A Florida retail building has wiring coming out of a building:

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It looks like it has several separate conductors: similar to (but not) an ethernet CAT5e cable. Is it possible to determine the purpose of the cable via visual inspection or other non-destructive inspection modality?


As you can see it originates from the building and disappears nearby underground. It was not immediately obvious where these wires terminate when I we snapped this photo in Florida.

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  • 1
    You have a much better change of figuring it out since you're there. Is this for a home improvement project you're working on.? Trace it out
    – JACK
    Mar 5, 2020 at 16:29
  • It may be part of a security system but without more info this would be my best guess. I agree with jack we can only see what you have provided.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 5, 2020 at 16:30
  • Retail building, outside, not obviously going to any service DMARC, 9 out of 10 it will be alarm or security camera (removed, evidently, as it's lying on the ground) related. Could be ethernet (many cameras are, these days.) This is not the end of the wire that will be informative, unless you see a device it's been pulled out of / cut off from still attached to the building.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 5, 2020 at 16:52
  • 2
    Florida? Looks like it might be irrigation control wire.
    – longneck
    Mar 5, 2020 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


If you have a wire tracing device then you can hook onto the wires and trace where they go. Based on your description, it could either be phone or ethernet. Cat 5 is used for both.

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