Monday, September 8, 2008

Precautions when working with irrigation systems

The following precautions should be taken when working with irrigation systems involving the use of electricity:
  • Make certain only well-trained people familiar with the National Electrical Code and the new irrigation standard are allowed to work on the wiring.
  • When servicing the machine, personally shut off and lock the master control switch.
  • Stay away from the machine during lightning storms. A properly installed machine is an ideal lightning receptor and will carry the current for long distances.
  • Install lightning arresters to protect equipment.
  • Mark the location of all buried electrical lines.
  • As with any electrical system, do not over-fuse. Instead, find out why the fuses are blowing and correct the problem.
  • Don't cut corners on the electrical installation to save money. Include the cost of the electrical components when estimating the cost of your system.
  • Avoid contact with overhead lines when moving equipment.
  • Use the disconnect switch located at each tower when working on the system. It is there to protect a person from injury if someone accidentally energizes the system or if the system automatically restarts after a power outage. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires the switch to be within 15 feet of the motor.
  • If you feel a tingle when you contact any part of the system, shut it down until a competent electrician can troubleshoot the system.

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