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

winnie

Senior Member
Location
Springfield, MA, USA
Occupation
Electric motor research
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
Yea, you need to bury your scraps 8" above the connected cable :) :)
 

brycenesbitt

Senior Member
Location
United States
Forget marking tape.... how about tracer wire?
Direct bury for fiber cable is a short term win, long term loss, compared to multi duct conduit
that can have new fibers blown in as needed.

Notice the tracer wire integrated into the conduit:
FP.png
 

FionaZuppa

Senior Member
Location
AZ
Looks like new fiber run, on owner's dime ;)

I myself do usually put both tape and tracer wire for everything that is buried (with caveats). The extra costs paid for in job quote is not significant.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
To OP: in your photo do your job specs require you protect the grass with tarps, prior to digging?
No. The whole site has to be graded still. I’m pretty much at finished grade but they will drop some top soil over that area and plant new grass. Several places need to be cut down and some brought up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
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
Yeah, that’s a big No-No with us also
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
So tracer wire is fine, but how many people have tracing equipment? Encounter tracer wire? Encounter bid specs that require tracing first?
I do. Most contractors that I know who do similar work have the necessary tools.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
So tracer wire is fine, but how many people have tracing equipment? Encounter tracer wire? Encounter bid specs that require tracing first?
If you do this enough a locator is cheap. Cable hound or pipe horn can be picked up for less than $500 used.
I have 2 pipe horns, and a dynatel sheath fault locator picked up on eBay some time back. Separate purchases, but all three less than 1K
 

mwm1752

Senior Member
Location
Aspen, Colo
While I do agree a warning ribbon is appropriate for underground installations the OP requested why it was not used. To be clear the NEC does not require a warning ribbon to be installed for underground raceway service/feeder/or branch circuit. Only requires the depth to be maintained. If the specs on the job indicated a warning ribbon be place for these situations then I would say it was required to be installed. As an Inspector it is virtually impossible to see all trenching & fill in progress let alone come back after a foot of fill is set prior to a ribbon being placed. How many excavators in the real world stop jobs after a foot fill to wait for inspectors. A reliable contractor will communicate & document with pictures of additional engineering specs that exceed NEC compliance.
 

brantmacga

Senior Member
Location
Georgia
Occupation
Electrical contractor
While I do agree a warning ribbon is appropriate for underground installations the OP requested why it was not used. To be clear the NEC does not require a warning ribbon to be installed for underground raceway service/feeder/or branch circuit.
I was just ranting. Their specs required it. I know the engineer for that project (same engineer as my current project), and there’s a 0% chance he didn’t require detectable tape.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I was just ranting. Their specs required it. I know the engineer for that project (same engineer as my current project), and there’s a 0% chance he didn’t require detectable tape.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I have read several contracts that required detectable tape. Don’t like it. If it gets cut For whatever reason the continuity is gone.
I require tracer wire in our fiber runs, in electric lines there isn’t a point in detectable tape or tracer wire. Just marking tape.
Many locators now can dial in on the 60 hz and be within a couple of inches.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
While I do agree a warning ribbon is appropriate for underground installations the OP requested why it was not used. To be clear the NEC does not require a warning ribbon to be installed for underground raceway service/feeder/or branch circuit. Only requires the depth to be maintained. If the specs on the job indicated a warning ribbon be place for these situations then I would say it was required to be installed. As an Inspector it is virtually impossible to see all trenching & fill in progress let alone come back after a foot of fill is set prior to a ribbon being placed. How many excavators in the real world stop jobs after a foot fill to wait for inspectors. A reliable contractor will communicate & document with pictures of additional engineering specs that exceed NEC compliance.
In the sand we have in some areas here you don't fill just a foot, in fact you might be lucky to lay the pipe in before trench caves in. Is common to be laying pipe right behind the trencher/excavator and even then occasionally it will cave in close to machine and isn't in bottom of trench and you have to dig it back out to get it as deep as you want it.
 

jmellc

Senior Member
Location
Central NC
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
I always put tape about 12 inches above conduit if a deep bury, about halfway for a shallow one.

Why not do it? It may prevent damage later. At least someone tried.
 
Top