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View Full Version : Am I in over my head?


ajslands
07-26-2010, 01:21 AM
So I have a client that want some outlets installed near his pond. I am not an eltrician so I dont want to hook it up or do any of that. But I figure I could probably still run the line from the pond to the outlet that it will be running from right? Or am I in over my head. And I'll sub an electrician to do the rest.


I'll be using stainless steel conduit. It's about 250' of trenching, I'll probably dig the tench at 22" although I believe code is 18".
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The Lighting Geek
07-26-2010, 01:55 AM
I would sub it out and build a relationship with an electrician. You will own the liability otherwise.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 02:01 AM
Well I was planning on subbing the "hooking it all up" out. But I was
I've got a good relationship with a few electricians that have done work on my parents house,

But I see what your saying with the liability...
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ajslands
07-26-2010, 02:04 AM
Ya I'll probably sub it out, I don't want to ruin my bussiness reputaion.
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RLI Electric
07-26-2010, 07:03 AM
From an electricians standpoint I won't come to just "hook something up" or "tie it in" or "just make the connections". We cannot put our license on the line for something we cannot see. Chances are you can find an electrician that would indeed do that for you but I would say the ones you want to establish a relationship with are the ones that do all of the wiring. I am all for subbing the trench work out to a landscaper or handyman to keep the cost of the project down as I typically don't have a trencher or backhoe. As electricians we get this quite often. You really can't blame people for looking to cut costs. I see it in additions. "Can we get anything off for drilling our own holes or running the wires?" As all of us here know, we want to run our own wires so we know where they are, how deep they are, what size wire, how long the run is,etc,etc,etc.

Tomwilllight
07-26-2010, 02:48 PM
I agree completely with Tommy and Bob. Call in a licensed electrician and listen to them about all things 120. They have to make a living and if their name is on any 120 volt part of the job, they are responsible all of it.

If you find you like working with them, take them to lunch, buy them a beer and suggest a relationship involving mutual support. Some of my best contacts are electricians I've worked with and got on with.

Tom

bcg
07-26-2010, 03:07 PM
I'll dig trenches for my electrician but I don't want to run the conduit or the wire. It's his license, permit, liability and reputation, I don't want to be responsible for any of that.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 03:29 PM
Well I found an electrician I will probably dig the trench and I'll have him lay the wire and conduit. The electrician said he wanted me to do some landscape work for him so I'll probably do that... As for buying him a beer; I can't, I'm only 18... I might help him lay the wire maybe, or maybe I'll just watch (learn a thing or two) since I will have the backhoe there. And will be doing the back filling. Instead of 22" depth though, I think I'll do 25". Now what should I charge to dig the trench? It's 250' of trenching on flat ground, mostly clay, and there's two turns in it, if that makes a diffrence at all.
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knox gsl
07-26-2010, 03:38 PM
What size bucket are you using? This sounds like a job for a rentail trencher with a 4inch by 25 inch deep trench, less backfill and less mess.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 03:55 PM
What size bucket are you using? This sounds like a job for a rentail trencher with a 4inch by 25 inch deep trench, less backfill and less mess.

9" bucket, but I have to move some boulders so il be using he thumb for that. And I'll be ueig the blade on the front for the backfilling. I also have to do some work at my parents house with it. I thought about a trencher though.
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Mark B
07-26-2010, 07:07 PM
I would say about $300.00 on the high side if you already have the backhoe there. Will you have to tamp the ditch after the backfilling, how good of a cleanup are they wanting? You need to think about all of that mess. DO you have the room to get the back hoe in where you need to be. If so add some more $$ to it. If you are GOOD operator that is not far at all. Also consider what other utilities might be in the way that you will have to cross. Enjoy and have fun.

I miss getting on a backhoe or a mini excavator for a few days.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 07:39 PM
I would say about $300.00 on the high side if you already have the backhoe there. Will you have to tamp the ditch after the backfilling, how good of a cleanup are they wanting? You need to think about all of that mess. DO you have the room to get the back hoe in where you need to be. If so add some more $$ to it. If you are GOOD operator that is not far at all. Also consider what other utilities might be in the way that you will have to cross. Enjoy and have fun.

I miss getting on a backhoe or a mini excavator for a few days.

I won't bring an excavator on the property unless it's marked. Saftey is my number one prioroity. And if my guys aren't safe, their gone! It's a wide open area. Except for behind the house which is still wide open just not 100' wide (more like 50').

300$ So that's like a 1.20$ pr foot, thers one part that needs to be hand dug because it's so I was thinking 1.35 pr foot.
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RLI Electric
07-26-2010, 07:44 PM
For what it is worth, if you are doing just a 20 amp circuit at 120volt and you gfci it before it goes into the ground you can keep the depth at 12". Burying depths are found in the NEC at table 300.5. Just an FYI

Mark B
07-26-2010, 07:57 PM
In my opinion, I would not price by the foot. I would look at the big picture and estimate how long it will take you do the job as a whole. It sounds like you are using a mini X so that will make it even faster. Again if you are a GOOD operator. Not knocking your skills. Just saying.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 09:48 PM
For what it is worth, if you are doing just a 20 amp circuit at 120volt and you gfci it before it goes into the ground you can keep the depth at 12". Burying depths are found in the NEC at table 300.5. Just an FYI

12"?!!?!!!! Code is 18".
In fact I was told to go 22-26"...

