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JimLewis
05-09-2006, 11:54 AM
Don't ya just hate it when you're digging, trenching, etc. and you hit and slice a utility line? (e.g. phone or cable)

And if you're going to say you've never done that then you haven't done enough installs. Because it happens to the best of us all eventually.

We were doing a big install job last week and I showed up just after my guys had hit the cable TV cable, which powered the customer's TV and internet. Of course we had utility locates done. But that doesn't always prevent hitting a line. We still had to trench through this area, albeit by hand. And even being careful sometimes you hit stuff.

I just hate it when that happens, though.

Fortunately for me, it looks like they aren't going to charge us this time. So that was nice.

JB1
05-09-2006, 12:08 PM
I cut two yesterday, how deep do they put them there, these were two inches, last year cut a phone cable, it was laying on top of the ground and they just layed sod over the top of it.

LawnScenes
05-09-2006, 12:29 PM
I haven't hit a cable line yet... Nor power... Power lines are not something I like to dig around and try not to unless it's hand digging. But I've cut through phone line a few times. All my fault by "thinking" I remembered exactly where the lines were after the paint had been worn away. I solved my problem the first time I hit one though. When the phone guy showed up a few days later he gave me a bunch of splices, cable, and connectors. Now I can fix it without having to call them and the client doesn't have to be bothered with not having a phone for a few days if I screw up.

JimLewis
05-09-2006, 01:31 PM
I have learned how to fix cable for Cable TV. But the problem is I never have the time and I'm the only one in the company who knows how.

I haven't learned how to splice telephone main wire yet. But I'd like to learn how. That would definitely save us some money.

As for power, gas, etc. I've never broken those. I've hit them before. But power is always in a thick PVC conduit and it's very hard to break with a regular shovel. And gas is usually in metal pipe and fairly difficult to break. We've hit them before but not broken them. And the only time I've ever hit them before is when we were digging for a pond or basin for a water feature. Those things are usually at least 3' deep so we almost never hit them in our usual course of trenching or digging. Only when we do water features. And only when they happen to be in the exact spot where the water feature is going.

olderthandirt
05-09-2006, 02:39 PM
Cut phone and cable 20 times a yr or more, there not installed to code which is 8" so even a lawn install cuts them. I usually just call the cable co. and have a repairman out fast when you mention the code and phone we repair ourselves even though its not to code most of the time. Its simple, check with your phone co. and they will be happy to give you the splice connectors and gel/tape.

Whats a bear is catching it with a machine and cutting it many places where the co. needs to install a new one.

paolaken
05-09-2006, 02:45 PM
hit them alot. i was once a cable guy so i carry everything need to splice phone and cable. alot easier than calling the tech. and the customer isn't without very long. they are only a couple of inches deep and we usually cut the with a shovel trying to find them. cut a gas line once, the locate guy was there and told me to trench over it as it was 42" deep and i was only 15" deep. well the line was about 5" deep. told him to call it in and away i went trenching. ever hit old stuff? conduit, old power romex, etc? not fun either trying to figure out if its live or not?

murray83
05-09-2006, 02:52 PM
kinda makes me remember a job when i was digging an addition for the hospital had tons of pressure cuz dead center of that excavation was the underground power service to the entire hospital wish i remembered the voltage rating but it was up there so was mostly hand digging and jackhammer work what a pain in the bum took weeks to hammer out that concrete casing surrounding the conduit.

our contract was done and the next guy came it for the site work portion,decided he needed a deere 450 with a hammer to break up surrounding rock "easy in and out job" bid it so low is was a joke when he was cleaning up the broken rock the excavator snagged that high voltage cable and cut the power to the hospital lol they scrambled to find spots for the emergency room patients and elderly folks who needed special care,brought in 2 massive 400 KW generators for emergency power at his cost.this year he breaks a gas line and tells no one and burries it,people never learn.

i guess you just need to call before you dig,that extra time could save you in the wallet and possibly being sued if anything was to happen

JimLewis
05-09-2006, 03:32 PM
i guess you just need to call before you dig,that extra time could save you in the wallet and possibly being sued if anything was to happen

True. But simply calling for locates doesn't necessarily protect you. You can still hit the line and probably still be sued. Only now at least you can argue that you were trying your best.

NNJLandman
05-09-2006, 05:51 PM
I've been on jobs where we've hit the gas line and evacuated an entire neighborhood, i wasnt the machine operator on that one, but I've taken overhead lines right off a house when i was trying to squeeze under them with a trac-hoe. Also took out a few underground drain lines, seen it all.

