Wire wire go away!
February 16, 2011 8:18 AM   Subscribe

There is a wire hanging in my yard. It appeared about 2 months ago. I have not had any new services installed in my home. It runs from a telephone/ electric pole at the corner of my property and is draped over my bushes then runs down the alley out back. I have a dog now and worry about him chewing on it. Who do I call to have it removed? I called Comcast (we don't have cable) because they had been doing work in our neighborhood about the time it appeared but it is still there. I looked at the wire up close. It reads commscope F677TSVV Xpress Prep. Any clue what it is for? I have touched it and didn't get shocked- but I worry the dog will eventually notice and find it a fascinating tug of war toy. I am on the verge of cutting it, but don't want to get electrocuted. Ideas on who to call?
posted by MayNicholas to Technology (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
That's rg-6, which is almost certainly cable tv.

Perhaps one of your neighbors had cable hooked up (or is "borrowing" it.)
Can you follow it to the other end and see where it goes?
posted by madajb at 8:25 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would call your county / city admin offices. They would have had to approve any work that was done, and they have a legitimate public safety issue in stray electrical cables. They should be able to ID the culprit, and probably so something temporary to secure it.
posted by COD at 8:27 AM on February 16, 2011

That is a coaxial cable and I would be extremely surprised if anyone other than Comcast or their contractors did the poor work. While I normally would say "Bad! No touchie!" you can probably get away with cutting it if Comcast doesn't get back to you. I would assume they have a trouble ticket since it's not..welll.. connected to the next pole like it should be ;)

I am not your lawyer and this should not be considered healthy advice with regards to cutting cables.
posted by cavalier at 8:27 AM on February 16, 2011

Google makes it sound like "F677TSVV" is standard RC6 coaxial cable, so you could probably just cut it without consequence AS LONG AS IT"S A CABLE END. If the cable goes through your yard on its way to somewhere, you shouldn't do anything with it. Comcast or whoever probably has an easement that covers it.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 8:28 AM on February 16, 2011

Googling that PN turns up this PDF about coaxial cables, so it seems very likely that it's a TV cable. I'd call Comcast again and tell them that their workmen left a cable draped across your shrubs instead of up on a pole where it belongs, and that you've already complained once and nothing has happened. A suggestion that you will cut it and throw it away if they don't take care of it in 48 hours or so might help.
posted by jon1270 at 8:28 AM on February 16, 2011 [4 favorites]

Please, don't make a habit out of touching downed wires! Or cutting them to get them out of the way.

That said, call 911 and report that there's a wire down in your yard and you think it might be dangerous. You don't need to be more specific. It's likely they'll send the fire department who can determine if it's a powerline and will inform the relevant agency they have a problem. While you can do that yourself (and have in the case of Comcast), when the notification comes from the 911 center it will usually get more attention. They might also be able to secure it in such a way that it no longer is in danger of becoming a dog toy.
posted by tommasz at 8:28 AM on February 16, 2011 [3 favorites]

I thought about calling 911, but I would HATE to take them away from a real emergency. I am not in the habit of touching downed wires, but when I wrote down the info and looked up to see it was a coax- that was when I touched it. I tried to move it and get it out of the way to no avail.
posted by MayNicholas at 8:34 AM on February 16, 2011

Just a warning/anecdote--I accidentally nicked a cable line running just outside of my fence while cutting some roots, and I never could get the cable company to do anything about it. I felt bad, called them up and everything, but the customer service just didn't do anything (since I didn't have cable, I guess). I suppose if I had called the right department it may have been different, but it was not clear to me what that department *was*. So be prepared for possible problems just trying to find out who actually deals with the issue.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 8:36 AM on February 16, 2011

Please don't call 911 unless you have a real emergency. Try 311 instead.
posted by special-k at 8:38 AM on February 16, 2011 [8 favorites]

Modern co-ax cable drops are sometimes powered to run telecom equipment! Do not cut this on your own. Get the cable company to remove it for you - also, the police dept. has a non-emergency number. It will be in the phonebook or online - call that instead of 911 if the cable company continues to be unresponsive.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2011

Yeah, I'm worried they won't do anything because I am not a customer. But hey, if I cut it, some poor unfortunate soul will lose their cable.

