Tired of old cables on your home? Read this before you cut them

A West Valley man is battling with Cox communications over old, inactive cables, so On Your Side's Susan Campbell went out for answers.
Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 10:28 AM MST|Updated: Oct. 21, 2022 at 1:33 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Neal Kirsher is on his condo board in Sun City, and he says there are too many cables running across his home. “We have Cox cables that run over the top of our roof,” he said. “We only have six units in this section, and we probably have 20 different cables running. They don’t remove the old cables and you can’t find anybody that is responsible to take them off.”

Kirsher says there are plans to paint the building, and the homeowners want the old, out-of-use cables removed before the work begins. “They should be able to just test the cables and see who’s connected and where they go,” he said. “I think it would be their responsibility.”

So On Your Side asked. A spokesperson for Cox tells us once the company installs lines at a customer’s home, it becomes their property. Cox says that is standard practice across service providers, and noted some of the cables at Kirsher’s property appear to belong to other service providers.

Mike Rashford, the owner of Makyle Electric in Gilbert says abandoned wires can be dangerous. “It happens all the time. We come across houses and commercial properties that have wires hanging everywhere that people have left from previous tenants,” Rashford told On Your Side. “People may trip over them or they may bump something, and if it is live and they’re not sure about it, it could cause even fire damage.”

But before you start removing wires or cables or cords on your own – stop. “The best thing to do is call a licensed electrician and have us look at them to make sure you’re not cutting anything that might be powered that could cause you damage or the property itself damage,” Rashford said. The first time Cox scheduled an appointment with Kirsher to discuss the extra cables, the technician did not tell him which lines were active and which weren’t. After On Your Side followed up, Cox told us they can go out again to point out which lines are being used for current services, but only for Kirsher’s home, not for all of the units in the building.

Soon, the sight of properties wrapped in wires may become more rare. Cox says it is increasingly using wireless boxes, which cuts down on the amount of wires installed on homes.