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Old 07-25-2012, 10:59 AM   #1
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Need to dig a ditch. Recommendations?


I'm converting my overhead electrical service entry to an underground service entry. I have a 55' run from the meter box to the electrical pole. It's basically a straight shot. There are a few obsticles howevver, first is a gutter drain that I will need to go under/over and the other larger obstical is my driveway. The driveway is probably 12' wide and is an older lowgrade asphalt. It won't break my heart to rip a path through it but I'd prefer to do it as cleanly as I can. My original plan was to have my brother in law use his excavator to dig the ditch but the smallest bucket he has is 18" wide. Seems kinda overkill for a ditch that will only have one 3" and one 1" conduit ran through it. So I've contemplated either renting a 4" or 6" ditch-witch or else finding a local contractor with a small backhoe to dig the ditch.

I'm also wondering what is the best way to cross the driveway. If I run a ditch witch through it I suppose it will tear the asphalt all to hell. Is there a way I can cut the asphalt to get a smooth straight line? Are there blades I can put on a circular saw that would cut through the drive? Angle grinder with masonary blade? Or would I need to rent a huge walking concrete saw or something like that?

What would you suggest? I've got all the electrical work done, just waiting to get the ditch dug and conduit buried so I can get an electrical inspection.

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Old 07-25-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Need to dig a ditch. Recommendations?


You could try and rent a hand held concrete saw.



For 12 feet that might be fine, I haven't used a walk behind saw before but I imagine it's a bit better on the back.

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Old 07-25-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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Need to dig a ditch. Recommendations?


You have all the electrical work done? Are you saying the conductors are already pulled? I'd really be surprised if that's the case. I also live in WV (Jefferson County), and the PoCo was responsible for pulling the conductors, connecting them, and installing the meter. All I had to do was put in the conduit.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:14 PM   #4
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Need to dig a ditch. Recommendations?


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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
You have all the electrical work done? Are you saying the conductors are already pulled? I'd really be surprised if that's the case. I also live in WV (Jefferson County), and the PoCo was responsible for pulling the conductors, connecting them, and installing the meter. All I had to do was put in the conduit.
You are right. What I meant was that I've installed my new 200A meter box/disconnect along with my 200 circuit breaker panel. They are wired together and ready to go. I need to buy the conduit and install a pull-rope so that the PoCo can run the line down the pole, through the conduit, and connect to my meter socket.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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Need to dig a ditch. Recommendations?


I'm pretty sure that conduit has to be 3' deep.....

Just rent a trencher....it will cut about a 6" wide trench....

On your driveway....asphalt is pretty soft....if you want it to look pretty...rent the saw...otherwise...break up chunks....
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Old 07-25-2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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Need to dig a ditch. Recommendations?


Having done this, but for more like 150 feet, I would not recommend a very narrow trench. Unless your ground is really flat and it's a perfectly straight shot, you'll appreciate some wiggle room afforded by a wider trench. Also, it's easier to glue the conduit together if you can get down in the trench.

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