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FIRESCOOBY
02-22-2008, 10:48 PM
I recently had a distribution rep give me a one on one class. We focused on the technical side of things. We spent a good bit of time on figuring voltage drop, do's and dont's, correct install procedures, etc. There are a few things that I forgot to ask until he left.

I had a question about drive-ways and sidewalks. How exactly do you cross sidewalks and driveways?

If you install the transformer in the garage, what is the best way to safely get everything outside. We talked about boring/drilling through an exterior wall, is that correct? If so, what's the safest way to do this and what do you seal it with? (Caulk, expanding foam, etc)?

Thanks in advance.

Chris J
02-22-2008, 11:05 PM
If you plan to provide maintenence contracts, it will be in your best interest to install the transfromer on the outside of the home. Find an electrical contractor who will do this for you as side work (lots of ECs like this kind of stuff because they can make $100 in 15 minutes). If the TF is on the outside of the home, the homeowner does not have to be there for you to do maintenence on the system. This will make sense when you are old.

Chris J
02-22-2008, 11:54 PM
How exactly do you cross sidewalks and driveways?
Thanks in advance.

As your standing in a vertical position walking up the drive or walkway, make an immediate 90 degree turn and start walking in that direction. Once you reach the end of the concrete, you have successfully crossed the sidewalk or driveway. :hammerhead:

Chris J
02-23-2008, 12:08 AM
Just Kiddin FireScooby, Here's how I do it:
Water Jet: 3/4" PVC pipe hooked up to a water hose. Dig a 8" x 5' pit on one side of the driveway, and a 12" x12" box on the other side. Line your pipe up perfectly level, and go for it. As long as you don't have clay, you will be fine.

Jack and Bore: Find some guy who does this for a living.
If I have to go under pavers, or if the jet is over 20', I'll call my bore guy. He charges $8 per foot, and he goes about 2' deep. Well worth the money in all cases. If you have trouble finding one of these guys, contact your local cable company. (TV)
Hope I was of some assistance?

FIRESCOOBY
02-23-2008, 12:39 AM
Thanks for the tips. It did help.

I wanna gather all the training and information before I start this endeavor. Unfortunately, there is not alot of opportunities for education in this area here on the east coast.

Lite4
02-23-2008, 02:26 AM
I use an easy sleeve to put 1" conduit under sidewalks no wider than 5'. Boring is the only way to go under driveways.

Pro-Scapes
02-23-2008, 10:34 AM
you wouldnt be water jetting 20 ft here thats for sure. Sometimes 4 or 5 ft is difficult... coastal areas like Chris has is pretty easy to get further.

We have a 6 ft long drill bit we sometimes pass under a walkway. Its flexible and you can get em at lowes or home depot. Water jets are a mess but they do work.

If its a newer home ask if the plans are avalible and see if you can find a conduit. Often times if you can locate irrigation there is an open conduit next to it.

Desertdweller
02-23-2008, 10:44 AM
Agree with the boring on drives. Water jetting washes out too much dirt. We will often cut the concrete on the expansion cut (only about a 1/2 wide) and then patch it with concrete, caulking etc depending on the situation. Can only tell you were there if really looking for it.

Chris J
02-23-2008, 04:46 PM
I wouldn't recommend you guys do any water jets if you have rocky, clay or other hard type soil. I can get away with it because of my soft, sandy conditions with hardly any wash out at all. Definitely never under pavers though.

FIRESCOOBY
02-23-2008, 04:52 PM
Thanks, can anyone recommend any books or anything else for education in this field?

I'm wanting to do this the right way and do it right. It's a VERY open business here. I want to build a good reputation.

Thanks

ChampionLS
02-23-2008, 05:19 PM
Oh boy oh boy. Don't even think of boring under pavingstones. It's bad enough trying to maintain integrity with proper base compaction, and then have another contractor make a gopher hole. Best way to do this would be remove the pavers, bedding sand and aggregate..lay your conduit and replace everything in lifts.

Pro-Scapes
02-23-2008, 05:58 PM
I'm wanting to do this the right way and do it right. It's a VERY open business here.

Thanks

There are several statewide lighting companies there. Not sure where exactly cleveland is but do not make the same mistake I did and think there is no competition in your area.

irrig8r
02-23-2008, 11:25 PM
This will make sense when you are old.

So if it makes sense i must be old already....?

:laugh:

The Lighting Geek
02-24-2008, 02:27 AM
we groove the concrete with a walk behind concrete wet saw in the pre-existing joints or gaps. We don't even seal it if done right and you can't tell we did it. We can do a 40' wide driveway in about 15 min. We bought the cutter and found 2-.105" (if I remmember correctly) diamond blades and sandwiched them. It is a beautiful thing!

