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How do I site, or walk , as straight line to mark a conduit Run w/o a Survey Transit

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    #16
    Originally posted by Installer View Post
    We're dropping 400' feet of 1 inch conduit into the ground. I have to mark a straight line line with a Marking Wand for the Utility Locate and the Backhoe.
    Best thing is to have someone set a survey transit up and watch me -if I wander out of the walking Path-I get a yell to correct my direction.
    Does anyone have any suggestions/ Follow a pickup with a steering wheel held dead center?

    Not the birightest question someone has ever posted on this forum, but I might get some helpful feedback.
    get some form string.
    drive a stick at each end of the run.
    pull the string tight between them.

    or, take a hilti or similar laser that can work
    horizontally, and set it up on the line.
    that is overkill, unless you have one handy,
    and don't have string.

    go buy some form string.
    it works fine on 700' ditches. buy less string.

    Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by Fulthrotl; 05-15-19, 08:31 PM.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

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      #17
      Posts #3, 4 and 5 are the simplest way to go as long as it's clear of brush and up and down hills. The laser and compass isn't a bad idea either.

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        #18
        I think Roger has the simplest idea in post 2. Pick a point on the horizon and walk towards it.
        If Billy Idol is on your playlist go reevaluate your life.

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          #19
          Go to the hardware store and get a package of the white flags used to mark an 'invisible fence'. Walk the proposed route, landing a flag in the ground every 10 feet. When done, stand back and look. If any flag is 'out of line', go adjust it to where it needs to be.

          Leave the white flags in place to mark the route for when you call 811/One-Call.

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            #20
            Someone asked why it needed to be straight, remember that the 360 degrees worth of bends is not just 90's or what ever, in 400' I've seen lots of runs that could possibly have more bending than allowed.

            I have one now in a much shorter run that has 4 90's and a long radius bend. Now I don't have to pull it and I'm not that big of "you know what" to call that, but.......
            I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

            [COLOR=red]There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.[/COLOR]

            John Childress
            Electrical Inspector
            IAEI / CEI / C10
            Certified Electrical Inspector

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              #21
              Originally posted by romex jockey View Post
              [COLOR=#800000]I keep a close watch on UG’s of mine
              I keep my eyes wide open all the time
              I know most diggers can’t dig straight lines
              Because it's mine, I walk the line

              I find it very easy to transit, tape or string
              I find myself admitting it’s just not their thing
              Yes, I'll submit that I've a tool for you
              Because it's mine, I walk the line

              As sure as night is dark and day is light
              There's just no way to make two wrongs a right
              And litigation proves only deep pockets right
              Because it's mine, I walk the line

              They've given me these codes to keep by my side
              But none of them will matter if they want my hide
              And it's a given that i'll never turn that tide
              Because it's mine, I walk the line[/COLOR]


              ~R(w/apologies to the man in black)J~
              I know of at least 3 men in black (well, 5):

              Johnny Cash

              Roy Orbison

              Dread Pirate Roberts

              Smith & Jones

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                #22
                Originally posted by cowboyjwc View Post
                Someone asked why it needed to be straight, remember that the 360 degrees worth of bends is not just 90's or what ever, in 400' I've seen lots of runs that could possibly have more bending than allowed.

                I have one now in a much shorter run that has 4 90's and a long radius bend. Now I don't have to pull it and I'm not that big of "you know what" to call that, but.......
                around here, da POCO requires 12' radius sweeps underground, as it doesn't count as a 90 to them,
                so they end up with two 90's, one at each end.

                the real reason we are limited to 4 90's is that the electricity gets dizzy if it turns too much.
                remember it's going close to the speed of light, and sharp turns at that speed are upsetting.
                ~New signature under construction.~
                ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by Fulthrotl View Post
                  around here, da POCO requires 12' radius sweeps underground, as it doesn't count as a 90 to them,
                  so they end up with two 90's, one at each end.
                  Some years ago, I was upgrading the electrical at a marina and the PoCo wanted to move some transformers in the process. They sent a 4-man crew out to do the work. They installed a 2" conduit from where the old transformer was to where the new location would be (this is a city owned PoCo). As they finished the conduit work and before they started to backfill, I mentioned to the foreman that 6 90's was a little much to be pulling through. Of course I got the I know what I'm doing routine stay out of my business.

                  Well, I had a good chuckle when they had to dig down and find the 90 they were hung up in. I think they used a steel cable to pull their wire and it burned through a 90 (I believe it was the 5th on from where they started their pull) and the pulling stopped when the conductors got there (5th 90). I really enjoyed watching that know it all deal with this, but had sense enough to mind my own business at that moment.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by oldsparky52 View Post
                    Of course I got the I know what I'm doing routine stay out of my business.
                    Master Electrician
                    Electrical Contractor
                    Richmond, VA

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by Fulthrotl View Post
                      get some form string.
                      drive a stick at each end of the run.
                      pull the string tight between them.
                      It's hard to go wrong with just the basics.

                      I once saw some guys trying to set up a laser to level the ceiling of a bathroom ( only about 6' X 8' ). There was a perfectly good 4 ft level right there. How much more level will you get with a laser ?
                      The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

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                        #26
                        deleted

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                          #27
                          I had to Ditch Witch a 900 foot trench for poco to run a gas line in, and since I could see the entire (flat) run plus another several hundred feet, I just put a tall stake in the ground at the end, and another 200 feet past the end. As I ran the machine, I just kept both lined up (sort of like the sights on a rifle).

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                            #28
                            The diggers around here stretch a string tight, and then walk down it spray painting marks. If you couldn't do it all in one shot, you may be able to break the run up into halves or thirds with the string method.

                            Originally posted by Barbqranch View Post
                            I had to Ditch Witch a 900 foot trench for poco to run a gas line in, and since I could see the entire (flat) run plus another several hundred feet, I just put a tall stake in the ground at the end, and another 200 feet past the end. As I ran the machine, I just kept both lined up (sort of like the sights on a rifle).
                            I've done similar with lining up a hood ornament on a Ditch Witch.

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by Barbqranch View Post
                              I had to Ditch Witch a 900 foot trench for poco to run a gas line in, and since I could see the entire (flat) run plus another several hundred feet, I just put a tall stake in the ground at the end, and another 200 feet past the end. As I ran the machine, I just kept both lined up (sort of like the sights on a rifle).
                              Most electrical runs yes, get a reference point on your machine and keep it pointed at a target. If you need precision then you may need a string, but that kind of precision often isn't needed on electrical runs. Building footing trenches- yes.

                              For other utility locating - if your proposed path is close at all to an existing utility - they generally will locate anything within 20 or depending on circumstances even within 100 feet of your proposed path.
                              I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

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