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

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wrote:

I doubt I will run it through conduit. Might make it easier to rewire in the future but that's not a real concern.
TKS
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On Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:57:59 -0400, "Texas Kingsnake"

Run 12 volt lighting - bury the wire as deep as you can, but if you can't get deeper than 6 inches? No worry.
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wrote:

and

Great Caesar's Ghost! Why didn't I think about that? I think 14/2 UF with ground should be more than enough to power some LED lawn and spot lighting, But there's an additional payoff with going DC (someone correct me if I am wrong). There's no RF interference on a video feed from a parallel DC power cable. It's the AC 60 sine wave that causes the video interference. Two birds killed with one stone.
BSSF, sir. I thank you! (Best Suggestion So Far)
TKS
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You probably just need cable rated for underground use. I asked our phone company what wire to use and they gave me a couple hundred feet for free. Really surprised me.
If your original wires were in PVC conduit, it should be a simple matter to pull in new cable as you pull out the old.
Of course, I now get my phone service through our cable internet, and the individual phones are wireless. We don't even use the old phone wiring anymore.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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Wow, if water kills your phone line, it must be really hard on DSL on the same line.
I have about 20 feet of my phone line, mostly 4-conductor round while wire, open to the rain, and maybe that's what's been causing internet problems.
D'ya think?

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A

Oh boy. That might put the kibosh on the digger. Rock'r'Us if you know what I mean.

That means it's not likely I'll be able to use PVC conduit although I didn't have plans to. It sounded like a good idea but I don't see having to rewire it during my lifetime.

and

I have been considering solar-powered lightning instead of running a cable but I have yet to see the solar powered light that I thought was worth a tinker's damn.

I thought about the backhoe and just hiring an excavation company to do the job. Someone said if I was flexible about when they did it, I could save a lot of money. Not sure if that is true but I guess they might have unplanned down time they'd like to fill by digging a hole for me.

I would hate to have done it once. I had to dig around some pretty big rocks to run my sump pump output. I ended up using a piece of rebar and a sledge hammer to hunt for rocks. Sings out like a carnival attraction when the rod finally meets a boulder. No kewpie dolls for ringing the bell, though.
TKS
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It's fairly easy to add elbows to work around obstacles, but they do make flexible conduit also.
Of course, there's no need for conduit if you use the proper cable and bury it deep enough. Conduit is mostly for added protection and/or to make changes easier in the future.

In my case I was running a 4" drain line to direct water away from our driveway. The pipe is rigid, straight, and had to have the proper slope for drainage. I was also working my way around some trees, tunneling under some large roots.
I didn't have too much trouble till I reached a spot where two huge boulders (about 4 feet across each) were touching each other under ground. Thankfully, my planned route went right between the boulders so I simply busted a bit off the side of each boulder so the 4" drain pipe would fit through. A lot of work, but everything worked out well in the end.
I also had to split pieces off several large boulders (larger than my car) last year so I could build a retaining wall. Our pump house is up on that hill, so digging the rocks out was not an option. I've gotten fairly good with a rotary hammer and feathers/wedges.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 5:26:31 PM UTC-4, Texas Kingsnake wrote:

A backhoe is going to create a hell of mess compared to a ditchwitch, just to lay cable or conduit. But it depends on the area, if it's lawn or just dirt, etc.
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For underground work where you have to weave around rocks, use polyethylene water pipe to pull the wires through, it will bend around obstructions and keep the water out. Use shark bite type exterior fittings to connect and join the pipe to avoid reducing the internal diameter that push-in fittings will do. You won't have to dig so deep either.
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On Mon, 29 Jun 2015 21:08:01 -0400, "EXT"

If you are not getting this inspected you just have to dig it deep enough to avoid being hit by the lawn mower but it isn't "legal" (nor is the water pipe)
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On 6/28/2015 8:08 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Dig no deeper than all the wires/pipes you cross in the path.
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Thanks for the info. I have been looking at something called a "ditch witch" for rental but it's expensive and like you said it is not easily transportable. I am also worried what happens if I hit a rock using a rented tool like that. How much could I be stuck for in a repair bill if I wreck the cutter? Can you buy insurance from the rental places just in case? I've never rented a tool in my life so I really don't know what's involved.
TKS
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On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 2:55:48 PM UTC-4, Texas Kingsnake wrote:

I've rented many tools and have never been offered an insurance plan. If you break it, you have to pay to fix it. And your concern is valid. I would think they are pretty tough and a typical rock isn't going to bust it, but depending on how many you have, who knows.... And if you bust it, you're at a disadvantage. The rental company is goind to fix it and come up with the repair price. If it's unreasonable, you can dispute it, take them to small claims, etc, but it could become a hassle. I've never had that experience. Only once when renting a slice seeder from HD, the guy accused me of not cleaning it off and wanted to charge me $25 extra. I had washed it off, I just somehow missed one clump of dirt on the bottom. I had to get a manager over and then they relented.
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On 6/28/2015 10:45 AM, Texas Kingsnake wrote:

As directed by the local building code people.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 11:08:41 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

That's true, what I cited is for NEC which is generally followed, probably valid for TX, but locals always have the final say.
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On 6/28/2015 11:14 AM, trader_4 wrote:

I don't have a lot of experience with NEC, but my gut sense is following NEC will result in a safe and reasonable result, in most cases.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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Depends on where you live.
I live in the CO Rockies and we are in the middle of digging up our entire 300 unit snowbird park for a new sewage system. The biggest problem is the rocks. This entire valley is an ancient river bed and one WILL stumble on smooth round river rocks tha size of a Ford Exhibition, six ft or six inches under the surface. We have explosive ordnance experts to deal with the really big boulders.
Bring the biggest backhoe you can afford. We have dozens working, here. Everything from huge Cat's to itty-bitty Bobcat's. It's like a used backhoe lot. Volvo's, Kamatsu's, Deere's, etc. If a bigger backhoe is needed, it's get's trucked in. No one is going out with a pick n' shovel and digging any 10 ft deep trenches anytime, soon. I know.
My first job, after the service, was as a ditch digger. Swimming pool plumbing ditches. Four foot deep in hardpan. At least a pick will break up hardpan. But, the best pick in the world isn't gonna do spit to a 20 ft diameter granite boulder. 8|
nb
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wrote:

Explosives, eh? That would make me even more unpopular than I already am with the neighbors. I would definitely try solar powered lights before it comes to that.
TKS
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On Sun, 28 Jun 2015 10:45:41 -0400, "Texas Kingsnake"

You can rent a ditch witch trencher. I suppose a lot depends on what the soil is like. Burial depth really depends on where this is. The basic rule is direct burial cable (UF) is 24", PVC conduit is 18" if this is not below a road. There is an exception for 15 and 20 amp 120v on a residential property, that is GFCI protected at the source ... 12 inches. (cable or conduit)
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wrote:

That's nice - just the kind of exemption I need. Thanks!
TKS
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