Underground obstacles - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Trade Topics > Commercial Electrical Forum


Like Tree18Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-20-2019, 04:13 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
WronGun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,945
Rewards Points: 644
Default Underground obstacles

We are starting a roadway lighting project for a 100 townhouse unit community. Everything is underground. Literally , no matter which way we turn. Electric , telecom , and gas has been marked by dig safe.

Some spots are avoidable , but others aren’t. What do you do in situations like this ?! I’m only going 18” down, but I truly don’t know the depth of the existing lines.

FYI , this project was a royal screw up by the previous contractor who wired this entire community with 2” of depth. There are destroyed UF lines everywhere! Chewed up by lawnmowers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
WronGun is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-20-2019, 04:21 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
MikeFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 5,134
Rewards Points: 2,376
Default

You need to hand dig when near those other utilities.
__________________
Michael Gookin, President
GPS Timers

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

(833) GPS-TIME
MikeFL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 05:24 PM   #3
Gold Pliers Champion
 
Signal1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 2,227
Rewards Points: 2,020
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeFL View Post
You need to hand dig when near those other utilities.
And charge accordingly!

Whether you're the one doing the digging or not, those obstacles will slow you down.
Signal1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 06-20-2019, 05:34 PM   #4
Petulant Amateur
 
99cents's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Perky Nipples, Canada
Posts: 20,289
Rewards Points: 10,943
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefl View Post
you need to hire a big, ugly gorilla to hand dig when near those other utilities.
fify
99cents is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 06:46 PM   #5
Senior Moment
 
drsparky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Presque Isle, Maine
Posts: 7,488
Rewards Points: 454
Default

Years ago was digging a trench at a small race track in Florida and started pulling up medal, it was an old race car they buried next to the track.
__________________
Sent by Commodore Vic 20 with 9.6K modem
drsparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 07:28 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Welland, Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,998
Rewards Points: 3,714
Default

This is the answer


Cheers
John
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Navyguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 08:24 PM   #7
Can't Remember
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 8,921
Rewards Points: 796
Default

Certainly safer around other utilities.
nrp3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 08:31 PM   #8
Band Member
 
emtnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 5,625
Rewards Points: 618
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyguy View Post
This is the answer

Cheers
John
Whenever we did emergency jobs without locates, we always used the HydroVac.

For a 100 unit condo complex, if it is spread over a large area, definitely would consider it. Expensive, but really a time saver.
glen1971 likes this.
__________________
_____________________________________
Your Mother was a hamster, and your father smells of Elderberries. ... Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
emtnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 08:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Welland, Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,998
Rewards Points: 3,714
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by emtnut View Post
For a 100 unit condo complex, if it is spread over a large area, definitely would consider it. Expensive, but really a time saver.
Yeah it is a tough call; If you were just doing typical duct trenches, you could go in there with a ditchwitch and be in and out pretty quick. In this case if you are constantly having to stop to hand dig, you cannot make up any time. Hand digging is slow, so depending on how much you have to do and the type of soil, by the time you get to one end the other end is all collapsed anyway.

Cheers
John
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Navyguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2019, 10:07 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
MikeFL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: The Sunshine State
Posts: 5,134
Rewards Points: 2,376
Default

If it's a recent development and all those utilities are in the same place, it should be (might be) fresh clean fill you're working in.
__________________
Michael Gookin, President
GPS Timers

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

(833) GPS-TIME
MikeFL is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2019, 04:45 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: California all of it
Posts: 727
Rewards Points: 1,425
Default

call a backhoe guy and have him dig . If he is good you won't hand dig very much and if he hits something its on him . He can dig for a few days and you can do the job in a few hours . No worries that's how to do it .

Try digging in the streets of San Francisco or any other big old city . Thats just not fun . Now new condo place gravy .

I ran a hoe for a few years and if you know how to dig in dirty ground its not that bad but still sucks .
Southeast Power likes this.
catsparky1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2019, 11:07 PM   #12
Conservitum Americum
 
LARMGUY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 8,039
Rewards Points: 526
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyguy View Post
This is the answer



Cheers
John
Does it poke the dirt back in the ground as fast as it sucks it out?
CoolWill likes this.
__________________
Cowboy words of wisdom.
There are three types of men, those that learn by readin, those that learn by watchin, and those that have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

,
LARMGUY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2019, 11:13 PM   #13
Cow
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Eastern Oregon
Posts: 2,804
Rewards Points: 4,448
Default

Use a mini or trencher where possible, hand dig everything else.

