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Robert Bachmann 03-23-2010 08:18 AM

Buried Utilities - Electrical / Cable / Fiber Optic
I am planning to build a home in a rural area in West Virginia. I wish to have all my utilities buried. This includes; electrical, telephone, cable (TV), and fiber optical cable (for future use). The 'run' from the nearest power line is 300'.
Can I bury all the utilities in one trench? Can they all be in one conduit?
Do I have to shield the electrical from the other lines?
I will be putting in a driveway - can I bury these lines under the gravel drive?
I want to do this right the first time. Thanks.

Scuba_Dave 03-23-2010 08:26 AM

I had mine buried
One trench, seperate conduit & I distanced the power from the other 2 conduits
Needs to be buried a certain distance under a driveway
I think 24" ....but I buried mine at 30" - to the top of the conduit

brric 03-23-2010 08:33 AM

Are you burying your service conductors all that way or is the POCO going to locate a transformer nearer to the residence?

Robert Bachmann 03-23-2010 09:24 AM

I'm sorry but I dont know what POCO is. I would like to have all the service conductors buried from where they come off roadway if possible.

Scuba_Dave 03-23-2010 09:31 AM

POCO = power company
If they are not putting a transformer near your house then there will be a voltage drop with the distance
That will mean running larger wire

clb2010 03-23-2010 10:02 AM

You need to keep your power cables separate from your other cables and depending on the distance between the conduits you will need to shield them. Use a 4" conduit for your data lines and make sure to put in a fish (line so you can pull more cables).

Robert Bachmann 03-23-2010 10:42 AM

Thanks. I can see that it is possible, but that Ill need two conduits.
One for power and another for other services.

Another question - is it a good idea to run this all under a gravel driveway? I can see trenching it in before the gravel is placed.
Is this smart?

Scuba_Dave 03-23-2010 10:45 AM

Most people run 3 conduits
I have power in one
2nd one has FIOS - which gives me TV, Internet & phone all in one
Most utilities do not like to share a conduit
I think I'd run it on the side/edge of the driveway
Just in case it ever needs to be dug up driveway will still be useable

Robert Bachmann 03-23-2010 10:51 AM

Thanks, good advice. If its not under the driveway, how deeply buried are your conduits?.

brric 03-23-2010 10:52 AM

Also consider the size of your service. 200 amp, 400 amp, etc. A 200 amp service, to limit voltage drop, will require 300-400 MCM Al conductors, larger for over 200 amps. Not exactly a DIY type of pull IMO for 300'.

ryanh 03-23-2010 10:52 AM

Are you guys just able to lay conduit 24" + deep from grade? Here we have to have it strapped to a 1x4 or some other kind of lumbar

Robert Bachmann 03-23-2010 11:23 AM

No, this project is way above my skill level. I will have it contracted out. I am still collecting information on what is possible (and I see that this is) and some other considerations to factor in during the planning. Thanks.
RE lumber in the trench. This is West Virginia. Around here, "Code" is something you get in Winter that makes you cough and sneez.

clb2010 03-23-2010 12:07 PM

Run it along to the driveway and put in a few weather proof "access holes" for just in case. Go at least 3 feet down with 4 being better. Power in one conduit and everything else in the other separated by at least 16" if you can. Since you have the trench open you might as well lay down a couple conduits because you just never know.

As long as you have a fish, there is room in the conduit for them to pull it easily, and its to code then the Utilities should work with you on using your conduit. If they give you a hard time about it escalate up the chain until you get someone who will do more than just say no.

You could do the conduit, trenching, and most of the cabling yourself but you should hire someone to do the electrical. Also when you pull the phone cable use a multi pair cable. That way you can have more than one line coming in. Were it me I would use a 24 pair.

brric 03-23-2010 01:24 PM

I would also consider a cost analysis between what it will cost to do what you are proposing and what the utility would charge to extend their primary closer to your property.

gnosti83 03-23-2010 09:46 PM

if the power is already located underground the cable co will probably run and UG for free if u get their service, but you are only going to get a direct bury or a cheap flex conduit

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