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Old 01-18-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


I'm in the very early stages of building a small home on an undeveloped rural lot. Power and telephone are both at the boundary of our property, but must be extended up to our building site (~600-700' up the driveway).

The terrain and driveway cut limit trench placement, which will be underneath the edge of the finished driveway. To complicate things a bit more, we need to lay rough rock on the driveway after we fill the trench, but before we begin heavier construction to ensure trucks have sufficient traction. Our local POCO has been excellent in helping with the project, but the telco (Centurylink) refuses to assist until the property is within 90 days of completion -- well after I've closed the trench and laid a driveway.

I only want to pay for trenching and a driveway once. The power trench will be deep enough to allow us to lay a phone cable or conduit with sufficient separation. Since I have no other choice, I plan to run empty conduit up the driveway for the telephone company to use later.

What diameter conduit do most people lay in these situations? Given the long length, are access ports needed at intervals, or is a single continuous section from a 1000' roll preferable?

Thanks in advance for what will undoubtedly be the first of a long line of questions as we go about the process!

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Old 01-18-2013, 01:16 AM   #2
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


From the sounds of it your doing continous roll for the power....do the same for signal.

If it was me, I would do a min of 1"....if the cost is not much more, do 1.5"....makes pulling wire a lot easier.

As for taps....if you think there is a remote chance you want a tap along the way....put in a junction box. Easier to do it now than later.

One last thing....while there is no 'spec' as to how far the signal conduit must be from the power....for that long of a run, I think yo want at least 6" or more of seperation.

There is another thread here (I think it is titled something like "Down Hill Run")....but the OP was running a real long conduit....I think you will find it of interest.

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


For those who may find this thread later, ddawg16 was referencing "Starting down the big hill".

I've also discussed with my excavator, and will be installing a 2" schedule 40 conduit alongside the 7.2kV main from the POCO. The minimum the local TELCO allows is 1.25" (per my excavator). I've gone larger to allow room for a future fiber pull (which may replace the phone line entirely). I'll be installing a single junction box near my front gate so I can install a gate camera, breaking my run into ~600ft and ~100ft.

Some other interesting things I've compiled from the local POCO, TELCO, and contractors:

1) Consider filling the trench with sand if your ground is too rocky (ours is) and you're close to a driveway - this minimizes the risk you may sever a cable with a rock if heavy equipment rolls over it.
2) Separation from the power company is only 12", horizontal or vertical. My excavator will lay both cables side by side.
3) TELCO engineering in our area (Centurylink) won't help with any technical work and/or conduit recommendation until you're 90 days from installing the final service. We had to speak with local excavators and builders to size the conduit.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


Complete BS that they can't tell you any specs until you are 90 days out. Do they change specs that often?
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:01 PM   #5
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Complete BS that they can't tell you any specs until you are 90 days out. Do they change specs that often?
I doubt it - unfortunately I've been unable to get around the customer service "firewall" and talk to their engineering department or installation teams directly. Customer service team have no clue about brand new install requirements, or how to potentially get in touch with them either, leaving me stuck.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


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Originally Posted by gashalot View Post
I doubt it - unfortunately I've been unable to get around the customer service "firewall" and talk to their engineering department or installation teams directly. Customer service team have no clue about brand new install requirements, or how to potentially get in touch with them either, leaving me stuck.
According to Centurylink the engineering depart tel number is 800-526-3557.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:52 PM   #7
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


HIVOLT is right. Call or email them directly. I had an issue with the locals and I emailed the company...got an email back and they had a local rep call me withing 2 days. It works!..trust me.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:49 PM   #8
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


In my area the telco will give you a roll of buried drop wire and you can just toss it in the excavation before its back filled.

I have also seen 1 inch ABS water pipe used. A roll is cheap and is dropped in the trench before the backfill.
It is fished by sucking a string in with a vacuum cleaner.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:02 AM   #9
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


It took me forever to get someone from verizon to be able to set me up with a spool of wire. I just told them I wanted a spool of wire and was going to run it myself. Once you convince them that you just need a spool of wire you can just run it yourself. Like others say use a decent size piece of conduit for the phone and leave enough room so you may have the option for cable tv in the future. Around here they give you RG-11 for cable and 6 pair phone wire so with that length 1-1/2" would be a good idea.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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Buried Telephone Conduit Recommendations


Thought I would add some more ideas. A great thing is almost all areas once you have the wire in and everything installed with the interface box they are responsible up to the interface box. So I would put it so the interface box is as close to your home as you can.

Once you find out what size rolls you can get you can at least settle on where to install pull points and junction boxes. But one continuous length would be the most ideal way to go. The less splices the less of a chance of problems. If you have any pull points at all leave yourself room to put a decent amount of extra wire so you have room for repairs or redoing splices. Duct seal to keep moisture from conduit from entering the junction box. If this is a down hill run you may want a strap to hold the wire.

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