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Outside Wiring -- slight electrical shock when touching chicken fence

Outside Wiring -- slight electrical shock when touching chicken fence

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Old 07-19-12, 08:37 AM
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Outside Wiring -- slight electrical shock when touching chicken fence

Several years ago, my husband and an electrician friend did an outside wiring job to bring electricity to our chicken shed. About a year ago, the breaker started tripping (usually after rain storm). My husband thought he found problem and dug out a box and sealed it and did some other things to prevent water. Now, the breaker doesn't trip but you get a slight tingling feeling (sometimes weak and sometimes it hurts a little) whenever you touch anything metal surrounding the shed (the hose bib and chicken fencing, specifically).

We probably need to call the electrician, but before we spend hundreds of dollars, does anyone have any suggestions on things to check -- or cross off the list before he comes? One thought -- about 6 months ago, we ran a water pipe over to the chicken fencing part of the shed (in pvc). Is it possible we somehow "nicked" the wiring slightly and the pvc pipe is lying on the wire? Can electricity travel that way? Mainly, I'm wondering why the shock is slight and what that might indicate (and why the breaker isn't tripping).

Thanks - S
 
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Old 07-19-12, 10:10 AM
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and dug out a box and sealed it and did some other things to prevent water.
That is a troubling statement with few exceptions boxes shouldn't be buried. What kind of box? Where is it. Was UF cable used? Is it continuous from the main panel to the chicken house?
 
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Old 07-19-12, 02:35 PM
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Do you have a way to measure voltage?

If you do you could check for voltage between the fence and the hose bibb with the breaker on and then off. If the voltage goes away with the breaker off you are leaking current into the earth.
 
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Old 07-19-12, 04:00 PM
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I am guessing the problem is in your wiring, but you could contact your utility and have them assess your property for stray voltage.

They may be able to eliminate their equipment as a possible cause but they probably will not diagnose or repair anything on your side of the meter. On the other hand, they might just tell you to hire a licensed electrical contractor, and to contact them again if the contractor determines everything is OK on your side.

Are the hose bibb and chicken wire grounded?

Is there a 4-conductor feed to the chicken shed? That is, two hots, neutral and ground?
 
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Old 07-19-12, 05:49 PM
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As a safety note, i would avoid touching both surfaces until the issue is resolved. No need to risk a shock.
 
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