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robertmee 10-23-2007 03:18 PM

What could this be for?
If you've followed my other two threads, you'll know that I bought an old bungalow on some lakefront property and have been upgrading some of the electrical (new service). Today, I found something weird and wonder what I should do with it, or maybe someone has a clue what it could have possibly been for. In the add on portion of the house (a converted front porch enclosed), I found a rubber female plug poking through the floor. The plug looks like a 120V but one prong is a tee instead of a slot. There is SO cord attached to it, through the floor. I go outside, it comes out of the crawl space (laying on the ground) and disappears under ground next to some sidewalk, never to be seen again. It was covered with a roofing shingle where it went into the ground. There's a couple of outbuildings but it doesn't show up there.

The weirdness is that since it is female, it would be that it derived its power source from somewhere else (unless a reverse plug was used somehow). I checked it with a meter and no voltage, but before I just cut it off and bury it, I was wondering if anyone knew what it could be? Anything's possible as to date I've found wiring ran on the outside of walls, romex in notches of studs (wall surface level) with no nail plates, a water heater splice made of 14/2 romex (on a 30A circuit!), a romex that goes nowhere (taped inside the wall and hanging) and 16 awg lamp cord run through walls from outlets to light switches for some impromptu lighting in the kitchen.

Andy in ATL 10-23-2007 03:25 PM

I doubt this is it... but the first thing that ran thru my mind was someone along time ago was stealing power from the neighbors.

I could (I wouldn't, but I could) tap into your condensing unit disconnect and run just about my whole house off of it.... If I had time to bury real good and camo it, you would never know!:ninja: :devil: :laughing:

joed 10-23-2007 04:24 PM

Sounds like a 20 amp receptacle. Could have been put there for a AC. Is there a window near it.

robertmee 10-23-2007 06:18 PM


Originally Posted by joed (Post 69587)
Sounds like a 20 amp receptacle. Could have been put there for a AC. Is there a window near it.

Yep with an AC unit in it. But it's a 220V unit with a 220V plug on the wall for it. But, interesting. Perhaps at one time it was a different unit. However the SO cord goes into the ground and the opposite direction of the breaker panel, so I wonder where they were powering it from. This was a porch at one time but since it goes through the floor it would have been added after the addition.

I'll probably just cut it off and bury it.

joed 10-23-2007 08:04 PM

Then maybe they used 220 to feed something else and had a suicide cord to connect the two together or the the wall receptacle was an upgrade and the cord was abandoned.

skymaster 10-23-2007 09:03 PM

Robert, If the plug looks just like a 110v plug and one side had a "t" slot about midway then it is a 20a 110v plug as Joed said. A "T" NOT an "L" yes?
As for what only the rabbits will know and they are not talkin :}:}:}:}:}
If you are 100% it is dead I would find a way to terminate it in a junction box
cut wire ends clean wire nut them then tape over the nuts and close the box. Only safe way to do it. I would NOT just cut it and leave it

robertmee 10-24-2007 06:53 AM

Yes, it's a T.

The only place to box it would be under the house, and then I have to deal with the 10' of cord that snakes across the ground before it disappears underneath. And is SO cord really safe in unprotected burial anyway?

skymaster 10-24-2007 10:52 AM

No not really.:no: I think some more "treasure" hunting is in order. I trust you understand why I suggested to terminate in a box, a wire just cut off always has the possibility of shorting out is ever there is power put to it, extremely unsafe. Try to locate the other end it has to be there. I know it is a PIA but way safer to find it, kill it on that end, dig up some of the close end, cut it off, put dirt back, and FUGETABOUTIT:yes: :laughing:
Wish I was closer to help ya out.

HouseHelper 10-24-2007 12:39 PM

The cord may at one time have run to a generator mounted in a detached building.

robertmee 10-24-2007 12:47 PM

Treasure is right....A picture is worth a thousand words:

The wire in question is on the right. The inset rectangle is what was once a porch but now under a common roof of the whole house as an addition. The long rectangle to the right is a 4" thick sidewalk where the wire appears to disappear under. The boxes on the far left are the meter and panel. There is nothing out further to the right of the sidewalk that would have power. So, I don't even know where to begin digging!

robertmee 10-24-2007 12:50 PM


Originally Posted by HouseHelper (Post 69724)
The cord may at one time have run to a generator mounted in a detached building.

That's what I initially thought as there is a small metal shed, but I couldn't find any cord coming out of the ground near it. But it would make the most sense.

I guess I could use someone like Uloco to trace it out, but I'd rather avoid that expense. I have a fox/hound set. Maybe I'll try that and hope the wire is near the surface somewhere that I can pick it up.

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