Locating Burried Romex in Yard


Old 05-04-05, 07:36 AM
twoseas's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Patterson, Lousiana
Posts: 35
Locating Burried Romex in Yard

The previous owner of my home burried some Romex to power up a pool pump and he ran a branch
to a receptacle for a non existent shed off this to provide a receptacle to a non existent shed.

I like to do some trenching in my yard to run conduit to a workshop that I built but want to avoid
the existing romex.

Is there a way/device to help me find the burried romex. I tried a metal detector and after
adjusting the sensitivity it still picks up a lot of stray stuff in my yard and does not give me
a clear picture of the location
of the romex.


Last edited by twoseas; 05-04-05 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 05-04-05, 07:40 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Two comments.

It would now be against code to power a shed (or any other load) off a run for a pool. If this shed cable is truly buried and you have no idea where it is, you can probably not worry about it, as you can't use it.

The run for the pool pump should be fairly easy to trace. Unless there are other obstacles, it should be in a straight run to the pump from wherever it leaves the house.
Old 05-04-05, 01:47 PM
ElectricalMan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Harrisonburg
Posts: 744
hmmmm....Maybe I am reading this wrong but you are not talking about tapping into the pool line ( romax ) to feed your shed...you are going to run a whole new line to your shed in PVC and you want to make sure you do not CUT the ( non-conforming ) romax that is already in the ground by a previous owner....lol.....

We use locators made by Greenlee and Progressive to find wires in walls, ground and so on. They sell for about $ 245.00 dollars....But you can also try this....

Rac is right it should be fairly easy to follow but try this....take an AM radio and turn it down to about 580-600 on the AM dial....now move the radio near a KNOWN live circuit wire...listen to the change in the static.....

Now that you have trained your ear....do the same in the yard...moving the AM radio close to the ground..if not right on it...back and forth and listen to the static........the magnetic field of the wire can effect the static and may help you kinda follow it......not easy and does not always work but hey....just a suggestion...

As Rac said....do not tap the romax pool line to feed a shed or any outlets in the shed.....do as I think you said...run a new line from your panel and then in PVC or at least UF wire.......If you are only adding a simple plug.....if you are going more advanced like bringing in a service to a panel in the shed...then we have a WHOLE different set of code guidelines for ya....
Old 05-04-05, 09:13 PM
twoseas's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Patterson, Lousiana
Posts: 35
Thanks to all for your suggestions and I can't wait to try the radio trick.

I'll post back with the results.

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