how to find an underground electric wire?? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum  

Go Back   JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum > Miscellaneous > Chit Chat

JKOwners.com is the premier Jeep JK Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-18-2009, 06:57 AM   #1
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
how to find an underground electric wire??

I hate asking this kind of stuff on these boards but thought maybe you guys may know a trick that would help me find an underground wire. This wire runs out of the fuse box outside and up a hill to our shed. It has been cut several times and has no juice to it, but i need to get it running again before winter. Ive tried metal detectors with no luck, i know the general area where it is though. I dont want to dig it up from the shed down to the house its about 300 feet id say. Once i do have it, whats the best way to wire it back up?
I planned on buying it in PVC pipe and capping the ends and try and seal up my connects the best i can. I hope i make sense, thanks for any suggestions!
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-18-2009, 07:11 AM   #2
Crazy X
Rock God
 
Crazy X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Member # 1692
Location: Lorida Florida
Posts: 786
Feedback: 0 reviews
I Know here in Sebring you can call before you dig and they will come out and mark any lines which are Underground with flags.I guess when the person goes out there you can ask him to help you find the wire to the shed.Its free here where I live.
__________________
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
- General George Patton Jr
Crazy X is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 07:53 AM   #3
Broncojohn
JKO Addict!
 
Broncojohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Member # 1571
Location: Dallas, Texas
Age: 41
Posts: 2,522
Feedback: 0 reviews
No juice, it's going to be rough. The power company has some neat toys, if you can keep power on it. You can try the "push rod" but unless its in conduit your poking for a needle in a haystack.

To find mine I guessed were it should have been and started digging. It took 3 holes to find the break. F#$king gophers.
__________________
Obama, The greatest gun salesman since the invention of firearms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jscwerve View Post
This is exactly why we need to practice proper gun control.

If he was aiming down the sights correctly and had plenty of practice rounds under his belt, there would only be one side of this story.
Broncojohn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 08:20 AM   #4
Alec W
Guest
 
Member #
Posts: n/a
If you have no clue where itís broken you may be better off renting a ditch witch and running a new line. Iíve got some major sprinkler system problems and think it will be faster to run a new section than find breaks and repair.


http://homedepotrents.com/proTools/trencher.asp
  Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 08:31 AM   #5
Slippery
Rock God
 
Slippery's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Member # 4627
Location: NE of Atlanta
Posts: 1,177
Feedback: 0 reviews
Hook some power to it. Use a metal detector to follow it til it ends, mark, cut power, dig, and repair. Repeat until all cuts are repaired.
Slippery is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 09:30 AM   #6
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
no way to hook power up to it. (unless i could hook it up from the shed back down toward the house somehow...) here is the short of the story...
Sisters house, she had a fence out back and wanted it out. A friend and I got to digging it up for her, WHAM he cut the wire with a shovel and got a little shock... Cut #1. We attempted to repair it but do not know if it was truly fixed, another long story (messed up breaker box.)
Now i bought the house a few years later, and we had to put 2 drainage ditches in with a ditch witch... Cuts #2 and #3 were made at that time. lol
So what im guessing is i just need to get to digging and see if i can find it. If i cant find it then i guess i could start pulling up from the shed down the hill and run it all over again.

Last edited by savage; 10-18-2009 at 09:32 AM.
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 09:32 AM   #7
Slippery
Rock God
 
Slippery's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Member # 4627
Location: NE of Atlanta
Posts: 1,177
Feedback: 0 reviews
You are better off to grab a ditch witch and lay a new one. The splices will just cause you trouble down the road anyway. Good luck!
Slippery is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 09:41 AM   #8
MichaelW
Broker by the Minute
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Member # 20
Location: Cartoon City Nirvana
Posts: 3,831
Feedback: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slippery View Post
You are better off to grab a ditch witch and lay a new one. The splices will just cause you trouble down the road anyway. Good luck!
x3 on this. I think it was suggested at least once in this thread before. If there is no slack in the line... repairs will be.... a challenge. Get the ditch witch, bury the wire in conduit, done deal.
MichaelW is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 09:42 AM   #9
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
the only ditch witch for rent is way too big to deal with. we've used it before. Its all hillside here too so it would be crazy tough.
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 10:10 AM   #10
tkob1060
JKO Addict!
 
