Frost Heaves

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by steveparrott, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,206

    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?
     
  2. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    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.
     
  3. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    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:
     
  4. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    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.
     
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,143

    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.
     
  6. FThera

    FThera LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    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.

    Frank
     
  7. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,206

    No worries then. Thanks guys!
     
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    our frost line is 14 inches down, no frost problems in the past 7 years or so.
     
  9. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    Steve,
    Stop into Ramsey Building Supply on Thursday (weather permitting). We'll be doing a contrator clinic. :drinkup:
     

Share This Page