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Hazardous Voltage Levels

Hazardous Voltage Levels - RF CafeHigh voltage. Low voltage. We hear the term used often, but it would be good to have a definitive listing of what voltage levels qualify for which levels. The table below lists some typical names and the corresponding voltage levels. The video clip at the left appeared as a Cool Pic on RF Cafe a year or so ago, and the one on the right was recently found. Both are awesome.

For human electrocution levels, please click here.

Name Range Description
Safety Extra-Low1 ≤42.2 Vac pk, ≤60 Vdc Considered "safe" for touching (although never recommended). Protected to "guarantee" voltage will never rise above these levels, even under a fault condition. Double insulated.
Extra-Low1 ≤42.2 Vac pk, ≤60 Vdc Non-touchable, but considered safe due to insulation from hazardous voltages.
Low2 ≤1 kVac Considered hazardous. These level are found in common residential and commercial equipment installations.
Medium3 >1 kVac to 100 kVac Very hazardous. Residential and small commercial transformers, both on poles and on the ground.
High3 ≥100 kVac to ≤230 kVac Very hazardous. Found in transmission grid systems including substations.
Extra-High4 >230 kVac to ≤800 kVac Extremely hazardous, even at a distance. Transmission systems between substations and power generation.
Ultra-High4 >800 kVac to 2 MVac Extremely hazardous, even at a great distance. Transmission systems between substations and power generation.



1: IEC 60950-1

2: NEC-NFPA 70 low voltage = 600 V, ANSI/IEEE low voltage = 1 kVac, EU's Low Voltage Directive = 50 V to 1 kVac & 75 to 1.5 kVdc

3: ANSI C84.1 & IEEE 100

4: IEEE 1312 & IEEE 100

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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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