Just moved into a house built in 1956. It's got your typical light on a
metal post in the front yard. It's crooked, and like 99.99% of yard lights,
it would blind the police when they came to assist in the event of a
prowler. It's also ugly, so I'm removing it. I thought it would be a kind
gesture to leave whatever's underground in good shape, in case the next
owner wants to put something there. But, I have no idea what I'm likely to
find. I'd like to know, so I don't have to make 419 trips to the hardware
store. The thing is set in soil about 20' from the foundation.
So, let's play psychic electrician. I'd like to know what others have
discovered under such fixtures, especially in houses from that era. My
fantasy: Conduit terminating under the light in a nice metal box, all held
together with stainless steel screws so I don't have to spend the first 4
hours spraying all kinds of crap just to get the rust off. Yeah. Right.
Anyone want to play?
You win the dozen virtual donuts. The plastic lamp post pulled right out,
revealing a metal post which also slid out easily. Wire was about 12" deep,
not contained in any kind of protective pipe. The only protection was a
layer of pea gravel, and the wire was in awful shape.
That would be interesting! Matter of fact, in my first garden, I found an
ancient septic tank about 8" down. The first owner used it for a small
kennel he ran in the back of the garage.
In our first garden we found a doggie skeleton wrapped in a completely
intact and wearable blue polyester shirt, inside a small crumbling
suitcase. Then a week later we found another doggie, but this one was
only partly decomposed. Ugh. That awful sucking sound when the shovel
As for underground wiring, a landscaper found the electrical line
going to the detached garage while digging a french drain around the
back of the house. Actually there were two. He barely missed cutting
them both with the power trencher. One was inside a conduit and was
that old disintegrating cloth-wrapped wire that we keep replacing in
our 1921 house. It is the original wire, probably from 1921 or perhaps
shortly afterwards, and was no longer working, fortunately. Running
next to it was some kind of outdoor Romex-type wire -- who knows what
vintage, gauge, or grade.
Both were buried about two feet deep.
most likely if you turn the power off and take the fixture off, or if it has
a photo-cell remove that - disconnect the wires and give the post a wiggle
and a twist there's a very good chance it will pull right out.
Maybe measure real good and mark the panel cover where to find the buried
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