I'm trying to figure out how I got a shock from a neutral wire. I didn't think it was possible until I read this article on being "in series with the neutral." Here's what happened:
I was disconnecting a ceiling fan remote receiver which has a hot and neutral connection and supplies power to the fan and light kit. The hot wire that supplies the box runs through a single-pole switch, so I shut off the switch and tested with a solenoid voltage meter to make sure it was in the off position. I then removed the wire nuts from the hot and neutral connections. I tested both the hot and neutral bundles with the voltage meter (between wires and the grounded box) and there was no voltage, but there was a small spark when I touched the lead to the neutral bundle. I tested it again and there was no voltage, so I assumed that it was static discharge (I don't know why I did that). So I tested the neutral bundle again, to be safe, and there was no voltage. I started unbraiding the neutral wires and that's when I got a shock.
I couldn't believe it. I got a multimeter out and tested again, but there was zero voltage from the neutrals to ground. I turned the switch back on and tested again (hot to ground and hot to neutral), and the black wire was indeed the hot. Then I realized that there were two neutral wires coming into the box, which seemed odd for a ceiling box with only one load (the fan controller). I tested both neutral wires with the switch on and off (neutral to ground): no voltage on either.
Is it possible to get a shock even though you can't detect voltage from a neutral wire? I think now that "neutral one" came from a mystery load that ran into the box and hooked up to "neutral two", which runs to the neutral bar. I probably should have tested hot to each neutral separately to confirm this, but I didn't want another shock. Did I complete a circuit when I touched both neutral wires, and that is why I got the shock?