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Stacey, Home Buyer in 18951

Found the perfect house right next to power lines (NOT high tension but power line) Are regular power lines safer than high tension lines?

Asked by Stacey, 18951 Sat Apr 28, 2012

I found the perfect house with land but it is smack dab next to power lines-about 100-200 feet from the back of house. They are not seen as they are blocked by trees but I have always been unsure of the health impacts of power lines. They are NOT high tension lines but they are power lines nonetheless. Is there a difference between the two? I have small children to worry about.

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I'm not sure, but I don't think that scientists have proven or not proven a link between power lines and health risks. Because of the uncertainty some people prefer not to live near power lines.

Here are some articles for you to check out. I think it is a matter of your comfort level. Another thing to consider is that enough people prefer not to live near power lines and that could make a property in close proximity to power lines less desirable in the marketplace when compared to a similar home not in proximity to power lines.

The first link describes the difference between high voltage transmission lines and lower voltage distribution lines.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
Hi Stacie, It is nearly impossible to judge the EMF (electromagnetic fields) just by looking at the line but I would only be concerned if it is the main distribution line for the community, in most other cases the EMF would not even be measurable when you stand directly beneath the line, let alone at 100-200 ft. To determine if it is a main line follow it in both directions -> it will be higher than other lines, run straighter & cross major roads.
Regardless, I'd still have someone come out to take some measurements if only for peace of mind. Maybe your realtor can include that as part of the home inspection clause (???). The tool used to measure EMF is called a gaussmeter and the inspector must be able to make readings as low as 0.5 mg (milligauss) to provide an accurate picture.
I'm not an expert, just a parent who after the birth of my daughter became very concerned about a line running behind my home (30ft). I purchased a gaussmeter (online approx. $150) and I discovered that things like sitting with a computer on my lap, having the baby phone on my nightstand, driving my car exposed me to much higher levels of EMF than the power line. That said my husband & I are lucky that although the line behind our home is part of the main distrubtion system for our community we are near the end of the line so the measurements were very low. The numbers I measured in other parts of my community were far higher the way, you'll need to decide for yourself what 'acceptable' is since this is also subject to extreme debate. I settled on
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 6, 2012
I had the same question asked about 20 years ago while working in the Langhorne, PA area. I called PECO about it & they sent a representative out to meet the buyer. He walked around the neighborhood with her a took various reading for her review. He then went inthe home with us & took reading inside. The result was that the levels were highest in front on the TV & where the transformer for their cordless phone was plugged in. Maybe PP&L could provide that same service & give you piece of mind. P.S. The lines in question were high tower power lines.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
Stacey, their have been assertions over the years that living close to high tension lines can have harmful health effects due to the EMF (electro magnetic force) they produce. This has not been conclusively determined but because some people believe it plus many feel it is an eyesore will generally cause a decrease in the value of these properties. Also, I believe the high tension lines produce a greater level of EMF.
Hope this helps.

Dan Falco
Assist 2 Sell Buyers and Sellers Advantage
Quakertown, PA 18951
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
I don't think there has been anything solid in proving there is danager living with power lines. I have family that grew up with these in the back and have a happy, healthy life and have children that are now grown living a healthy happy life. There was always talk about the dangers but never anything proven....and I do know that family is healthy and so are the grown children. Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
Location, location, locaation is always a factor when buying a home. Power lines close to a home make it more difficult to sell in the future. (depending on the scope) It's just like being on a busy road or simialr situations. But, older homes usually do not have underground electric and this sounds like your situation. From a safety perspective, I would check with someone who is authorized to test for electronagnetic levels. If this is your concern or if it is a matter of the lines may be in reach, there are safety standards that you must taake into consideration. In any case, if you have a concern, do your homework!

Frank Dolski MBA, ABR, e-PRO
Associate Broker
2010-2011 Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle Award Recipient
CARTUS & SIRVA Certified Relocation Specialist
Previews Luxury Home Specialist
Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors
215-803-3237 (mobile)
215-794-1070 x-103
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 28, 2012
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