tkob1060's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Member # 5021
Location: NJ :)
Age: 46
Posts: 7,285
Feedback: 0 reviews
like others have said I would run a completely new line.....but if you want to repair it again I would check where you made the 3 previous repairs. I wouldnt doubt they havent held up underground for a few years.
__________________
A LITTLE GIRL NEEDS YOUR HELP CLICK HERE

She still needs your help in 2011 click HERE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dancin Dan View Post
A Jeep just zipped past my house and I could swear I heard the driver yellin:

"The tkob is coming!! The tkob is coming!!"
tkob1060 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 10:27 AM   #11
bsack
JKO Addict!
 
bsack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Member # 396
Posts: 7,950
Feedback: 0 reviews
I'd bury new wires in metal conduit with sealed connections to avoid any new problems, and make it possible to pull new wires at a later date if you need/want to.
bsack is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 11:51 AM   #12
paramaniac
JKO Addict!
 
paramaniac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Member # 5392
Location: Philly, PA
Age: 40
Posts: 5,051
Feedback: 2 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alec W View Post
If you have no clue where itís broken you may be better off renting a ditch witch and running a new line. Iíve got some major sprinkler system problems and think it will be faster to run a new section than find breaks and repair.


http://homedepotrents.com/proTools/trencher.asp
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slippery View Post
You are better off to grab a ditch witch and lay a new one. The splices will just cause you trouble down the road anyway. Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
x3 on this. I think it was suggested at least once in this thread before. If there is no slack in the line... repairs will be.... a challenge. Get the ditch witch, bury the wire in conduit, done deal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkob1060 View Post
like others have said I would run a completely new line.....but if you want to repair it again I would check where you made the 3 previous repairs. I wouldnt doubt they havent held up underground for a few years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsack View Post
I'd bury new wires in metal conduit with sealed connections to avoid any new problems, and make it possible to pull new wires at a later date if you need/want to.
i hate to sound like a repeater... but there really is no other safe way. even if you find all the breaks, make the repairs and put a GFCI in place, those things can fail. if the ditch witch is too big, go medieval on it and get yourself a sturdy pick axe and a mattock tool and dig your own trench. lay in some PVC conduit with your power line snaked thru it.

i know its not the "easiest" of solutions, but its probably (note i said probably) the best...

good lcuk
paramaniac is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 11:54 AM   #13
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
yeah i guess it just sucks, there is 300 ft of good wire that is fine, its the first 20 ft close to the house that got cut in 3 spots.
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 12:02 PM   #14
Slippery
Rock God
 
Slippery's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Member # 4627
Location: NE of Atlanta
Posts: 1,177
Feedback: 0 reviews
My electrician buddy would hook power to the wire end you have. Just energizing the wire emits an electrical signal that can be traced with a metal detector, or wire finder. I don't understand the "I can't", cause if you are goin to use it, you must have an end in a breaker box, so splice a wire to it from a good breaker and give this a try.

Hook power to it and trace with a metal detector. If he tries that and it's shorted, so it pops the breaker, he lays where he thinks the end is, have someone energize the breaker, and you can here the pop under ground and find it.

If he had to, he could run power out to the other end, and energize it, and trace it up from that end.

It can be done. Sounds like it's worth a try.

He does this stuff, and is quite good. Don't ask me, I don't know.
Slippery is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 12:43 PM   #15
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
If i could draw it out it would help explain, but i cant.

right where the wires come out of the house is where it got cut the first time then 2-3 feet from there cut again, then 5ft or so cut again, then the rest of the wire goes up the hill to the shed. if i can find the last cut near the hill i can splice onto it then head it back into the house with the fuse box. i never attempted to fix cut 2 & 3 because i knew it had been cut long ago at 1. (really sorry if this is getting confusing)

the method your talking about would work prefect if the cuts were at the other end of the wire (close to the shed.)

here is the best i could draw it up:

Last edited by savage; 11-11-2009 at 05:16 AM.
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 12:51 PM   #16
bsack
JKO Addict!
 
bsack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Member # 396
Posts: 7,950
Feedback: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by savage View Post
If i could draw it out it would help explain, but i cant.

