Fence over underground wiring

    I would like to put a fence up at the back of my yard, but it would need to go in over existing underground high voltage wires. Not the usual 220V but the main underground lines to the local transformers.
    I have had the crew out to mark the line locations, but they are unable to tell me how deep they are. I would guess they know where they should be, but because of various problems, they may not be as deep as the should.
    Any suggestions?
I am thinking of several possible fence types, generally decorative but also I am interested in keeping the neighborhood kids out of my yard and since I am on the local foot path, eliminate the foot traffic of kids taking a short cut.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Hi, You already know the location of line. You can dig away from that. But on very remote chance if power compny needs to dig for repair or something, they have right of way. So I'd consider that choosing fence type. My house stis on a corner in a Cul-de-Sac utility cos. have ROW on two sides which is 8 feet wide. In 15 years since I lived here they did not bother my yard. I have everything away from ROW border towards my house. The other side is just lawn which they can tear up and redo if needed.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

1. If you have not already done so, check your easement. The actual long version, spelled out or included by reference in your bill of sale or deed. Don't rely on what neighbors or guy on power company truck said. They can get rather specific on allowed and disallowed structures, and on allowed plantings. Easement also sometimes addresses access rights, especially if the right-of-way is across the back edge of a lot buried in the middle of a block. (which your footpath comment implies.) They may have the right to drive a baby backhoe or ditching machine up your driveway and through your back yard, especially if one of those green cubes is sitting there.
2. Did the locator service folks also mark your corner pegs for you? Make sure you know where the exact corners of your lot are, to avoid future neighbor and setback disputes. I grew up in a subdivision like that, footpaths and all, and the kids took offense (like any roaming herd animals would) at barriers put in their way. I also grew up in construction, and know that corner pegs often get lost, especially where there aren't those big brown smelly poles to act as permanent monuments. (and they were not always on the exact property line either.)
3. And on a pragmatic basis, make sure YOU can get to the part of yard between fence and lot line. Remember, you have to mow back there, pick up blown trash, etc.
4. Can't see your lot, so hard to recommend a suitable barrier. Need to look at it from kid point of view- it just needs to look like a barrier from the approaches to the foot path. Something that interrupts the line of sight between the houses may be enough. Kids usually won't stray too far from the lot lines, lest they get trapped in a back yard with a dog or something. If they can't see from curb to curb, they will usually walk elsewhere. A shallow-rooted hedge, alternating rows of dwarf pines, or even vines on a light wooden trellis, may be all that you need, and still be cheap and easy to replace if power company has to tear it up. I would avoid a metal fence on metal poles- some say it is urban myth, but many have reported induced current problems with putting those parallel with power lines.
-- aem sends...
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The devil is in the details. What exactly does "but it would need to go in over existing underground high voltage wires" mean? If the fence would just cross the wires, meaning it's mostly perpendicular to them, then if the lines are marked, you should be able to plan the posts accordingly to avoid them. On the other hand, if it runs parallel to and on top of them, well that's a whole different story.
I agree with the above advice that is is critical to check in writing for what easement the power company has. That may rule out placing anything permanent, like a fence, over the entire easement area. And whatever easement they have, I would not want to be in violation of it if anything should go wrong. If you happen to hit something that's not where it's marked, but you're in the right, that's bad enough. Of course, if it's high voltage, maybe it won't matter.
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On Sun, 17 May 2009 04:55:40 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:
..

    Of course it is almost parallel, and to make it worse it is 3-4 foot wide.

    Yea, I have the easement information. Basically I can do what I want, as long as I don't block their access and they have the right to tear up anything I put on their easement. So far we have lived with mutual respect on those matters. However you never know if a new supervisor shows up.
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On May 17, 8:14pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The fences in my neighborhood often run across the power lines, if they didnt hardly anyone could have a fence. A couple of times in the last 20 years the lines have had maintenance done on them they used a ditch witch to dig under the fence from one side then go around to the other side. There could have been some hand digging envoled too. Only one time did they hit a fence and they just took a couple of boards out. The owner did have to replace them.
Jimmie
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...

    Yes I have the details on what is allowed and not, in fact I am on the local board that reviews issues.

    I located the pegs myself as they were building the home and I plotted them from know, non-moving points so I could find them again. That has come in handy more than once.
...

    That is more good advice. However it will not work in my specific situation.
Thanks
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On May 16, 7:43pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

If you put up a wood fence, build a 8' section on the ground, then fasten it to the posts with screws. That way anyone needing access to the other side of the fence can just remove the screws, do their thing, and refasten the section without tearing the fence up.
Red
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On May 16, 8:43pm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

The separation required by your states version of the public utilities commission is what you have to comply with. I have never seen a case were any permanent structure was permitted directly above the lines. High voltage lines are usually buried in the public portion of the road easement anyway and you cannot lawfully build there. You may need to spend the money for a survey if you don't actually know were your lot line is. I really doubt that the utility has buried anything right on your property line.
-- Tom Horne
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On Sat, 16 May 2009 20:43:38 -0400, against all advice, something compelled snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com, to say:

I had that problem. I planted roses, and then when the stalks(?) got long enough, I tip layered them.
http://en.mimi.hu/gardening/tip_layer.html
This gave me loops of roses, like a hula-hoop buried in the ground. It's attractive, impenetrable, and won't hurt your wires.
--

Real men don\'t text.

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On Sun, 17 May 2009 15:17:23 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

    I like that one, but what happens if they are between me and the gun? :-)
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I believe they have to be buried I think it's 5 feet deep, maybe six. I forget. Of course it would be more near ground level the closer it is to junction boxes, etc.
You can look at your power companies web site or call them and they should be helpful in telling you how deep it is buried. After all, they don't want their bottom line$$$ damaged.
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