It may be on their side of the demarc, but it was damage from illegal
digging (law says call the call before you dig number first), so they'd
be within their rights to charge to repair the damage. If say a big mole
had eaten the cable, no charge.
Yes, its on their side, BUT I hadn't called first. That's the catch.
And I don't feel like rolling the dice assumming that they will fix it
for free. I'd almost rather fix it myself than pay who knows how much.
I'm sure I can do the job once I find the right splicers and the
proper/best way to waterproof it. I dug up some of the line as it ran
away from the house to try and get some slack and after about 10 feet
distance it was still just 5-6 inches deep. I would use the reasoning
that it wasn't run deep enough if I thought I had a chance, but its
almost not worth taking that chance. There is not alot of money
floating around right now to waste on them doing a repair that I could
do, although not nearly as quickly.
Just wondering if anyone else had them fix it for free after such an
obvious violation of the standard procedure of calling first and then
Low voltage / low current lines like phone lines or cable lines are not
normally buried very deep. Around here they use a vibrating cable plow
to pull the cable perhaps 8" deep. If you can get a few inches of slack
you can pretty readily make the splice just fine.
The easiest way to make the splice will be with the "UR" type gel filled
IDC connectors. The easiest way to protect the splice, which is similar
to the old underground splicing kits the telcos used to use, is to pot
the splice in silicone. Get a small container like a 35mm film can, poke
a hole in the bottom and the lid and thread them over the wires on each
side of the splice location (before making the splice of course). Make
the splice and then slide the film can over the splice. Fill the can
with regular silicone caulking and then put the lid on it. It will
eventually cure solid and protect the splice well.
Even if you HAD called first, but still cut the line, you'd be liable - unless
the locating marks were "off" by more than 18-inches. In that case, the
locating company pays.
Aw, if it's that close to the house, dig a nice, LARGE splice pit for the
telco technician and even open up a nice, deep trench to the house. The
repair guy might then be inclined to use only ONE splice - to a NEW length of
5-pair - and run it to the house. If you don't have an official "SNI", he
might even install one.
Still, you pay for the repair. It won't be THAT bad.
No dice. Depth is NOT static.
Only amateurs inquire about depth when a locator is doing their work.
Locating devices can give a (very) ROUGH estimate of depth, but it is never
divulged officially. One must HAND DIG within the "hand dig zone" which is
usually 18-inches on EITHER SIDE of the locating mark.
Think about it: Short of 6.5 on the Richter scale, that line won't move left
or right over the years. Depth is another matter entirely. Erosion,
construction, landscaping all have the the effect of "raising" a buried line.
If you bury a line 36-inches deep, then scrape off 30-inches, what you do have?
Is there ever? <sigh>
...or as good. (It wouldn't be "wasted" money.)
The days are LONG GONE (many years, now) that such repair was done for "free".
If a buried line is damaged, SOMEONE screwed-up. Either the locator or the
digger. Regardless, one of them pays. The telco virtually never "eats" such
repair work anymore.
Do it now and avoid what might otherwise lay ahead: When your DIY splice
fails, they may come out, discover your DIY fix, and bill you at that time for
an "official" repair. (Pay 'em now or pay 'em later, yadda, yadda...)
A VERY big mole - with a tile spade! :)
The OP should swallow his pride (and parsimony) and call the telco. Whatever
they charge, they would probably accept payment in installments - probably
with no interest. No big deal.
We USED to be the Mean, Evil Bell System. Not any more!
Good point, Pete.
Even now I encounter the occasional "attitude" displayed by a coworker.
Oddly, they weren't around when The Bell System existed. I suppose we're no
more immune than any other company when it comes to employing folks with lousy
customer service skills.
...and the neckties wonder why we aren't competing any more effectively than
we are with the competition.
I couldn't get a "locate" on my property. To make matters worse the
telco doesn't really "bury" their line. My wife built over a hundred
houses in the last couple years and every one of them had the phone
wire laying right under the sod! Needless to sat "cut phone lines"
were a regular warranty issue, which got tossed back to Sprint, now
Embarq, who came out and strung a new wire, right under the sod. They
just peeled it back, dropped in the wire and stomped it down. When
they do "bury" a wire in an established lawn they use a flat bladed
tool about 8" wide, that splits the turf and they push the wire down
... about 2". That is what I had
It's definitely *not* the original cable, those color codes are much
newer than 1974. I'd expect probably within the last decade or two. BTW,
that is called "flooded" cable and the gel inside helps keep out
I respectfully disagree. 5-pair buried drop (blue, orange, green, brown,
slate) was most certainly in use in 1974. I ran a plow and buried plenty of
it. The color code was developed in the early 1940s.
Uh, "filled" cable. (icky pic)
...and it works GREAT - until someone chops it in half.
5-pair buried drop was pretty new in 1974 and rarely used except for running
to small businesses and residential mansions.
Of course, it all depends on the telco and part of the country.
Oops. Thanks for the correction. (sorry)
Ain't it the truth. ...and it softens yours hands so nicely!
Did/do you work in cable draw or what? We have (had) a HUGE Western Electric
plant in Omaha - the Omaha Cable Works. It's called "Connectivity Solutions"
Only yesterday I encountered more, brand new, GARBAGE (inside) phone wire
(cable). It was purchased at Menards, made in China and marketed under the
Southwestern Bell banner.
Three pairs (I love this: red/green, yellow/black, white/blue) and absolutely
I activated a second line to the SNI of a customer who wanted BOTH lines at
the new location - prewired with this garbage wire.
I put my butt set on one pair and my toner on another pair. When the toner
was switched on, it was as if I had the phone connected DIRECTLY to the toner
- there was THAT much inductive cross.
This trash was UL listed (and what a joke THAT is) and classified CMX on the
Don't buy phone wire at Menards, folks. Get Cat 5e at Home Depot or Lowes and
be sure. Wotta mess. :(
If it's buried you probably have more than a single pair. In most cases
they will run 2 or even 4 pair so if you decide you want a second or 3rd
phone line, they have the capacity to put it in without trenching in a new
5-pair "drop" wire was quite common, particularly to larger homes in nicer
You must live in a shack on the wrong side of the tracks. [ducking] :)
Seriously, single-pair drop was common but we usually placed TWO of them.
2-pair drop was WIDELY used.
Those places with just one (1-pair) are usually OLD farmsteads. Even then, I
suspect the crew was running short of wire at the time.
Also, just because more and more folks are using their wireless (cell) phone
for their voice needs, don't think that "the land line" is going away.
Just today I was unable to install a THIRD line to an old farm house. The
two, single-pair drops were already in use. Now the customer has to wait
while we get a permit from the county to bore across/under their road to place
another drop to the house.
In the early 1970s, a MASSIVE effort was made to bury the services to
thousands of rural customers formerly fed by open wire hanging from poles and
glass insulators. We buried two pairs to homes that were on 4 to 8-party
lines - a SINGLE pair feeding 4 to 8 customers. We thought it was overkill.
It was - until today, for this particular farmstead.
Happened in my neighbor' s yard. The phone company guys must have spend 20
minutes taking photos before touching anything. I assume to charge the
guilty party. I could see the spray painted line painted by "Miss Utility"
was about a foot from where the dig was so I imagine someone will be
checking if the phone line was buried according to plans or "Miss Utility"
had sprayed off by a foot.
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