General Question

thomaselvin's avatar

What tools can we use to trace underground wire? How can we deal wtih the wire underground?

Asked by thomaselvin (9points) June 1st, 2019

We want to fix the landscape lights, but we can not find the correct wire for it, the wires are buried underground, which takes a long time for an electrician to inspect.

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8 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

Rent, buy, borrow a metal detector.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

There are detectors specific for finding underground wires & pipes or hire a “utility locating” company.

thomaselvin's avatar

Thank you.

Is it possible for a vendor to create a map by using the metal detector?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They mark the ground with colored paint; I think wires are color coded Orange, Gas lines are Yellow and water is Blue and maybe Green for sewer lines.
You will need ALL underground item identified; maybe call 811 !

elbanditoroso's avatar

Here’s the problem – and @Tropical_Willie touched on it.

If the underground wiring was done by a utility (gas, electric, phone, etc.) then the 811 people will have records of it and they can spray paint the wiring paths. These are usually the right-of-way on the easement in front of your house.

However – if the wiring for the landscape lights was done by a previous owner (that’s a question for you) – was it done to code, in conduit? Did the previous owner pull a permit? Would the 811 people have knowledge of it?

If the previous owner did it himself, it’s a crapshoot. If it was not put in conduit, you’re probably up shit’s creek anyway.

What you ought to do is check continuity of the wiring. Disconnect the wiring at each and, put low voltage current at one end and see if you detect it at the other end. link

If you have continuity, then your wiring isn’t the problem.

kritiper's avatar

If the circuit is popping a circuit breaker, you can install an automatic reset type of breaker, then, with the current on and the breaker constantly resetting, use some kind of a magnetic detector to locate the wire, and where the magnetic pulse ends, you’ve found where the problem is. (Whenever an electrical current is fed through a wire, it causes a magnetic field to develop around the wire. And this can be detected.)
But you may just wish to install a new wire to the lights.

thomaselvin's avatar

Thank you all guys. We have tested and used some tools, but we still can not locate the wire to our landscape lights. Do we need to dig or rewire so as to be able to reconnect the lights?

Tropical_Willie's avatar


“We have tested and used some tools, but we still can not locate the wire to our landscape lights” – - – - – - – - – - If you find some other underground line while rooting around you will be sorry !

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