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Pro-Scapes
05-04-2007, 09:48 AM
Well I sub out my irrigation to a reputable guy in my area. Yesterday it seems the power line feeding the guest house got cut somehow with the ditchwitch sk.

We didnt trench more than a foot or a tad more in some areas especially that area. I was on site the entire time because I have extensive lighting wires throughout the property. We did hit some old old tree stumps but nothing choked up the trencer light a fat power cable should. Client wants an electrician at my expense now.

Irrigation man is billing me and im billing the client for the system. I thought the power feed should be 3 ft deep. We didnt come close to that at all. How should I approach this situation. Her tanning bed is out there and might have withdrawls if she cant use it daily.

Wet_Boots
05-04-2007, 10:09 AM
You might strike a compromise, and cover the electrician cost - provided the original line was installed according to code, as regards burial depth. (figure it should be a foot-and-a-half) Makes you look fair, and makes the property owner responsible for faulty construction.

Mike Leary
05-04-2007, 10:20 AM
I agree with the bootman....the cost of a repair is cheap & you have a
happy client. I've always figured on a job, "if you don't hit something, you're
not working hard enough".

Pro-Scapes
05-04-2007, 10:21 AM
ok sounds god. about to head out there now. I saw no signs of lines being cut yesterday except for 1 16ga lighting wire I knew would be cut but I had planned to replace that anyways.

is 18 inches the NEC code ? If it were just romex i wouldnt worry but this is a main feed to the guest house. from the 300a panel at the house. I thought 3ft was the code.

Mike Leary
05-04-2007, 10:29 AM
Three feet here in Washington...that's a dangerous situation!

Wet_Boots
05-04-2007, 10:37 AM
I thought three feet was more or less standard construction practice, especially when one trench carries phone, electric, and cable. But I think that eighteen inches might be the actual code depth. I usually try to mend broken romex myself, and carry a bit of UF cable for repairs.

Pro-Scapes
05-04-2007, 10:37 AM
yeah... special clients too.. All I can think of is there used to be several statley oak trees around the prop and they couldnt go deeper. Home is 104 yrs old so you never know what they will find.

Seems its all been replaced fairly recent tho. There is even servant bells in this home. Press a button in one of the rooms of the house and a bell rings in one of the servants quarters (guest house) The basement was also a secret bar during prohibition. If you pull a lever in the back room a wall slides up to hide the bar. Secret door out back that leads to a back walkway to the alley as well.

Boots its not romex i think its like 2/0 or something. I will go look now and try and get some pics if I find everything and document it all .

Wet_Boots
05-04-2007, 10:49 AM
2/0 would be a bit advanced, compared to the kind of wire-nuts-and-silicone-potting repairs I make to lamp lines, and the like.

I wonder if they have any as-built drawings you can get copies of, to be prepared for further work.

sheshovel
05-04-2007, 10:55 AM
Don't you have a Call- before- you- dig phone # there? All the power companies do here. You call three days in advance and they come out and mark all the underground power line locations for you free. They mark along where they run.
Just to avoid those problems.

JeffY
05-04-2007, 11:21 AM
Yeah, but they don't do private lines such as the one he hit. They will only locate from the source to the main panel and that is it as that is only the power companies responsibilty. Everything after the main panel is the homeowners responsibility. The code says 18" deep for dwelling related purposes.

Dirt Digger2
05-04-2007, 11:25 AM
Yeah, but they don't do private lines such as the one he hit. They will only locate from the source to the main panel and that is it as that is only the power companies responsibilty. Everything after the main panel is the homeowners responsibility. The code says 18" deep for dwelling related purposes.

he's right...a lot of times the guest house won't even be supplied by a big power line...maybe only a few wires of 10-2 so a trencher could easily cut the wires without you knowing, as far as depth anywhere from 12-36 inches and it may of may not have been encased in screenings...i'de hate to say it but whoever was running the trencher, you or your sub...its their responsability.

Pro-Scapes
05-04-2007, 11:29 AM
we did call... all lines are areial except for the ones running from main home to guest house along with water gas ect. We of course dug up the water main to put in back flows and such. Raining now so im not goin to go play with 220.

Pro-Scapes
05-04-2007, 11:31 AM
he's right...a lot of times the guest house won't even be supplied by a big power line...maybe only a few wires of 10-2 so a trencher could easily cut the wires without you knowing, as far as depth anywhere from 12-36 inches and it may of may not have been encased in screenings...i'de hate to say it but whoever was running the trencher, you or your sub...its their responsability.

no if its not with in code the installing company is resposible. Im waiting for an electrican who installs my GFCI's for lighting to come out. The irrigation contractor wont be back until monday i dont think but we have 8 more days of rain in forcast.

AWJ Services
05-04-2007, 06:10 PM
So were did you think the guest house got power from?

