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OK this is weird to the extreme - underground conduit with water?

OK this is weird to the extreme - underground conduit with water?

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  #1  
Old 07-08-07, 09:16 AM
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OK this is weird to the extreme - underground conduit with water?

I recently purchased a property 30 years old and have no plans (the original plans were microfilmed by the county and were eaten up by bugs), the seller does not have plans either.

The house has a central courtyard that has a 4" concrete slab with brick tiles, in the middle is a pool and near the pool a few planter areas.

Yesterday I was clearing the planter area to rid of the original plants there. Sticking up from each planter area is an electrical conduit with two outlets. The outlets were for the outdoor lighting. There is a switch on the wall to turn on and off these outlets in the planter areas.

Now as I was digging and clearing the plants, I accidentally hit something which caused water to pool up. The water were not shooting up like a pressurized water pipe, but slowly pooling up. I reached my hand into the water and felt a pipe broken. It's a PVC pipe about 1.5" in diameter - so I thought ok may be it's a sprinkler line, but a sprinkler should not have any positive pressure unless the pump is on and working so this is strange. It could not be a sewer line since it is onlt 1.5" in diameter and the water is clear and not smelly.

So I begain to excavate around the pipe more and more and it ends in an eblow that reached up to the planter area electrical box where the outlets are. Now I am puzzled...this is an electrical conduit?

I then looked closer to the broken section after I cleared away the mud and I saw a wire in there, like a romex or a coax cable, has to be a romex makes no sense for a coax to be wired to an electrical box.

So I have a 1.5" PVC underground pipe with water flowing through and positive pressure and inside it there is a romex...? I am really puzzled by it, what could it be?

The only thing I can think of is if this conduit is supposed to go to the pool light - along the pool wall about 3 feet below water there is a pool light, but the switch for that light is fifty feet away near the courtyard entrance and not close to the planter area at all.

There is a pump and filter system for the pool (again located in the opposite direction of the planter area) so it can't be that, but the low pressurized water in the pipe almost seem like the same sort of pressure similar to the pool pump and filter system. I am totally baffled by this.

I will snap a couple of pictures later to see if someone can help me figure this puzzle out.

Thanks for reading this long post.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-08-07, 09:50 AM
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It is completely normal for an underground electrical conduit to be filled with water. OK, maybe not normal, but it is expected and not at all uncommon.

I hope the cable is UF and not NM-B indoor cable.
 
  #3  
Old 07-08-07, 10:05 AM
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It is not that it's filled with water, it's because it's has positive pressure. Water is flowing out of it slowly, and it does not stop, if I did not "plug" it it keeps coming not as strong as a water supply line but there is pressure. That I think is not normal right?

Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 07-08-07, 01:36 PM
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Sounds like to me that the pool light is connected to the same conduit and is getting water and slight pressure from the pool. The break is below the pool water level correct? That would cause the slight pressured water leak until the pool level gets below the broken conduit.
 
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Old 07-08-07, 02:12 PM
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If any of the pipe is above this spot, it could take weeks for all the water to seep out. Give it time.

Did you call the (free) utility marking service before digging?
 
  #6  
Old 07-08-07, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by badeyeben View Post
Sounds like to me that the pool light is connected to the same conduit and is getting water and slight pressure from the pool. The break is below the pool water level correct? That would cause the slight pressured water leak until the pool level gets below the broken conduit.
Yes it is slightly below pool water level, so in this case it will never be dry unless I find the leak on the other end. The pool light is several feet below, so there must be a break at an elbow where the pool conduit comes up to join up to the near horizontal run to the planter area.

MC
 
  #7  
Old 07-08-07, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
Did you call the (free) utility marking service before digging?
The utility company will only mark their utilities inside their right of way or easement, in my case this is inside the house they would not bother. I could not locate any electrical wiring plans for the house either. Thanks.
 
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