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Think good thoughts...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by PurpHaze, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    ...for me today. Starting two zones where 480v electrical lines to lights go through the area in several places. Electrician has been out and marked the locations but depth is my main concern. His locating equipment kept getting feedback and the lines are anywhere from 2" to 12". We've probed and can't find the conduit because the ground is so hard and there are mega roots from a line of birch trees in the area. Guess I'll go REAL slow and hope for the best. :p
  2. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    That's knida damn shallow for any electrical supply, let alone 480V. Is there no code concerning depth of utilities? How many times do you absolutely have to cross that line? Can you say "Hand dig" right there? Another thought... Can't you shut those power supplies off? Bound to be a disconnect somewhere.
  3. True Cut Lawn Maintenance

    True Cut Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 418

    Ummm Hand Digging over the lines??
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,675

    I think code is at least eighteen inches for powerlines. In a perfect world, a shorter-than-a-foot plow blade would never break anything
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Looking forward to an update post from Hayes saying he isn't crispy!!!

    Electric is the one utility I seem to be less fearfull of. It seems that most places they do a proper job of getting electric to a proper depth. Now, the 110 to the lamp post.......yeah. One would think gas lines would be deep because they actually need to be, but I find gas lines shallow way to often. 2"? I would think you would have probed and hit that, but it is probably just proof the locating equipment wasn't working properly. Hand digging really, really reeks, but as opposed to finding a high voltage line by "accident", I think I'll dig.

    I've seen electiric hit a couple of times. I always say you can tell how long a guy has been trenching for a living just by watching him mount and dismount. If you've learned a proper respect for the un-marked high volt line, there is a "spring" in your step getting on and off :) For some reason my feet never touch the machine and the ground at the same time.
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Code here is 4' before the transformer (Something like 10,000 volts right?) and 24" afterwards.

    I haven't found a line that wasn't to code before the transformer, but I've found a lot of shallow lines between the transformer and the house.

    We call locate, and then hand dig down to our trench depth across the locate mark (with a 2' margin of error on each side).
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    OK gang... made it through the day. :eek:

    As for hand digging there was no way we were about to do this. The area is mega-loaded with roots from European white birches and it was not very desirable to even trench, let alone hand dig. I figured the locator was off kilter when I couldn't find the supposed 4" feed conduits (from front of school to transformer) but I was able to probe and find the smaller conduit (transformer to lights) at about 24" at the point I'd cross it the first time out of the valve box. Total number of crossings was 8 (480 routes run at angles across the area) and at one point my trenching took me 8' over the conduit and in line with it.

    AND smartypants... I called for the electrician to come out and kill the 480v which he did. It'll stay off until tomorrow when we finally wrap this F---ING project up after I have to cross two of the lines once to put in the final zones. :p

    I'm so beat up from trenching through roots that I had to take two pain pills and lie down when I got home from work. My artificial knee seemed to take every bump and snag... not to count that my elbows, shoulders, back and neck feel like they're on fire.

    If I get the chance tonight I'll post a picture of the Kunta Kinte zone trenches. :)
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt... still in one piece. :drinkup:
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    I rented a walk behind trencher once.

    Never again.
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    If this keeps up it'll either kill me or cripple me.

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