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Planning a New Grain Bin

  • Posted: 04.02.2020
Grain Bin Clearance Graphic

Communicate early with Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative and Corn Belt Power Cooperative for a safe and cost-effective new grain bin. Before planning for a new grain bin or moving an existing bin, contact your Cooperative's local energy advisor to review the specific safety clearances along with the electric service requirements and associated charges. Please allow a minimum of six to eight weeks lead-time so power will be ready when and where you need it by following the guidelines.

Contact your energy advisor before the grain bin pad is poured to ensure if is located a safe distance from overhead power lines.

Your local energy advisor will help you create a safe environment for those living and working near or around the grain bins. The State of Iowa requires specific clearances for overhead electric lines around grain bins, with different standards for those filled by portable or permanent augers, conveyors and elevators.

Electric service cannot be provided to a grain bin installation that does not meet the following specific clearances: Electric wires should be, at minimum, the distance calculated from the appropriate figures and tables associated with this article. All sides are considered to be loading sides unless natural terrain features such as a road right-of-way, a ditch, or a creek is between the overhead line and that side of the bin. In that case, the side with the natural terrain feature would then be considered a non-loading side.

According to the Iowa Electric Safety Code found in Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 199 - 25.2(3) b., An electric utility may refuse to provide electric service to any grain bin build near an existing electric line which does not provide the clearances required by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)C2-2017 "National Electrical Safety Code," Rule 234F. This paragraph "b" shall apply only to grain bins loaded by portable augers, conveyors or elevators and build after Sept. 9, 1992, or to grain bins loaded by permanently installed augers, conveyors, or elevator systems installed after Dec. 24, 1997. (As adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board)

To promote safety, it is also suggested that you post warning signs indicating "loading" and "non-loading" sides of the bin. Iowa Lake Electric Cooperative has free warning decals available that can be used to alert others around grain bins.

Contact your energy advisor before the bin site is confirmed to ensure there are adequate electrical facilities in place to handle the new electric load. Your local energy advisor will determine the electric service requirements (single or three-phase service) relative to the grain bin's motor size and review with you and associated service extension chargers.