From the Forum – Removing Utility cables from the exterior of a house and Water walking/running at Wilson Aquatic Center

Photo by PoPville flickr user AWard Tour

Removing Utility cables from the exterior of a house:

“Has anyone had experience with (or know of a good professional for) removing old utility cables and hardware from the exterior of a home? I moved into a townhouse in Petworth over the summer, and the house has accumulated a pretty unsightly collection of cables and wires along one side of the building. Some of this is connected to an unused satellite dish, but I have no idea what the bulk of it is for and don’t want to start blindly removing or altering something that might be important. Any advice would be much appreciated.”

Water walking/running at Wilson Aquatic Center:

“Hey, PoP-ers who swim at Wilson Aquatic Center: just curious, do pool-users ever do deep-water running there? I haven’t seen anything about it specifically on the DPR website, and I can get over looking like a weirdo compared to all the swimmers…but I know deep-water running has a somewhat different “flow” than lap-swimming, and when lane-sharing it would probably be awkward and not very feasible to have a runner in the lane knocking the swimmers out of whack. (I enjoy both laps and water-running, but most of the water-running I’ve done was in a small town where some relatives live and where residents have access to a gorgeous, huge pool at the local high school that hardly anyone seems to use, so I always had a lane to myself. But I know from experience at basically every other pool that getting a lane to oneself is a luxury, and next to impossible during peak times at the average pool.)”

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23 Comment

  • The utility companies have a lein on your house that allows them to put those cables there. Pretty sure you’d have to get permission to remove them. But if you do, I’d certainly be interested to know how! I’ve got a rat’s nest of cables attached to my house too.

  • There’s a water walking / leisure swim lane at Wilson at all times. I have switched over to Takoma during their annual maintenance closure and noticed people doing water walking there as well in the leftmost of the three pools there. Seemed like plenty of space.

  • Accountering

    Most of it is just old stuff that was used at one point. I removed a TON of this junk in my rowhouse in Petworth. My dad is an electrician, and we just came over and sorted everything out. You can certainly remove stuff attached to your house that isn’t being used. The cable company does not have a lien of any sort on your house, they can only put it there with your permission…

    • I’m glad to hear this. The problem for me—and I have a knot of unused cables as do my neighbors up and down the street—-is if you remove them, then aren’t they hanging from the pole across the street, as they would be in my case.

      • When I had FiOS installed, I tipped the guy a few extra bucks to cut down all the old danglies from the wires in the alley 🙂

      • Don’t worry about that, if Comcast or VZ cuts a line out I’ve never seen them clean up the dangling lines. Every once in a while we’ll go back and at least trim the pole growth to above car level so that bikes, scooters and smart cars don’t get snared. The longer lines are good for growing hops if you can stake them to your garden.

    • ah

      +1. What utility companies get is an easement to run their cable across your property in exchange for providing you with service. But the easement is only for as long as you have the service.

  • Re: Wilson pool – there is a lane reserved for “leisure” which includes pool-running/water walking. You will not be alone there – there will be several other poolrunners there.

    • the lane reserved for leisure at Wilson is in the shallow end; the deep end is either for the speediest of lap swimmers or the Master’s team that practices there.

      • Did they switch Wilson to remove the 50M lanes, and everything runs cross-wise? I know there was talk of it years ago, but didn’t know it happened. I did water jogging there for rehab 4 years ago and it was great in the deep end. If you can only do it in the shallow end that would suck. Takoma is another good option. Turkey Thicket has a pretty large section roped off for water aerobics.

        • Monday, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays for 50 meter orientation, Tuesday and Thursdays for 25 meter set up. Half/half on Saturdays.

      • Correct, when it’s 25 yards. When it’s 50 yards, you get the full length of the pool as well.

  • i called verizon and comcast told them that they had 2 weeks to come remove the wires that were on my house and across my property illegally, called again a week later, to say I will cut them. I also told my neighbors ahead of time. Nothing was done. I cut them and they were out the next day, i’m sure my neighbors weren’t happy, but I tried. The comcast ended up drilling all kinds of holes into a live tree in one of my other neighbors yards. when I went out to ask the guy what he was doing, he responded, well there isn’t a pole. I suggested putting one in instead of drilling into a living tree might be a better idea. He asked if it was my tree….

    • I laughed at your post – truly awesome (but sad for the tree).

      So how would I go about determining if there is an easement or something allowing wires across my back yard? I imagine the power company might have one but the cable company? I doubt it. I’d love to cut as many of the wires as possible to my neighbor’s house.

      • ah

        You call them and ask for their legal department and tell them they have a number of wires crossing your property, and unless they can prove they have an easement within 2 weeks you will remove them.

      • When I bough a house in Eckington there were verizon and comcast wires all over my yard going to neighbors houses. When the comcast guy came to hook up my service he said he could not remove the other wires. He told me to cut them and if comcast asked to hang them across my yard again to refuse. He said it was comcast’s responsibility to install a pole.

  • Also — how do you determine which are the telephone wires running to one’s house? My Petworth row house doesn’t even have telephone jacks in the wall, so I would love to remove the unsightly wires. I’m *pretty* sure I know which ones they are, but I dont want to cut the wrong wire!


    • They’re usually square and connect to a plastic box outside your house w/ an old Bell logo on it. You can tell comcast line because they’re usually tacked up like shit and just drilled through the outside wall directly the room where the TV is.

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