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Old 08-27-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
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RV parking and EMF's

You read that right. EMF's or EMR's, the energy fields generated by power lines. In this case, I am looking at buying a property that has some nice features, as well as a good RV parking area. There are high voltage lines about 100 yards away. They are not visually obstrusive, just on the edge of the property.

Are there any electrical engineers out there that can shed some pro opinions on the subject of health risks and EMF's? How about the best way to measure the field and what level is acceptable?

And....about property value. How many of you would not want to buy near high voltage lines? Who cares??
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:56 PM   #2
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I would not buy property near high voltage lines, for several reasons.....potential health risks (why take the chance?) and radio interference are the main ones.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:16 PM   #3
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I would avoid high tension lines. There's been substantial debate about the effect of that type of radiation for many years and no agreement. Given that our bodies are electro-chemical carbon units, it's hard for me to believe there might not be some sort of effect. We certainly can't count on the present administration to do unbiased analysis. I expect such property would sell cheaper than a like property elsewhere and be harder for you to sell someday. These areas in the west that have been federally designated special energy corridors for things like high tension lines and the feds can overrule local gov't on placement of these lines across private property, wilderness and the like. Might be a good idea to find out about where those corridors are.

If the property is in a very quiet area, you might be able to hear the buzz from the lines and that might be annoying.

Of course, there are benefits—the closer you are, the less likely your house will be struck by lightning and if you have a really big transformer, some thick electrical cable and are good throwing a hook, free electricity (do not try this at home)!

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Old 08-27-2008, 01:29 PM   #4
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I have heard "put a floresent light under the wires and it will light"
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:59 PM   #5
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We looked at a nice property that we liked but decided not to purchase it due to the high-voltage lines. It seems that when you later re-sell it, you'll have a smaller pool of buyers than a home without those lines.
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Old 08-27-2008, 04:10 PM   #6
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Find out how high the voltage is in those lines. If they are older, lower voltage, and 100 yars away, it may not matter.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:15 AM   #7
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I would not buy property near high voltage lines, for several reasons.....potential health risks (why take the chance?) and radio interference are the main ones.
We wouldn't either.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:23 AM   #8
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Add me to the would not buy list.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:24 AM   #9
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Typical "High Tension" line voltage can run from 138,000 volts to 320,000 volts. Voltage coming out of the generator is usually 22,500 volts and they step it up in the transformer yard for transport.
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:08 PM   #10
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EMF readings

I was at the site recently, and had my new EMF meter with me. I found that directly under the high voltage wires at the base of a stansion the EMF's were about 3.3 milligauss(mg). That drops off rapidly as I moved away. The house is about 100 yards away and the EMF averaged less than .5, usually .1 or .2 mg.

Curious, I took some other readings. A nearby lower voltage power pole had a feeder coming down the pols into the ground (to feed underground service to the houses, I presume). The EMFs over that condiuit on the pole was about 80mg. Standing under the wire, the EMF was about 3mg, or the same as the high voltage lines.

Putting the EMF meter on the electrical meter at an exterior house panel brought a whopping 692 mg. The 200 amp feed to that panel read about 25 emf and on the living space side of that conduit, the EMF reading was..... 3 mg, or the same at under the high voltage lines.

Other readings:

Clock and control panel on front new gas range 90 mg
Clock and control panel on front of new microwave 250 mg
Base on my flourescent desk lamp with 13 watt CFL 300 mg
Electronic dimmer switch for incandescent lights 24 mg
Cell phone 2 mg (max and hard to repeat)
General room area away from appliances .1 to 0 mg
Digital Alarm clock about 24 mg


This seems to indicate that EMF's from high voltage transmission lines are no greater than many common things that we live around. Transmission lines and associated towers are big and ominous looking, so I can see the resistance to buying a property nearby.

Now I need to check some reading inside my Bambi !
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetstream View Post
Putting the EMF meter on the electrical meter at an exterior house panel brought a whopping 692 mg. The 200 amp feed to that panel read about 25 emf and on the living space side of that conduit, the EMF reading was..... 3 mg, or the same at under the high voltage lines.

Other readings:

Clock and control panel on front new gas range 90 mg
Clock and control panel on front of new microwave 250 mg
Base on my flourescent desk lamp with 13 watt CFL 300 mg
Electronic dimmer switch for incandescent lights 24 mg
Cell phone 2 mg (max and hard to repeat)
General room area away from appliances .1 to 0 mg
Digital Alarm clock about 24 mg


This seems to indicate that EMF's from high voltage transmission lines are no greater than many common things that we live around. Transmission lines and associated towers are big and ominous looking, so I can see the resistance to buying a property nearby.
WOW!!! is that ever good news. I guess I don't have to wear my foil suit anymore except in the kitchen, bedroom, den or when checking the reading on my electric meter.

Makes one wonder about some other things. Is the sky really falling?
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Old 09-20-2008, 01:38 AM   #12
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I had friends who had a property where the transmission lines crossed the property on the back half of it. You couldn't hear the hum from the house. The only annoying thing was that the power company had an easement so when they fenced the property they had to build gates big enough for a truck to access, and the area under the wires had to be kept clear (this was a forested lot).

If it was otherwise a nice property I don't think I would let transmission lines worry me. Not sure I would want to look at them everyday though.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:01 AM   #13
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The lines themselves would not bother me - it is the years of defoliant and herbicides applications used under the lines since the 1950's & the cumulative effects from them that would concern me. Remember it was not the agent orange that was the problem to servicemen, it was the bulk carrier oils sold by the lowest bidder that was contaminated by transformer oils containing PCBs and Dioxin that got those folks in trouble.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:04 AM   #14
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We certainly can't count on the present administration to do unbiased analysis.

Gene
This particular statement I find humorous because the controversy has been going on for decades....long before this administration came to be and this controversy will be here long after this administration. Any number of prior administrations (from either side of the aisle) could have done unbiased analysis, yet here were are today still looking for answers and simply adding yet another hit toward the current administration....not that I believe the current administration is right on a lot of things lately, but adding this one seems a bit unjustified. My money on this would be the lobbyists, special interest groups (paid for by power companies) in a similar manner to that of what big tobacco did before the ax finally fell....and mind you, the ax only fell because the governments (fed, state, local) found they were hemorrhaging cash in health care costs. I would expect the same thing to happen here because unless there is money in it, this one will be around till either there is a better way to transmit power or insurance companies, governments, etc find that they are spending a lot of money on health care related to this issue of power lines, which we haven't seen yet, and might not ever.

Quote:
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I have heard "put a floresent light under the wires and it will light"

I have heard this too and actually I saw this done. The lights don't actually come on, they flicker ever so lightly. It was warm and humid out when it was done.

I would not buy this. As you know in a major metro area, these lines are in several places. The properties are generally less expensive, but it's like buying a house next to a freight train line-- do you really want to do that? In the end each person would respond differently. I believe there are some health risks to being near these lines or transformer fields, but at the same time, besides any possible health risks, I think they make for an unsightly back yard IMHO.
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