Jeff

JasonX
05-09-2006, 07:43 PM
I almost cut an SBC (now AT&T) fiber optic line with a 21 inch mower. Then in the same yard I cut the fiber optic line while I was edging the sidewalk with a stick edger. :dizzy:

godzilla
05-09-2006, 07:46 PM
Took out a cable line once with an excavator... it was burried not even 4" down. Found it while trying to scrape away the lawn to make way for a new garden. Ripped the cable line off a house once doing something else. Not even 1 min after the line was down a cable truck just happened to be driving by and the guy took care of it for us for a few bucks.

lqmustang
05-09-2006, 09:34 PM
It's been a rough one for cable and phone lines for me this year. Cut a cable line while hand excavating for a small patio a month ago (line about 2" down). 2 weeks ago I cut the cable line to the neighbor of a house I was edging (once again buried 1-2"). Not 30 minutes later I cut the phone line to the customers house with the edger. This one I think was just laid on the ground and the grass grew around it. :dizzy: Come to find out that phone line wasn't even burial rated.

Mike33
05-09-2006, 09:51 PM
I always try to call miss utility, Buttttttttttt:hammerhead: Things happen. 4 years ago i dig out a wooden wall along a guys driveway and replace it with my allen block. I call and get markings im clear. It was hard shale under the sod i had to get my buddy with jd 310 to dig footer. Next year customer calls me and wants a wall on other side of diveway, no problem i call my buddy back to dig footer and dont get it marked because it was fine last year, At about the end of the dig up thru the ground came a cable. I thought this was impossible it was still hard virgin shale and only 8" under ground. What happened was it was the tv and internet cable not the expensive one, and 6 months prior it was bored and placed that way. That taught me a real lesson call before you dig. Yes if you havent hit something yet you probably havent dug much but play by the rules and make that call. I was in luck they didnt charge me for the cable.

Mike

BCF
05-09-2006, 09:52 PM
Cable lines just try and get cut around me, where COmcast doens't like to mark 'em. The power lines slice through too easy with apair of diggers, looking like the tree root two feet away. The scariest thing is when your auger hits a gas line, THIN FRIGGING WALL CONDUIT, starts hissing. Never down to code, but it doesn't matter if your 1Call ticket is over ten days old. Learned that when I did an add on where they never marked the power line in the first place.:angry:

bobbygedd
05-09-2006, 10:06 PM
jim, u should call and find out where the lines are, BEFORE YOU DIG. cmon son, how long u been doin this?

MJM
05-09-2006, 10:26 PM
Comcast.....

Here in Md, they bury the line with a flat shovel to move the turf and lay the line down. How deep do you think that is?

You call Miss Utility in Md and all co's will come out and mark but 1!

Cable!

Cable has found that it is cheaper to bury low, not mark on request than do everything by code. Most contractors hit these lines and do the repairs themselves when the cable co should be paying for it and that is what they bank on.

Gas lines: We hit one a few years back. Very,very scary!! We did everything right. Utilities marked and hand digging near locates. Well we get a call from our foreman that he hit a gas line! We called 911, fire dept, bge etc all showed up. End of story,all safe... we were cleared, no fines no nothing.

Makes me think back to early years when maybe these steps would have been skipped... no time.. no money...

Mark

hosejockey2002
05-10-2006, 02:00 AM
jim, u should call and find out where the lines are, BEFORE YOU DIG. cmon son, how long u been doin this

bob, u should read his post and see that he did call for locates, BEFORE YOU COMMENT. cmon son how long u been doin this

bobbygedd
05-10-2006, 07:09 AM
bob, u should read his post and see that he did call for locates, BEFORE YOU COMMENT. cmon son how long u been doin this
that's worse yet. they were clearly marked, and he wacked them anyhow. i say charge enough, to be able to take your time and do the job safely.

JimLewis
05-10-2006, 12:33 PM
Bobby, this thread is a little above your area of expertise. You're just making yourself look ignorant. Go back to mowing lawns, if you have any customers left. and let us handle the installation aspects of this business.

bobbygedd
05-10-2006, 05:46 PM
Bobby, this thread is a little above your area of expertise. You're just making yourself look ignorant. Go back to mowing lawns, if you have any customers left. and let us handle the installation aspects of this business.
yea yea yea, real professional, wackin cable lines...pelease jim, pelease. we don't cut lines, and if we do, we just bury them real quick and deny, deny, deny

Mike33
05-10-2006, 10:48 PM
Thats un prf. you have to own up and tale resp. for your actions. Flements of business. I call for a ticket but when i screwed up i called the agencies and admitted what i did.
mike

topsites
05-10-2006, 11:14 PM
Funny thread, I've whacked a few and still get one from time to time, the worst offender has to be cable.

I'm not too bad so long I can see it, I have a customer has this extension cord running through the back yard... So I'm out there cutting grass and one day he comes out and asks: How do you keep from chomping up that cord with the mower?
I said: Practice :laugh:

p.s.: I especially like the orange wires and cords, yellow takes a close second and white is so-so, but I HATE black!

soonerfan
05-12-2006, 03:58 PM
I was on one end of a two man auger when we hit a main gas line. It was a very tense moment. I hit the kill switch on the auger and backed away. Thankful there was nothing to cause a spark. Problem that we had, all the lines except the main were marked. They had even marked the gas line from the meter to the house just forgot the big one.

wurkn with amish
05-12-2006, 05:05 PM
you guys will love this one then. 1st year hit verizons main line buried 2''. Verizon comes out and fixes it gives the home owner 1500 dollar bill. I told the home owner to fight it since it wasnt buried to code, they paid anyway. 2nd year ----verizon was supposed to have buried it, but they just covered it back up. guess what hit it again. they fixed it for free because we b%$ched so bad. 3rd year--- didnt hit it but saw that they encased it in a freaking huge wrap.

