Can underground wire go bad with no visible breaks in it???

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Cnut

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 2, 2014
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Can underground wire (I am using 4 connector 14 gauge direct burial wire) go bad with no visible breaks in it??? I just finished digging up the actuator cable that appears to be bad, but I can't find a visible break in it. I tested two Vbox 7s inside with two different actuators and a shorter wire and they all work together, but I was getting an ER2 message (no signal received from my actuator) when it was hooked up through the cable I have just dug up. Any ideas what the problem could be? The cable worked for over 1 1/2 years without problems until now.
thanks
cpsp0
 

Titanium

AI6US
Lifetime Supporter
May 23, 2013
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Meadow Vista, Northern California
Yes, cable can most definitely be defective without visible damage to the cover. If the wire is solid (not stranded), it may have been easily broken at a kink point. A pinhole in the jacket may have allowed water/moisture into the bundle and shorted or corroded a wire.

Burial cable is not created equal. Some types only have a heavier jacket, but others also have a self sealing sticky filler inside the jacket.

If replacing, look for cable with shielding to separate the sensor wires from the motor voltage wires. Pennies more per foot, but will isolate the sensor circuit from the motor voltage and noise, providing more reliable positioning. Never hurts to have a few extra wires to swap in case of a failure.
 

Cnut

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 2, 2014
62
28
Thinks Brian, makes perfect sense. I will also bury my cables in PVC pipe this time for extra protection.
 

Cnut

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 2, 2014
62
28
I have a multi meter, can you describe how to do this test? thank you
cpsp0
 

waylew

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 23, 2010
2,703
1,064
northern WEST new york
Disconnect all wires at both ends of the cable.At one end hook 2 wires together,at the other end test with meter between the 2 wires.No resistance=good wires,Infinite resistance=broken wire.Then just work your way through the rest.
 

FaT Air

HOA Free Zone
Feb 27, 2010
6,668
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Should also test again (first) with the sensor wires disconnected.
Look for an open. If not open, they're 'shorted'.
Then twist the two together at one end, and then look for a short.

Can be done with a small 12v lamp (~50ma or 1 watt) and a battery.
First test should not light the lamp. (Not even a weak glow)
Second test has to light the lamp.
 
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