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I live in a older mobile home that sits on a concrete slab about 3 feet off the ground at my work. I recently had a visit from the gas co. They wanted to replace the old gas meter but apparently found voltage coming from the meter that registered from 1 to 4 volts depending on where it was tested. This includes earth ground and even the mobile home itself. The gas meter sits just above the dirt next to the fence and a galvanized pipe runs from it across the concrete slab approx. 12 feet where it bends upward and runs along the frame branching off to the dryer and then to the water heater ,heater, and to the oven. There is a ground clamp and wire attatched to the trailer frame and gas pipe about 8 inches long. I was told i needed to have a electrition correct the problem before they could continue. I was reading another similar post here but thought i would be specific as to my situation before calling anyone out. Is it possible to trace this out myself by cutting the individual breakers and checking for voltage to narrow it down or is that a waste of time? Btw, i am of corse not a professional but like to learn.

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  • Is this mobile home by itself or in a group of mobile homes? If the gas company did not give you any guidance, I do not think you should tackle this by yourself; call a capable professional electrician. Try to get more information from the gas company. How often do they see this condition? – Jim Stewart Apr 22 '18 at 9:11
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    If it’s only a few volts it seems like a grounding issue, not so much a current leakage issue. Induction and/or static causes such. What did the gas company use as ground to take these measurements? Pictures of the grounding might help. – Tyson Apr 22 '18 at 11:15
  • The reason my above comment asks what the gas company used for ground got left out while typing, to complete the thought: what if it was whatever they choose as ground had floating voltage and the gas pipe is the better ground? 1-4 is a difference in potential, and it might not a actually be much current flow (type phantom voltage into the search box here, there are several previous questions discussing phantom voltage.) – Tyson Apr 22 '18 at 14:13
  • It's quite possible that equipment showing only a few volts could trigger a spark when disconnected (e.g. when removing the meter), hence the gas company's disinterest in continuing. – Daniel Griscom Apr 22 '18 at 22:37
  • Its by itself .the gas man just stuck one end of the prob in the dirt and the other end on the pipe – Mike Mosley Apr 23 '18 at 6:19
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I would pay a professional electrician to inspect and remake the grounding arrangements, check the voltage on the gas equipment and provide a certificate (depends on your part of the planet, where I am it would be an EICR for the whole electrical installation, but I'd get the electrician to provide a written report of some sort with his registration number and signature on it)

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You could have an interesting problem. It could be cathodic protection but that should be no more than 2V and the gas company man should be familiar with cathodic factors. Because it is a mobile home park , the developer may have buried gas, water , power and telephone lines in the same ditch. AC Power lines can induce voltage on parallel lines . It would depend on the proximity, the parallel length , the voltage , and other factors. People have been electrocuted by voltage induced in pipelines lying on the ground ( during construction ) along high voltage transmission lines ( 50 ft + above).

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  • I would like to see a reference for the death, sounds like a wife's tale, I have seen eddy currents from hv transmission but never enough to do more than a tingle and that is a shock not electruction. – Ed Beal Apr 23 '18 at 17:08
  • There have been deaths ; I did not give details. Think of a mile + of pipe set on wood cribbing for welding prior to being buried. It is much easier/better to weld the pipe this way instead of laying in a muddy ditch..However it can also cause some weird effects on the weld puddle. – blacksmith37 Apr 25 '18 at 20:28
  • Ok let's keep the storey straight first you said laying on the ground then on wood supports big diference, I do know of animals getting shocked from stray currents on hv transmission lines but have not heard of deaths but I do know that the pipe could charge to some level insulated by wood. – Ed Beal Nov 7 '18 at 0:43

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