We just had a new backyard put in by a contractor with 20+ years of experience. Overall, he did a very nice job, but apparently the Rain Bird timer that came with our house is a new model and it gave him some trouble when hooking up the new sprinklers/drip. As such, he installed a temporary Rain Bird -- one he knew how to use -- to run the sprinklers for a few days until he got the newer Rain Bird figured out, which he did today.

When he unhooked the older Rain Bird, he left the wires exposed by the manifold in the backyard:

Exposed wires where he unhooked the old Rain Bird

This is how they're hooked up to the manifold in the front (only the brown/white wire is attached, as indicated by the red arrow):

How the exposed wires are hooked up to the manifold in the front yard

In the walk through today, my wife asked about the wires, and he told her that they're waterproof, and that we should just leave them there.

Aside from the fact that it just looks sloppy, my question is:

  • Is he telling the truth? Is there really no harm in leaving those wires exposed the way they are?
  • Is the solution as simple as disconnecting the brown/white wire and discarding the now-unused wires?

I understand that it's difficult for you to give a definitive answer with this limited amount of information, but your input is appreciated.

  • 1
    Resolution: the contractor came back and removed the excess wire.
    – Jon Sagara
    Aug 15, 2013 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


It looks like the Green or Green/White wire is also hooked up. He used 4 twisted pairs, most commonly used as Ethernet wire (the one that you use for internet on your computer, router, modem, etc.) and is most likely a Category 5 cable. It is a relative cheap cable that has 8 wires, looks like he only needed a few but it is easier and cheaper to use what you have sometimes.

As long as your system works and the wires that are connected aren't getting hot (meaning the wires are too small for the electric load going through them) then you're fine. The connectors to the attached wires look like waterproof ones and sounds like you can trust the contractor on that one.

I'd wait a while to make sure everything works, or ask them to do it if they're coming back already, and cut the unused wires close to/at the sheathing (blue covering in your example) and put some tape around that to ensure you don't trap some water in there.

The unused/exposed wires left alone can/will have some copper corrosion form but they are unused so it's more of an aesthetic concern which you can address.

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