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cybmole
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cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

my VM cable from pavement to house goes under a front lawn and a path. it was laid years ago ( 2005?) and I have had no problems with it.. I can see the 2 ends_ there is  rubber? bung on pavement side and I see where the cable emerges at the houe wall  . I assume it runs in a straight line between those two points

 but that lawn needs aerating - and the aerating machine which greenthumb use cuts down 4 inches to make hollow tines.

 what is the risk of that aerating hitting/  damaging the virgin cable.?

 or to put it another way, if that cable has been laid properly , what depth are installers supposed to go to, and is the cable in a protective or armored sheaf.

 is there any easy way to assess how deep it is, without digging a  deep hole and maybe damaging it in the process ?

 should I just forego the aeration ?

 would the cable be detected by the gizmos workmen use to check if there is electric cable behind plaster before drilling, and can one of those measure depth ?

 I am tempted to say to greenthumb , do most of the lawn but not this bit and stand guard while they are working. The risk is that they show up and start poking holes without ringing the bell and without reading the don't dig here notes on the booking sheet

 

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chenks
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Message 2 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

the cable will be inside a plastic conduit, so there is "some" protection.
you won't know how deep it is unless you dig it up to check it.
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Timwilky
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Message 3 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

In my case, it is literately under the turf, I too need the lawn aerated. But cannot risk it. Guess I am one day going to have to bury it properly myself.  

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cybmole
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Message 4 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

i was hoping there might be some standard spec that installers work to, which would say bury  the cable at least  x inches below the surface.

 it survived having hard core under garden path bricks replaced a while back so it might be reasonably deep

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Andruser
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Message 5 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

Two options exist that you've already alluded to - I wouldn't give up on aeration just because nobody knows if VM's cable is properly buried.

One is a couple of very gentle test digs by yourself.  You know where the cable starts on the pavement side.  Lift a square of turf to ensure a tidy repair, then soak the soil to make it really soft, create a narrow trench across the probable path with a suitable soft digging implement to avoid cutting through the cable.  If you don't mind the liquid mess, you can probably "cut" the trench with the jet of a garden hose.   When you make the first contact you should be able to estimate the alignment, and then do another test a few feet away to see if the depth remains consistent.

Two (the option I took when Greenthumb aerated my lawn) is not to test dig, and just  go ahead with the aeration, chances are that the cable is at least 50% deeper than four inches, probably more.  If it isn't, then VM will have to fix it because it's their cable, and it clearly hasn't been installed at a safe depth when any reasonable expectation would be that homeowners would undertake normal gardening operations such as aeration, digging in plants, constructing new pathways or borders.

 

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Roger_Gooner
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Message 6 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

If you damage the cable it could take days or even weeks to get it repaired or replaced. I know people who get the jitters if they don't get their daily TV fix.

--
Hub 3.0, TP-Link Archer C8, TP-Link TL-SG1008D 8-port gigabit switch, V6
My Broadband Ping - Roger's VM Broadband Connection
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jpeg1
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Message 7 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

One of the wall cable detectors will show the location of the cable, unless it's so deep that it doesn't matter.

The cable will be more or less in a straight line. All you have to do is lay a string across the lawn over the position of the cable, and just avoid a few inches either side with your aerating tool.

Simples! 

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cybmole
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Message 8 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

thanks fro the reply, but the twin problems with your option 2 are

1. it would mean no internet, phone , or TV until we could get a man or two out from VM to put a new cable in a deeper trench. That may be a slower process than just getting someone  to swap out a hub or a tivo.. From what I have read elsewhere, the street to house cabling is done by a different team than the in-house setup and support.  If they need to break into council tarmac they may need to apply for permissions before they can start ?..

2. having a new trench done would make a worse mess of the lawn then simply not aerating that bit.

 I may quiz the greenthumb guys, who presumably have done lots of nearby lawns in front of VM cabled houses, as to whether they have ever hit one 

 [ this assumes greenthumb are actually interested in doing the work, we are an existing customer of theirs but  they are close to timing out on their promised 72 hour response to queries ]

Still hoping that someone somewhere will find the standing instructions for installers that say how deep to bury cables ( assuming such instructions exist) 

FYI the visible plug sealing where I think the pavement end is, is in council tarmac pavement so its not really practical to go poking around that.

 there is a rectangle of darker coloured tarmac that goes across 2/3rd of the pavement which may be where they originally excavated ( but honestly it was so long ago I CANT REMEMBER EXACTLY HOW THEY DID IT). Then just before the boundary of our garden there is a row of edging stones which I think are the councils. Our grass starts on the other side of those. What i think is an access point is in the darker tarmac, just in front of the edging stones. its a black circle about 1 inch diameter    so ROAD<_>TARMAC PAVEMENT <_>PLUG <_> INSET EDGE BORDER STONE-<_>OUR LAWN. I guess that VM have a cable running parallel to the road, under the tarmac, which they can tap into whenever they connect another house, and which goes to their local cabinet.

that cable must somehow go under at least one road also, as there's no green cabinet in our cul de sac. Fascinating once you start to think about how it all joins up - underground?. did they cable the area back in the 70s. when the roads were built - or later?

 

 

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cybmole
Community elder
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Message 9 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

PS . with option 1, you are advising a guy who once thought it was a smart idea to put extra nails & screws into some  landing floorboards and stop the creaks, before the carpet fitters turned up with the new carpet...

 One burst pipe and a flooded hall and  emergency plumber callout later, I vowed to be vary careful around other peoples pipes, cables....

 if its not visible and not broken , leave it alone !

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chenks
Community elder
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Message 10 of 17
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Re: cable under lawn - how deep, how safe

the cabling usually runs along the pavement, with "T" points for each property (or shared between two properties). the cabling then runs along the pavements until it gets to the nearest street cabinet.
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