During the last several years, more than two dozen deaths and serious injuries have occurred on Iowa farms, when grain augers have come in contact with overhead power lines. If you’re planning to locate a new grain bin (or move an existing one) at your farm, please contact your local electric cooperative immediately. The staff at your co-op will provide assistance in planning a safe environment for everyone working at – and living around – your grain bins.
Iowa law requires specific clearances for electric lines around grain bins, with different standards for those filled by portable augers, conveyors and elevators and permanent equipment. In fact, the Iowa Electrical Safety Code found in Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 199 – 25.2(3) b states: An electric utility may refuse to provide electric service to any grain bin built near an existing electric line which does not provide the clearances required by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) C2-2007 “National Electrical Safety Code,” Rule 234F. This paragraph “b” shall apply only to grain bins loaded by portable augers, conveyors or elevators and built after September 9, 1992, or to grain bins loaded by permanently installed augers, conveyors or elevators installed after December 24, 1997. This language has been adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board.
Your local electric cooperative is required by the Iowa Utilities Board to provide this annual notice to farmers, farm lenders, grain bin merchants and city and county zoning officials. The drawings on this page show the specific clearances required by the code, but your co-op’s policies may be more restrictive. If you have any questions concerning these clearance regulations – or what needs to be done before you begin placing a new grain bin or moving an existing one – please call your electric co-op for help.