I found this odd cable while cleaning out the garage of a house I recently bought. It's plugged in to a live outlet but doesn't appear to connect anywhere. It also has some wrapped junction in the middle. Super puzzling to me. Thanks!
That looks like heating tape.
You wrap it round water pipes in the garage or somewhere else cold. It provides just enough heat to stop the pipes freezing.
I've used this in the past on outside taps. It is available at most big DIY shops. It doesn't use much power.
It's heat tape for that pipe in your garage.
You want to get some decent insulation back on the entire pipe, looks like the previous owner was trying different things to prevent freezing. Would be interesting to find what that pipe does, apparently it's in service now with the valves open.
Heat tape! Only plug it in when it going be cold for long period of time. 32 and below.