I just called Comcast again and reported it. They said the same thing they said last time "We'll have someone come out and look at it"- at which point I said thank you, but if it isn't removed I will simply cut it. We'll see...
posted by MayNicholas at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2011

Good call on the non-emergency police number. I will do that if Comcast doesn't come through. Maybe it isn't even Comcast's wire.
posted by MayNicholas at 8:44 AM on February 16, 2011

Where does the other end lead to?
posted by davey_darling at 8:53 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

The typical setup of utility poles (here in New Jersey) is that the lowest level of wires is cable, second level of telephone service, and the highest level is electric. Seeing where your mystery wire connects to the utility pole may help track down which type of company you have to call.

Where does the wire go to? Does it connect to your house or is it going past your house to a neighbors? Sounds like a pirated (or shoddy) installation, to me.
posted by tommccabe at 8:55 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Going to investigate where the wire leads now...
posted by MayNicholas at 8:57 AM on February 16, 2011

Ok... problem solved. You have to walk around the block to get to the alley (we have a fenced in yard). The cable rests on the ground down the alley and then is draped on to another neighbor's fence a couple of houses down and runs up the next available pole. I pulled the slack from our yard and draped it a little over our neighbors fence- most of the excess is in the alley now. It was wrong, I know... but now my dog won't chew it. They don't have a dog- or children, so at least no one will get hurt. If someone does come out to fix it (which I doubt) then great.
posted by MayNicholas at 9:20 AM on February 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Comcast can be frustratingly slow dealing with cables in yards. I am actually a Comcast customer, and when they had to run a new cable from the underground distribution junction (I totally just made that up. No idea what it actually is), they just left it sitting on the ground for somebody else to come out to bury. It sat there for maybe 2-3 months before it amazingly disappeared one day. I'm assuming they finally came out to bury it, since I still have internet.

Hopefully that's what's happening with you and eventually they will come out to deal with it more professionally.
posted by This Guy at 10:11 AM on February 16, 2011

This consumerist post might be helpful, especially the comments.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 10:32 AM on February 16, 2011

It was wrong, I know...

No, it wasn't. There's no reason why this should be your problem, and you were removing it as a hazard to your dog (and your dog as a hazard to it).
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:37 AM on February 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

A while back a cable guy came to my door and asked if I would mind them temporarily hanging a cable for the neighbours house along my back fence. I told them "no" I didn't mind. They did and it was undone a few weeks later. Of course they draped it over my rose bushes and other plants though. Until that is I hung it elsewhere. Might be the same deal....only they didn't ask you.
posted by Taurid at 10:39 PM on February 16, 2011

If you don't want to call 911 for such a thing (probably shouldn't), and you don't live in an area that has 311, you can always call your PD's or FD's non-emergency line. The number is usually available on the website/Google. (It might be listed as "dispatch.") I called the county sheriff's non-emergency line when I saw a power line above/alongside a railroad track sparking badly and they said they'd send someone to investigate.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:57 PM on February 16, 2011

1 month later... The neighbors noticed the wire and cut it yesterday! This morning it is indeed COMCAST who came out to fix the cable. It will be interesting to see how they 'fix' it. I guarantee that they will cut it again if they leave it hanging. I guess I should have cut it to begin with if I wanted someone to come out!
posted by MayNicholas at 6:19 AM on March 21, 2011

All they did was patch the wire. The way they left it is sticking out even more now than it was. To be continued...
posted by MayNicholas at 6:30 AM on March 21, 2011

It is cable TV wire. Just cut it.

I am an electrician. That wire is not particularly valuable. Cable installers waste tons of feet doing installations.

The wire is low voltage - so there is no danger of getting shocked. Plus, if anyone wants to extend the wire later, they can attach a new wire using a coupling later. Coupling RG6 wire does not cause any significant signal drop.

posted by Flood at 9:40 AM on March 29, 2011

« Older Buckle my swash in the 19th century....   |   Should I (hire a GC to) build a new house? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.