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So here's the situation... I have 3 circuits of UF Cable coming out of my house that feed a series of lamp posts, some outlets, and a dedicated sprinkler pump outlet respectively. All came out of the house in a shared conduit run and split off their various ways.

Concrete contractor hit said conduit with a skid steer and ripped it apart, shearing off some/all of the wires, not 100% sure other than the lights didn't work anymore. Since concrete was already in the truck there wasn't time to assess the damage, so I killed all 3 breakers, clipped the lines, and they completed the pour over top with plans of fixing it later.

Since then, I've removed the 3 breakers in question so no power is running to those wires.

My primary concern is the light posts so I've run a new line to one of the posts which I'll tie into the original light switch for the posts and ideally will power all of them since they're still connected to each other. But I'm now realizing that what used to feed power to them is now buried in the ground uncapped.

What are the dangers if I tie my new line to power? Is having a live, uncapped wire dangerous if it's under 4" of concrete? Part of the problem is that it was in place when I bought the house so I'm not sure which order the posts are wired so I'm also not sure which one has the first connection to the old wire to simply cut and cap.

Do I just guess and check by disconnecting one splice at a time at each post until I find the one that doesn't kill another light on the series? Another concern I have is that the old lines came out of the box and straight out the side of the house, meaning, I assume, that the switch was at the end or the series so by running my new line to the switch, would there even be power there?

Kind of a weird situation but appreciate any thoughts/tips?
 

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More information is needed.


Assuming the sprinkler circuit was always hot and the lights were controlled by the switch you had at least 2 circuits. Why 3 breakers?


The lights could be wired two ways as in source to first light and then a switch loop back to the switch OR source to switch and then out to the lights. This would explain the third wire.



Still haven't figured out the the third breaker.


I would use a continuity tester between the lights with no power connected to any of them to figure which is first an last in the series.


You are correct that you have to determine and disconnect whichever wires run back to the break and disconnect them or risk a dead short.


IMO all this should be GFIC protected before it exits the building.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
More information is needed.


Assuming the sprinkler circuit was always hot and the lights were controlled by the switch you had at least 2 circuits. Why 3 breakers?


The lights could be wired two ways as in source to first light and then a switch loop back to the switch OR source to switch and then out to the lights. This would explain the third wire.



Still haven't figured out the the third breaker.


I would use a continuity tester between the lights with no power connected to any of them to figure which is first an last in the series.


You are correct that you have to determine and disconnect whichever wires run back to the break and disconnect them or risk a dead short.


IMO all this should be GFIC protected before it exits the building.


Thanks a lot for the response. I need to make a correction, you're spot on it was actually 2 breakers. There was a 3rd breaker that fed the same junction box that the 3 UF wires came out of but it went somewhere else.

The sprinkler was actually switched as well. It's a pump from a lake with no controller or anything so I guess the previous homeowner would just manually flip the switch when he wanted to water. The switch controls an outlet down near the water that you'd plug the pump into.

But now I'm thinking maybe all of the outlets were on that same circuit and then both switches returned to the box on the 3rd wire? Would that make sense?
 

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You need to open the junction box on each post and determine which one had the original feed. Then disconnect that wire. Once disconnected from power you can leave it in the ground.
 

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Two bows will have 2 cables. One box will have 1 cable that is the end of the run.


Chances are good that the box with 2 cables that is closest to the house or the cut wire location is the beginning of the feed.
 

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QUOTE - Is having a live, uncapped wire dangerous if it's under 4" of concrete?



YES, of course


Wat if the ground becomes wet ?
if could end up being energised.
 

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Just my opinion but - if the concrete contractor did the damage wouldn't they be responsible for having it repaired and pay for it to be done?


Yes, shutting off the breakers when it occurred was correct to do but I don't think you should even have to worry about doing any of the work yourself as they should be paying to have it done for you.


If that happened to me I would want the company that did the damage to be responsible for it overall. :vs_mad:


I would hope that the concrete contractor has insurance for such reasons.
 
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