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-   -   Finding underground electric wire for driveway lights. (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/finding-underground-electric-wire-driveway-lights-31031/)

mitch21131 11-01-2008 03:44 PM

Finding underground electric wire for driveway lights.
 
My house is 22 years old. The house originally had driveway lights along the driveway that curved around the fron of the house and the straightaway to the garage. These lights have a 3"x5" metal box attached at the bottom. The lights are turned on by a wall switch in the foyer. None of the lights sits up straight; the metal boxes with attached lights are leaning terrible. Additionally, 3 of the lights were knocked out by the snow plow guy about 8 years ago. The wires were capped off. Over the years, the lawn has grown over and we no longer know where these wire locations are. I want to add lamposts to the ends of the driveway for lighting and get rid of the leaning little lights. The closest place to run the electric to the lamppost is from one of the missing lights. Is ther any way to detect where that electrical wire is? I don't want to have to dig up the lawn all along the driveway to find the wire. To use any of the other lights for connecting the lampposts would require tunneling under the driveway which the electricians tell me would be costly. Please help!

mitch21131@verizon.net

Marvin Gardens 11-01-2008 03:51 PM

A metal detector would give you a good idea.

There are also utility locater's that do this service if you can't get a hold of a metal detector.

1610 CUB 11-01-2008 04:16 PM

I would think that the installer would have put the lights in equally. Every 6 or 8" or so? Measure any two and you can find the missing ones. When you get close use a probe (chop stick) gently pushed into earth till you find the wire. Thats how I would look for it anyway j

mitch21131 11-01-2008 05:12 PM

Lights not evenly spaced
 
The lights were not put in at even intervals. They were not even put in the same distance from the driveway edge - they are anywhere from 3' to 5' from the driveway edge.

Yoyizit 11-01-2008 05:56 PM

If the lamps are drawing current you can make a 12" dia. wire loop with many turns, hooked to headphones, and then (in principle) you will hear the 60 Hz hum.
The magnetic field given off by the cable may penetrate quite a few inches of dirt.

Also, some studfinders have a wire finding feature but this is not tested for earth penetration.

Sammy 11-01-2008 07:57 PM

Dowse for em!

Take two steel wire coat hangers and cut/shape them so you have an "L" with about three inches on one leg and 7-8 inches on the other leg..

Bend the long part of the L so that it is a little more than 90 degrees.

Hold the two short sides loosely, one in each hand and allow them to droop slightly in front of you. Walk slowly across the yard. As you approach a buried pipe or wire, the hangers will rotate in your hands and attempt to align with the buried line. Try it from two directions across the yard and mark each time you locate something.

Works better on a wire carrying current but it will also locate water pipes, catv cables etc.

It really works and is not a joke!
:thumbup:

Wildie 11-02-2008 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sammy (Post 179686)
Dowse for em!

Take two steel wire coat hangers and cut/shape them so you have an "L" with about three inches on one leg and 7-8 inches on the other leg..

Bend the long part of the L so that it is a little more than 90 degrees.

Hold the two short sides loosely, one in each hand and allow them to droop slightly in front of you. Walk slowly across the yard. As you approach a buried pipe or wire, the hangers will rotate in your hands and attempt to align with the buried line. Try it from two directions across the yard and mark each time you locate something.

Works better on a wire carrying current but it will also locate water pipes, catv cables etc.

It really works and is not a joke!
:thumbup:

I will vouch for what you say!
Over the course of my life, I have had reason to locate buried cable and water etc.
Although, I used magnetic field detectors of various sorts, I always verified the findings by using #10 copper wire bent in an 'L' shape.
I have even used them to find water, before digging a well. And had 100% success.
I believe that the earths magnetic field is distorted by buried objects, and the wires dangling down, are affected by this distortion.

Sammy 11-02-2008 06:30 PM

I have found buried lines using that method that utility locators have missed.

Never have tried copper wires though.. Just used coat hangers cause they were handy. Hmmmm.

