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Author Topic: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line  (Read 2172 times)

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Offline ozarkgem

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I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« on: April 18, 2015, 08:45:52 PM »
I was helping  a friend of mine put in 200 ft of sewer line and 60 feet of electric line. He had moved to this place and there were 2 old trailer houses and 3 out buildings. He wasn't sure where the water line was(well water) since it was in place when he bought the property. He knew about the electric line and the phone. He said the phone line to the old trailer didn't matter since they put a new one in to the new house he built. Well it did matter. He is without phone till Monday. The electric turned out to be 12-2 only about 6" deep and was not direct burial wire. He had it unhooked. I told him I wanted to get the gas line to make a perfect day. We had a good laugh about the phone line.
Mighty Mite Band Mill, Case Backhoe, 763 Bobcat, Ford 3400 w/FEL , 1962 Ford 4000, Int dump truck, Clark forklift, lots of trailers. Stihl 046 Magnum, 029 Stihl. complete machine shop to keep everything going.

Offline yukon cornelius

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2015, 09:21:38 PM »
I have been there!

My neighbor was helping me replace my waterline at our old farm house. I wanted to hand dig because it was close quarters but he insisted we use a trencher he had borrowed for his own water line. we got close to the meter so I told him to stop and I would finish by hand. he took another scoop and I said to please stop and I would shovel. I turned around for the shovel and he scooped once more and hooked the old line and pulled the meter out of the 6 inch water main causing the side of the main to blow out. the ground shook for a few minutes while I was on the phone to the rural water dept then a column of water erupted from the ground going way into the air. a couple thousand dollars later I had paid for the damage.  :'( I don't let people help me very often.
 
It seems I am a coarse thread bolt in a world of fine threaded nuts!

Making a living with a manual mill can be done!

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2015, 09:52:46 PM »
Ozark,

   Reminds me of when I was near grown and my younger brother and I were putting up a chain link fence for our local pharmacist (Was going to say druggist but sounds fishy) late one Saturday afternoon. Was a new home with bare ground so no obvious utility lines. Our contract clearly stated customer was responsible for "underground obstructions" such as utility lines. Last post hole in back yard my brother hit a gusher. The folks had a lake in front yard. They were quickly getting another in the back yard. My brother went and knocked on the lady's door and when she stepped out he asked if she had any "underground obstructions" in the back yard. She asked what kind. He said "Oh you know - water lines, sewer lines and such." She asked where? He pointed and said "over where that new lake is forming. She said "I think there's a water line over there. She said "I will call my husband." A couple minutes later she came out and said "The phone is dead." I'd cut the phone line in the front yard and never knew it.

We found the shut off valve and turned off the water. She rushed to the local hardware store and got there just before they closed for the weekend. She returned with a 20' length of PVC pipe, a coupling and a can of glue. Fortunately we had a shovel and a hacksaw so, although neither of us had ever worked with PVC before, we were able to dig up the break and put a splice in and get the water back on. Turns out the husband had to re-patch the line as we had not twisted the new patch and made a complete seal of the glue but it was just a drip and got them through the weekend.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Den Socling

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2015, 10:05:56 PM »
I was putting an extension on my shop. A guy was on a hoe digging the footer. He yelled when he luckily noticed a 4" conduit in the ground. It was the underground service to our house. We were able to dig around it but that was almost a stupid and expensive mistake.

Offline PineNut

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2015, 10:40:20 PM »
A few years ago, the electric company was putting in an underground primary electric service for me (at my expense). As they were approaching the electric pole I ask them if they had marked the water and gas service in that area. They assured me that they were told that it was on the other side of the road. At first they did not want to believe me but they thought better of it and called the utility companies who came out and located the lines. The 6-inch waterline would have been messy but the natural gas line would have made me hit the road. Fortunately there was no disaster.

Offline Magicman

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2015, 10:49:46 PM »
During my years in the telephone industry, I was always on the dirty end of cut cables.  :-\
Knothole Sawmill, LLC     '98 Wood-Mizer LT40SuperHydraulic   WM Million BF Club Member   WM Pro Sawyer Network

Never allow your "need" to make money to exceed your "desire" to provide quality service.....The Magicman

Offline sandhills

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2015, 12:31:40 AM »
Anymore with gas lines and fiber optic lines I hate digging on any ones place but mine, gets really expensive fast!  A good friend accidently hit a natural gas meter on his place with the bush hog, he probably should be dead, lucky for him another good friend works for the gas company and they got it fixed up right away for minimal $.  It's not what you know it's who you know (old saying) I guess.

Offline curdog

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2015, 01:23:21 AM »
A few years ago we were unloading a dozer to plow a fire, got the d5 unloaded and was coming up with a plan, we chose to push line down a PowerLine row . Right before we got the blade in the ground a pickup truck came flying up flashing lights and blowing the horn. The guys got out and informed us that under the power lines was a natural gas line that provided all the gas for a city of around 50,000 people. For some reason that area was not marked. He went over to an area and shoveled some dirt back and that line was less than 6 inches under ground. If I remember right,  it was something around 36 inch pipe (?). If that blade had hit that line  we have been a big greasy spot.

Offline justallan1

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2015, 05:02:44 AM »
Here's a real bad day for you.
Probably 25 tears ago I saw an interview on TV with two friends that were digging a ditch and knowing there was buried electric lines, they were locating them with shovels and bars by hand. One guy goes in the house to get a drink and looks out the window to see his buddy laying in the ditch holding onto a digging bar sticking in the ground with his entire body convulsing. He runs out and knowing not to touch the guy with his hands and worried about the digging bar that was flailing around, he grabs  shovel laying there and proceeds to knock his buddy off of the digging bar. Turns out the guy was having a seizure from a lifelong medical condition of some sort.
Luckily they were able to laugh about it later, but how do you live that one down.