I talked to the electrician, he told me that he'll probably run it on a seperate circut. Idk I'm not an electrician! I'm a landscaper!
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RLI Electric
07-26-2010, 09:54 PM
NEC Table 300.5 Note 4. Where one of the methods in columns 1 through 3 are used for a circuit in columns 4 and 5 , the shallower depth (12") shall be permitted.

RLI Electric
07-26-2010, 09:55 PM
If it wasn't known here before it is now, don't thank me just throw me LED lamps:usflag: Just kidding.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 10:22 PM
If it wasn't known here before it is now, don't thank me just throw me LED lamps:usflag: Just kidding.

How many led lamps do you want, I have 3 and 2 of them I use for scuab diving....

So if I accidently dug 15" or 14" would that still be okay?
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RLI Electric
07-26-2010, 10:25 PM
No problem with going too deep.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 10:45 PM
So how much does amperage drop after 260'?
And i have not idea what size wire will be used, but I beleive the pump is half hp. I have no idea what the pond lights are drawing, and their are two fountains which I don't know what they are drawing either.
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RLI Electric
07-26-2010, 10:57 PM
At this point it is going to be best to suggest to form that relationship with your electrician. A quick rule of thumb is for every 150 feet to go up a wire size. That is a rule of thumb though. There are voltage drop calculations that I am not really going to go into because your electrician will do all that for you. That is what you are hiring him for. This is not to be short or arrogant but it is also a rule that we (electricians) essentially have to be aware of. If we give information out to someone that is unskilled in this field and something bad happens, it is possible it can come back to us. Now, I am not aware of anyone who has had this happen to them personally but I will not be willing to take that chance. Trench depths, wire colors oh yeah, low voltage landscape lighting wire cannot be run inside of a residence unless rated for it. I don't know of any who are, maybe Qwire but even there I am not sure. These are some of the things I am comfortable talking about. Voltage calculations, wiring of line voltage equipment, things of that nature I cannot do.

ajslands
07-26-2010, 10:59 PM
So ya all I'm doing is digging the trench. And then doing some work at my parents house, oh and moving some boulders
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David Gretzmier
07-28-2010, 12:51 AM
I have dug many trenches, laid in the conduit/wire, and purchased all the supplies needed to set the breakers, outlets, waterproof wire nuts, boxes, etc, and then let the master electrician I have a long term relationship with hook it up and test it. I actually know the wire is buried deep enough and free from nicks, and the electricians hate to dig and backfill anyway. I have never had a problem with any done in the last 15 years. I may be carrying some of the liability, but then I also know it is done right.

since I cannot count the number of times while hand digging LV wire at 3-6 inches I have hit 120v grey underground burial wire that was installed "by a master electrician", I think doing the digging improves your chances rather than hurting them.

ajslands
07-28-2010, 01:23 AM
I talked to my electrician, he said you dig the trench and we'll lay the wire.
Now I have a quick question for hand digging around other utilities... How far on each side should I hand dig before using the machine again? I was thinking 2' on each side...
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Classic Lighting
07-28-2010, 02:03 AM
2 feet on either side of the line marking is correct to hand dig. Even when using a shovel, dig carefully to avoid line damage. I can't tell you how many cable lines I've severed. Also a few gas lines.

ajslands
07-28-2010, 02:21 AM
I've heard gas lines severed. It is very loud!

How many water lines have you broke? My guess is none actually because their so deep...
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Mark B
07-28-2010, 08:38 AM
You will know when you hit something. It will be nerve racking to dig around stuff you know is in the ground. We all HATE to hand dig. That is why I use the machine. But I am a really good operator plus I have a good spotter on the ground behind the bucket that is looking out for me.

silverado212
08-04-2010, 08:20 PM
I found out the hard way once driving a ground rod for a service change. Drove a 5/8" grond rod dead center through a 3/4" copper gas line. Scared the hell outta me. Locator told me you are required by law to call anytime you break the surface of the ground. He just laughed and told me that I wouldn't be fined or anything by him because I was still standing. That was a $400 fix from the Utility Co.

ajslands
08-04-2010, 08:52 PM
I won't be doing this work for this guy, he just recieved my bill for last month minor landscaping and a couple mowings, well the landscaping was only 450 (I was smart enough to collect mney for materials) and the two mowings were 60$ total, so he is complaining now that 450 is outragous (spelling)... I'll tell you my gallon of ground clear is getting kinda jumpy and wants to spill for someones brand new yard (installed back in June)
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