It would have taken a few extra minutes of caution too have prevented the cut line.
As a contractor that is digging in peoples yards you cannot assume anything.
Ultimatley the irrigation contractor is responsible.

Mike Leary
05-04-2007, 06:41 PM
So were did you think the guest house got power from?

It would have taken a few extra minutes of caution too have prevented the cut line.
As a contractor that is digging in peoples yards you cannot assume anything.
Ultimatley the irrigation contractor is responsible.

Excellent point.....except the general contractor is responsible for the locate,
sprinkler people, unless they're running the show, look down & trench.

AWJ Services
05-04-2007, 07:19 PM
Excellent point.....except the general contractor is responsible for the locate,
sprinkler people, unless they're running the show, look down & trench.

In Georgia the person who is digging must call in the locate.
It is against the law here too dig without calling in the location for your company.
As a contractor of any sort you can never rely on someone else's actions too cover your behind.

Besides the locate does not cover this part of the wiring as already has been pointed out.

Any contractor who will blindly trench at another persons instruction is only asking for trouble.

Either way the customer is not responsible .

Mike Leary
05-04-2007, 08:03 PM
Sounds like we have a "failure to communicate". It's a grey area all over,
& we're better contractors to ask questions first on liability issues.

Midlo Snow Maker
05-04-2007, 08:27 PM
[QUOTE=Pro-Scapes;1818106]. I thought the power feed should be 3 ft deep. We didnt come close to that at all. How should I approach this situation. QUOTE]

http://www.easternuswx.com/bb/index.php?act=post&do=reply_post&f=6&t=133658
come on man you should know better and check everything before you dig thats what they make a 521 locater for if your not sure. i mark this stuff all the time to avoid the BS. you are dealing with now

my install crew carries there own 521 to mark lamps, low voltage lights, dog wires, drain tile, power feeds to sheds etc. and what ever els miss utilities slacks on

irrig8r
05-04-2007, 08:58 PM
I was doing sprinkler work for a client 2 years ago and he wanted me to use my trencher around 3 sides of his tennis court to put down a root barrier to keep some Deodar cedars from encroaching and pushing up the asphalt.

Long story short, I was lucky the lights were off. I had no idea so much THHN could wind it's way around a trencher's horizontal auger bit (or whatever it's called) so quickly. By the time I realized and shut if off musta been 150 feet of wire wound around it.

:hammerhead:

Since I already had an open trench, and evrything seemd prety intact above ground, I did all the rewiring. We compromised and he paid for the materials for the materials (because he had told me there was no underground wiring as far as he knew) Labor was simple... everything worked on the first try as soon as I got it all in place. Only one J-box got yanked off its post. The rest was all PVC conduit and wire.

Remote Pigtails
05-04-2007, 09:11 PM
This whole thread reminds me why i quit doing installs and stuck to repairs. Everything is underground these days. I got nailed one time for a gas line I hit. It was copper and I put a dime size hole in it. The gas company said they could no longer repair copper gas lines and charged me for running a whole new gas line.

Pro-Scapes
05-05-2007, 08:43 AM
It turned out to be a 10/2 UF wire that got hit. They called in an electrical contractor to rerun a heavier wire. 10/2 is hardley enough power for a tanning bed... central ac and hot water heater to all be running at the same time.

The plumbing contractor wanted us to trench down almost to the guest house... no thanks figure it out yourself buddy. It was a nasty area with several old tree stumps and a 100 year old brick paver patio and walk in the way.

Systems in and running. yard got really muddy because it rained after we trenched but all in all after we washed it down some it doesnt look bad at all.

The amigos on his crew do stellar work. Valve boxes and everything are super clean and tidy and easy to work in.

h2oman
05-05-2007, 09:10 AM
When we call one call 811 nationally now, we have then locate the entire property. They even pick up on septic pumps, and any wiring over 14 gage around the house or in the backyard plus wiring to sheds, garage, or anything that might have been installed by the home owner.
Although one call has recently changed their digging requirements. Used to be 24" total on their line 12" to the left and right of it. Now they told me that it has changed to 40":dizzy: 20" to the left and right of their lines. And to add insult to injury, "if you hit a line within the 40" perimeter you are financially responsible to have it repaired." Why even come and spray!!

PurpHaze
05-05-2007, 10:01 AM
I spend a lot of time doing "utilities locates" for either the maintenance guys or outside contractors. Systems that I've installed or have an asbuilt on are spot on in regards to my markings. When it comes to others I'm more concerned about the main lines and wiring than I am about the laterals and sprinklers. When I mark the laterals/sprinklers the paint seems to be a target for them so I leave them out. It's much easier to skip them and have the contractor just leave the trench/hole open and we then go in and make repairs. Saves a whole lot of time on our end.