I had my yard marked for utilities and of course, my PRIME spot for a
flowerbed is littered with gas and power.
How deep do they lay those lines?
Can I get away with digging 6 inches? 12 inches?
Maybe build the bed higher than normal behind a retaining wall?
With HAND tools, not including a crowbar or spade...
Don't go over the area with a freaking gas-powered
rototiller to dig up the bed. And don't plant
any tree, or any perennial with a significant
root system. Especially don't plant wisteria.
You might find your phone or cable TV line only a few inches below the
surface but I think they're a little more careful with power or gas.
Since you know where they are just dig carefully.
I did want to plant two foundation shrubs that might reach 10 or 15'
My power line is 10" form the fence line 100% of the short fence and
the majority of the gas line is our side the flowerbed line but dips in
where it tee's.
So with that in mind, I wonder how far on either side of the power line
I could plant any shrub that loves zone 10 and partial shade. Or if it
If they are like most locating companies, they will REFUSE to tell you the
depth. Common, good locating equipment does very well laterally but not so
well with depth.
Over the years, a line is unlikely to move SIDEWAYS - short of a 6.5 Richter
Depth, however, can and does change. In my service area, we have a cable that
is 11-feet deep. We didn't place it that deep. Rather, we buried it
30-inches deep and, later, FILL was added atop.
Conversely, something that was placed 3-feet deep is only 6-INCHES deep after
they scrape off most of the cover.
Generally, you are required to carefully HAND DIG within 18-inches of either
side of the locate mark. Either dig as deep as you'll be going OR expose the
buried line before proceeding mechanically.
The minimum depth is generally based on the local frostline and will
vary from one area to another. You can ask your localutilit companies
but I can't imagine that 12" for a flower bed would be a problem
anywhere for gas or power lines. Now, if you have buried television
cable or phone lines, all bets are off.
A man who throws dirt loses ground.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - email@example.com
had a fella do 'dirt work' on my folks' yard back in 2001. He hit the
cable line about 10 places, but didn't hit gas or electric... I'd
imagine that guy knew exactly how deep they were and didn't worry in
He ran a tiller box too... and those dig fairly deep.
CALL YOUR ELECTRIC COMPANY. Why do you want to DIY something that
could make you RIP? Everyone needs a little help sometimes. This is
one of those cases.
Im also considering utilizing LARGE pots and containers for a lot of
the area over the power line. It kinda sucks that the best part of my
yard is littered with gas, cable, power and phone!
Im going to cook up a little drawing for some help planning.
I figure though if I follow this idea. 6" deep in the ground, 2 to 3
foot retaining wall, large containers for large shrubs and smaller
plants in the soil for cover and maybe even ground cover like asian
jasamine, mixed with a small pond built above ground, it could turn out
On the drawing, to the right side, you will see my bed layout and line
The only thing right now that actually exists is the porch and the bed
to the left of the porch and the shed.
The green circles in the corner are where i would like to have tall
shrubs for privacy. If I have to use large containers, I will.
If you have them come out to mark it, did they not provide a report on
a sheet of paper that outlines the marking AND shows the depth?
I had to have this done a few times on our property and each time the
report shows these details.
"I really think Canada should get over to Iraq as quickly as possible"
I think (but not sure) my power cables are quite a bit lower than
this (the extreme cold tends to shift the ground visibly). For the
cable and phone lines they use a tool that slits the sod and stuffs
the cable underneath. Then they just walk back over it to compress
everything back together.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.