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jasonfen
Premium
join:2001-01-07
Dallas, TX

Telephone cable depth

How deep are telephone cables suppose to be buried by SBC?

I installed a new fence this weekend. I called the DIG-TESS number for the utilities to come mark where any lines are. I told them exactly where I would be digging and how deep.

Well first shot out of the hole, I hit my neighbor's second phone line. It was no more than 8 inches below the surface. It also was not marked by SBC. SBC had an outside contractor install it back in 94. Not sure why they had to run new line unless they only had 1 pair to the house.

The other thing is that it was installed about 2 feet on my property. That is taking the easement a bit far. I just think the contractor was too lazy to do the job correctly in the first place.

So now SBC has to come out. I'm sure they will try to place the blame somewhere else. We will see.
--
Watch what happens when I do this.



d_l
Barsoom
Premium,MVM
join:2002-12-08
Reno, NV
kudos:7

You would probably have to look at your deed to see what the easements are. For example, my utility easements are five feet on the sides of the lot; however, unless there were obstructions on your neighbor's side of the property line, the phone line really shouldn't have been on your side of the line. That contractor may not have known where the lot line was when the phone line trench was dug.



McSummation
Mmmm, Zeebas Are Tastee.
Premium,MVM
join:2003-08-13
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:2
reply to jasonfen

The one across my back yard probably isn't more than 6 inches deep (lots of rock). The repairman said he worked on Saturdays as his normal work day because so many people cut the lines in the spring while planting and repairing fences. He laughed about it. No charge, since it was on "their side" of the NID.
--
Alfred E. Neuman for President - at least you KNOW up-front that he's a doofus



dg2
Premium
join:2004-01-22
Lowell, AR
reply to jasonfen

quote:
• The National Electrical Code (NEC) states specific requirements for cables to be buried underground. The NEC specifies 24 in. as the minimum burial depth for 0V to 600V nominal applications.
--»ecmweb.com/mag/electric_basics_d···_copper/

But they almost never bury it that deep. One homeowner I know claims they lifted up the sod right after it was installed and placed the cable on the ground and just beneath the sod (about 2" bury depth).
--
Cox-forgotten.com - How to pretend to provide HSI without the expense of really doing it.


leXicon5
Pelosi, SHUT YOUR Fing Pie Hole
Premium
join:2000-12-27
Saint Louis, MO

Depending on the region....the freezing and thawing of the ground will lift stuff right out of the ground eventually if not buried deep enough.
If they put it in 20 years ago and through those cycles....it may have come up to that higher depth....but if the contractor knew that SBC wasn;t checking their work....the shallower the trench....the more they could get done in a day....
--
I'm leXicon5, and I approve this post.....



aaparkr
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Edmond, OK
reply to jasonfen

If you have the locate number and it is evident that the line was not located, SBC should bill the locater. SBC may or may not locate their own lines. I do locates very occasionally and sometimes in emergencies. They never say how deep it is. As you discovered, drops can be very shallow, but going behind every drop contractor would take more people than practical. Additionally, when I fix a cut drop, I take pictures and even make recommendations some times. I usually recommend against billing unless there was obvious disreguard for the marks, but that is just me. I don't even know if my recommendation changes anything.

I'd be interested in hearing if the line should not have been on your property and if that makes a difference. Seems like it should, but the fact that it wasn't marked should be the deciding factor.

Tony


brownsbranch

join:2004-02-15
reply to jasonfen

I believe it is 12" in established yard due to sprinklers etc. 18' unestablished yards per BSP I am pretty sure...



jasonfen
Premium
join:2001-01-07
Dallas, TX
reply to jasonfen

Yeah, it just seems shallow to me. It was installed in 1994 before I moved in. No sprinklers, not reason to be on my property. There is 9 feet between my old fence the their chain link. In fact the guy asked my neighbor if she did much digging. She pointed to all her landscaping and said quite a bit.

I'm not too worried about it. This was reported to them on Saturday morning. They stood me up today. Now I have to put on my angry customer hat and call somebody.

