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Direct bury wire really necessary?

greendoctor

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Honolulu, Hawaii
A professional would either own quality damage prevention equipment and be skilled with its use or have communication with a professional who is.

Wire that is properly installed isn’t as subject to damage as wire which is not. Let’s use aeration as one example, if you damage a wire or mainline while aerating, something is wrong.

As for the drama, use more care when digging and sing “Polly wolly doodles all the day”, people will tend to leave you alone.
Knowing what I might run into, there is a lot that I do with a water jet and vacuum instead of traditional digging equipment
 
I am not sure which data you are seeing for Rain Bird wire sizing. The last page of the valve section of the RB catalog is the wire sizing data. (I can't figure out how to attached the screenshot I took of it.) At 80 psi you get 3700 feet with 18 gauge wire or 1850 feet (700 ft short of half a mile) from controller to valve with one solenoid per zone. 18 gauge is plenty for all but Bill Gate's cottage.
Here is the valve wire sizing chart (now that I am on my 'puter).
 

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Outlawn

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
San Angelo, TX
I do know of people that use SCH 40 white pipe to run wire. Bad practice. I use the gray pvc conduit or else the gray flex conduit assemblies to cover all wire up until it stubs back up into the valve box. My pickyness comes from having to deal with repair and service situations where wire was not placed in conduit.
I’m in the no conduit corner. I’ve only had a handful of repairs which have ever had control wire in conduit underground but they always have water in the conduit. Another contractor for communications/cable/gas/water/electric/other has come in and cracked or broken the conduit and water has intruded and sat in that conduit for who knows how long. I know that can happen on direct bury wire, as well, but that’s an easier fix IMO.
 

greendoctor

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Honolulu, Hawaii
I’m in the no conduit corner. I’ve only had a handful of repairs which have ever had control wire in conduit underground but they always have water in the conduit. Another contractor for communications/cable/gas/water/electric/other has come in and cracked or broken the conduit and water has intruded and sat in that conduit for who knows how long. I know that can happen on direct bury wire, as well, but that’s an easier fix IMO.
Water in conduit is a sign of a half done install as well. Duct sealant is a moldable non drying compound that will prevent water and dirt intrusion from where wire must exit ends of conduit or else the J boxes.
But you don’t like shop vacs either :)
I use a water powered sludge pump that utilizes a venturi effect to evacuate water and the mud resulting from digging with a water jet.
 
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