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My son has a mobile home which is an older home. All of the sockets are three prong and all are grounded.

His son went out to close the gate and was shocked. Dad does it and nothing happened. Last night his son closed the gate and again was shocked. Dad checks it and notices as the gate latch drops it sparks. He lifts it again and as he lowers it there is again sparks.

He thinks it may be a problem in his mobile home.

This morning (with the main pulled and sub breaker off) we ran a continuity check for the neutral and the ground coming from the sub panel to the main. Both show continuity, which makes it appear that both are good (we did disconnect them from the sub panel and tested each one separately). We also checked the ground from main to ground and it is fine. All lugs are tight and ground from sub to frame of trailer is good. One fence post does touch the home. No breakers are tripping and no lights brighter than others everything appears normal other than the spark and shock at fence.

What other steps can we take to isolate the problem other than turning off one breaker at a time and testing?

We have considered that the problem may be coming from another home as the back chain link fences are tied to corners from one to the other.

I am fairly good with electricity but age is catching up and am forgeting a lot of troubleshooting ideas.

  • The only item contacting the fence is the one point of the trailer? No lights or electrical devices on the fence? Can you space the point of contact on the fence from the trailer (a piece or wood or plastic acting as a spacer) and check fence for sparks or voltage to ground? Is trailer siding metal? – spicetraders Sep 17 '16 at 19:30
  • I have had a mobil home where previous owner mounted some brackets using 3 in long deck screws into the studs. One pierced a romex run inside the wall, electrifying the siding (no breaker trip just hot sides) – spicetraders Sep 17 '16 at 19:35
  • We did isolate the fence from the house and that cleared the fence . We then started testing the home itself and had 97 volts on the meatl side of the trailer I finally had to give up and our number 3 son came running to help will post solution under answer yoru question Thanks for the help – Doc1 Sep 19 '16 at 3:16
  • Good luck if it is a screw or nail into the wiring. At least you can turn off breakers one by one to figure out which line is tapped. – spicetraders Sep 19 '16 at 3:26
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Thanks for the answers and the offers of help I had to give up Our number three son came running and was able to isolate and find the problem.

He found that even though the ground lug looked good and actually showed good when testing it was actually broken. The bolt that pushes aganist the ground rod was broken completely into. They purchased a new ground clamp and installed it. He then ran test again and had 0 volts on the metal side of the house and 6 volts on the frame. This was way better than the 97 volts that was on the side.

He then took the ground lug  back off cleaned the ground rod and the ground wire and reinstalled.

After a second test he had 2 volts on the frame which they believe is a couple of bad outlets They are changing them out today . I am concerned about 2 volts but using a Fluke meter may be static volts or something Just a good lesson that proves putting good eyes on equipment can be better than testing and taking for granted it is good He found the problem by two means. One was actually looking at the ground and associated parts and second actually taking apart to make sure he was getting a good ground at the start

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Your first job is to find a true, honest-to-goodness ground. If you're confident that your three-pronged outlets' ground pins are properly connected, then use one of those. If the soil is not too dry and/or sandy you could use an isolated metal pole into the ground (perhaps wetting the ground around it). You aren't looking for something that will carry real current; you're just looking for something at the right voltage potential.

Then, start measuring voltage from that ground point to both sides of that gate, to your mobil home's frame, to your neighbors, etc. etc. etc. Use a decent high impedance voltmeter (counterexample: an incandescent lightbulb) so that you'll really be measuring the voltage. Find the point where the voltage to "ground" is the highest, and it will likely be near the source of the problem.

If after all taht you haven't found the root of the problem, come back here and edit your findings into your question, and we'll try to give you a better answer.

  • Daniel thnk you as well Sometimes you have to let the younger ones take over We are taking your suggestion and replaceing all the outlets will give the solution under answer your question – Doc1 Sep 19 '16 at 3:18

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