I have a bunch of old wires between my house and a pole across the street. How do I get rid of them? I don't even know what companies they belong to. I only know that I use the electricity cable and the FIOS cable and everything else is something I'm not likely to ever need in my life and in the life of anyone who buys or rents the house from me.

I'm talking about 5 or 6 different cables which I'd gladly get rid of at least from the point where they touch my house. What options do I have?

  • Never touch a wire on a pole you do not own! Call the utility they will be able to identify who the owner is. Even if it is a old cable tv line don't mess with it some cable feeders have 120v on the lines for their amplifiers but this usually stops prior to branching to your house but can take out there system if shorted.
    – Ed Beal
    May 15, 2018 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


most likely you have a telco cable, and a cable tv cable. In most cases, any conductors that cross a public way are owned by the utility from the pole to any interface device or junction box on your property. If you can see where they live on the pole, you may be better able to identify them. Call the utilities and request removal, the same way you would have to if you were putting new siding on your house and needed then removed temporally. If I knew for sure they were old phone and cable, I'd just cut them loose from the house, carefully move them back to the pole, coil them up and staple them to the pole. Watch for traffic when you drop them!!!!

  • Good idea about trying to identify them by looking at the pole. The DIY method sounds a bit risky legally.
    – Peter Q
    Apr 25, 2011 at 2:10
  • I didn't mean to say do anything illegal, but some utilities like telco and cable don't respond quickly. I have "cut them loose" many times to complete a roofing or siding job, and have never had any legal problems. The installer may give us a funny look when they come the next time, but never more than that.(chuckle and tongue in cheek!) Apr 25, 2011 at 7:31

If they are a very thin pair they might be phone cable otherwise they are probably power. You don't really want to go climbing a pole and cutting through unknown power cables - not least because they probably belong to the power company.

Call the local electric company and tell them you want them removed. They would probably be glad of the copper - with the metal price at the moment they are suffering from vandelism as people steal copper

  • 3
    +1, another reason for not doing this job yourself is you might cause some accidential damage and be held liable for it - that can be a fortune.
    – sharptooth
    Apr 25, 2011 at 5:00

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