Over here, we have labor staffing agencies, that will give you a guy, I think for around $15/hr or so. You just have to supply the tools, shovel, pick, etc.

As many as you want. We've used them before, last time we did it we had 4-5 guys on shovels. Hand dug ditches go pretty quick at that rate. And you can spend your time doing something else...
Cow is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2019, 11:16 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
HertzHound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: East coast
Posts: 301
Rewards Points: 430
Default

When you get a backhoe guy make sure he comes with a laborer. You shouldn’t have to hand dig at all.

As far as if he hits something, it’s on him. I wouldn’t count on it. If someone gets hurt, everyone is going down. Probably go after the condo complex also. The more the merrier.
__________________
Why say lot words when few words do trick
HertzHound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2019, 11:26 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
HertzHound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: East coast
Posts: 301
Rewards Points: 430
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow View Post

Over here, we have labor staffing agencies, that will give you a guy, I think for around $15/hr or so. You just have to supply the tools, shovel, pick, etc.
We have that here also. But it’s probably $40 an hour with full benefits on top of that. Still cheaper than an electrician.

They love to work for electrical contractors. And most speak our language. You don’t have to press 1 before telling them what you need to have done.
__________________
Why say lot words when few words do trick
HertzHound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2019, 06:53 AM   #16
86 45 20
 
Southeast Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,519
Rewards Points: 7,706
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WronGun View Post
We are starting a roadway lighting project for a 100 townhouse unit community. Everything is underground. Literally , no matter which way we turn. Electric , telecom , and gas has been marked by dig safe.

Some spots are avoidable , but others aren’t. What do you do in situations like this ?! I’m only going 18” down, but I truly don’t know the depth of the existing lines.

FYI , this project was a royal screw up by the previous contractor who wired this entire community with 2” of depth. There are destroyed UF lines everywhere! Chewed up by lawnmowers.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
We have 160 houses on five roads in my neighborhood. AT&T came in and did mostly directional boring under driveways on one side of the street and DB under the street to feed the houses on the opposite side.
We have underground existing Comcast and URD with pad mounted transformers feeding 8 houses each.
They stayed on the opposite side of the electrical distribution.

I would have a directional bore contractor come out and have a look. We had a project to add entrance lighting to a private development, we found a sprinkler contractor that installed $12 per foot under the sod, $17 per foot under asphalt. It was a good job for us.
Southeast Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2019, 07:05 AM   #17
86 45 20
 
Southeast Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,519
Rewards Points: 7,706
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navyguy View Post
This is the answer



Cheers
John
For us, they are slow, expensive and only as a last resort. No way can that be used for trench work.
I suspect the OP has to run parallel or right on top of existing utilities.
I'm still going with the directional bore. You can just pick elevation under the gas and electric and above the sewer.

Last edited by Southeast Power; 06-22-2019 at 08:06 AM.
Southeast Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2019, 07:33 AM   #18
86 45 20
 
Southeast Power's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 17,519
Rewards Points: 7,706
Default

I looked at Sunbelts inventory and they have a unit that comes with a pressure cleaner looking rig and vacuum.

I might have to find an excuse to try it out:


https://www.sunbeltrentals.com/equip...250-fresh-h2o/
Southeast Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2019, 07:49 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Welland, Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,998
Rewards Points: 3,714
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LARMGUY View Post
Does it poke the dirt back in the ground as fast as it sucks it out?
I wish it did. Generally you have to use clean backfill / sand to fill anyway, so you are bringing that in anyway. Or when used for light standards you are filling with concrete so it does not matter.

Cheers
John
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Navyguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2019, 07:50 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Welland, Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,998
Rewards Points: 3,714
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southeast Power View Post
For us, they are slow, expensive and only as a last resort. No way can that be used for trench work.
I suspect the OP has to run parallel or right on top of existing utilities.
I'm still going with the directional bore. You can use pick elevation under the gas and electric and above the sewer.
I agree, it is definitely situational; not suitable for every job.

Cheers
John
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Navyguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com