Smart Energy Laboratory (SEL)
Computational Intelligence Applications (CIA) Laboratory

Department of Electrical Engineering
University of Washington

Stray Voltage

Electric utilities place high priorities on the design of effective grounding system to achieve the level of electric safety demanded by the society. The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) and the National Electric Code (NEC) have specific regulations to achieve the safety of the public from electric shocks.

Stray voltage is one of the most annoying problems associated with customers’ services. It is hard to predict and detect and the solution can be illusive. Stray voltage can cause substantial losses in farms and can lead to unsafe conditions for the public. This course covers the foundations of grounding and stray voltage analysis. It also identifies sources of stray voltages and methods to alleviate the problems. Applicable standards and codes are discussed and engineering analyses of the problems are given.

Several real-world cases are presented, studied and analyzed in this course. In addition, some of the tools used to analyze the hazards and to test the proposed solutions of the stray voltage problems are presented.

Who should attend

Utility engineers
Supervisors and workers of distribution line installations and maintenance
Developers and builders of customers’ electric service
Builders of swimming poles, outdoor water activities, outdoor metal structures and hospitals
Personnel in manufacturing companies of electric safety equipment
Attorneys involved in electric safety issues

Topics covered

Electricity and Biology
Grounds and grounding
Hazards of Electricity
Stray Voltage in Swimming Pools
Stray Voltage in Outdoor Showers
Stray Voltage in Farms
Stray Voltage in Fences and Gates
Stray Voltage in Hospitals
Contact Voltage, street lights, manhole, railway, etc.
Simulation tools
General discussions