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How close to power lines would you live?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Anyone know how far away is ok - or rather how close is too close? Dh and I are desparately trying to get out of our 3rd floor apt into someplace in the country. There are precious few houses for rent, mostly quite pricey and we are not in a position to buy for another year.

Anyway, we are going to look at a house to rent on 50 acres but there is a power line off in 1 corner of it -about 1/2 mile away. Should I be concerned? All I can find says don't live near them - but what is defined as "near"?

Hope someone here can help me!!

cross posted this in living off the grid...
post #2 of 20
Half a mile would still be too close for my own comfort level, more for the possibility of kids getting hurt than anything.

But I'm looking forward to seeing what others think as well ... there are a couple of houses in our area that are gorgeous but right near some towers, and they're only a few years old so they must have been built after the towers were.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
I'm not worried about kids getting hurt on them as dh and i are pretty protective and our 2 yr old (and even if we lived there a long time) would not be wandering out on her own. Tho my mom did grow up climbing on them :
post #4 of 20
I would be comfortable with a 1/2 mile I think. Would do more reading though.

By near I seemed to think by what reading I had done that it was about as 'under' the lines as you can get.
post #5 of 20
By "power line" do you mean a pylon on a high-power main electric line?

One thing you could do is buy or borrow a gaussmeter and just check out the readings in the place where you would live. I did this the last time we were buying a house. I got a $25 gaussmeter and discovered that our new house was fine... but our old house wasn't! We weren't even by a really high-power line, just one of the bigger lines that was carrying power to a lot of the neighbourhood.

A hint, should you decide to do that, is to make sure there's no heavy power use in the house at the time you check it out. Lights off, etc. You'll probably find there are at least some "hot spots", probably close to where the electric line enters the house, but you can get a feel for the house as a whole and especially the bedrooms.

I've been worrying a little that my ds's new school is about 0.5 mile from a substation, but the school is really the best choice for all kinds of reasons and I figure home is more important since he's there more.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info mavery... and to others as well
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
found research that said 200 yards is ok in most circumstances - unless near a lot of traffic or air polution in which case you may want to be 500 yards away. The most anyone said was that they would be comfortable with over 1/2 mile - but there responses were not based on science, whereas the others were. If there are trees, 200 yards, if polution or down wind of the power lines - 500 yards. So I think a half mile is totally fine.
post #8 of 20
we spent a year living under powerlines....they were probably 15- 25 ft from our apt and above us ...i hated them....dh is the one who choose the apartment, he musent have even thought about the gigantic metal structure looming right behind the place....i dont know that ne harm came from it. all i know is that we hated them, they snapped and hissed.. there was never any peice and quiet outside....poor dh felt really bad for moving his family under powerlines (i really don't think the place was zoned for an apartment( it was a warehouse/office, and the apt was built on top of it by the previous owner after his wife/gf kicked him out of their home) we moved out as soon as the lease was up
post #9 of 20
I second the gaussmeter thing. I lived for awhile in an apt really close to power lines and I suffered headaches until I moved. I discovered that my bedroom was also directly over the electric room for the whole building - the levels in there were off the charts. You won't know whether the readings are high until you test it - power lines obviously run different voltages depending on what type of lines they are, and the necessary distance depends on voltage. The intensity of the field drops off exponentially the further away you get. Residential lines are about 116v and transmission lines can be upwards of 800,000v if I remember correctly.

There is also a theory that electromagnetic fields change the way that pollutants act and that they are magnified and more easily absorbed by people in areas near high voltage lines. At any rate, studies show that there is a doubled risk of childhood leukemia in children living near high voltage lines. Who knows what else is going on but it stands to reason that since we all have individual electric fields it is probably a bad idea to live inside a man-made field. I've researched it a lot and I'd say that I wouldn't want to live within 1/2 mile (maybe more) of transmission lines, and at least 200 meters away from city 'feeder' lines. I also would not sleep in the room where the power enters my house. Actually, I even make sure there are no outlets near the head of my bed. Boy, I just made myself sound like a real freak! :
post #10 of 20
Stumbled across this article, The effects of High Voltage Transmission Lines on the Health of Adjacent Resident Populations.
Hard to find studies that aren't biased. Who knows if this one is
post #11 of 20
I really would like to read this article but I can not access with the link. I checked my settings on computer and enabled to internat I believe it said. I don't know I would like to read it though if another link can be provided or tell me the source and I will go to the site.
post #12 of 20
post #13 of 20
Thank you Mavery for fixing that

I meant to check the link and forgot
post #14 of 20
Where do you go to buy one of those gaussmeter things?
post #15 of 20
I had to buy it online. People in hardware stores have no idea what you're talking about if you ask them. I bought the $25 'Gaussmaster' also called the 'Dr Gauss.' It comes with instructions on how to take readings and what levels are considered high. It's very easy to use. Sorry I can't remember where I bought it.
post #16 of 20
I bought the same kind. There are a few websites which sell several different types -- some of the websites are "ghosthunter" sites, since apparently ghosts create EMF disturbances, which I found amusing when I was stressed out about the power lines.
post #17 of 20
I cant find a cheap gaussmeter.

They use them for ghosts?

I found the perfect house for us at a good price. Went to see it and there are transmission lines 100 feet from the house So the house hunt continues. Wonder what kind of a face I will get from the real estate agent when I tell her I don't want to gamble with my kids health.
post #18 of 20
Here are some gaussmeters:

post #19 of 20
Thanks for this thread and those links! We'll be house-hunting in the next couple of months, and this topic was on my "to do" research list!
post #20 of 20
Originally Posted by mavery View Post
Here are some gaussmeters:

Thank you.

There was even one on there for $12.95
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