Mysterious stray voltage plagues pool owner
Shortly after installing an aboveground swimming pool, a Brick, New Jersey, family began experiencing the effects of stray voltage.
James and Colleen Volk put in a pool in early summer. Ever since, they have been getting shocked, and they say they are afraid to even walk out of the house.
The first shock came when Colleen went to go clean out the skimmer basket.
“When she stuck her hand in, she got shocked so bad that she felt it down to her feet, like tingling, numbness,” James Volk said.
The Volks say they have done everything to get to the bottom of the problem. They had the pool and surrounding area checked by the power company and independent electricians, who investigated the matter and have not found any answers.
Within the pool itself, they say they’ve made all the major and minor fixes recommended by experts, but the problem remains.
“This is the part we were originally missing, a green wire,” James Volk said. “We attached that, still a problem. Put grounding rods over there, still was happening. Replaced the whole bonding ring, still was happening.”
Volk said that his mother-in-law felt a shock standing on the front lawn.
“She felt something, same thing like my wife, from her feet to her hips,” he said. “She was almost vibrating.”
Brick officials are aware of the family’s stray voltage problem, and they say they are taking steps to get answers.
Where is the current? Image credit: ABC 7 New York. “If they did all the testing, and it’s not coming from the pool or any of the work, then it would be stray voltage in the ground,” Brick Mayor John Ducey said.
Their utility company, JCP& L, said they are also investigating.
“Any report of stray voltage is a safety issue that is immediately and thoroughly investigated,” spokesperson Chris Hoenig said.
According to Consolidated Manufacturing International, a manufacturer of electrical products for pools and spas, common causes of stray voltage include:
• Damaged or broken buried electrical lines.
• Damaged transformer pads that can cause leaking of power and electrical currents.
• Faulty, hanging power lines.
• Incoming power supply connection issues.
• Electrical panel issues.
• Melted or damaged neutral or ground wiring systems.
• Electrical equipment corruption.
• Heater insulation failure.
• Defective lighting systems.