Warning Tape FOr Underground Conduits

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infinity

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Location
New Jersey
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Journeyman Electrician
Even service entrance conductors in conduit would not require the tape unless it was a POCO specification.
 

Dennis Alwon

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Location
Chapel Hill, NC
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Electrical Contractor
Even service entrance conductors in conduit would not require the tape unless it was a POCO specification.
I was getting ready to argue that but section 300.5 (D) does state direct buried conductors and cables. Taken alone 300.5(D)(2) looks like the ribbon is needed even in conduit.
 

infinity

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New Jersey
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Journeyman Electrician
I was getting ready to argue that but section 300.5 (D) does state direct buried conductors and cables. Taken alone 300.5(D)(2) looks like the ribbon is needed even in conduit.
I would think that maybe that's the intent but the words are only in support of buried conductors and cables not conduits. 300.5(A) differentiates that cables, conduit and buried conductors are not the same. Part (D) does not say conduits.
 

Joethemechanic

Senior Member
Location
Philly Pa burbs
As a guy who sometimes operates a backhoe, i can tell you required or not, a piece of tape in the trench is always appreciated when I find it at a later date. You never know, It might be you looking for that buried wire a couple of years from now.
 

Hv&Lv

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-
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Engineer/Technician
At somewhere around 10 cents per foot, it is a cheap safeguard. We put tape over everything we bury, and we don't direct bury either. I wouldn't waste the money on detectable tape.
 

horsegoer

Senior Member
Location
NJ
At somewhere around 10 cents per foot, it is a cheap safeguard. We put tape over everything we bury, and we don't direct bury either. I wouldn't waste the money on detectable tape.
Direct bury MV I can understand but why would you do that for all other especially if installing thousands of feet and not required
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
First thing just about every state has one call location centers so utilities need marked before you dig.

Private utilities are usually your responsibility to locate.

If you do a lot of digging you need your own locator - they save a lot of time in many ways. Even when phone company comes and marks their line but you have no idea how deep it is - you hook your locator on and find the depth yourself.

If using a backhoe marker tapes may be a little helpful - and if you unexpectedly find one maybe a lot helpful.

If using a trencher and you find marker tape coming out of the trench - you already damaged whatever it is marking.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Direct bury MV I can understand but why would you do that for all other especially if installing thousands of feet and not required
Why not? Why does it ONLY have to be done if required? From my point of view, we(POCO) have to guarantee our wire forever. If I install tape, and it keeps you from tearing our wire up, why not install it? It goes over everything, from MV cable to street lighting cable, and all will be installed in conduit.
From an electrical contractors point of view, I install the 3" tape(cheaper than the 6") just because I feel it is the professional way to do it. I use it as a selling point, and the owners usually appreciate it. Sometimes little things like that will sell a job over a competitor.

One other thing, like kwired stated, call centers are not responsible for locating private lines. That is the responsibility of the owners. Having tape in there is a big help when trying to find the cables with a shovel. Of course, if you have no idea they are there, then it is just luck if you find the tape without tearing out the wire, especially with a trencher. A backhoe might spare the cables if the tape is found first. The biggest problem is getting installers to put the tape at least 12" above the wire. It does no good if it is laid on the wire then buried.(Yes, I have found it this way)
 

Joethemechanic

Senior Member
Location
Philly Pa burbs
Just because you know something is buried there, doesn't mean the work stops when you are operating an excavator or a backhoe. Do you think you can just move 50 feet away if you need to dig for some other purpose?

Sometimes you gotta work close, and you can't trust everything to be "spot on" where it's marked.

You think just because there is some buried wire around here somewhere means you get to pack up your equipment, go home and still get paid?

It just don't work that way in the real world, equipment operators are under pressure to produce just like everyone else.
 
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