Stray voltage mystery keeping New Jersey family out of pool, off lawn

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Monday, September 12, 2022
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A family from New Jersey is worried for their safety after the summer fun was ruined by mysterious stray voltage detected in their backyard. Anthony Johnson has the story.

BRICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A family from New Jersey is worried for their safety after the summer fun was ruined by mysterious stray voltage detected in their backyard.

James and Colleen Volk gingerly trod through their lawn these days, because their quiet oasis holds a shocking mystery.

Since putting in their above ground pool early this summer, they say they have been the victims of stray electrical voltage.

"My wife, my mother-in-law, and my daughter in the pool, and my wife went to go clean out the skimmer basket," James Volk said. "When she stuck her hand in, she got shocked so bad that she felt it down to her feet, like tingling, numbness."

The Volks have had the pool and surrounding area checked by the power company and independent electricians who have tried everything, but still, the mystery lingers.

"This is the part we were originally missing, a green wire," James Volk said. "We attached that, still a problem. Put grounding rods over there, still was happening. Replaced the whole bonding ring, still was happening."

They have made all the major and minor fixes recommended by the experts, but the Volks are still staying out of the pool.

"It's a scary thing," James Volk said. "I've got a 2-year-old, she's my first child. I've got my wife here. I've got my mother in law here. We're scared to come out of the house and even walk in our lawn."

He said his mother-in-law also felt a shock one day standing on the front lawn.

"She felt something, same thing like my wife, from her feet to her hips," he said. "She was almost vibrating."

Township officials are well aware of the Volk's voltage problem and say are taking steps to keep the family safe.

"If they did all the testing, and it's not coming from the pool or any of the work, then it would be stray voltage in the ground," Brick Mayor John Ducey said.

Utility company JCP&L said they are investigating.

"Any report of stray voltage is a safety issue that is immediately and thoroughly investigated," spokesperson Chris Hoenig said.

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