View Full Version : Frost Heaves

07-23-2007, 04:55 PM
I was putting together some notes for maintaining optimal system integrity for northern climates. It occured to me that frost heaves could wreck havoc on a lighting system - mainly by breaking wires.

Questions: Has this ever happened to anyone? If it really is a problem then what would you do to protect the wires? Leave extra loops? Avoid running wire in certain types of soil? Would conduit help? If so what type?

07-23-2007, 08:10 PM
I personally have not seen this as a problem yet. In a heave the ground is pushed upwards therefore if a connection was made below the wire, like in a hub or in-ground transformer and no slack was given, I could see wires being pulled apart.

I don't think conduit alone would solve as it would be pushed upwards right along with anything inside it causing possible strain. I believe an extra loop of wire at all bends to be the best solution.

Chris J
07-23-2007, 10:06 PM
These frost heaves; is this like a slushy drink? Never heard of the stuff before, but it sounds good!
Surf's up in Florida dude! :cool:

07-23-2007, 10:21 PM
I've never heard that happen either. If your outside and the ground freezes, everything freezes together. The actual amount of movement is probably less than 1/2". Most freezing occurs at the surface. I would think there is little to no movement at 6" down. We've never had any of our actual irrigation lines break due to freezing- (drained lines that is). I don't recall even having any troubles with valve control wiring breaking.

07-23-2007, 11:44 PM
In our parts unprotected ground can freeze 1-2 feet down. Under grass and mulched beds usually is not very deep, only a couple of inches. I have not had a problem so far. Usually because all wires are protected under grass or in a mulched bed where the frost does not reach so deep.

07-24-2007, 05:06 AM
I've never had any frost problems moving my sprinkler system over the last 18 years. Pipe or wire. So I assume that lighting will be the same.


07-24-2007, 11:24 AM
No worries then. Thanks guys!

David Gretzmier
07-25-2007, 01:15 AM
our frost line is 14 inches down, no frost problems in the past 7 years or so.

07-25-2007, 02:07 AM
Stop into Ramsey Building Supply on Thursday (weather permitting). We'll be doing a contrator clinic. :drinkup: