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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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We had our garden done today and one of the gardeners

Customer Question

We had our garden done today and one of the gardeners has cut through one of the outdoor wires , so now it is fully exposed - is safe to put strong or duck tape over the live exposed wire ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.

Yes, you can use the duct tape to tape up the exposed wiring for the time being.

The power needs to be turned off in this situation.

You did not post what this line operates?

That can make a big difference, as if it is low voltage, the wire proposes no danger.
If 115 volts, even being taped up, being exposed above ground is safety issue especially with children.

Post lights ?

Low voltage outdoor landscape lighting?

Let me know anything at all needed to keep the situation as safe as possible,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thanks tommy
I think it is low voltage , the wire goes from the house to a outdoor shed , the wire is used to power a light switch in the shed
The landlord said the power cannot be turned off for this
Does this help ?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
If it powers a light in the shed, it is most likely 115 volts, that isn't low voltage.

Why they would say the power cannot be turned off, doesnt make sense.

All power in a house can be turned off by either fuses or breakers in a panel.

Tenants must have access to the breakers in their area at all times.

You might check and see if the breakers are labeled and maybe one says to the shed?

You can still tape it off, but there must be care taken when doing so, since the line is powered. It is still dangerous until taped completely.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have looked at the box and cannot see one for the outside shed..just the main points in the house, I.e shower, kitchen etc etc..
I have taped up the both ends with tape for now with strong tape - is that ok ?
Would you say I need a electrian to look at this ?
Does it cost a lot of money ?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

If you have taped all up, then it is not an immediate danger to anyone, good work.

Might put a small stake next to it for location identification.

Cables with 115 volts are supposed to be buried 12 inches deep if on a GFCI breaker (one with a button on the breaker) and 24" deep if on a regular circuit.

If it is less than that, the landlord should be responsible for repair. It would be an illegal installation with regards ***** ***** and the fire marshal.

It can get a little pricey with underground, the underground splices are not inexpensive.

A service call to repair and find the breaker to shut it off would probably be between $75-$125.

The problem would be, if the cable is not the proper depth, most contractors may not make the repair because it leaves them liable when it is not per code.
So, they would not make the repair or require the line to be redone at the proper depth.

Wish it was a simple situation, but since it is a rental it is a little more difficult.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Since I have taped it up for now will it be ok for the next 4 days ? I am away over weekend
Would that be safe ?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
It should be fine.

I just saw where you are located in the UK, that means the voltage is 230 volts, sorry for missing that part.
Doesnt change the situation, still the same, just a voltage difference.

But it should be ok, just put a stake and marker to signify the location, maybe a little white or red flag of some type. A sign written, work being performed, do not touch.

Just do not want any children in the area, they can be curious.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you know if outdoor cables have to still be buried in the UK ?
Am worried about but you think that because I have taped up the ends of the exposed wires it should be ok for the next 4 days ?
Is it dangerous if it rains ??
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.

Yes, wires still have to be buried for safety in the UK, just do not have that number in front of me at the moment.
It will be within the range I posted before, electricity safety is the same.

If it is taped up well. it will be fine even exposed to rain, as long as the cable is up and not lying on the ground.
Put a small stake and tape the cable to the stake and keep the end upright and taped up.

Water will run off that way.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Even though we are in the UK would it still be difficult for a electrian to fix this problem if the cable was not buried correctly ?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it could be, it all depends on the situation.

I do not know how deep the cable was originally and how to shut off power.

Those are the unknowns at this time and only someone on site can evaluate the situation completely to recommend action as it is now.

It may be in better shape and installed properly, it can go either way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The cable was not buried at all, it was just on to on the soil next to the fence
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
Ok, thanks.

Unless that light in the shed is low voltage, that is not installed properly anywhere.
It sounds like the light is a regular light fixture.

You should be able to follow the cable and see where comes from and maybe turn off the power.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your help and time
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 2 years ago.
You are most welcome, glad to assist.