Is there a device that can clamp around the outside of an insulated electric line (without contacting the copper) and identify the breaker that controls it by sending a signal through the insulation into the wire?
A thick black wire, diameter about that of a hot dog, goes into the ground near our front porch and travels towards the street. I believe it must have supplied power to a lamp-post that was original to the house, built in the 1940s. The lamp-post is no longer there, and I never saw it, but they're a common feature of the houses in my neighborhood. The electrical supply from the street is on a utility pole that connects up near the eaves and comes down to the meter box.
So, when digging a hole to plant a bush a few feet away from the porch, I did so very gingerly, and found the wire there again, about 6 inches below the surface. Then, when planting a second bush closer to the sidewalk, in an existing rock-garden, I encountered the wire yet again. But there was also a more modern 14-2 style supply line next to it. I have no idea where this newer wire comes from, or where it terminates.
I have a Klein non-contact style tester. If these wires are hot, the Klein should give me a rapid beeping sound, according to the manufacturer's website. I've tested it indoors on a 12-2 and a 14-2 wire, both known to be hot, and it does give a rapid beep when held against their outer insulation. Testing the outdoor wires, it just gives a slow pulse beep.
Another device I have lets me trace a wire back to the breaker box, but it uses alligator clips that attach to the copper. Is there some device that can clamp around the outside of the insulation and do the same thing?