Above are two pictures of a house’s service drop–where the electrical supply arrives from the street. Standard 240 volt electrical service has three wires entering the home. Two are ungrounded conductors on which travel the two (120 volt) legs of the electrical supply. The third grounded (neutral) conductor allows the circuit to be completed back to the transformer outside the house.
The problem here is that the grounded service neutral is disconnected! This is a very serious electrical defect. Power was on in the house. For there to be power, a circuit from the transformer and back must be completed. But with service neutral disconnected, power must be returning some other way to the transformer–Through the ground or plumbing.