Cut cord or wire sticking out of wall


Old 01-06-06, 09:09 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 257
Cut cord or wire sticking out of wall

I bought a house about 2 months ago. When we finally moved in, I noticed a cord or wire sticking out of the wall about an inch. This was hidden by the previous owner's furniture. There is a small (quarter-sized) hole above the base board that has the wire sticking out. You can see that the wire has been cut cleanly with scissors or something.

I called the previous owner of the house and he said the wire was from an electric dog fence. He said the owner before him must have put it in. He said that he removed the "box" from the wall and cut the cord. He also mentioned that he would occasionally dig up and remove underground outdoor sections of the wiring (after tripping on a piece in the yard). I see a screw about a foot up from the floor near the incoming wire. I'm guessing this is where the "box" he removed was located.

My question is, what the heck do I have here? Is the wire live or not? How would I test it?

I'm guessing the "box" he spoke of was a transformer. I would think that it just hung on the wall and was plugged into a nearby outlet. I would then assume that the wires from the transformer were routed through the wall and then went outside to power the fence. My guess is that he removed the transformer and cut the outgoing line. If this is the case, could I just push the wire into the wall and repair the drywall?

My only fear is that I have my thought process backwards and that the wire is not outgoing, but incoming as far as power. Obviously I don't want to bury a live wire.

I asked him before I got off the phone is it was a live wire and he said "he didn't THINK so".

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Old 01-06-06, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
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What kind of wire is this? Does it look like normal electrical cable, with two or three wires inside an outer covering? Is it a single wire? Where does it go? Have you looked in your basement right under where it protrudes from the wall?

If it's a normal electrical wire then you need to be more concerned. If it's a smaller wire, like doorbell wire, then you need to be less concerned.

You can test if it's live by using a multimeter and testing it.
Old 01-06-06, 09:41 AM
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I've wired recepts and switches before and this wire doesn't look like that. There are only two insulated wires like a power cord. It basically looks like an extension cord or appliance cord that was cut. It is definitely not telephone/doorbell wire.

I don't know where the wire goes yet - I know I need to find out, but I havn't done so yet.

This wire is in a corner of the living room. Directly under the hole/wire, in the basement, is the main panel. I don't see this particular wire entering with the other wires to the breaker box.
Old 01-06-06, 11:06 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
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It sounds like the previous owner installed a cord-and-plug dog fence transformer outdoors or downstairs without installing a receptacle for it. Instead, he drilled a hole through the floor and wall so the device could be plugged in the in the living room. I bet that what you have there is the remaining portion of the cord-and-plug that someone cut off, but didn't pull out. It is probably just fine, although a multimeter or neon tester can verify that for sure.
Old 01-06-06, 11:58 AM
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This transformer was in the living room hanging on the wall and there was an outlet less than a foot from it. If the transformer needed to be plugged in, he could have plugged it in right in the living room.

I have a feeling the cut wire is from the transformer out to the yard (fence).

Part of the problem is that I am not familiar with electrified dog fences and how they are set up.

Since the transformer has been removed, I would assume the wire is dead, but I'll check it with a bulb tester.

What do you guys think? If it reads no power, can I bury it in the wall and then try to locate it outside in the Spring and pull it out?

What do I do if it does show power?
Old 01-06-06, 05:01 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: The Colony, Texas
Posts: 917
This sounds like an electronic dog fence. If so, the wire in the wall goes outside to a wire buried around the yard. The wire around the yard carries a signal (low voltage) that is picked up by a matching dog collar. The collar makes a noise or emits a shock when it gets too close to the wire. Obviously you need to remain safe and test for voltage, but there likely isn't anything more than wire buried in the yard (now in pieces) and one that used to attach to the yard wire coming through the wall. It can simply be cut and pulled out.

Doug M.

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