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Old 05-06-2011, 10:09 AM   #1
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Cut Underground wire?


There is a cable that runs from the house to the front lawn, and was probably used for a light post at some point. I've traced it as far as possible, but it disappears underground at a depth of over 6 inches and I'm not able to continue looking for the cable end. There is a switch that does not appear to control anything inside by the front door, which MAY control this wire.

To confirm this before disconnecting and capping wires at the switch, I'd like to make a small cut (power off) in the section of the wire I can access and check for power with my multimeter (power back on), while flipping the switch on and off.

Is this feasible and safe? Easier way? Thanks in advance from a cautious newbie.

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Old 05-06-2011, 10:26 AM   #2
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Cut Underground wire?


Use a non-contact voltage detector. It will detect the presence of power on the cable without having to cut into it. Otherwise you'll probably want to cut completely through the cable, strip the jacket back, and separate the wires away from each other so that it's easier and safer to test with your multimeter.

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Old 05-06-2011, 11:03 PM   #3
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Cut Underground wire?


Thanks, good idea. The detector shows no voltage, with switch on or off. Is it safe to conclude the switch does not control the cable? Or could it be that the cable has been disconnected already by the previous owner from whatever switch used to control it? Thanks...
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:55 PM   #4
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Cut Underground wire?


It's possible it was already disconnected, and it should have been when whatever was on the other end of it was removed. Have you opened up the switch box yet, to see if there are wires attached to that switch? You may be lucky enough to see a UF cable entering the switch box with its wires capped off, in which case you can be pretty confident that is the cable in question.
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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Cut Underground wire?


Well, the switch is one of three in one box. There are 5 cables coming in/going out, in a really tight space. There are several wires attached to the switch in question, and I don't see any capped off. I will defer to my electrician who will be coming next week to deal with another item. But thanks for your help!
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