I have an exterior wire in the garden. Most likely this is the connection to the external lights. Should I cover this and how? I'm in Seattle, which is usually wet outside.

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  • Does this answer your question? How do I join two cables outside so that they're safe and kept dry?
    – isherwood
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 20:54
  • Or this? Does electrical wires on exterior need to be in conduit?
    – isherwood
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 20:55
  • 2
    That 110v is considered high voltage for code. Low voltage is under ~50v, doorbells/thermostats. The difference between a tingle and frying.
    – crip659
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 21:37
  • @CaptainJacksparrow - it is pretty unlikely that your house only has 110V ac coming into it anymore. The standard has been 120/240V at the panel for many decades now.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 22:09
  • It appears to be landscape wiring probably 12V AC. Check to where they go and check what bulbs are there.
    – Gil
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


Barring some sort of "ignorant idiot behavior" (we've seen it) that's very likely to be a low voltage junction (common method for landscape lighting without the hassles of 120V wiring methods) not 120V at all.

Both the type of cable and the type of (water resistant) wirenut (and no box for the junction) are typical of low voltage outdoor wiring. Irrigation controls are another possibility.

The wire nut either is, or is very visually similar to this DryConn nut, which is packed with a silicone gel that waterproofs the connection.

enter image description here image from https://images.thdstatic.com/productImages/3e238f1c-7af6-478f-ae90-f92606184d1b/svn/dryconn-wire-connectors-wire-terminals-62114-64_300.jpg no endorsement implied

120V wiring should be buried much deeper, and junctions should only be in hand-holes or junction boxes. So if this is ignorant idiot 120V work, it needs to be de-energized and ripped out before it kills someone. But most likely it's 10, 12V, 16v, or 24V

You can bury low voltage wire as much, or as little (including lying on the surface of the ground) as you like. Of course, you may damage it if you forget it's there and dig a hole, but low voltage has less need for protection, as you'll just break the thing it powers, not kill yourself in the process.

  • Doesn't even take digging to damage wire lying on the surface. A good lawn mowing (or would that be a bad lawn mowing?) could easily slice & dice the wiring resulting in a do over.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 16:48
  • Usually those ones are in the mulch around shrubberies, not where a lawn mower belongs. Going across a lawn burial is pretty much required unless you really like repairing cables.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Aug 4, 2023 at 19:07

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