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

Installer

Senior Member
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.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Stand at point A, pick a landmark inline with point B and start walking. You can also use a compass.

Roger
 

mopowr steve

Senior Member
I’ve used a bucket of pull string. Drive a stake at each end of where you want to go, tie string to one end, tighten and tie off at other end, then run your marker along the string.
Cheap easy way to make a nice straight line. Finding someone who can run a trencher straight along that line........well maybe another story.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Take a laser level or pointer and set it at point A pointed at point B. Starting at point B, walk toward point A while verifying the laser dot is hitting you. Mark the ground with spray paint as you go. This procedure is best done when it's dark out.

A string will bow. A laser will not.
 

PaulMmn

Senior Member
I’ve used a bucket of pull string. Drive a stake at each end of where you want to go, tie string to one end, tighten and tie off at other end, then run your marker along the string.
Cheap easy way to make a nice straight line. Finding someone who can run a trencher straight along that line........well maybe another story.
It helps if you mow the grasses along the path of the string-- fewer snags to make the line crooked!
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
well at least its 1" SCH 40 conduit so I don't have too worry too much. Now if it was 12 inch SCH 80
Do you really think you will be able to achieve a perfectly straight conduit in a 400 foot underground run? Get close and put metallic burial tape in the trench, it can be located when ever needed.

Roger
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Exactly. Why does it need to be perfectly straight?? I've never even given that a thought with the miles of cable and pipe I buried. Get a pavement marker paint can and walking handle and start walking. Chances are you are going to have to go around something that's buried anyway.

-Hal
 

MAC702

Senior Member
He didn't say it needed to be perfectly straight. But, you do want to lay out a somewhat straight line for the backhoe operator. It's a lot easier to walk that line with the paint, than it is for him to just dig without it, especially since he may very well be driving backward while doing so. The idea in post #2 is usually more than sufficient.
 

romex jockey

Senior Member
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


~R(w/apologies to the man in black)J~
 

Fulthrotl

~~Please excuse the mess. Sig under construction~~
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.

diitch.jpg
 
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Knuckle Dragger

Master Electrician Electrical Contractor 01752
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.
 

480sparky

Senior Member
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.
 

cowboyjwc

Moderator
Staff member
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.......
 
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