Although back in my treasure hunting days I have heard people say they would coat the tips of the wires with gold if looking for gold etc.

gregmac 03-10-2011 05:02 PM

Those of you who can find wires and pipes by "dowsing" (using those metal rods) should run, not walk, to claim the $1 million dollar prize that the James Randi foundation offers to anyone that can demonstrate abilities like this. FYI, it's been unclaimed for many years, despite thousands of people trying (not just dowsing, but other "paranormal" activities as well).

Saturday Cowboy 03-10-2011 07:42 PM

THANK YOU. se the wikipedia article on the idio motor effect http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideomotor_effect

Leah Frances 03-10-2011 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregmac (Post 606896)
Those of you who can find wires and pipes by "dowsing" (using those metal rods) should run, not walk, to claim the $1 million dollar prize that the James Randi foundation offers to anyone that can demonstrate abilities like this. FYI, it's been unclaimed for many years, despite thousands of people trying (not just dowsing, but other "paranormal" activities as well).

Good first post, newbie! :thumbsup:

Wildie 03-10-2011 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gregmac (Post 606896)
Those of you who can find wires and pipes by "dowsing" (using those metal rods) should run, not walk, to claim the $1 million dollar prize that the James Randi foundation offers to anyone that can demonstrate abilities like this. FYI, it's been unclaimed for many years, despite thousands of people trying (not just dowsing, but other "paranormal" activities as well).

Thanks for the link, it will be money in the bank for me! I'll be signing up immediately!

I made my living as cable locator and I never had a cable damaged by an excavator.
There are commercially built cable locators available, that work in much the same manner a military mine detector.
During my working career I always used electronic detectors and backed up the results with copper rods.
Using these rods isn't witchery, or magical. We live in a world that has magnetic lines running between the north and south poles. Our world is polluted with magnetic lines. Some are natural and others man made.
Magnetic lines of force are used to make electric motors run, in directional compass's etc. It not a large leap to make a pair of copper wires move in your hand, in much the same manner as magnetic lines cause the copper wires in a motor to move.
Every human being on the earth can be taught to detect the warp of magnetic fields. Its this warp that is the key to the function.

I checked out the link and much to my disappointment, the money is to be paid for demonstrating paranormal ability.
Sadly, using a pair of wires to detect variations in magnetic lines of force, isn't paranormal.

Leah Frances 03-10-2011 10:46 PM

:whistling:

Saturday Cowboy 03-11-2011 12:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wildie (Post 607066)
Thanks for the link, it will be money in the bank for me! I'll be signing up immediately!

I made my living as cable locator and I never had a cable damaged by an excavator.
There are commercially built cable locators available, that work in much the same manner a military mine detector.
During my working career I always used electronic detectors and backed up the results with copper rods.
Using these rods isn't witchery, or magical. We live in a world that has magnetic lines running between the north and south poles. Our world is polluted with magnetic lines. Some are natural and others man made.
Magnetic lines of force are used to make electric motors run, in directional compass's etc. It not a large leap to make a pair of copper wires move in your hand, in much the same manner as magnetic lines cause the copper wires in a motor to move.
Every human being on the earth can be taught to detect the warp of magnetic fields. Its this warp that is the key to the function.

I checked out the link and much to my disappointment, the money is to be paid for demonstrating paranormal ability.
Sadly, using a pair of wires to detect variations in magnetic lines of force, isn't paranormal.

except copper is uneffected by magnetics


and by their definition dowsing is paranormal.

COLDIRON 03-11-2011 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wildie (Post 179970)
I will vouch for what you say!
Over the course of my life, I have had reason to locate buried cable and water etc.
Although, I used magnetic field detectors of various sorts, I always verified the findings by using #10 copper wire bent in an 'L' shape.
I have even used them to find water, before digging a well. And had 100% success.
I believe that the earths magnetic field is distorted by buried objects, and the wires dangling down, are affected by this distortion.

"Even by using # 10 copper non magnetic ? "


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