Any way to trace this outdoor outlet short of digging it up?

I discovered an outdoor outlet in my yard. I put an led tester in it
and there is no power to it. Everything in the service panel is
switched on. The outdoor outlet looks OK, it is in a metal box and
appears to be in held with perhaps cement around it to anchor it down.
I have no idea if it ever worked, or where it might be connected to
the power. Is there any way to trace the wire to find out what it
leads to without digging up the yard? Thanks!
Reply to
East Coast
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"Yard" wiring is easily damaged and, therefore, often abandoned. Either re-wire it or remove it so that the next owner doesn't have the same question. Even if you find the point of damage you still have to replace it
Reply to
John Gilmer
Do you have a GFCI outlet in the garage or bathroom that is tripped? A GFCI breaker in the panel? If it is "legal" that may be what happened. Otherwise the other poster may be right. It could have been damaged and abandoned. When you are being the detective you will have to think like the other installer. Look at the outlet and see where you think they *might* have tapped the power from. Walk around the perimeter of the house and look for signs of wire. You can also do some digging around the outlet to see how deep the wire was buried and what type wiring it is. If this is not right it is probably a show stopper. That may also get you the direction it comes from. There is still a very good chance it was abandoned for a good reason and you will be reinstalling the whole deal if you want it. Just be careful, it might be cut underground and still hot. You never know on "old work".
Reply to
Greg
Hmm. I have a switch at my house that doen't seem to be connected to anything. I flipped it to 'on'. Check your yard outlet again.
;-)
Reply to
Paul Hovnanian P.E.
Thanks for the post.
That makes sense the wiring could be damaged. For all I know, it could have been a DIY installation where the improper cable for burying was used.
Assuming I need to replace the wiring, what is the best cable to use for burying it in the yard and how deep? Thanks!
> > I discovered an outdoor outlet in my yard. I put an led tester in it > > and there is no power to it. Everything in the service panel is > > switched on. The outdoor outlet looks OK, it is in a metal box and > > appears to be in held with perhaps cement around it to anchor it down. > > I have no idea if it ever worked, or where it might be connected to > > the power. Is there any way to trace the wire to find out what it > > leads to without digging up the yard? Thanks! > > "Yard" wiring is easily damaged and, therefore, often abandoned. Either > re-wire it or remove it so that the next owner doesn't have the same > question. Even if you find the point of damage you still have to replace it
Reply to
East Coast
Thanks for the post. This is a good suggestion. I did find a switch in the garage that didn't appear to go to anything, but I found out it is simply a three-way switch to the sensor spot. I don't think the spot that is there was always a motion-sensor type, so this 3-way doesn't have a real use.
It looks like I'm going to have to dig in the yard to see what the deal is.
What do folks think of this idea, I examine the switch plates and outlets in the garage, and see if there is another cable (romex?) there getting power which I can't account for? Let's assume I find this, is there a way to put a signal through it (with ALL the power in the house off, of course) to see if this might be going to the outdoor outlet? I thought I saw such a device used by the phone company to trace phone wires in the house.
Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but maybe the outdoor outlet is simply damaged and needs to be replaced? I guess I could just cut off all power to the house and open the outlet box to test the wires directly to see if power can come through.
Reply to
East Coast

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