Picking up fields from transmission lines?

edited July 2015 in Magnets
This is just a curious question: I'm going to be moving to a place close to high-tension transmission lines, and I am wondering if I try to implant a magnet there in the future, would I be able to feel the transmission lines from the get-go? 

Has anyone here felt the fields around transmission lines? If so how far can you usually pick it up?


  • Right after implatntation I could clearly feel the underground power cable at about 3 meters from the point right above the cable, some feeling appeared at ~5 meters. I don't know the exact depth of this cable (I assume that it's about 1 meter) or voltage, but it was prohibited to build in this area. So, I think, if it's allowed to build any real estate in an area, it will not be sufficient field intencity in it to feel it. It may vary from country to country, but in my country it's definitely illegal to build in such places. Note that after several weeks sensibility should increase, but I don't think this range will increase greatly.
  • Some physical background: It's not the voltage you pick up. It's the current. High voltage is used to transmit power at lower currents, because currents cause losses due to the resistance of the cables. We'r still talking about currents ranging in the realms of several 100 to a few thousand Ampere(per cable). Those do produce rather noticeable magnetic fields per cable. But due to the nature of transmission lines you get another cable with current going the opposite way. Those fields overlap and cancel each other out in big parts.

    Conclusion: You may be able to pick them up, chances are you'd have to get dangerously close tho. The humming sound from the transmission lines, due to the cables attracting/repulsing each other, will probably be way more annoying.

    AndrewR may have experienced other phenomena than transmission lines. Such as subway power lines (where current return path may take quite some detour and fields won't cancel out), transformers (which sometimes leak magnetic flux quite a bit) or simmilar. Even if you apply the exprience ~5m is not the average person's safety distance you'd want to keep to nearly half a million volt.
  • My father actually asked me about high tension lines the other day and whether or not you world "feel" it when living close. I said no you wouldn't be effected unless you are basicly close enough to touch it.

    I then took my phone and showed him that standing essentially in a very electricity devoid area that there is no readings then did the same near the lines where the house was and it was just barely any increase. I don't fully trust the accuracy of the numbers it reads out in the app but it does show increase and decrease.

    I tested it with a speaker to see if it would change and it did. This was done on an iPhone. Also I don't have a magnet implant this was regarding the actual feel of it when there is high power like when you are near transformers or large battery banks. The hair standing up feeling.
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