Fixing buried outlet

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  #1  
Old 08-03-19, 09:10 PM
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Fixing buried outlet

I built a playhouse for my kids last summer and now my wife wants me to put a light in it. I found an outlet in the yard within a few feet of the playhouse but I only found it by chasing an extension cord left by the previous owner...the outlet is buried about 4 inches underground (see attached). To make matters worse, it's between two trees so digging around it has been a huge pain (lots of pretty good sized roots).

How can I get this outlet in good enough shape to power the playhouse lights? To raise it up out of the ground, is it ok to connect the existing wires to new wires inside a big conduit? Or do I need to run completely new wire? Or is there some way to leave it the height it is, clean it out, and put some kind of encasement around it to keep water out and keep it from being buried again?

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Old 08-03-19, 09:15 PM
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Forget about it. A buried extension cord is not a correct way to do this.
A buried cable should down at least 24". If you use conduit it can be 18". Wire or cable you use must be rated for wet locations.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 05:15 AM
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I would also recommend abandoning the extension cord. If you run a buried cable and GFCI protect it before it enters the ground, you can then bury it only 12". You should also protect a cable coming out of the ground using PVC.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 09:06 AM
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Thanks for your help guys. I can find another way to power the playhouse, but what's my best option for the outlet? If possible I'd like to get the outlet functional to power some landscape lighting. Is it possible to move it so it's above the level of the ground? Or put some waterproof encasement around it? Or if it can't be saved, whats the safest way to disable it?
 
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Old 08-04-19, 10:47 AM
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Don't even think of using the extension cord. Disconnect it at the source immediately and remove all of it if possible. What you have is a safety hazard and against any building code.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 10:51 AM
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There is no fixing that receptacle powered by an extension cord.
Best option= replace it.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 05:02 PM
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Remove the extension cord any anything attached to it. Period.
 
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Old 08-04-19, 08:50 PM
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Okay I'm sorry but I realize I messed up in how I described the situation. The extension cord isn't powering the outlet, it was plugged into the outlet and left there by the previous owners. As far as I know, the outlet itself was professionally installed 20 years ago and was up to code at that point. Since then, it has been buried several inches underground (with the extension cord left plugged in, which I unplugged when I dug up the outlet).

In that case, what should I do with the outlet? Can I clean it up and put a pull box around it to keep water/dirt out? Or can I raise it above ground without running all new wire to it?
 
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Old 08-04-19, 10:19 PM
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I see everyone missed your point......

It's too low to even think of keeping. It will always fill with water. What you need to do is to dig it up and see what's feeding it. It needs to be UF type cable or conduit. If it's UF cable it will be easy to dig up. If it's conduit.... it will be fairly solid. When you dig it up...... the supply line will be short so you'll have to trench some in the direction the wire is coming from.
 
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