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  1. #1
    Veteran Member scesnick's Avatar
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    Default How do I to test underground wire?

    I have three wire direct burial wire ran out to where I an going to put a pump into a creek for water. Unfortunately, once it was buried it was pulled on with a backhoe that was digging in the area. I believe it was just pulled away from the pipe it is buried with but I am not sure.

    How do I check the wire. Keep in mind my electrical skill sleave A LOT to be desired.. lol.
    Father, GNCC racer, KTM rider, Bow hunter, Farm owner.
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  2. #2
    Advertiser kennyd's Avatar
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    John Deere 4110, 455

    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    Do you have a digital volt/ohm meter?
    KennyD
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by scesnick View Post
    I have three wire direct burial wire ran out to where I an going to put a pump into a creek for water. Unfortunately, once it was buried it was pulled on with a backhoe that was digging in the area. I believe it was just pulled away from the pipe it is buried with but I am not sure.

    How do I check the wire. Keep in mind my electrical skill sleave A LOT to be desired.. lol.
    You can check for electrical continuity easy enough (disconnect one end and short two wires together - measure resistance at the other end - should be close to zero. Even easier - turn the power to your pump on. If it turns on...it's good. If it doesn't - it's broke.

    Personally, I'd carefully dig up the wire where it got hit and inspect it. Generally, once a backhoe hits something (even a nick), it is damaged or destroyed. My exit septic pipe can attest to that .

    JayC

  4. #4
    Silver Member frischtr's Avatar
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    Harford County, MD
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    PT-425

    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    Your best bet will be to carefully inspect the wire where you hit it. If the wires got skinned/broken, you'll need to repair it using an underground rated splice kit.

    In addition to the above method for checking continuity, you need to separate the wires at one end, and check continuity between all at the other end. You should have a really high or infinite ohm reading to make sure the wires aren't shorted together at the damage point.
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Mid. Coast Maine
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    7610 hst

    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    How do I check the wire. Keep in mind my electrical skill sleave A LOT to be desired.. lol.
    Hire an Electrician,,

  6. #6
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    Kubota B2910

    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    Quote Originally Posted by scesnick View Post
    I have three wire direct burial wire ran out to where I an going to put a pump into a creek for water. Unfortunately, once it was buried it was pulled on with a backhoe that was digging in the area. I believe it was just pulled away from the pipe it is buried with but I am not sure.

    How do I check the wire. Keep in mind my electrical skill sleave A LOT to be desired.. lol.
    If you don't have good electrical skills I would suggest getting a friend with some knowledge to take a look at the wire as a first step. How large is the wire? It would be easy to overlook a cut in the insulation but the electric power when applied will always find it. Measuring for any ground leakage during a wet time period, after a good soaking rain, with an ohmeter might reveal a problem but since the meter's voltage is low it won't necessarily "find" a potential problem.

    I am guessing that the wire is too costly to replace, so a friend with some electrical knowledge is highly advisable in my opinion. As was mentioned by another member a good underground repair maybe possible but only for someone that knows what they are doing with it. If you are going to connect it to a GFCI type breaker you will probably be pretty safe knowing any repair will be good as long as the breaker doesn't trip but I don't know if that is possible for a pump in a creek.

  7. #7
    New Member barkerlakebob's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    "low voltage" wiring is just as deadly as high voltage so be careful !

    Hire a electrician...........
    Barkerlakebob........

  8. #8

    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    I'm an electrician and can say the advice you've gotten so far is accurate. b2910 posted that an ohmeter may not provide enough voltage to detect a problem and that is very true. If it does indicate continuity to ground there's no doubt you have a problem or if you don't have continuity from one end to the other. What you really need is a friend or electrician with a megger that will test to ground and between conductors at hundreds of volts.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member scesnick's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    i do have a buddy who is an electrician. I will give him a call. Thanks.
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  10. #10
    Elite Member dex3361's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do I to test underground wire?

    You need to test it with an electrical insulation tester commonly referred to as a Megger(brand name). It uses a high voltage and measures for current leakage through the insulation to ground Megger. There are lots of different brands just make sure that it is a voltage tester that test at at least 2 times the normal voltage. Disconnect the motor before testing.
    Randall



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