Can You Dig It?

Maybe you should use caution. A little reminder can help you determine if you are going flat out or being extra careful.

I hate to dig, I really do. Grad students at UWF archaeology digs have offered to put dirt on a shovel and hand it to me so they could get a picture of me “digging”, but it hasn’t happened yet.

At home, though, that’s another matter. Sometimes you have to do it. I have maybe 3900 feet of water line and hundreds of feet of electrical cables in the ground, so yeah, sometimes I dig a little. I just finished up the new ground mount I was telling you about and had to bury the conduit. There are lots of oak roots, but not so much room as to warrant a trip to Home Depot for a trencher rental. Oh, and there is stuff down there I don’t want dug up.

The first run, a water line to the house, I dug using a tractor and a breaking plow. There was no competition back then so I went back and forth a few times to get it deep. I FOUND that water line when I was planting posts to build the Solar Shed, and that experience firmly lodged itself in my memory. Later, I used a trencher to make a run from the Shed to the house. There was enough room in the corridor that I figured I could do this safely. It was a long trench and, as I have mentioned, I don’t like to dig. I guessed right and a direct burial cable and two conduits went in there.

The new array’s power cables come in almost at right angles to the old stuff and crossing, so I knew I’d have to be careful. I started out at the array and went at it like a wild man, or at least as wild as a man can be in this heat. As I approached the front door of the shed I was being very careful and, surely enough, I found the water line, working around it very gingerly. The power conduits were nearby. Everything was buried without mishap, but what if I get to the point someday where I have to hire someone who doesn’t know where everything is buried? Or if I start getting forgetful(er)?

A sign is an easy way. It may not be an exact road map, but it can warn you to be careful. Cheap insurance. I have another sign just like it at the power “dog house” behind the house.

By the way, if you have trenching to do by hand, use a trenching shovel. They are skinny and you only have to move the dirt necessary to bury a cable or pipe. A good hardware store will have them.–Neal

If you have roots, bring an ax, too.