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Old 06-01-2015, 02:14 PM   #1
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How do I fix this yard light wire myself?


Long story short: Yard light is hooked to the GFCI circuit in the garage. After watering the yard, it would trip. I isolated the problem to one small section right by a bush my front door. My hunch is that there's obviously exposed wire that didn't like to get wet.

My home warranty sucks. They came over and replaced the GFCI, and sure enough that didn't fix it. They came over again once I isolated the problem for them, and they simply disconnected the yard light and told me to wait to see if it fixed it. This to me is lazy. Then they go to say that this is outside of the foundation of the house, and that it won't be covered by warranty. I feel that I should fix this myself at this point.

So I got out there with a shovel and exposed the wiring. Here's what I found. I'm pretty sure when the bush gets watered, this connection (from the yard light to an outside outlet) gets wet and shorts out.

How do I go about fixing this properly?



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Old 06-01-2015, 02:27 PM   #2
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There is no doubt that is the problem.
2 ways to repair that.
1) Replace the line from the gfci to the yard light.
2) Get an underground splice kit from HD and repair it.
#1 is the better fix, while #2 could last as long as you live in the house or not.

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Old 06-01-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
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Thanks jbfan. It would be a pain to re-route because:

1) Wiring crosses underneath cement pathway
2) Would have to remove parts of the front deck
3) The lighting fixture is brick and would be a pain to remove.

It seems that splicing would be the way to go because of this. Seems like underground splice kits are not so readily available at the local lowes or home depot according to the websites.

Would this be what I should order?
http://www.amazon.com/NSI-Industries...und+splice+kit

Last edited by kawahonda; 06-01-2015 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:48 PM   #4
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I would use this kit.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ideal-The...-400/203761581
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Old 06-01-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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Do you have experience using the heat-shrink type like the one you posted? I'll need to invest in a heat gun. On person who reviewed that one said he used his torch and he could never get it to shrink properly (all I have is a torch).

Have you heard about the gel ones such as the one I posted?

Sadly, none of the HDs or Lowes in my area sell this (or the gel) kit. So I'll have to order it online, and I want to make sure it seals the connection properly. If I have to buy a heat gun, then I guess I could, but that's one nice thing about the gel kits.
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:10 PM   #6
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How about just getting a leak-tight PVC box?
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:46 PM   #7
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No such thing. Leak tight. Lol
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Old 06-01-2015, 03:46 PM   #8
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What's depth? 2" ?
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:12 PM   #9
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If the joint is under ground ?
Then any splice has to be watertight.
go and see your local electrical supply house
And see what they can offer for a water tight splice.
Don't cut corners here,
use good stuff only
The dangers are quite real !
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:14 PM   #10
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Can you move the yard light to a position
where the existing wire will reach
with-out any splice ?
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:25 PM   #11
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I went to the electrical supply store and got an underground splice.

I used my own heat sink tubing because the one included seemed really large.

Seemed to all go into place rather well. I checked the resistance and it all checked out good. I put some JB weld around the heat sink tubing where it touches the insulation to make sure it's super sealed.

I think this should work out pretty well.



This wire is 12" from the top of the soil. I could bury it a little bit deeper, but that's up to code as far as I'm concerned. The electrical guys that came out today told me that's what they would have done if I didn't want to replace the entire wire. I wonder what this would have costed me to have them do it. It's costed me $24 total.

Now I need to go bury it. All look good folks?
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:55 PM   #12
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Looks as good as he could have done.
I would bury it deeper if I could.
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:53 AM   #13
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In the last picture you posted, I see grey wire coming out of the splice at the bottom of the picture. Is that wire coming out of the splice at the top of the picture white colored?
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:41 AM   #14
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Yep, you're seeing correctly. It appears that there's another splice. I finished the job yesterday and it's still not working, almost worse than before. My hunch is that maybe I disturbed another splice somewhere.

The only way to fix this now from my perspective is to replace the whole line...

But then I got to thinking...why not put a solar powered yard light in? Save a whole day's worth of work digging, and use less energy.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:07 AM   #15
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Most likely that white wire is regular NM romex that is not rated for outdoor/wet use. I will bet that is where the problem lies. Someone poorly repaired a broken/damaged section or wire with the wrong material

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