Free electricity !

   / Free electricity ! #1  


Elite Member
Apr 12, 2011
Well I guess it's sort of free.. If I can figure out how to harness it. We built our house about 4 years ago and I will try to explain this as good as I can, but we have power coming out of the ground. If you stand outside barefoot and touch something metal.. You get a tingle. For example, we were planting some trees and the root ball had the metal cage around it. The cage was in contact with the ground, and when I knelt down with a bare knee to the ground and touched the cage...zaaaaap ! My A/C guy was pressurizing the condenser last summer and was getting hit when his bare knee was on the ground and he touched the copper on the unit. In the basement, if you ground a meter, you can pick up voltage from the foundation ties ! After finding this last year I notified the electric utility and they came out and drove grounding rods tied to all our outside mechanicals, then I checked all the other houses on our road and they are all hot as well. I think I could stick some low voltage lighting into the ground and they may work. ..
   / Free electricity ! #2  
Strange. What does your volt meter read?
   / Free electricity ! #3  
Strange indeed.
Do you have any communication/microwave towers nearby? Power lines?
What doesn't make sense is the objects are in contact with ground, and so are you, so where does the "step and touch potential" (i.e. the voltage differential you experience) come from? (In addition to where does the current come from?)
[That is, we are all "birds on a wire". That is, it's all relative. There needs to be a DIFFERENCE in voltage to get a current to flow. Example, if my yard was at 200 volts compared to my neighbors yard, I wouldn't get shocks, because I and everything I touch is at 200 volts (compared to someplace else), but at zero volts compared to me. Understand? ]

Similarly if you ground a meter then measure ("grounded") tiles, how can there be a voltage? Either the tiles or the "ground" reference your using is not at zero volts.
In this case, how do you "ground" the meter?
At first I would say, you have voltage/current on your panel ground conductor (i.e. an floating/ungrounded electrode system) that you are measuring/feeling when you touch part of this system (the AC system / piping) and the "real" ground at the same time, but this doesn't explain the root ball where I assume you are away from the house?
   / Free electricity !
  • Thread Starter
If I use a volt meter and stick the ground onto anything metal the stick the other end into the ground, I can get 50 volts +/-. It is all over our neighborhood and we do have a power line about 700 yards through the woods. I'm assuming there is some issue that originates from there. My neighbor, about 1500 feet away has a pool. For a decade he has gotten poked from his grill, after he stepped out of his pool. Really really odd.
   / Free electricity !
  • Thread Starter
Correct, the root ball was in the mulch bed away from the house. Wire cage in the dirt and a bare knee in the same dirt, creates a nice zap when you touch the cage.
   / Free electricity ! #6  
You should get the monsters and mystery TV crew there to make an episode. They could call it Electrosquach. He has been terrorizing the country for years. If you make any money off this idea I get half!

Seriously you get 50V from the ground.... Sounds like a major issue. Have you contacted anyone to report this? Who knows what the long term effects will be?
   / Free electricity ! #7  
This is definitely not normal and potentially very dangerous. Since it is in the whole neighborhood, it is a power company issue that needs to be corrected. I would think they would want to fix the problem rather than face liability issues.
   / Free electricity ! #8  
Do you get a shock from your car when you step in or out?
If you turn on your AM radio do you get a loud 60hz hum?
I wouldn't of guessed that a 60 Hz power transmission line wouldn't put out those kinds of EMF's at 700 ft. But maybe? Is it a big line?
If you told me you had a high frequency TV/communications/radar microwave broadcast/relay tower etc.. 200ft from your yard, then yes.

Use the 50 volts to charge an array of batteries, there's your free power!
   / Free electricity ! #9  
meter set to ac or dc?

have you brought out a flourescent lamp tube to play with too / do some testing with?

any radio towers nearby?
   / Free electricity ! #10  
I have been an industrial electrician for over 50 years, and ran into a very similar situation once.
I Turns out the neighbors (about 500' away) had a defective system ground, and a bad Electric hot water heater element, that was charging the ground.
I suggest you have all of your neighbors turn off their Mains while someone watches a meter, when you find the guilty party the voltage will disappear.