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tremolo
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Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

I have a very badly exposed cable outside my house starting at the boundary between my front garden and the pavement. It emerges from the ground at a 45 degree angle and floats through the air for a while before crossing over 6 feet of gravel, looping up into the air once again and then loosely following the wall of my house to the doorstep before finally going inside.

Long story short, I'm having all the weeds removed and the gravel replaced on Wednesday (30th June) and have been advised by my gardener to contact you to get an engineer to bury and protect the cable. Sadly, there's been a fair bit vandalism and theft round here recently so I'm now very concerned that some little s*** will think it's hilarious to cut the cable and break my lifeline to the world during lockdown 😞

Could someone please let me know what I should do to get this fixed? The gardener knows to be careful not to damage the cable on Wednesday. We were thinking that perhaps he could bury it under the new gravel but leave it on top of the weed control fabric he's installing as a base so that an engineer can access the cable easily in the near future by reaching through the gravel. Or is this a bad idea and should he lay the weed control fabric over the cable too? In any case, the part where it crosses the gravel is probably one of it's least vulnerable points. It's the floating and air looping and the loose cable running along the bottom of the house wall that worries me most.

OK now for the photos!

Floating cable on edge of pavement (unwalled garden on the left)Floating cable on edge of pavement (unwalled garden on the left)On gravel regularly walked over by postmen! Damage visible on cable :-(On gravel regularly walked over by postmen! Damage visible on cable 😞An air loop!An air loop!Loose - you can see fittings on the wall where it was once attachedLoose - you can see fittings on the wall where it was once attachedAt last it's attached to something and enters the doorstepAt last it's attached to something and enters the doorstepEnters the house from the other side of the doorstepEnters the house from the other side of the doorstepA very old-looking Telewest box in the meter cupboard!A very old-looking Telewest box in the meter cupboard!

Please let me know if anything's unclear. I hope someone can help. Many thanks!

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Gareth_L
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Message 2 of 27
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

Hello tremolo

Thanks for that perfectly executed post 

It really has help explain what we need to do 

We can book an engineer to come out and rebury the cable 

It might ne be Wednesday though due to short notice 

If I can take your details I can have a look for you 

I will need to send you a private message to pass security 
If you can check the purple envelope top right of your screen that would be great 
Regards     
Gareth_L

 

 

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tremolo
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

Thanks Gareth, I've replied to your message. If there's any possible chance of getting an engineer out tomorrrow that would be a godsend because the gardener's fully booked and it's the only day for weeks that he could manage. Also, at the very least, I'd lose my deposit if I cancelled on him. Probably his future business too because it'd be a full day's work lost for him.

Many apologies for the short notice. I only really noticed how severe the cable problems were today while I was poking about the garden getting it ready for Wednesday. I think the most severe issue is where the cable emerges from the ground just by the pavement (first photo) because it's so visible to anyone walking past who's looking to some mindless vandalism. The gardener won't actually be touching that part anyway, just the gravel and weeds. Would an engineer be able to lift the paving slabs next to the pavement and bury the cable underneath? If it makes any difference, mine is literally the only house in the row where the cable is visible at all. No idea why.

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Gareth_L
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

Hi tremolo

Sorry I have just replied to you regarding the availability

The cable outside is there enough play in it to bury it yourself 

Gareth_L 

 

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tremolo
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

Yes there seems to be a bit of slack in the cable so potentially buriable. As I mentioned in my message, the question is would it be better for the gardener to bury the cable under just the gravel or also the weed control fabric underneath the gravel? Many thanks.

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tremolo
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

Sorry, I just removed the "helpful answer" tags because it makes it look like the topic's resolved. The posts were still very helpful though!

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tremolo
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

Morning all. Last night Gareth_L messaged me to say that the earliest engineer appointment available is on Thursday 8th July. I need to get this sorted as soon as possible so could a member of staff please confirm that the appointment has actually been booked for me? Is there a time slot or do I have to be in all day? Many thanks.

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Andrew-G
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Message 8 of 27
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

A suggestion:  Have the gardener leave a narrow strip of 8-10 inches ungravelled with sufficient weed control fabric folded back and surplus gravel adjacent to the expected route.  Then the technician should be able to put the cable into conduit, bury the conduit, fold the fabric over and you can then rake the gravel over (as far as I know the technicians don't carry rakes themselves). 

Don't have the gardener try and re-route the cable or temporarily bury it in gravel - it's tempting to bend it to fit a neat path, but overdo any bending and the cable will distort internally and cause problems for you, and likewise loose gravel can pinch and distort the cable.

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tremolo
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Message 9 of 27
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

Cheers, that's a really good idea. Point taken about not bending or re-routing the cable, although I assume it's ok to gently curve it. I expect it would be alright to cover the cable in a very small amount of gravel temporarily too so it doesn't draw too much attention while I wait for the engineer appointment. It's been lying under gravel for years, maybe decades, after all, with people (especially postmen!) walking all over it. I hope a week or two more won't hurt, especially since the new gravel I've requested is pretty smooth, not slate or anything like that with sharp edges.

Thanks again. Kudos given!

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Andrew-G
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Message 10 of 27
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Re: Badly exposed outdoor cable in very old-looking installation!

If it's been like that for a while then a bit longer won't hurt.  You certainly can bend the cable, but do so with very wide radius bends (the sort of radius of a dinner plate).  If it gets bent too much, the cable crimps and the circular cross section collapses, and that's really bad for signal quality.  If you speak to the tehcnician, ask him to check the cable to make sure there's no puncture damage from all those flat-foot posties treading it into the gravel!

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