Re: What On "Earth"?
the current flowed out from the live wire into the damp brick,
An uncle was moving house, and of course some of the family (including me, age 16) were helping getting stuff in shape as in several rooms the walls had been stripped and re-plastered.
I was hanging a ceiling lamp in one of the rooms when I happened to brush my fingers over the plaster near a wall socket, and sensed a rather surprising 50Hz buzz. Which was strongest right up from the socket to the ceiling, and fell off the farther you moved from that line. You could even get one of those neon-bulb voltage probe screwdrivers to light up if you held the tip to the wall while touching the radiator valve body. So there was serious current leakage from the socket's wiring.
Showing this to my uncle he declared it Not Good, and gave me permission to expose the conduit and find the cause of the leakage.
Well, the plasterers had clearly wielded their Hilti with great gusto to get the old plaster off but had not shown any care regarding the (iron) conduit, which apart from being almost entirely hammered flat, showed several serious rips with, of course, jagged edges with the wiring inside showing damaged insulation. Unfortunately, in some way, not a full short since that would have shown the problem as soon as they had hit the conduit.