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Old 07-09-2010, 02:23 PM   #1
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Privacy fence post next to house


We are installing a privacy fence and on one side of our house the power and cable lines run along side it. The markings the city put on the ground start at about a foot from the house and goes to about five feet from the house. There is not enough room to dig a respectable fence posthole. Any ideas?

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Old 07-09-2010, 04:59 PM   #2
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Privacy fence post next to house


You have options, you’re only talking about one post, right? The power should be about 18" deep. You could call the city and find out what code is there. You can do some exploratory digging with a garden shovel (hand tool) and find the lines (I’m sure I’ll get beat up for that one).

Your post doesn’t necessarily have to be deep. You can have a shallow hole 12“-14” with a wider footprint like 24”. That would hold the post. You could possibly attach to the house.

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Old 07-09-2010, 07:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
kwikfishron;467397]You have options, you’re only talking about one post, right? The power should be about 18" deep. You could call the city and find out what code is there. You can do some exploratory digging with a garden shovel (hand tool) and find the lines (I’m sure I’ll get beat up for that one).
this can be an extremely hazardous act and I strongly caution any DIY'er from doing this. While it is not impossible, I would suggest hiring an independent locator to determine a more accurate location including the depth before even considering digging.

I do not know what the standards are for locations for public services are in the OP's area but in my area, the mark must be within 2 feet of the actual location. That gives them a very wide berth in all actuality. A privately hired locater service can, and often will, give a more precise location.

Underground lines from the POCO are not usually in conduit but direct burial. The insulation is tough but a decent shovel strike can pierce the insulation.

This is definately not something for the weak of heart or a person with the damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead attitude.

Yes, I am trying to scare the OP because a little slip can mean death. It really is that serious.

Quote:
Your post doesn’t necessarily have to be deep. You can have a shallow hole 12“-14” with a wider footprint like 24”. That would hold the post. You could possibly attach to the house.
regardless what code is (18" per NEC) that doesn't mean the installation actually was installed to code or that the grade wasn't altered after the cable was installed.

I have seen service laterals that had to be reinstalled because they were literally dug up while the landscaping was being done during a house build. While the installer should bury the line to a point it will be 18" below finished grade, more often all they care about is it is 18" below the current grade.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:28 PM   #4
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Show me where the danger is.

They had the locate, the line is drawn, give or take. There is no intimate danger in digging by hand to locate the exact location of the ľ” thick conduit carrying the power to see if it is actually in the way or not.

I’m not talking Backhoes and Augers here. This is DIY and safe.

Sure you can hire a private locator give them a couple hundred to do the same thing, dig a little hole with a hand tool and say there it is, but why?
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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where the HELL did you see conduit mentioned in the post?
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:29 PM   #6
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Had someone who had a similar problem
They were having a gas line installed
Installer gave them a discount to dig & find where the buried electric was located

They dug by hand (small hand tools) in the area where needed

I know where my buried feed is located

Where are you located ?
Do you know if it is in conduit ?
Here they always use conduit
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Had someone who had a similar problem
They were having a gas line installed
Installer gave them a discount to dig & find where the buried electric was located

They dug by hand (small hand tools) in the area where needed

I know where my buried feed is located

Where are you located ?
Do you know if it is in conduit ?
Here they always use conduit
I have worked with about a dozen different POCO's and absolutely none of them used conduit for a standard underground residential service lateral. If they do in your area, great but OP didn't say anything about any conduit.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:46 PM   #8
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Privacy fence post next to house


I don't know if they use conduit. I will check with the city Mon. Thnx for all the comments and the concern for my safety. I have no plan to use the auger on that post. I think I will be using my plastic gardening shovel to dig a area around it. I really don't want to screw into the house. When they drew the lines for the power and the cable they drew two lines for each, about two feet apart. Would that indicate that the power line is somewhere within those lines?
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:43 PM   #9
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What color lines on the ground?

Be safe, Gary
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
I have worked with about a dozen different POCO's and absolutely none of them used conduit for a standard underground residential service lateral. If they do in your area, great but OP didn't say anything about any conduit.
Which is why I asked if they used conduit
POCO here insists upon it
I'd have no problems digging near conduit
Not sure about direct burial
---that's unfused right ? Lotta voltage to get zapped with

The gas install they dug the trench up to the area where the electric was located
Then it was hand digging by owner to expose the conduit
Fairly easy that was - digging from a hole
Digging down not as easy...my ground is full of rocks & had as rock
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:30 PM   #11
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Other than the depth, page 3 is the only way I’ve ever seen it done.
http://www.nvenergy.com/business/new...es/US0001M.pdf

I’ve never seen direct burial through someone’s yard, in my neck of the woods anyway.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:47 PM   #12
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Moving on..... sometimes water is installed close to power, cable, etc. Cheaper to dig one ditch. Hence: http://www.engineersupply.com/APWA-U...lor-Codes.aspx

Be safe, Gary
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
=Scuba_Dave;467780]
Not sure about direct burial
---that's unfused right ? Lotta voltage to get zapped with
well. it is effectively fused with the POCO's primary cut out fuses. The voltage is still the 120/240 (at the house) but the available current is more than enough to fry somebody. If they have conduit at the OP's place, I have no problem recommending careful digging with a shovel (even metal) but if it is direct burial, a lot of caution must be exercised. It only takes a nick in the insulation and a second or two of contact and all is over.

I work with electricity too much and am too familiar with it to be too soft with this type of situation. I would rather scare the stuffing out of somebody to the point they won't do it than not being serious enough and they get hurt.

It can be done but it must be done knowing absolutely as much as one can and then proceeding with care and due caution.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
Other than the depth, page 3 is the only way Iíve ever seen it done.
http://www.nvenergy.com/business/new...es/US0001M.pdf

Iíve never seen direct burial through someoneís yard, in my neck of the woods anyway.
well, if the OP lives in your neck of the woods, then by all means, he could dig away. (any idea how long that has been required in your area and how long the POCO's house has been powered?) If he lives in mine, there is no conduit in the ground.

Since we don't know where he lives, nobody here can look up his POCO's rules and make a reasonable guess. Until then, it is best to err on the side of caution, at least I believe so anyway.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:44 PM   #15
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Privacy fence post next to house


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwikfishron View Post
You have options, youíre only talking about one post, right? The power should be about 18" deep. You could call the city and find out what code is there. You can do some exploratory digging with a garden shovel (hand tool) and find the lines (Iím sure Iíll get beat up for that one).

Your post doesnít necessarily have to be deep. You can have a shallow hole 12ď-14Ē with a wider footprint like 24Ē. That would hold the post. You could possibly attach to the house.
I guess I should have said "should" instead of "could".

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