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Thread: homeade tool to lay buried cable

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default homeade tool to lay buried cable

    Posting this in case it helps someone; it worked pretty well for me.

    This weekend I decided to bury a wire for power to my shed to keep from having to continually trip over the extension cord I had been using. I knew I didn't have to bury it very deep. The cable run was about 115' though... a good bit longer that I wanted to dig by hand. I was too cheap to rent a ditch-witch, and it would dig too deeply hitting the sewer line most likely.

    I have a commercial stihl edger, but the blade was only about 1/8" thick which isn't exactly optimum width to lay 10-3 cable.

    I took the edger blade, clamped it in a vise, cut 3 grooves into the end at approximately equal spacing. I then bent these tabs in and out (alternating). To visualize, hold your hand up with fingers together (except thumb). The spaces between the fingers are the cuts.

    I put the blade back in the edger, cranked, revved, touched it to the ground, and promptly got COVERED in a HUGE shower of dirt. Retrieved hat, goggles, earplugs. Away I went...

    On a scale of 1 to 10, it was about an 8. It dug well, but the extra dirt it moved kept getting packed in around the safety shield. This required cleaning about every 5 minutes with a screwdriver. I don't know how well this would be with an electric unit or a cheap gas one though.

    I ended up with a trench about 1" wide and 2.5" deep, hopefully this'll be fine.

    If you do this 'mod' and hurt yourself or anyone else, it's probably Darrel's fault.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LitFuse's Avatar
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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    Thanks TD! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] I need to bury about 100' of RG6 and was wondering how I was going to do it. I have a decent gas edger (sans safety shield) and this is way better than any other idea I've come up with yet.


    Peter

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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    Good idea.
    Beware of the root hiding just out of sight.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    Have you checked your regs to see if you can bury power cable that shallow? ISTR UF had to be in conduit unless it was 3' deep. Could be a lethal surprise for someone with a shovel planting a daisy.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    [ QUOTE ]
    turbodog said:
    If you do this 'mod' and hurt yourself or anyone else, it's probably Darrel's fault.


    [/ QUOTE ]
    Hey! I heard that.

    As long as your laying an electrical line, and not an oil line, I'm all for it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    ** Sorry I mentioned anything **

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    Well actually, the elec line provides power for my oil well.

    We're the only ones living here so if any trespassers drop by to plant daisies I hope they hit it.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* turbodog's Avatar
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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    Don't hit your toe with this boys and girls!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    [ QUOTE ]
    Darell said:

    ** Darell said a bunch of stuff and now wishes he hadn't.** - edited by Darell

    [/ QUOTE ]

    NO! That's not the worst case at all, in fact, that might be one of the better cases!

    The NEC requires wiring in conduit at least 18" deep. They also recommend (and some local codes require) that you use marker tape buried 12" above the buried wire. Just because someone did it and got away with it does not make it safe or legal. If you don't have a friend or neighbor who's a licensed electrician to ask, or do it for you, you can at least get some free advice about local codes from the supply house where you buy the wire.
    Not counting the safety issue, you can be held liable if anyone is injured or killed from an improper electrical installation. Your insurance company can also refuse to cover you or your house in the event of injury, death, or fire.

    Don't "cheat" with line voltage, it's not just a couple of dry cells like a flashlight mod. Mistakes made there are a lot worse than a dead LS [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

  9. #9
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    Default Re: homeade tool to lay buried cable

    How about suspending the cable overhead? Would that be safer?

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