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Cutting a catv line and the neighbor calls the cops

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mdirrigation, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,755

    You guys may love this , installing a system today , called the locate in a week ago , all marked and clear . I am plowing on the left side of the property , up pops a catv cable , no marks at all on this side ,customers cable is on right side of house. The neighbor comes storming over , screaming that I cut his cable , " yes sir , this must be it right here " ( the cable is 2ft on my customers lawn) I get the riot act that its realy his property , and that I am breaking the law , because there are no marks, why didnt I check with him befort I started to work, and you cant park your truck in front of my house. I am polite , explain to him that 1 I dont need neighbors permission to work , 2. My customer placed a stringline to show the property line and we are 1 foot inside the string,
    and if he believes this to be his property , please feel free to pay a survey company to shoot the lot . I can park my truck and trailer on a public road for up to 24 hours . The guy calls the cops and they show up, they tell the guy I can work , I am breaking no law and that I could have him arrested for grabbing my arm , its assault. The idiot stood there all day long taking pictures and watching that we didnt walk on his property. I finally told him that I could file asault charges for up to a year from now and if he didnt mind his business and let us work I would have the cops back and arrest him . I cant wait till tomorrow to go back and finish the job .
  2. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,389

    We cut them all the time. Locator companies are a hit and miss proposition. Radio Shack carries some splicers for cable. Takes all of two minutes to splice a cut.
  3. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    In my area, they did such a half arse job(not even 2 inches below grass, this happens all the time. Locater service Ha! how in the heck are they suppose to tell you other than gas and water lines because when cable was installed, nobody thought about a set standard way of running cable to the houses.

    Radio shack and other electronics stores to make connectors that you screw into cable, then connect with a barrel connector.
  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,755

    After all the grief from this guy I wanted him to wait for the catv crew to do the repair. They said 3 to 4 days
  5. Gilla Gorilla

    Gilla Gorilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 923

    That is funny. I actually did the same thing today when I was running the bed edger on the side of a house. Cut the Cable tv line and also the damn phone line. The tv line was just below the sod level and phone line was about 1 inch below the tv line.

    I get a call about 1 hour after I left the house, so it was back over there to fix them. I knew that Cable TV lines could and are that shallow but have never hit a phone line before. But this house was built in 68 so it might just be how they installed them years ago.

    Any ways the customer was not really upset, she just wanted to make sure that her tv worked but she said that she did not care if the phone rang anytime soon. I though that was kindof funny.
  6. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I cut cable and tv lines every now and then. I try and avoid it, but sometimes you just can't. The 1-Call locators out here aren't exactly on top of their stuff so you don't always have accurate locates. Plus the cables are always buried so shallow. We've sort of become a cable line repairmen now with how landscape and sprinklers cut lines.
  7. DGI

    DGI LawnSite Member
    from SE Mich
    Messages: 173

    I've had plenty of irate people over the issue of lines being broken and have been confronted in similar manners. I rarely break any marked lines even though there are many shoddy line installers around here. I always use my subsite to get basic depths on the lines when doing bids to make sure I won't be in for any surprises. Nothing like having to dig in 20ft of main because of a few lines so shallow that they can't be hopped, even by just 1" poly.

    Do not just use radio shack kits. Get a real tracker (something that can pick up 60Hz to find the lines and will assist in locating everything) along with a pair of compression crimpers, some ends, a few silicone burial kits and some cable and they'll never know the difference. I also have phone stuff.

    I explain to anyone interested that the contractors are paid some $200 or more dollars per drop around here (they are given the cable for free) and having the lines any shallower than 1 foot, more reasonably 16+ inches, is not acceptable for that sort of money. An exposer of shoddy work rather than a break of lines is what I am.
  8. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    I would not of put up with the neighbor grabbing my arm!
    As far as the cut cable line, I wouldn't touch it at all. Since it is on the neighbors' property and not on the one you are working at-don't accept the responsibility for repair. I wouldn't even have called the cable company either and I sure as hell won't pay for the repair.
    Here in Texas, there is a one call locator service, a free service to contractors. After about 50 locates, I have not had one problem with their markings.
    As far as shoddy installs on lines, I write into my bid that if the existings lines are not to code and I encur extra hand digging, then it costs more.
    Good luck with that A-hole neighbor. He's lucky, I would of had him locked up so fast it isn't funny.
  9. aquamtic

    aquamtic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    This past week myself I cut through a power line going to the customers pool. He claimed that it was buried atleast 12" below and it was about 5". Luckily it was shallow enought where it came to the surface and we were able to quickly fix it.

    In all our installs we have a contract clause that states that we are not respondsible for any un recorded buried lines or piping that the customer did not notify us or was much more shallow that what we are told.

    Document everything!- It can save you time and money and more professional
  10. itsabeautifulawn

    itsabeautifulawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Oh my gosh! We have a local state locating service also, have cut several lines out here even though we always have 'em located. I don't know if it's the locators fault or what but it almost never fails. We moved here and restarted our business from south FL. In south FL, we never had a problem with inproperly marked or located lines but many problems with improperly buried lines. Here, we have both all the time! But never, so far!, had to deal with neighbors like that! You held your cool and that is EXCELLENT business sense. Great job!

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