First off, let me say that whoever installed this cable was an idiot. Cable
was buried maybe 2" down and snaked out away from the house 6 feet then back
then back 4 feet into a flower bed and toward my front porch then back out
again toward the array of utility boxes in the front yard.
You guessed it. When I was dividing some Daylilies today I cut it (not that
I knew until after my shower, when I wanted to watch some football).
All my experience is with interior cable.
I was going to leave the twist on connectors I've already installed on the
cable right where they are, and then put in a regular nickel plated coupler,
and then shrink wrap it. Is this good enough?
There are waterproof coax connectors. You could also use this stuff:
You can buy it here:
The only connectors approved by cable providers are the compression type,
and for good reason. Have someone with the proper tools and fittings make up
the splice, then use electrical splicing compound wrap around it with black
tape over that... and stop diggin in the flower bed, next you're gonna hit
the power line
When I was in the Coast Guard in Alaska, the cable to the runway used
to get cut every now and then.
We had a kit that consisted of a plastic housing that encased the
splice and was then filled with a silicon-type gel.
I don't recall the specifics since it was over 30 years ago, but I do
recall it sucked fixing the cable in white-out conditions at -30 F
USCG Loran C Station Port Clarence, AK
This company has been advertising in the ham radio magazines for decades.
They claim to be used by the U.S. military, NASA, etc. I have no personal
experience with their sealant but assume it must work. For all I know it may
be merely silicone caulk / RTV.
Typical silicone caulk is peroxide cure which develops acetic acid when
it cures (the vinegar smell) which will quickly corrode copper. There
are various other RTVs and silicone gels using other chemistries that
Nobody else said it, so I will- call cable company and bitch them out,
and make them replace it with a direct run? Was flower bed there before
or after the cable was installed? Most cable companies hate buried
splices due to high failure rates, and they are a PITA to track down.
I don't think they even bother to track a cable faults here. There are like
5 frikkin' cut coaxs coming out of the ground in the same area near where
the box WAS.
I saw WAS because I never had the cable hooked up here. Turned on digital
TV with amplified indoor rabbit ears. Quite a number of stations, 15-20
maybe, crystal clear. Put on analog side and only a few come in. All are
crappy pic except for maybe one. Capitol is 45 air miles away.
If someone digs without calling the pre dig location service (free)
which has been in effect for a long time they are responsible for the
repair. You likely have seen their work when you see various paint
stripes on sidewalks and pavement and little colored flags stuck in
lawns. Each color represents a type of utility.
re: If someone digs without calling the pre dig location service
(free) which has been in effect for a long time they are responsible
for the repair.
Granted, in a general sense this is correct.
However, if you'll re-read the OP's post, you'll see that he was
separating Day Lillies and digging down a matter of inches. I don't
believe that the "pre dig location service" was put into place for
people working their gardens.
I respectfully disagree.
The Underground Hotline/One Call locating service was established many
decades ago for ALL digging. Period.
Whether the OP is liable for damage caused by "common yard work" is up
to the affected utility.
Yet Another War Story:
My customer's 5-pair phone drop (Buried Service Wire) was cut in half by
the neighbor behind their back fence.
The neighbor's tomato plants had out grown their "towers". The
blithering idiots bought a handful of 6-foot 'T' posts and blithely
hammered them into the ground and strung up the overgrown tomatoes.
They performed this stunt in the utility easement, with NO locates,
directly over 7kV buried power only a few feet from the unobscured
"kettle" transformer on its pad.
Fearing for my life, I waited for assistance from our local power
utility. Wearing heavy, insulated rubber gloves, the power technician
and I wrestled the post out of the ground. I exposed the damage to my
drop and repaired it.
Needless to say, the neighbors paid fees amounting to a lot more than
the cost of a lifetime supply of store-bought tomatoes. Sheesh!
Call before you dig.
Call the cable TV provider if that's what the cable is. As far as I
know the cable has to be buried much deeper than two inches per the
cable companies own standards. If it is damaged because of an improper
installation then the cable company must fix it.
After doing some investigating because of the replies here, I figure the
cable company would probably cost me about the same as buying a crimping
tool ($25 shipped ebay), some compression fittings, and that seal tape, but
if I can get it done for free that would be great. I'll call.
I bought this house three years ago. It was built in 2001 and I've surely
gotten to see what shortcuts happen in new construction, but I'll have to
say this surprised me. I have to believe the cable came before the flower
bed, but maybe not, there are some good sized trees in the landscaping. Here
is a picture from 2005 when I bought the house:
Apparently they laid the cable on top of the topsoil and laid the sod on top
of that. All the utility entrances are on the side of the house, but maybe 2
feet back. That utility box array is about 40 feet from the front of the
house and off to the side maybe 10 feet (I'm sure it's shared with the
neighbor). I saw the cable coming out of the entrance to the house and
running out sideways from the house down that 2 inches I mentioned earlier.
So, I assumed it probably ran out that 10 feet and then the 40 feet to
Even if the landscaping came after the cable, why would they leave all that
slack in the run and have it snake out, then back toward the house? I see it
leaving the flower bed (that 2 inches down) and heading toward the boxes,
but who knows what route it takes.
If you do decide to get a tool and fittings, make sure you understand that a
crimping tool and a compression tool are two completely different things,
and not interchangeable. You want a compression tool and compression
fittings. There are also different RG-6 compression fittings for various
types of cable shielding
If the OP DOES fix the cable, that my be his "out" regarding liability.
If the repair lasts long enough that the evidence of digging and repair
is not visible, when (not "if") the repair fails and the CATV provider
is called, they will simply replace the line, probably at no charge. Of
course, this means the requisite one year of putting up with the
temporary on top of the ground and numerous calls from the subscriber
before it is buried. The new wire will then probably be buried two
inches also, particularly if there is a sprinkler system. Good luck.
There is a fine line between pragmatic and cynical. I'm "in there"
somewhere. Lots of experience in the subject being discussed does that.
I'm sorry I mis-typed. Yeah, when I first saw the tool I was wondering how
it crimped, but then I figured it out that it pushes the compression ring up
inside the wire side of the connector. I guess I'll probably fix this thing
myself, then I'll have the supplies laying around for my next surpise. :o
Plus, I'll get to buy a tool and usually don't pass up a chance to do that.
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