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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Question What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    We currently have an old free standing light post in our front yard. It has rusted at the base and is falling over. (Same thing happened to our neighbor's) We want to ripe it out and cover up the spot. What do we do with old live electrical wires after the post is removed? we don't know where it exits the house or where to access it from the house. It is on the same circuit as our front porch light and garage, so we can't just shut off that circuit. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    6,613

    Default Re: What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    Cap the wires, wrap with a lot of electrical tape, place in the electrical box (make sure it's for outdoor use and waterproof) and attach the box to a stake.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Default Re: What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Cap the wires, wrap with a lot of electrical tape, place in the electrical box (make sure it's for outdoor use and waterproof) and attach the box to a stake.
    What if we don't want the wires for future use? Can we bury them?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    Quote Originally Posted by A&S Plach View Post
    What if we don't want the wires for future use? Can we bury them?
    No, someone digging in the yard could find it by accident and be harmed. It must be accessible so it's location in obvious, or it must be disconnected.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Boston
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    Default Re: What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    it might take a little work but you can find where the power comes from. you can cap it like dj said but i would reommend permanently disconnecting it. if you know what the other fixtures/outlets are on the same circuit you can figure out where the power is coming from and disconnect it from there. if you think you can't do it, hire an electrician and i'm quite sure he can do it in less than an hour

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    7,096

    Default Re: What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    The wire is also likely in conduit, which means it would be best to pull the wires out completely, that way when digging and you find the conduit later on, you won't be worried about live wires when you cut it out of your way.

    Knowing which circuit it is on is half the battle, from there you can trace each fixture on the circuit and find the origin of the lamp post wire to terminate it at its source. As was suggested, if you are not familiar with wiring or can't figure this one out on your own, call in a pro, it won't cost that much and the safety benefits will far outweigh the expense.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    All good answers. A homeowner can turn off the power and start at the light pole and dig or pull the wire out without too much effort. Ideally, back to a weatherproof junction box (if outside) and wirenut the wire the connections.

    Even, an electrician, using sophicated cable location tools would have to do the same thing.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,631

    Default Re: What to do with unneeded outdoor electrical wires?

    If your soil is well-drained, you can tape up the wires and put them in a sprinkler valve box that's flush with the ground surface.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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