right where the wires come out of the house is where it got cut the first time then 2-3 feet from there cut again, then 5ft or so cut again, then the rest of the wire goes up the hill to the shed. if i can find the last cut near the hill i can splice onto it then head it back into the house with the fuse box. i never attempted to fix cut 2 & 3 because i knew it had been cut long ago at 1. (really sorry if this is getting confusing)

the method your talking about would work prefect if the cuts were at the other end of the wire (close to the shed.)
I think we are all on the same page with you. Personally I think its a good idea to get the wires in conduit and that is what I would do in this situation. I wouldn't be content with wirenuting wires underground. Its more work now but could save you future headaches. But like has been mentioned earlier, utility companies will often locate wires for free. Just call and tell them you want to put a fence in the general area where you think the break may be an they will paint it out for you. Any bogus story will work that will get them to plot your utilities in that area.
bsack is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:03 PM   #17
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
hhhmmm
unless they have some kind of tool to find it i dont think they would know where it was, the previous owner laid it down years ago. I may make a call and just see what they say. if there was some way i could juice it from the breaker in the shed that would work...
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:07 PM   #18
Slippery
Rock God
 
Slippery's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Member # 4627
Location: NE of Atlanta
Posts: 1,177
Feedback: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by savage View Post
hhhmmm
if there was some way i could juice it from the breaker in the shed that would work...
it's worth a try, before putting up light poles and running it above ground!
Slippery is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:08 PM   #19
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
now that would be some work! lol
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:12 PM   #20
bsack
JKO Addict!
 
bsack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Member # 396
Posts: 7,950
Feedback: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by savage View Post
hhhmmm
unless they have some kind of tool to find it i dont think they would know where it was, the previous owner laid it down years ago. I may make a call and just see what they say. if there was some way i could juice it from the breaker in the shed that would work...
Tell them you want to run a fence from the corner of your house to shed about where you believe the wires run. They should plot the wires for you. Don't mention that you are looking for a break in the wires. Worth a try.
bsack is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:19 PM   #21
Slippery
Rock God
 
Slippery's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Member # 4627
Location: NE of Atlanta
Posts: 1,177
Feedback: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsack View Post
Tell them you want to run a fence from the corner of your house to shed about where you believe the wires run. They should plot the wires for you. Don't mention that you are looking for a break in the wires. Worth a try.
I don't think they will show up without some sort of signal on them. Sometimes they have a radio frequency sending unit they can set by the wire where it comes out of the shed if you know where it is, or hook into the panel.
Slippery is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:20 PM   #22
Broncojohn
JKO Addict!
 
Broncojohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Member # 1571
Location: Dallas, Texas
Age: 41
Posts: 2,522
Feedback: 0 reviews
If all the cuts are up by the house, get to digging. Find the last cut do a good sealed, undergound splice (electrical supply should have one). Re-run a new wire to the house. Good luck.
__________________
Obama, The greatest gun salesman since the invention of firearms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jscwerve View Post
This is exactly why we need to practice proper gun control.

If he was aiming down the sights correctly and had plenty of practice rounds under his belt, there would only be one side of this story.
Broncojohn is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:29 PM   #23
savage
Rock God
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Member # 6162
Age: 33
Posts: 1,497
Feedback: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncojohn View Post
If all the cuts are up by the house, get to digging. Find the last cut do a good sealed, undergound splice (electrical supply should have one). Re-run a new wire to the house. Good luck.
sadly this is what i was thinking id have to do. luckily i know it aint real deep in the ground.
thanks for the advice guys!
savage is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:36 PM   #24
Billy_Goat
Rock God
 
Billy_Goat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Member # 1533
Age: 45
Posts: 1,615
Feedback: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by savage View Post
yeah i guess it just sucks, there is 300 ft of good wire that is fine, its the first 20 ft close to the house that got cut in 3 spots.
You could dig it all up and replace it but there are legal ways to get around it.

Go to Lowes/home depot and get a 6x6 plastic waterproof box, direct burial wire nuts/waterproof(blue), some caulk, and some direct burial NM cable the same size as you've got on the the rest of the run to span the distance.

Just replace the cut line.
Billy_Goat is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-18-2009, 01:43 PM   #25
jkruss
Rock God
 
jkruss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Member # 3071
Location: new jersey
Age: 41
Posts: 1,828
Feedback: 0 reviews
You need a tool called a locater it connects to one end of the wire without energizing it.It sends signal through the wire and should get you close to the break by wathing the signal strenghth on the locater,it is an expensive tool and not sure if you could get one at atool rental place.But from the sound of it you should redo it.
__________________
Black Jeep
jkruss is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:52 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.