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2015, 10:48:51 AM »
do you guys not have diggers hotline? it cost you nothing to have everything marked plus if something gets hit that was'nt marked correctly they pay for repairs.
 earlier this week we had everything marked from the ditch up around the buildings,for the mill expansion. we take pictures with our phones ,that way if marks or flags get desturbed we still have the photos.
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline sandhills

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2015, 11:17:08 AM »
ROL, we do have it here, actually I think you're required by law to use it even for post holes.  Seems like everyone always knows just where everything is buried though so don't bother, "that one's right there, put that other one in back in '74 it runs right over there", famous last words (old saying) sort of thing  :D.

Offline red oaks lumber

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2015, 11:40:54 AM »
i do the same thing,problem is there gets to be more and more to remember :D
the experts think i do things wrong
 over 18 million b.f. processed and 7341 happy customers i disagree

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2015, 12:56:12 PM »
do you guys not have diggers hotline? it cost you nothing to have everything marked plus if something gets hit that was'nt marked correctly they pay for repairs.
 earlier this week we had everything marked from the ditch up around the buildings,for the mill expansion. we take pictures with our phones ,that way if marks or flags get desturbed we still have the photos.

Just call 811!

I decided to practice with my Davis Little Monster and put in a short (2 block high) retaining wall.  Since it was on the front of my property, I called 811.  Very nice people working there and the local companies MUST mark all the services within 24 working hours - and they did, except the water company.  They just put a flag up by the meter.  When asked, they said that was their stuff, the rest is my problem!  I was surprised at all of the services - My "electric" company, Power, Gas and Fiber (not sure what for), my local phone company, AT&T (tho I don't get their service in my area), Cable TV and water.  When I asked the electric company, how deep, they responded "Proprietary information".

True story - at my old office, they were upgrading the gas line for new package heaters.  An un-certified backhoe operator was digging and hit the gas line.  A lady working in a office overlooking where he was saw him run and then smelled the gas.  We evacuated and the fire department responded.

A couple of years go by and we are adding a second addition.  The contractor heard the story so he is out there using a probe (1/4" rod with a T handle) to look for the gas line.  He punctures the plastic pipe!  Fire department once again.

A few more years go by and they are widening the road in front of our building.  The contractor is digging  along and one of my guys is in a corner office and sees them working.  All of a sudden, dirt is flying out of the trench and the operator is running.  They broke a 6" main (flexible) pipe!  We evacuate and the gas is blowing for about 20 minutes while the gas company digs another hole upstream and squish the pipe closed with a special clamp.
John Sawicky

Just North-East of Sacramento...

SkyTrak 9038, Davis Little Monster backhoe, Case 16+4 Trencher, Home Built 42" capacity/32" cut Bandmill up to 54' long - using it all to build a timber frame cabin.

Offline Larry

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2015, 02:37:30 PM »
Only our government.

When I worked for the phone company I got a call that the Air Force had cut a cable serving one of there Minutemen missile launch control sites in central Missouri with a brush hog.  I told the caller this was impossible as it was an aerial cable.

Not at all impossible for the Air Force.  There brush hog was on an articulated arm for mowing steep hill sides.  They found out it would also cut cables on top of 25' poles.
Larry, making useful and beautiful things out of the most environmental friendly material on the planet.

We need to insure our customers understand the importance of our craft.

Offline beenthere

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2015, 02:39:22 PM »
Just call 8-1-1 ?

In the US but not in CA

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-1-1
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2015, 04:49:08 PM »
I think the statute of limitations has run, so this story should be safe.  Back in  the day when I was leading a fire crew we kept having fires in a "primitive" subdivision.  Every weekend, or on a Monday morning early, we would have a fire call  to this particular subdivision.  We went out one morning and plowed around the fire, I noticed that most had a septic system with shallow drain fields.  I told my catman to "middle bust" the block.  He did.  Next Friday we had a slew of phone calls about damage to septic, and water, systems.  I explained that we had  a pretty serious fire the  previous Monday and that we like to have lost a bunch of homes.  Never another word, never another fire.

My boss had a serious talk with me, I was feeling the wrath, when he laughed and said don'[t make a practice of it.

In retrospect I probably should have figured out another educational method.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2015, 05:25:18 PM »
MM,

   I bet you do have some tales to tell working with the phone company. We lost phone services a few years back and the tech was troubleshooting and asked about fresh digging. Everyone denied such. Finally tracked it down. Family dog had died and they'd buried him and cut the phone lines in the process.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Alexanderthelate

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2015, 07:20:27 PM »
I remember planting a tree when I worked on the counsel. We picked a perfect spot "about eight foot this side of that fire hydrant". They ran the pipes for that hydrant a bit too shallow for my liking, luckily it was a steel pipe.

Offline thurlow

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2015, 07:26:03 PM »
Underground wires, pipes, lines etc. can be found with a couple of "L" shaped wires, kinda like 'witching' for water;  ain't go a clue how it works, but it DOES!  I've done it a bunch of times.......
Here's to us and those like us; DanG few of us left!

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: I dug thorugh the electric line, phone, and water line
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2015, 07:46:08 PM »
Seems I always found the wires overhead, the hard way. :'(
Bill


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