Power line where I want my Tomato plants to be

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  #1  
Old 05-19-12, 09:45 AM
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Power line where I want my Tomato plants to be

When I bought my house, there was power run to a shed outside and an outlet that looks like it was intended for a water feature.... I wanted to plant some tomato plants this year and had my son digging up a spot in the flower garden.. being a teenager he was of course complaining that i should could get rototiller to dig up a 6x2 plot but lucky i didn't because when he was using a hoe he found a buried cable, (only about 6 inches deep mind you, i think they are supposed to be 12, and yes I know it was stupid of me not to think of that considering I knew there power cables back there but then isn't half the point of a flower garden to be digging in it) so here is the question, What should i do
  1. ignore it and clean up the plant roots around it and go ahead and plant
  2. say F*** it and find somewhere else for my tomato plants
  3. be worried the cable was so shallow and run a new 60ft, of cable 1ft or deeper not in someplace that is going to be dug up whenever my wife wants a new bush or shrub...
 

Last edited by dfolmar42; 05-19-12 at 09:46 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #2  
Old 05-19-12, 10:31 AM
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I would go with option
3. be worried the cable was so shallow and run a new 60ft, of cable 1ft or deeper not in someplace that is going to be dug up whenever my wife wants a new bush or shrub...
The new cable should be Type UF-B, whether the one your son dug up is or not. You can go with the 12" minimum depth if the new cable is GFCI protected in the panel at no more than 20 amps. Otherwise it'll need to be buried 24" minimum.

The old cable should be trimmed back and capped off at each end, to abandon it.
 
  #3  
Old 05-19-12, 10:31 AM
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New cable or conduit with individual wires in a different spot is the best option. Burial depth for a 120v supply 20 amps or less protected by a GFCI circuit breaker is 12 inches. A cable not protected by a circuit breaker is 24 inches minimum. Conduit is 18 inches. If you go cable I'd lay scrap boards on top of the cable before burying. That will give you some protection till the boards rot. Another suggestion is fill in about 6" then lay in caution tape and finish filling.
 
  #4  
Old 05-19-12, 01:56 PM
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Thanks guys, that was what I was afraid of, I think I may just detach it in the shed and cap it, and if it not part of a circuit forget about it for now, buying an old house is fun when the previous owner was a do it yourself kinda guy too, at least this wasn't as bad as the light I found with a live wire from one circut and ground to a different one
 
  #5  
Old 05-19-12, 02:07 PM
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I think I may just detach it in the shed and cap it
How's that going to make it safe? Does this cable originate in the shed, or is it feeding the shed from your panel? Don't you need to remove it from the breaker?
 
  #6  
Old 05-19-12, 02:37 PM
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Yes, it seems to go into a shed that has an outlet and light switch and then into the ground and into a second shed with conduit and a gang box that feeds, another light and outlet and from there I can see where the cable, shielded, goes towards the house but the first shed doesn't seem to have any conduit going or in out that I can find... and from there it seems to run around the outside of my yard (again through the flowerbeds) to an outlet. WHen I mapped the Electrical in my house, both sheds and outlet seemed to be on the same circut, now I haven't had the breaker out but I assume that there is one wire to the box that feeds the whole thing, it would not surprise me if I was wrong or if for some reason the power actually runs directly to the second shed and back to the first or something weird. However, judging from where the power exits my house, and the fact I can find no other places cable runs out of my house on that side that doesn't goto a light feature, I think my best bet is to use the junction box in the second shed that seems to be wired properly. I don't really use the back shed for much except to store lawn furniture in, and since I can not find any conduit coming out of it, I have no idea if the cable in it is even protected. So If i cap it there and check the power to the outlet in my yard and the second shed and there is none, the cable in my flowerbed should not be live...Name:  Shed.jpg
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Size:  40.5 KB if the pic comes through this the layout and what I think the run is roughly like, the red line being where I was going to put in the tomato plants
 

Last edited by dfolmar42; 05-19-12 at 02:55 PM. Reason: clarity
  #7  
Old 05-19-12, 03:38 PM
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OK, I see it now. Thanks for the drawing! Since what your son dug up is cable, you should be able to use a non-contact voltage to verify power in Shed 2, at the remote outlet, and in the exposed cable itself. After disconnecting it from the receptacle in Shed 2, you can then verify that Shed 2 has power while the remote receptacle and the cable do not, and you can go ahead and dig it out.
 
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