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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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. ;)
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>
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
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
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>
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
off buried wires. The wires can corrode and actually rot through. It
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
ground to the wire and creating an open.
This is irrigation system wiring so the underground wires can run
of feet. One low voltage wire we use will typically have a 9000 ft.
The odds are greatly in your favor with a 40' run.
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