Old telephone line?

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Old 04-01-19, 09:00 AM
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Old telephone line?

I started digging the holes for my deck footings yesterday and there's a black cable buried dead center of one of my holes. The cable is no more than 1/4" in diameter (definitely not coax or fiber) and is buried about 12" deep. I'm thinking it is likely an old copper telephone line. This particular line wasn't marked when I had my garage addition built, so I'm assuming it is inactive. If Miss Utility doesn't mark this line, is it okay to cut it? I don't have any flexibility with positioning of the deck footings, so if the cable remains, it will be passing through a concrete pier, which will make my life more difficult. I can upload a photo later this evening or tomorrow.
 
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Old 04-01-19, 09:17 AM
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In my area the underground marker phone number only coordinates marking from the various utility companies, so if one of them didn't show up their lines aren't marked. They also don't mark any private utilities (e.g. sprinkler wiring, branch circuits). So you can't really be sure what an unmarked cable means.

Phone lines are usually pretty easy to identify because you can draw a roughly straight line from the Demarc box on the house to the splice pedestal and have a pretty good idea of the path it should follow.

Does a non-contact voltage detector alarm on it?
 
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Old 04-01-19, 09:22 AM
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I've had my yard marked multiple times and have never had anything marked in this area, so I'm guessing it is inactive. My phone line is on the opposite side of the house. The telephone box is located in the front of my property on the right side, so a cable running through the side yard and my back yard to the neighbor 25ft behind me would make sense. Would it be a good idea to have them mark her lines? I don't see what other utility it could be other than telephone.
 
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Old 04-01-19, 10:25 AM
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Come to think of it, if a utility line runs through my property, and not through an easement, don't I have a legal right to remove it?
 
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Old 04-01-19, 01:07 PM
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If utility company failed to mark it and you cut it by mistake you aren't liable for the damage. But if you knowingly cut the line, you could be in trouble even if it is in your property.

Unless you can confirm it is abandoned line, it is best to leave it as is. Can't you just push the wire to one side?
 
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Old 04-01-19, 02:12 PM
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Try digging a little more to each side along wire. Try pulling on it and see if you can get enough slack to clear pier.
 
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Old 04-01-19, 04:37 PM
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It's pretty tight, but I could maybe get enough slack out of it to clear my form. Although It would be unfortunate if I accidentally severed it in the process.

My voltage probe didn't pick anything up. Honestly, it has to be copper telephone. There's nothing else it could logically be. And considering Verizon is cutting these lines, it shouldn't be a big deal if something were to happen. In fact, the contractor that did my garage severed a line on the side yard that looked about the same. Likely the same one.
 
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Old 04-01-19, 04:52 PM
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If it is in fact a telephone line, then it will be left disconnected at telco until someone signs up for telephone service from the phone company.

If you have fiber optic services from the telco in your area, chanced are that line will never be used again.
 
 

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