Found this behind my house, not sure where it goes. It’s black with a single thin yellow line(see image below) and there’s a second black wire behind it. I assume the yellow line has some significance, but I couldn’t find anything on google. ????

  • 3
    What you mean by behind the house? Location will help, is it just laying around on the ground or attached to the back of the the house going up? Picture from further away might help, looks like pipe in that picture.
    – crip659
    Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 23:37
  • "found" - with a shovel, or what?
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 10:59

2 Answers 2


Black with white stripe typically signifies a neutral in heavy power wires. The printing on the cable would also tell the story.

No point having a neutral without at least one hot/live wire nearby, so that explains the other wire, commonly there are 2 hot wires.

But there is no way such a wire should be accessible like this. This may be a hazardous situation where substandard work was done.

Replacement cost on those wires is between US $1 and $10 per foot per wire, depending on size and whether they are aluminum. I hope they are aluminum because that neutral wire took a hit from a string trimmer, and will need to be replaced.

Using copper on large power wires like this is fairly pointless. The wires land on large lugs which are usually aluminum (since aluminum lugs play well with both Al and Cu wire, copper lugs do not).


It looks like a super-close photo of the electrical service feeding your house. Is the gray stuff a conduit leading up to the box where your electric meter is mounted?

If so, contact your electric service company. Although this conduit and cable belong to the home owner (you) and are maintained and repaired at your expense, often they have to be installed, maintained, and repaired in a way acceptable to the electric utility. So call the utility's construction department and explain the situation. They'll probably be happy to send out an estimator for free to have a look.

The electric utility probably won't do the work, but the estimator will be able to give the power company's opinion as to what kind of repair would be acceptable. They would also be able to explain their procedure for a temporary disconnect of service so that repairs can be made.

  • Yeah, the wires are inside a grey pvc conduit leading to the house
    – shwoseph
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 22:29

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