Grain Bin Clearances

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According to the National Electric Safety Code, overhead power lines should be at least 18 feet above the tops of newly erected grain bins. These clearances were established to allow for movement of large equipment near the area. The code also specifies distances power lines must be from the loading and non-loading sides of bins.

The following diagrams illustrate how to work with power lines near your bins.


Grain Bins Filled by Permanent Augers, Conveyers or Elevators

visual of a grain bin labeled with letters later explained in the legend.

LEGEND:  P= probe clearance of 5.5 m (18 feet)  H= horizontal Clearance of 4.6 m (15 feet)  T= transition clearance  V1= vertical clearance above a building required by Rule 234C  V2= vertical clearance above land required by Rule 232C   


Grain Bins Filled by Portable Augers, Conveyers or Elevators

visual of the height of the highest filling or probing port on a grain bin.
visual of the clearance area needed to load and unload a grain bin.

LEGEND:  V= Height of Highest Filling or Probing Port on Grain Bin  H= V + 5.5 m (18 feet)

Grain Bin Distance from Power Lines

visual of the distance from a power line a 15, 25 and 50 ft grain bin would need to have.

Call us at 1.800.766.2099 with any questions.

If are planning to put up a new grain bin - learn code and clearance requirements. In addition, call your electric cooperative for assistance and advice

More Grain Bin Details

Plan ahead for proper grain bin clearance  

Plan ahead for proper grain bin clearance

In you are planning to build a new grain bin on your farm (or move an existing bin), please contact your local Touchstone Energy Cooperative to help you in making sure it is located a safe distance from overhead power lines. They will provide the assistance you need for a safe environment for those living and working on your property.

Your electric cooperative may refuse service to any grain bin built near an existing electric line that does not provide clearances required by the 2002 National Electric Safety Code and adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board. 

The state of Iowa requires specific clearances for electric lines around grain bins, with different standards for those filled by portable and permanent augers, conveyors and elevators. 

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 built near an existing electric line which does not provide the clearances required by The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)C2-2002 “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 built after December 24, 1997. (As adopted by the Iowa Utilities Board)

The 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. If you have any questions concerning clearance regulations, please call your local electric cooperative.