During the worst of the rains a week or two ago, we found the power to the barn becoming increasingly unreliable. It would throw the breaker in the middle of the day. It’s still quite dark at night… the chickens appreciate a little light in their coop during the day, so this was a bit of a problem.
We tested the fence, thinking perhaps it was shorting, but no luck.
We dug up the recently installed frost-free pipe, thinking perhaps we’d nicked the power when digging the original hole. Several attempts to ‘fix’ the non-existent issue didn’t fix the problem.
So finally, reluctantly, Thaddeus took a sunny afternoon and got on the tractor to dig up the power all the way from the barn to the shop. Just before he had to start tearing up our driveway (but just after he accidently punched a hole in the adjacent water pipe), he came upon this:
Yes, there’s the culprit. The wire burned away underground, sparking due to perhaps a combination of a bad repair (duct tape over a piece of PVC pipe to wrap the damaged cable) and heavy rains… and just completely a coincidence that it happened right after we installed the frost free pipes, of course.
The fix, once we found the right place to apply it, was pretty fast, and now we have full power restored to the barn! Well, that and a long angry muddy gash in the lawn.