Sidewalks we use a rod we bought at John Deere LS that looks like a big nail and it slams a 1" pipe under a sidewalk in about 10 min. (not counting the trenching) Be sure to go deep under pavers 12-18" so you don't screw up the foundation.

NightLightingFX
02-24-2008, 11:28 AM
Tommy,
I am having a hard time conceptualizing what you do. Can you elaborate more on what "Grooving the concrete" is? Thanks
~Ned

irrig8r
02-24-2008, 11:48 AM
Tommy,
I am having a hard time conceptualizing what you do. Can you elaborate more on what "Grooving the concrete" is? Thanks
~Ned

Sounds to me like he's making the exisitng expansion joint deeper. A walk behind leaves a clean cut.

I've done something similar with a few sidewalks in tight spaces where boring or even a walk-behind is impossible using a handheld grinder, both for lighting cable and for drip irrigation tubing..

Easiest are where there's a wood, plastic or brick divider between sections of concrete, in which case a PVC sleeve can be retroactively installed... and the surface material replaced.

The Lighting Geek
02-24-2008, 01:06 PM
Sounds to me like he's making the exisitng expansion joint deeper. A walk behind leaves a clean cut.

I've done something similar with a few sidewalks in tight spaces where boring or even a walk-behind is impossible using a handheld grinder, both for lighting cable and for drip irrigation tubing..

Easiest are where there's a wood, plastic or brick divider between sections of concrete, in which case a PVC sleeve can be retroactively installed... and the surface material replaced.

That is exactly what I do. We don't have many jobs here with dividers or even wood. We don't want to go too deep and cut the steel cause the concrete to buck or lift in the future, but usually 1" or less below the existing expansion joint is enough. we follow that with a pressure washer to clean the groove real good. We also drop the blade a little at the ends so you don't see the wire. We use this technique because it saves us mucho time. That is why we usually get all the wire layed and under the obstacles, set the lights, and everything operational above ground the first day. The best I have done in one day solo is 50 lights, with grooving, under curbs, hanging transformers, etc. It kick my butt in the process too, LOL.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-25-2008, 09:53 AM
Doing a good job requires the right tools.

Check out the the Big Shot. Easy, Fast, Accurate, and Professional.

http://www.footagetools.com/bigshotindex.htm

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-25-2008, 09:59 AM
That is exactly what I do. We don't have many jobs here with dividers or even wood. We don't want to go too deep and cut the steel cause the concrete to buck or lift in the future, but usually 1" or less below the existing expansion joint is enough. we follow that with a pressure washer to clean the groove real good. We also drop the blade a little at the ends so you don't see the wire. We use this technique because it saves us mucho time. That is why we usually get all the wire layed and under the obstacles, set the lights, and everything operational above ground the first day. The best I have done in one day solo is 50 lights, with grooving, under curbs, hanging transformers, etc. It kick my butt in the process too, LOL.

I will admit to having done this on a coulple of jobs, but when you think about it, it hardly meets code or standards requirments. Opening an expansion joint, putting wire in there, sealing it up (or not) really doesn't provide the right protection for the wire, and it certainly does not put it deep enough to impress an electrical inspector.

Using the Big Shot is a better option. Just be sure to "call before you dig" so that you don't end up with any nast surprises like hitting a water, sewer, gas line. (All of you guys are getting locates done before you dig right?)

extlights
02-25-2008, 11:07 AM
We use the same tool Tommy uses. I don't remember what it's called, but it's worked out well for us. Like he said....10 minutes and your under. We're in the process of having one made that's a little longer. The 60" works fine for standard sidewalks, but around here standard sidewalks are becoming a thing of the past. It seems like these days 7' stampcrete walks is what everyone is going to.

There are a few tools out there that work pretty well, but soil type will be a big consideration. Maybe talk to an irrigation guy in your area and see what they use.....that would probably steer you in the right direction as far as the proper tool for your soil type.

JoeyD
02-26-2008, 10:58 AM
I can tell you we have been cutting expansion joints for years and it is the quickest way for getting across conrete paths and driveways. And if done right you can get deep enough and protect the wire enought o please any homeowner or potential inspector. We would recomend that you use a skill saw with 2 diamond balde concrete saw baldes piggy backed for added width. You then start cutting along the expansion joint. Once deep enough and wide enough you can clean out and tuck in your wire pushing it in deep with a stick of somesort. You then fill it with some expansion joint filler/caulking and then sweep your concrete dust over the caulking and let it dry. 1/2 hr later you cant even tell something is in there. I recommend jute staples to hold the wire taught and in place at each end of the side walk or driveway.