While raking my front lawn I came across this metal stake in the ground, wrapped in a thick metal wire/cord. I could not pull the stake up. I dug around and found the wire, pulling up on it and it seems to go quite a ways, so I stopped before messing up more of the lawn. It is obviously not a live wire, as I touched it albeit through gloves.

I am a new owner, and I spoke with a neighbor to see if previous owners had a dog as I though it could be part of an invisible fence, and they said there has not been a dog in the house for at least 30 years. The stake is within 5 feet of the house, and is close to some utility boxes including electricity, old phone, and cable. However, I previously had the utility lines marked and nothing was in this specific area (though could be old, or they could have incorrectly marked it). The main wire running away from the stake is going in the opposite direction of the utility boxes.

Any thoughts? My concern is that it is protruding close to a half inch above the surface

EDIT: I was able to push the rod further into the ground after a good rain and persistent hammering.

Stake with metal cord

  • 8
    Do you live in the US? As a European, I would be very careful with a unidentified metal object I find buried in the ground, out of fear for an old WWII bomb. These things still surface every now and then even 70 years later... Apr 25, 2017 at 11:35
  • If it's only half an inch above the surface, you could raise the lawn a bit in that area (it's probably sunk since they installed it) or make a flower bed there.
    – RedSonja
    Apr 25, 2017 at 11:54
  • 9
    is it a grounding pin?
    – dalearn
    Apr 25, 2017 at 12:44
  • @FedericoPoloni you really think there was ever a bomb with a 1.5 cm wire attached and buried? Apr 25, 2017 at 17:16
  • @CarlWitthoft as dropped from a bomber probably not. As a boobytrap, maybe. Apr 25, 2017 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


It's a grounding rod, probably 8 or 10 feet long, such as is required for any residential installation. They're usually proximal to the breaker panel or fuse box in the home or outbuilding. You may have encountered an obsolete one that's been disconnected. You'll need to trace the bare copper wire to be sure.

You can drive it down below the surface if you like. Try not to damage the wire, which can also be buried a bit deeper without causing problems.

  • 9
    If it moved at all, more hammering will move it more. Do excavate to make room for the wire so that you don't drive the wire clamp off the rod. I find that persistence, more than brute force, helps get it into the ground.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 24, 2017 at 23:55
  • 7
    @Sean follow that copper wire - verify where it goes before you go pulling breaking banging away .. Yes the Rod is about 8 feet down , the copper wire runs 5 feet to the box pole probably. This is your home Ground. I would venture it to be unlikely that it is not in use - although not impossible. The only reason would be someone came out and found your ground was no longer 'ground' - using a tool called a 'Megger' . If you want it deeper it will take a big rain and a sledge hammer.
    – Ken
    Apr 25, 2017 at 4:07

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