three cats

08:56PM | 09/15/06
Member Since: 05/14/03
50 lifetime posts

My parents' home was built c. 1968. When they bought it in 1969, there was (and still is) a switch inside their home which could one day turn on an outside lamp post.

They never bought the lamp post. The previous owner told them that somewhere in the front lawn there was wiring in place to put in the post.

They would now like to install a lamp post(40 years later). No one can remember where the wiring was. How can I find it? Do I need an electrician to find it?

Thanks so much.



04:55AM | 09/16/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
I don't know what the code was at that time, but current code would require it to be down 18 - 24". Way to deep for ordinary signal finders to trace the wiring.

But the tracers used by "locating services" (Digrite, First CAll, One CAll-the name varies by state) could trace it. But it would not be cheap.

I don't know how common those are among smaller electricans. Larger companies probably have them.

But I have no idea of what kind of wire was used. And if the end was exposed all of this time then there is a good chance that the wire is too corroded to use.

Best to get new wiring run.

three cats

06:55PM | 09/17/06
Member Since: 05/14/03
50 lifetime posts

Thanks for writing back.

I am curious ... how do the "finding" gadgets work?




08:31PM | 09/17/06
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
For wiring or metal pipes they put an electrical signal on the wire (or pipe) and use a "radio" receiver to track it.

I don't know the frequency or signal levels. And they might vary it depending on the type of soil, expected depth, etc.

For plastic pipes there are also systems that inject sound into the pipes and then use a stethoscope like device to trace it.

I think that there might be other methods used such as ground imaging radar.

Depends on how important ($$$) it is to find the underground installations.



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