To those that don’t use underground marking tape, why?

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
Especially when the jobs specs clearly state for you to do so. Why would you not?

I know I’m asking the wrong crowd.

Hit fiber twice today. Not marked in any location. Supposed to be. This was installed less than 5 years ago, and I’ve got a feeling they will go back to the original EC to pay for these repairs.

Just dumb.




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Most of not all of our fiber is directional bored and not trenched. As for not being located, is it public utility or private fiber? Doesn’t look like it’s in a right-of-way which leads me to thing it’s the property owners responsibility to locate.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Depends on who owns the fiber..
You say supposed to be.
got a ticket number?
I hate to say it this way, but with or without a ticket number marking tape isn’t required, and it’s not an excuse that will hold up.
it’s also hard to get in right when it’s directional bored or plowed in.
That being said, all our utility lines have marking tape 12-18” above the conduit, EXCEPT the conduits that are bored in.
We don’t direct bury anything.
 

tom baker

First Chief Moderator
Staff member
I used ug marking tape even when not required. Its difficult to get it at the right depth, requires dirch to be backfilled first for the tape, and then to grade.
I much prefer backfilling with sand around the conduit, positive indication you are close.
But the key is to call 811 for locates.
As built dwgs also help.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
Apparently my wording was not clear enough.

This is a relatively new install, and the job specs the original EC worked under required UG marking tape. They marked nothing, did not provide accurate as builts, and I hit their fiber run twice.

It’s private ...: this is a school job.


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kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
In past when excavating and you notice you disturbed marking tape, especially if you weren't expecting to hit anything, that tape often tells you what kind of utility you have already damaged.

Otherwise the advantage when you are expecting something to be there is that you know you must be getting somewhat close when you find the tape.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
[If] you notice you disturbed marking tape, especially if you weren't expecting to hit anything, that tape often tells you what kind of utility you have already damaged.

Otherwise the advantage when you are expecting something to be there is that you know you must be getting somewhat close when you find the tape.
That's about how it works. If you know there is going to be something there and you are digging carefully, the marking take will tell you when you get close. If you don't know if there is something, when you pull marking tape up it's usually too late.

-Hal
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Apparently my wording was not clear enough.

This is a relatively new install, and the job specs the original EC worked under required UG marking tape. They marked nothing, did not provide accurate as builts, and I hit their fiber run twice.

It’s private ...: this is a school job.


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In that case it’s the schools fault for not inspecting the job while it’s being back filled.
It will probably cost more in legal fees to go after the original EC if he’s already been paid in full.
If he’s not going to do the job to specifications he’s definitely not going to pony up and pay for the repairs on his shoddy work..
And yes, it’s a shame someone has to babysit grown men to make sure they do the job right.
 

sameguy

Senior Member
Location
New York
Occupation
Master Elec./JW retired
In that case it’s the schools fault for not inspecting the job while it’s being back filled.
It will probably cost more in legal fees to go after the original EC if he’s already been paid in full.
If he’s not going to do the job to specifications he’s definitely not going to pony up and pay for the repairs on his shoddy work..
And yes, it’s a shame someone has to babysit grown men to make sure they do the job right.
And will be the low bidder and get the next job at the school.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
In that case it’s the schools fault for not inspecting the job while it’s being back filled.
It will probably cost more in legal fees to go after the original EC if he’s already been paid in full.
If he’s not going to do the job to specifications he’s definitely not going to pony up and pay for the repairs on his shoddy work..
And yes, it’s a shame someone has to babysit grown men to make sure they do the job right.
I’d say the engineer should’ve caught it in their inspections, but there should also be a level of trust involved. There was also supposed to be two conduits left from the MDF for me to intercept for new fiber and systems, and we only found one.

Another interesting thing I found while digging: So this site I’m building out now is where the old high school sat (which I did not know until pre-con), and it was demo’d with the new school built next door.

At the pre-con meeting, their maintenance guy said to me, “I hope you know they buried a lot of the old building where you’re digging.” He wasn’t kidding. Right now I’m digging a 500’ trench for the new secondary. In two days I’ve made it 225’. I’ve been digging up brick, CMU’s, chunks of concrete, metal, cast iron pipe, PVC pipe, wire, etc.... We have a site meeting tomorrow to discuss the change order for at least 60 yards of dirt to haul in for backfill (potentially, we’ll see how the rest of the trench is). And that’s just the first trench. I’ve got about 2500’ of total trenching to do. There’s also lots of concrete visible in the sidewalls of my trench and there was talk of excavating the whole area.


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hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
At the pre-con meeting, their maintenance guy said to me, “I hope you know they buried a lot of the old building where you’re digging.” He wasn’t kidding. Right now I’m digging a 500’ trench for the new secondary. In two days I’ve made it 225’. I’ve been digging up brick, CMU’s, chunks of concrete, metal, cast iron pipe, PVC pipe, wire, etc....
And you are worrying about marker tape?

-Hal
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I’d say the engineer should’ve caught it in their inspections, but there should also be a level of trust involved. There was also supposed to be two conduits left from the MDF for me to intercept for new fiber and systems, and we only found one.

Another interesting thing I found while digging: So this site I’m building out now is where the old high school sat (which I did not know until pre-con), and it was demo’d with the new school built next door.

At the pre-con meeting, their maintenance guy said to me, “I hope you know they buried a lot of the old building where you’re digging.” He wasn’t kidding. Right now I’m digging a 500’ trench for the new secondary. In two days I’ve made it 225’. I’ve been digging up brick, CMU’s, chunks of concrete, metal, cast iron pipe, PVC pipe, wire, etc.... We have a site meeting tomorrow to discuss the change order for at least 60 yards of dirt to haul in for backfill (potentially, we’ll see how the rest of the trench is). And that’s just the first trench. I’ve got about 2500’ of total trenching to do. There’s also lots of concrete visible in the sidewalls of my trench and there was talk of excavating the whole area.


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I kinda got to agree with hbiss..
I believe I would hold up on digging until they get their plan together.

2500’.... campus network??
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I hit the fiber in my first 5’ of digging, so yeah that was the first thing to come up.


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Yeah, I could see where that would make you aggravated.
it is seeming to avalanche from there though..
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
I kinda got to agree with hbiss..
I believe I would hold up on digging until they get their plan together.

2500’.... campus network??
No, we won’t stop, I’ll keep digging while the client and GC sort the details on dirt.

Some of it is networking; there’s 1000’ fiber run to connect an equipment rack back to the school. This is a running track, football field, long jump pits, a support building (storage, restrooms, locker rooms) with fire alarm, cameras, PA system, sports lighting , etc.... There’s an additional 800’ fiber run now to replace what we hit. It was hit also by the site contractor installing storm drains the and conduit is wrecked underground.

I subcontracted out all the LV work but I’m running all the conduit systems.


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hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
Location
Hawthorne, New York NEC: 2014
Occupation
EC
“I hope you know they buried a lot of the old building where you’re digging.”
Reminds me of a very long time ago when I was laying cable for a cable company in a joint trench with power and telephone. I happened to be at a pedestal location same time as a grouchy old TELCO foreman. I brought my cables up out of the trench where my pedestal will be and I cut them to equal length, then threw the pieces into the trench. Immediately the foreman yelled at me "Hey! we don't throw our scrap back into the trench!"

A light went off in my head! Yeah, if someone has to dig and starts pulling up that scrap, they are going to figure that they snagged something and a whole lot of time and effort is going to be expended to find that they didn't.

-Hal
 
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