Electrically conductive garden hose

Of all the strange things that can happen, this one I would have never expected. I run a farm, I have livestock in electric fences. I am around these fences daily, and you learn not to touch them, or touch a weed that is contacting the fence. Every so often I touch the fence. For some reason touching the fence automatically triggers my mouth to utter a about 5 to 10 cus words and then I continue what I was doing.
When you have livestock, they still need water, and that means dragging out a hose and fighting the weather and the ice on the spigot threads.
During the coldest part of last winter, I was fighting with stiff and frozen hoses (as always), and I decided to go shopping and see if there was a hose that would not get stiff when it was cold. I found a black rubber hose, which claimed to stay soft and pliable in even the coldest weather. It was costly, but I decided to give it a try.
The good news, it did remain relatively soft and pliable even when the temps dropped below zero. The bad news, I quickly learned this hose is electrically conductive. I learned the hard way when the hose touched the electric fence, and nearly knocked me on my ass. The common plastic hoses do not conduct. Even when they are wet, I might feel a tingle, but not enough to bother me, I just lift the hose from the fence. But this black rubber hose (whether wet or dry), conducts just like a wire. In fact it seems to amplify the shock. If that hose is touching the electric fence, I can touch that hose anywhere along it's 50 foot length and get knocked to the ground.
HOW IN THE HECK CAN RUBBER CONDUCT ELECTRICITY ?
Aside from cutting the hose, I have carefully looked it over. There are no exposed wires embedded in the rubber, and even if there were wires in the core of the hose, there would still be rubber in between. Therefore, the rubber itself is conductive. WTF?????? All I can figure is that the rubber contains a high amount of carbon and is acting like a resistor which sort of explains why it tends to amplify the shock.
I called the manufacturer. No one working there, including the top guy could explain the reason, and said they never heard of such a thing. They took down my phone number and said they would contact me if they could answer my question. Of course I never heard back from them.
Can anyone make any sense of this?
Thanks
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Learning can be painful :-)

You might try running current through it in wintertime (from the fence controller?) to keep the water inside from freezing instead of draining it every day. Don't forget to shut off the power when using it :-)
Nick
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On May 18, 1:59 am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

Did you ever see anyone pee on an electric fence, now thats funny to see. Was the hose wet and is it only that hose I mean you checked it again.
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...

The black of a black rubber hose is carbon and carbon is a conductor, in fact the first light bulb filaments were carbon. I might add that a lot of things can go into the mix used to make the rubber.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

It can't/doesn't.

I suggest that, in the past, you have simply been LUCKY that your wet, plastic hose hasn't transmitted a shock.
The rubber hose was probably wet and/or full of water which WILL conduct electricity. Perhaps you were wearing different shoes, boots or overshoes when you got nailed.
Just like your livestock has learned to avoid the wire, you have learned to NOT allow the hose (rubber or otherwise) to contact the working fence wire. Good luck although I don't think you'll need it: Once is enough to learn about the effects of a fencer.
Also, ensure the fencer is properly grounded. Happy feeding.
--
:)
JR

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wrote:

The black of a black rubber hose is carbon and carbon is a conductor, in fact the first light bulb filaments were carbon. I might add that a lot of things can go into the mix used to make the rubber.
Joseph Meehan
***********************************************************
Good to have expert opinions on these matters.
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wrote:

Pure water is a very poor conductor. Salt water is at least a fair conductor. Other things dissolved in water can increase its conductivity as well.
Pure water has a very high resistivity, but it is finite. The value is 2.5x10^+5 ohm meters at 20C. and 1 atm pressure. In contrast, liquid mercury has a resistivity of 9.58x10^-7
Rubber is usually a very good insulator (high resistance) but as noted, rubber hoses are seldom all rubber. Rubber is not naturally black. Carbon black is added to improve resistance to sun light in products like tyres and hoses.

--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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http://www.carbon-black.org/what_is.html
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On May 18, 2:59 am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

report oddities to the power company and they come out for free to make sure they are not sending incomplete power circuits into your place or the neighbor's. they do like to come out, as opposed to electrocute their customers. :) other examples of where the wet ground is electrified and you are catching a shock back to the water/earth ground can show up indoors in the home as well. when electrically leaking (compressor and motorized) equipment electrifies a wet floor, there you are getting a shock from your feet at your hand touching an electrically grounded item or sink. being knocked on your ass with electricity has cost some folks loss of common sense. some believe they can avoid the expense of an electrician, but it's better than calling for your final ambulance ride. using a portable gfi on an extension cord can help identify defective appliances. and then there's always the electric fence device and its circuits to be tested by an electrician. yours may be defective. review this with your electrician: http://www.ibiblio.org/farming-connection/grazing/features/fencemis.htm and: http://www.ibiblio.org/farming-connection/grazing/features/ground.htm
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

So, you used a hose that was proven unsafe, without warning from the manufacturer, which caused you pain and suffering, may have shortened your life, put you in fear of your very existence, caused you extreme embarrassment because you voided your bowels uncontrollably, and caused your livestock to disrespect you.
Sounds like a class-action claim to me.
Lawyers will be a-calling.
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On May 18, 1:59 am, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

I bet it was made in China, contact a few gov agencies, even a tv station might be interested. Did you try it again with a V meter and ohm test.
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I never knew garden hoses were conductive but gasoline pump hoses are. Conductive hoses are used to dissipate and prevent buildup of static electricity charges. Check the hoses at your gas station; they could have writing on them indicating they are conductive.
The increased shock intensity could be because of better contact over a larger contact area with your wet/damp hands as well as better grounding if your shoes and/or the ground was damp.
Tap water is certainly conductive enough to carry an electric fence charge through any normal hose length so the current could flow through the hose to the water and then back out to your hand.
Don Young
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