Oh well, could have been worse. My gas line runs very close to where we were. Gas company did not mark anything either. I did learn that TXU Gas is trying to get out of marking anything this side of the meter. I can understand their reasoning to a point. They can't be responsible for the contractor of the house. However, from a safety standpoint, they need to do the right thing.
--
Watch what happens when I do this.



GPorter
It Always Works Better When It's On

join:2001-03-21
San Antonio, TX
reply to jasonfen

How deep to burry anything (plumbing, power, etc.) depends on a lot of questions. Power and gas need to be deep to protect your friendly neighborhood fence installer from his own enthusiasm. Telephone and video cable are often too shallow for NEC requirements, apparently because nobody thinks much will get hurt if these cables are damaged.

Where I live, in western San Antonio, it takes a rock saw to go more than about 8" down-and that's after the builder put 6" of topsoil down! I've had my phone line damaged once, and the repairman took great care to ensure that the new line would be routed along the existing fence.

I don't see how they could afford to follow code around here, anyway. With this much rock in the ground, it could take all day to cut the appropriate trench, and then you'd have to come back later and lay new sod over it.
--
Glenn-Remembering 9-11-01 "Let's Roll!"



rupst2

join:2003-01-07
Columbia, MO
reply to jasonfen

Someone I know in Mexico, MO has has had a couple of 50pair SBC lines just laying in the grass along the rural highway for almost a year now. When they trim the fence line they have to constantly watch out for cutting the lines. They will bury eventually but thought it was funny with concern over a small drop line when they can't even bury their main cable. I love SBC though even if they are always stretched on staff.


pawlou9

join:1999-12-31
Ballwin, MO

I'm surprised with all the rabbits you have up there that the line in laying loose.:)



EricJRW

join:2001-12-19
Keller, TX

Here's my buried line story.

Neighbor behind me went with AT&T via the roof-top pizza box thing. When that service was pulled he had to go back to SBC. A temporary cable was placed along the top of the fence to service his house.

Weeks later, a work crew that spoke no English, came to bury the permanent wire. Even though there was plenty of room down the back lot-line, they chose to route the cable around the flower-beds in the corner of my lot.

The method they used was to slice a groove (using what looked like a big putty knife on the end of a shovel handle) no more than 3 inches deep, into which they stuffed the cable and stomped the groove closed.

1. I thought it odd that the old cable was not reused, but I suppose that was SBC's "policy" when it came to reconnecting service.

2. That new cable is out of the easement by at least 5 feet. I just know sooner or later that it is going to get "dug" upon.

3. If you called before you dig, I think you are golden. You can't be blamed for digging a whole where it wasn't marked.

Cheers,

Eric
--
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights do make a left.



jasonfen
Premium
join:2001-01-07
Dallas, TX
reply to jasonfen

Well I never got a call back from SBC. I called my neighbor and they said SBC came out and "fixed" it. Basically, they ran new cable and will bury it in a week. I plan to be there to view their work.

Answer me this. Unless they have only one pair ran to the house, why run new cable? I would bet they have two pair cable already there. I'm going to look at their NID and see if I can tell anything.

I will suggest to the digging crew that they protect their cable a little better than the last guy.
--
Watch what happens when I do this.



aaparkr
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Edmond, OK

said by jasonfen:
Well I never got a call back from SBC. I called my neighbor and they said SBC came out and "fixed" it. Basically, they ran new cable and will bury it in a week. I plan to be there to view their work.

Answer me this. Unless they have only one pair ran to the house, why run new cable? I would bet they have two pair cable already there. I'm going to look at their NID and see if I can tell anything.

>> Don't want to take a chance on the 2nd pair being bad/damaged requiring another trip out to fix it again

I will suggest to the digging crew that they protect their cable a little better than the last guy.

>> I've been impressed with some of the contractors we use, but they are -independent- contractors and will do what works for them...

Maybe you will witness a top notch crew who takes pride in their work and not someone just looking to get it done as cheaply as possible that will (hopefully) last 30 days.

There are a few of the former and a lot of the latter out there.

Tony