After an outgrageous quote from a fence builder in the area, I've
decided to stick to my initial plan on building my own fence.
I'm in Northern Virginia and had my lines (power, cable, phone, etc.)
marked after a request to Miss Utility. Looking at where they marked
the lines however, they come uncomfortabley close to my intended path
for my fence posts.
My question is how close can I set posts (with concrete) to these
lines? Right now, with the ten inch hole I am planning, the lines are
about 2 inches from where I plan on setting the posts.
On Mar 13, 5:53�pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
the trouble is the line marking wouldnt be accurate within inches.
carefully dig some test holes and you will understand better. Heck
verizon took out their own 20,000 pair main cable .........
be verry careful
Check your deed or plot plan, or call the utility. If it is a recorded
easement (like if it also serves the neighbors), the overbuilding
restrictions will be spelled out. If it is just the service to your house,
well, if it craps out and needs to be replaced, they won't be gentle with
whatever is in the way. If these are the buried lines out front, or along
the centerline of the block, odds are there is a recorded easement. If the
marked location is slightly off (and they often are), you may not HAVE that
2 inches of clearance. Even if the marks are dead on, that Ditch Witch they
use needs more than 2" clearance. You cut that fiber/copper/gas line/etc,
they will be coming after you for the repair costs. I'd either move the
fence, or reengineer it to be easily removable from the track the utilities
follow. You only really need concrete for corners and gate posts anyway- a
hand-dug hole and gravel is usually adequate for the running sections.
Unless the utility companies have a particular regulation regarding
distance, it's more a matter of: do you feel lucky. Often those marks are
not particularly accurate, and if you cut or nick any of those lines, maybe
unknowingly, they will ultimately degrade over a period of time
Around here, utility companies have a right-of-way. My neighbor had his
natural fence of arbs, tore up by Edison. Apparently they billed him for
planting in their path. The outcome is not yet known.
If your area is like mine, I certainly would check out how many feet to
stay clear of any and all right-of-ways.
On Mar 13, 3:37 pm, email@example.com wrote:
About 6 months ago, a friend had plumbers replacing his sewer line
from the house to the street. The backhoe operator doing the digging
was feeling lucky, started digging fairly close to the marked
underground power line. He ended up doing some impromptu welding on
the backhoe bucket, and knocking out the power to the neighborhood.
I'd be REAL careful.
2" is WAY too close. Rework your fence to give several feet or more of
clearance. Some plumbers redoing a sewermain in our neighborhood tore out
the electrical service line to the neighbor's house.
The POCO ultimately had to pay for it because they did not mark the line.
On 13 Mar 2007 15:37:50 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
How many posts are we talking about?
Any corner posts, end posts or gate posts? If none of those, I myself
would just not use any concrete on the ones next to the wires. How
many inches will that give you?
See if you can rent an auger that is the exact same size as the posts.
What kind of posts? Wood, metal, foam rubber?
for a fence post ,if you keep the concrete lets say 1-1/2" or better away
you are safe BUT MAKE SURE THAT YOUR UTILITIES ARE MARKED AND THAT YOU
CARFULLY HAND DIG WITHIN 2' EITHER WAY OF THE MARKS. Any utility line damage
is very costly. As posted earlier the utility companys will FOR FREE mark
Buried utility lines are occasionally encased in poured concrete with no
problem. Actually, concrete serves as excellent mechanical protection.
Generally, the "hand dig zone" is 18-inches on EITHER SIDE of the marked line.
Outside of that zone, you should be able to use a machine with relative
confidence. Within that zone, you should CAREFULLY dig the post hole BY HAND
until you have either exposed the buried line or your hole is large enough for
If you do NOT expose the line, you should HAND DIG several inches deeper than
necessary to ensure that you are not setting a post directly ON TOP of the
utility. You would then fill the hole back UP to the desired depth and set
Done properly and VERY carefully, you can set your posts RIGHT NEXT TO a
buried line. Of course, you should observe and conform to all codes and
Be careful and do it right. If the locate marks fade before you are done
digging, call for a refresh locate. Good luck!
Absolutlely. I'm sorry about my reference to a (power) auger. I had
in mind either that that would make your hole small enough that it was
outside the danger zone and/or that it would make the smallest
possible hole that the post would need. But if a hole that small
can't be dug in another way, you could dig the hole off center away
from the wires, and work your way by hand closer to the wires as
As close as you please to dig. I had one post come out right smack dab on
top my underground feed. I hand dug down to the line, dug on each side of
it another foot, set the post on the line and filled the whole hole with
concrete. (had to saw that post off at the top) <G> That was 22 years ago.
< email@example.com> wrote in message
On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 22:58:04 -0500, "Steve Barker"
IN that case, we want to make sure that he isn't using metal posts.
There was a news story and a thread here maybe a year ago about a girl
doing stretching before running in a park, who leaned over and touched
one metal pole with her leg and a fence pole with her hand, and it
The metal fence post, in that case maybe a chain link fence, had been
hot or the other one was, possibly for years, but this was the first
time someone touched both of them. It probably wasn't hot when
installed, but worked its way through some insulation.
Actually, this is something I should have mentioned already, even if
the post is next to the wire and not on top of it. He did say he was
using cement, but he should be very careful a conductive post won't
even touch the wires where the cement is thin. Even if perhaps a tree
falls on the fence or a car hits the fence and puts sideways prssure
on the post.
Imagine the following with a fence posts so close to the power line.
Have a vehicle hit fence, and damage power line.:(
Check for eastments I have one, main sewer line runs between homes. I
put a fence there but am responsible for removal and replacement if
the sewer comany has to dig up their line.....
A neighbor didnt bother getting permit and put a concrete patio and a
BIG shed 16 by 16 right over the line........
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