Best way to dig a 40' long trench to bury wires

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Any ideas? How deep do 110 volt wires need to be buried?
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On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 10:45:54 AM UTC-4, Texas Kingsnake wrote:

24" in open areas, it can be less if it goes under concrete, etc.
Best way to do it might be a day laborer. You could rent a small walk behind ditch witch type gizom, depending on what's available in your area. HD might rent them. How practical that is depends on the cost and what you have to move it.
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On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 11:08:20 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

Let me correct that. I just looked at the code to make sure and above is true for direct burial cable. If you use pvc conduit, it's 18". And there is an exception for branch circuits of 20A or less that are GFCI protected, in which case it's 12" regardless if it's direct burial or conduit.
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Thanks for the update. Depth will make a serious difference in how hard it will be to dig the trench. I am thinking I will get the guy who butchered my bricks to dig the ditch for free instead of my suing him. How hard could THAT be not to eff up?
FWIW, I am using underground rated UF-14/2 cable that will be connected to a GFCI to run some new outdoor lights. A juvenile delinquent has moved in next door and I want to put up some motion detector lights and maybe some sort of camera to catch him at work (I looked out the window one day to see him tossing trash in my yard).
I was considering doing the work myself but I have no experience with outside wiring or how to waterproof it so I may just dig the ditches and let a licensed electrician do the hook-ups.
TKS
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You might want to look into low voltage lighting. You could run the wire right on top of the ground and cover it with mulch or something if you really don't want to dig down. Of course, burying it a few inches would still be a smart idea.
Alternatively, you could just install battery powered LED lights and not worry about cables at all. You would need to swap batteries occasionally, but if you used rechargeables it wouldn't be expensive.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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In

Seriously? You are joking, right? If you are serious, my vote is don't do it and stop trying to work anything out even deal with that guy. And, save yourself the trouble of even thinking about suing him to get your money back. He has no money. You will never see that money again even if you win a lawsuit.
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On Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 10:44:30 AM UTC-4, TomR wrote:

That's a good point. Winning would probably be easy. Collecting is a whole different story.
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Texas Kingsnake posted for all of us...

You can't put the electric and CCTV wires in the same conduit.
--
Tekkie *Please post a follow-up*

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The type of soil makes a difference too. We have lots of rocks in our ground, everything from a couple inches across up to several feet across. A ditch witch digger would be worthless here.
We usually start out with a straight line from the source to the destination. Then we alter that route as needed to work around buried boulders. The end result is usually more serpentine than straight line. :)
The first trench we dug for our incoming power line was in the rockiest part of our property. By the time we dug around all the boulders to try and find a way through the various rocks, we had a crater about 8 feet across. Eventually we did find a route through the rocks though. Thankfully, most other trenches we have dug have been less problematic.
I hired a backhoe once to dig a trench for us. He didn't fare much better than we did with shovels. Since then we've just grabbed a shovel and started digging.
Of course, rigid drain pipes or conduit aren't always flexible like electrical cables. If I absolutely can't find a way to reroute the trench around a rock I have resorted to drilling and chipping away at the rock to get the necessary clearance. Thankfully, I've only had to do that once or twice in the last 25 years.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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Nor entirely practical. My old phone line goes through a PVC pipe. Problem is, water gets into the pipe and when Winter time comes 'round and there goes my landline. I hadda run a above ground line, instead. Sometimes, still gets wet and drops out, but at least I can access it and fix it when it does.
BTW, one the few times WD40 is actaully helpful. ;)
nb
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On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 12:47:08 PM UTC-4, notbob wrote:

Sounds like the problem there is not using wires rated for wet locations. All PVC underground winds up with some moisture and water in it.
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wrote:

I agree but I wonder where the moisture comes from? Condensation? Leaks at the entry/exit points from the ground? Well glued PVC *should* be waterproof, should it not? From what I've read about UF wire, direct burial should be fine. I just wish I could get away with direct burial of the juvie living next door that's caused this need for better perimeter lighting. <wicked smile>
TKS
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On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 5:26:33 PM UTC-4, Texas Kingsnake wrote:

Yes and yes.
Well glued PVC *should* be

Yes, PVC leaking is rarely the problem.
From what I've read about UF wire, direct burial

I know what you mean....
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You just used the wrong wire. Anything underground is a wet location, the pipe WILL fill up with water. If you used the "flooded" phone wire, you would have been fine.
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All done b4 my time. I was jes dealing with the failure.
nb
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Is that the stuff where the insulation is actually some gel goo that keeps the water out?
TKS
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wrote:

There is shielded cable which is more expensive of course. I don't think there would be any code problems if you ran a spare 12w/g either. Are gophers or mice an issue in your area?

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wrote:

Yes, I suspect wire is going to be cheapest part of this project. I wanted to run a closed circuit TV cable in the same ditch but everything I've read says it's going to pick up interference. I don't know enough electronics to know for sure, but shouldn't that TV cable with 4 layers of shielding be immune to any RF radiating from a 110 volt AC line running along side it? I bought a thousand feet of it so I can afford to experiment. Didn't know they made that in burial v. indoor stuff, either until I was looking a few minutes ago. Not sure why I would really want a second UF 14/2 cable because the ground's pretty stable and too tough for critters to drill through.

Not unless they recently mutated. Well, mice maybe but no one I know had complained about rodents other than raccoons and they keep to the once-a-week garbage bins, mostly. With my luck, my new trench will find them all. <frown>
Our county went to once-a-week to save money but in the summer, it's no fun to live downwind of a large family with lots of youngsters that consume Pampers by the bale. Think they would get the message if I set up a huge pedestal fan in the yard to blow the stench back their way? <smile>
TKS
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wrote:

We have clay and loam etc. in my part of the country. It's good crop growing soil. We keep the rocks in our heads. Critters sometimes chew the insulation off buried wires. The wires can corrode and actually rot through. It happens to both buried aluminum and copper. Lightning doesn't help either. I did run across one time when a badger did chew through a single 14AWG copper wire. I've found a couple times when lightning bored a hole into the ground to the wire and creating an open. This is irrigation system wiring so the underground wires can run hundreds of feet. One low voltage wire we use will typically have a 9000 ft. circuit. The odds are greatly in your favor with a 40' run.

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Texas Kingsnake posted for all of us...

Yup, like clear jelly...
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