutes

Las Vegas, Nevada – January 16, 2006



Charlie Williams, S&C Electric Company, Chair

Jim Bouford, National Grid USA Service Company, Vice Chair

Russ Ehrlich, Pepco Holdings Inc., Secretary


Attendance list passed around. (42 persons in attendance)


Working group web site located at:


Past meting minutes discussed.  One change made, “Jim Burke, distribution working group, does not address stray voltage.”  Changed to read, Jim Burke, distribution neutral grounding working group, does not address stray voltage.


Chuck DeNardo, Principal Engineer, We Energies provided group a Power Point presentation titled “Stray Voltage” Legislative and Regulatory Activity

·        Presentation to be posted to the Web Site


Jim Bouford provided details on stray voltage plans & investigations

·        Discussions on detection by use of a proximity device

o       What voltage level to use 20V or 50V per OSHA/NESC


Wisconsin/Michigan – Telephone co’s need to provide isolation

CA General Order 95 & where does it apply.


Jim Burke – Presentation on Don Zipse’s articles & NEC involvement.


Charlie Williams led discussions regarding 2005 NEC requirements and NEETRAK trying to get the pool water bonding.

o       Individuals can provide feedback to NEC code making panels to gain public interest.


Charlie Williams led discussions on PAR (Scope & Proposal)

·        Scope – Charlie & group discussed & re-worked wording.

o       Motion to accept re-worded scope was approved.

·        Purpose – Charlie & group discussed & re-worked wording.

o       Motion to accept re-worded purpose was approved.


Charlie Williams will submit PAR for Stray Voltage Working Group to IEEE


Definitions – Discussions began on the Frank Lambert provided definitions section.

·        Must have Std. 100 Cooridnation (SCC 10)

·        Charlie will review & get out to membership.


Meeting Adjourned.


Submitted by Russ Ehrlich












Progress Energy has 9 mitigating reactors on their system

·        Progress purchased one pool

·        7 less than 1000’ of a substation


Neutral to Earth voltage becoming more prevalent an issue.  Pools, showers, spas

·        Fiberglass pools w/lack of equipotential bonding

o       Water and neutral potential


NEC 2005 Article 680, covers equipotential plane between water & deck.


Jim Bouford, recommends starting on a guide, not how to perform a study.

Charlie, a guide on Neutral to Earth voltage, deals only with pieces of equipment bonded and connected to earth.


Scope: To Address a Neutral to Earth Voltage, contact voltage(s) are outside the scope of this work.

            Possible working group paper on contact voltages


Discussions on what should be addressed


Different voltage levels (perceptive, aggravation, danger levels 50V NEC/NESC defined)

Sources (N to Earth, perceived acceptable, aggravation, keep below danger levels)

Causes/reasons & how to address

What resistance to use (500 ohm, 1 K,….)


Should we have a section on current levels

            How do you measure

            What equipment to use

            Need to consolidate


Navy study and IEEE working group working on pacemaker voltages…let go current levels.


Do we need a sub-group to handle contact voltage issues?


Definitions to go into the dictionary

            Neutral to Earth (Stray Voltage)

            Contact Voltage (Touching an energized )

            Induced voltages

            Equipment to Earth

            Ground Fault voltage


Use the term hazardous voltages.


Working group paper, panel session planned for T & D in New Orleans…..7 papers to be presented.


Georges Simard, his group is financing two projects


Test & Identify, Load & No load test, identify source, mitigation…..


Charlie Williams provided a presentation. (IEEE 80 reference for current levels)

Discussions followed Charlie’s presentation on is this the best way to present this case……this is not stray voltage.


John Kennedy, Georgia Power Co,


Don’t give the wrong impression to the regulators/lawyers/media


In Wisconsin it’s called animal contact voltage.


USDA Red Book, Vermont, Wisconsin definitions of Stray voltage.


NESC has wording talking about excessive Neutral to Earth voltge….who decides what is excessive.


List of draft definitions, scope and send out an e-mail for comment

Task force for definitions (Jim Boouford, Jim Burke, Frank, Chuck, Chris Mullins) Include references


Who will be in New Orleans…….possible Web Ex/net prior to meeting in New Orleans.


Charlie to put together stray voltage questionnaire to send out to membership


Seven papers out to membership prior to meeting.