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Author Topic: Burying power lines  (Read 1650 times)
N0EE
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Posts: 4




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« on: April 19, 2008, 09:42:00 AM »

I am considering buying another house however the electric lines from the grid to the meter would be in the way of my antenna plans. Anyone here had experience in getting the power company to bury the line? What are your experiences, costs, etc in getting this done? It's not a deal killer, I could possibly do other things antenna-wise, but having the lines buried would be optimal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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W3LK
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2008, 07:22:40 PM »

Why not just call your utility and ask THEM?

There's no one here that can speak for your electric company with any authority.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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W6CD
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2008, 07:46:52 PM »

The cost can vary quite a bit, depending upon the age of the existing service and what has to be done to meet current power company requirements.  Best to contact the power company, as well as discuss with a couple local electricains as they may have ideas from experince as to how to minimize costs.
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K3AN
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008, 05:40:58 PM »

$2,637.55
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N1QOQ
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2008, 05:07:32 AM »

Buried service cables are a great way to "clean up" the house, as well as making room for antennas. It depends on you local utility. The NEC calls for an 18" burial depth 24" if the area is subject to vehicle traffic. I would always put the wire in conduit, though your utility will not always require this. The conduit would have to run from your current meter location to closest pole on your property. If you have to go under a road the cost can triple. It can be done without digging up the road, with a boring tool. The utility most likly will tell you to get an electrician to do this type of work. In MA a 200A underground service with, pipe, wire and seperate couduits for tel+catv is about $6 a foot not including excavation or the meter socket and panel. 73 Paul
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W3LK
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008, 06:15:57 AM »

Paul:

<< is about $6 a foot not including excavation or the meter socket and panel.>>

Does an underground installation require a different meter base and mounting than an above ground installation?

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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N1QOQ
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2008, 02:10:40 PM »

Lon

Usualy it does require a different socket. Down in CT with cl+p you might already have a larger socket. It all depends on what was used by the contractor that installed it. I usually use 3" sch40 electrical conduit. Most of my work is with National Grid. I believe CL+P wants 4". Every utility is a little different. 73 Paul
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W3LK
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2008, 05:01:23 PM »

I'm not planing on doing it. The lines don't interfere with my antennas and the pole the drop is on is across the street. Smiley

I was just curious if the meter installation for underground was different.

Thanks for the explanation.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
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K7PEH
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 06:20:25 PM »

I helped my dad build his monstrous house 38 years ago.  It had two separate 200 amp service panels (there was a main house and a guest house).

From where the service panels were located up to the street where the power was found (buried) was about 50 yards and on a slight slope.  We dug the ditch per the power company requirements which fit nicely with a ditch-witch digger.

I did the wiring to the service panel where the meters plugged in.  I made one mistake.  Since these cables were coming from underground, I ran the wires to the bottom connections of the meter slot in the panel.  Since meters were directional, this meant that the power meter would be upside-down to fit like that.  I had to rewire to hook to the top and I was very lucky that I had enough slack to do that.

The power company themselves did the connection up at the street level.  The transformer was just about 20 feet away and the power company did that dig.  I can't remember how much they charged but I remember that both my dad and I thought it was fairly low priced considering the time and work they did.
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N9AOP
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2008, 08:18:31 AM »

I did this in 1977 and am the only house on my block to do underground.  Outside of the power company running the line from the pole to the house, I had to change my service entrance from overhead to underground.  The telephone went along with it and I have no overhead wires and have been happy with this arrangement. Your power company will not only give you a quote but will also tell you what type of service entrance is required for them to hook up to.
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KG6WLS
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Posts: 507




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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2008, 03:33:18 PM »

In some cases the utility company can do that if you have justifaction as to "why" you want them underground, and if the overhead system is failing. Cost for such a project would involve money and inspections by the authorities.

Best bet would be to just deal with it. If the insulators on the utility poles are dirty and arcing across one another, noise on the recieve, etc. then call the power company out to fix it.

The last QTH that I owned had overhead feeds. The utility company had made improvements and added street lights. Guess what? The utilities went underground and it didn't cost me a thing. :-)

73
Mike
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