In the area where I live there isn't much in way of building codes. I'd
like to run water, electrical and coaxial cable (TV) out to a shop that I'm
building in my back yard.
Can I run any of these utilities in the same trench or must they be run in
separate trenches ??
What are the general construction practices for doing this ??
Thanks in advance.
I live it the woods but the county still dictates the utility and building
requirements. Actually the power company has the final say on electric
In my area (western WA) the ground doesn't freeze more than in inch or so
and that is rare.
The requirement is put the electric in a 2 ft deep trench, back fill and put
in the other utilities in at the 1 ft level.
If your putting in a propane or natural gas line, your required to put in a
foil tape with it if it is plastic tubing. This is so the Utility Locate
guys can find it with their instruments.
I find the whole arrangement very helpful since I can find my water line by
requesting (free) Utility Locate service, since they are all in the same
While I had my trench open, I took that opportunity to drop in an extra 2"
conduit and a 4" sewer grade pipe. The latter will be for a future RV dump
and the former has already been use for phone and tv coax.
I think in most places you can put them in the same trench. If
you do though you should consider providing some seperation
between the power and coaxial cable to prevent any kind of
inductive pickup. I know the coax is shielded... but it's easy
to do, free, and keeps Mr. Murphy at bay.
Better yet, consider running your low voltage in a conduit -
that way you can pull CAT5 to the shop in the future if you
decide you want phone or to network that CNC to the home
While it may be the same trench (NOT the same conduit) you will want to keep
the comm cables (TV coax, Cat5 phone and network, etc. at least a foot away
from the power cables and ideally more, especially if it is a long run. The
phone, network, TV and any other low voltage communications can share a
conduit though. You could go down 24" and place the power conduit
(electrical grade PVC), backfill, place a warning tape, backfill further,
say to 6"-9" (or as code permits) and lay the smaller communications conduit
(PVC). I'd run water seperately in an adjacent trench (3/4" "K" annealled
copper with clean fill, note too sanitary sewer (green hubbed PVC or other
per local practice) should be run deepest of all. The trenches do not need
to be very wide, just deep enough for physical protection, and to be below
frost line if applicable.
This is Turtle.
the other give you the scoop here but one thing that you did not say about
and that is a sewer line. there is certain restrctions on serwer line and
fresh water supply lines in the same ditch. The water supply must be above
the sewer line and in some areas of the country you can't put both in the
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