As I was performing an inspection I came across a few outlets on the back of the house near the water pumping system. The house was destroyed by the home owner when he was forced to leave the property due to forclosure.
The outlet wweather box seals were not intact and water had been in them for quite some time. The GFCIs didn't work and no voltage present with all breakers on. I notice a switch on the wall heading to the water pump switch and I removed the cover and bugs came pouring out of the liquid tight, and it was energized @ 240V.
Once it left the water pump switch the LT went underground somewhere. 40 feet away I could see a wooden post with a junction box mounted to it and that flex pipe going into it. I put my fluke on voltage alert to the side the box and get nothing. I then remove the cover and 0 Volts. Hmmm..what is going on here?
I left it alone and then continued. As I moved through the side of the building the ground was becoming more moist as the rain collected there it seems. As my boot slid I turned around and saw another wooden post about 25 feet away but the LT was not going into the junction box. It came out of the ground and then arched over back into the ground. I was getting ready to kneel by it to inspect it but I decided to shut the entire main to the abandoned house off. I picked up the LT pipe and the conductors were burnt to a crisp. It appears that they were arching together while in the dirt.
I capped the wires, turned on the power and 240V present. Would anything have happened if I kneeled next to this pipe? Is there a method to perform a voltage check on the actual ground, not the ground conductor?