Avery
05-12-2006, 07:42 PM
We just carry a bunch of splice kits. Work like a charm. Last one I hit was at my house.....and yes the lines were marked. :(

Killswitch
05-12-2006, 09:11 PM
I cut two yesterday, how deep do they put them there, these were two inches, last year cut a phone cable, it was laying on top of the ground and they just layed sod over the top of it.

Cut two phone lines stretched across a clients property last week whilst cutting. Never even flinched. Theyve been laying there since last july from what the client and neighbor said.

Lol.....If they are there next week Ill mow over them again.

olderthandirt
05-12-2006, 09:12 PM
you guys will love this one then. 1st year hit verizons main line buried 2''. Verizon comes out and fixes it gives the home owner 1500 dollar bill. I told the home owner to fight it since it wasnt buried to code, they paid anyway. 2nd year ----verizon was supposed to have buried it, but they just covered it back up. guess what hit it again. they fixed it for free because we b%$ched so bad. 3rd year--- didnt hit it but saw that they encased it in a freaking huge wrap.

Why would verizon give the homeowner a bill when your responsible? Thats why you carry insurance or suppose to.

Frontier-Lawn
05-13-2006, 01:05 AM
last year cut a phone cable, it was laying on top of the ground and they just layed sod over the top of it.

thats how comcrap :laugh: (comcast) does it around here, plus they take 4-5 days to fix it for you :hammerhead:

Frontier-Lawn
05-13-2006, 01:09 AM
oh and veizon wants to charge you $100 to fix it and also charge the homeowner $50.

Dirty Water
05-13-2006, 01:37 AM
Out here Wave (WA cable co) will fix for free as long as locates were done.

Qwest is a particularily bad phone co for this, I usually repair it myself than deal with them. We probably hit 3 a year, but cross hundreds...hand digging of course :)

JB1
05-13-2006, 07:39 AM
when we cut the verizon cable , they came out to fix it and I was asking about costs they put it down as lightning damage, no cost, we hadn't had any lightning in weeks. They told me if I cut it to leave both ends exposed so they wouldn't have to hunt it and they would'nt charge for it. But if I hid it and they had to spend some time looking for it then they would charge for it. I asked for the splice kits and they would'nt give them to me , they said just call we'll take care of it. This was a new subdivision and irrigation installers was plowing through phone and cable, cable people plowing through phone lines and phone installers plowing through the cable lines, sure kept everybody busy.

kris
05-14-2006, 11:17 AM
Our "first calls" dont include Cable TV ... they told me once that they will just come and repair them ... now fiber optic lines scare the hell out of me. I don't believe the tale that someone cut one with a stick edger...these lines are much too expensive to be just below the sod.

topsites
05-14-2006, 03:37 PM
We just carry a bunch of splice kits. Work like a charm. Last one I hit was at my house.....and yes the lines were marked. :(

Yeah, a wire stripper, a pound of solder on a roll, a bit of flux, some electrical tape and a propane solder torch I carry in the truck, this has saved me a few times as well, thou I'm still no good with the RC-232 or whatever that cable TV line is. But phone lines and dog wire fences are easy, I wouldn't fool too hard with an electrical cord until I am sure it has been unplugged lol

6'7 330
05-14-2006, 03:59 PM
Conventional cable TV Cable, is no big deal around here, the guys cut one with a sod cutter last week.Over the years phone lines,cable TV. Last year we were doing an install, and some guys or company was using a backhoe on an adjacent property to put in a pipe where the sewer lines could be roded out, and hit a water line. They had not bothered to get all the utilities flagged.

DLCS
05-14-2006, 04:26 PM
True. But simply calling for locates doesn't necessarily protect you. You can still hit the line and probably still be sued. Only now at least you can argue that you were trying your best.


Right, here its the law that you must have utilities marked out before you dig. BUT, they only guarantee that the markings are within 2 feet either side the wire, pipe, etc. If the markings are off more than 2 feet and you hit something then you are ok. The cable tv companies here don't worry about the code for depth cause I've hit many cable lines with a aerator.:rolleyes: The telephone companies are just as bad. Hell I've seen the telephone company hit their own line that they didn't even know was there.:laugh:

lugnut#6
05-14-2006, 09:50 PM
try using 3Ms UR connectors for splicing back phone lines.then dip into 3M scotchkote,dry and wrap with vinyl electrical tape and rebury.
http://www.happcontrols.com/images/40/43078200.gif

Dashunde
05-15-2006, 12:18 AM
In St. Louis county (lots of rock) the irrigation is only 3-4 inches under.
I have yet to build a wall or patio around an existing irr install without hitting the stuff. Its easy to fix, but it sure is aggrivating.