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bass528
Underground cable cut with lawn mower.
bass528

So Im in the process of purchasing a home and the reason I signed up here.

There seems to be a safety hazard as I noticed a cut ( possible lawn mower accident )plastic black PVC type flexible pipe with 4 wires inside.

The pipe or tube, goes from the main house to the garage to supply electricity.

Before it goes inside the garage there is a post in the ground, where the ground wire attaches, and the other 3 are going to a breaker box in the garage.

The fourth wire is a very thin beige wire which looks like a phone line.

I called an electrician and he gave two options, either a waterproof junction box or run a new cable.

For a quick fix as I'm running on a set schedule and funds, I would like to use the junction box option, however safety is also a concern. To ensure proper insulation from water as it will be buried 18" underground, is there a glue we can pour into the box to ensure waterproofing. Thanks in advance.

A. Spruce
Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.
A. Spruce

Any connection/splice in the line MUST remain accessible, which means that you cannot bury your junction box. Keep the splice above ground for the time being or run a new cable and bury to proper depth for safety and protection. It would be preferable if the buried cable was in conduit, not only for better protection, you will be able to add/change out wiring as your needs change.

dj1
Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.
dj1

What you want to do is a big no no, especially after you mentioned "safety" as a concern.

Stay up to code and run new wires, in a wide enough conduit, buried as deep as the code calls for.

bass528
Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.
bass528

*** thanks a lot guys, I only was going with this as it was offered by the electrician, but I came here to fully understand how can a box buried, can be certainly water sealed. Did not make too much sense to me. This will be a huge hassle as the plastic black pipe runs under asphalt and into the house somewhere. Only 4 feet are exposed near the garage. Had it been to code this wouldnt have happened.

I saw images of poured glue into a junction box and thought this could be an option, as the wiring is truly sealed.

I think I will now simply eliminate it from the breaker box until I can properly fix it by running a new line.

Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.

The electrician may actually be quoting a direct burial splicing method which is legal and safe.

If the wire is rated for direct burial, such as UF or type USE and the black pipe is just "supplemental" protection you may be fine.

The thin wire may be a phone or intercom line, which should not be run in the same conduit as power.

As if the job will be permitted and inspected.

Fencepost
Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.
Fencepost
bass528 wrote:

...but I came here to fully understand how can a box buried, can be certainly water sealed.

There are connectors listed for direct burial, but they must be used on wire that's rated for direct burial. Typically, the connectors are designed so that once installed they cannot be removed. They also fill all cavities with a gel sealant so there is not air space. (Direct burial wire has no air space and no materials that will absorb moisture.)

There are no boxes that I'm aware of that can be buried. There really is no way to permanently seal a box*. The only way to completely block out water is to completely fill all cavities with something else.

(Any box with connections MUST be accessible, even with "listed for direct burial" connectors. The code doesn't really give an exception, AFAIK. The only way to truly seal a box is to weld or solder it shut -- either through a metallic bond or a solvent weld in the case of plastic -- but that doesn't qualify as "accessible." Any other adhesive or gasket sealant WILL fail and leak.)

bass528
Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.
bass528

Thank you for such detailed explanation, I will bring all these concerns up with the installer.

Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.

The whole feeder must be replaced. It must be buried at a minimum of 18 inches so lawnmowers can't chop it up!

keith3267
Re: Underground cable cut with lawn mower.
keith3267

Are the wires cut or their insulation nicked or cut in any way? If so, then the wiring must be replaced, but if only the conduit is cut, then it can be repaired. There are underground repair kits but I don't think you will find them at your local big box store. An electrician should be able to get one and make the repair, but it should/must be done by an electrician.

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