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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Need Advice on Underground Pipe
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paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Oct 2018 19:41 - Edited by: paulz
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So today a utility truck pulled into my gate, I happened to be working close by. They are running fiber optic data cable down the road. If I dig a trench and put some pipe in the ground they will run a cable back towards my cabin. He said to use 2" schedule 80 pvc and bury it 18". It's about 200'
.
The fiber cable is small, like coax size from what I could see. Apparently some other people are using 1" pipe but he said it's harder to pull the cable through. This guy was not a tech guy, just some wire puller dude.

Is it a big deal what I use? ABS? Pex? Anything the cable will slide through? I don't plan to subscribe to the fiber network but it'd be nice to have it there for the future, and it's free if I do it now.

They, we went out to look at the telephone pole out front of my gate. It's just telephone, the power poles are across the street. Next to the pole there's a pipe sticking up. I have no idea where it goes, probably not where I would like but I'd like to know. How can I test it to find out?
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darz5150
Member
# Posted: 30 Oct 2018 20:51 - Edited by: darz5150
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Maybe blow compressed air into it, look/listen for the air escaping. You could also take a tape measure and stick it down the pipe. A tape measure always rolls up or bends one way. Maybe that would help figure out which way the pipe is running.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 30 Oct 2018 21:55
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Thanks darz. Air, good idea. I was thinking about water but I'd probably just end up with a pipe full of water.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 31 Oct 2018 09:42 - Edited by: paulz
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Have another idea on locating that existing pipe. I have one of those loud hand held boat air horns, might try blowing that into the pipe.

Also, a local electrical contractor is selling 20' sticks of 4" heavy wall pipe for a buck a foot, way less than 2" schedule 80 ($3 a foot).
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Borrego
Member
# Posted: 31 Oct 2018 10:39
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Why not just dig all the way from the pole to your house? 1-1/2" pipe should be ok, just don't use traditional elbows, use sweeps for ease of pulling cable.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 31 Oct 2018 10:46
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Thanks Bo, good advice on the sweeps. This is at my cabin property. From the street it's 200' flat that I can dig with my backhoe, then steep hillside for another 200' to the cabin. Hand digging only. He said he would coil enough cable at the end of the flat to get up the hill.

I sure don't need this, I have excellent 4G LTE at the cabin but you never know...I could end up with the first fiber optic cabin!

ColdFlame
Member
# Posted: 31 Oct 2018 11:16
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I would agree - if you have the opportunity, and the means to accomplish this, you should. My suggestion would also be to leave another pull string in that conduit (if not a couple), particularly if you end up using the 4" product... Again, it may not be needed, but it really doesn't add any additional cost and could be hugely beneficial at a later date.

Asher
Member
# Posted: 1 Nov 2018 12:15
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contact the company and ask, we are having fiber run down the road past our cabin. They contacted us and asked if it was OK to trench and run a line up to our cabin (even if we don't choose to sign up for it) for free. They would rather run it now since all the equipment is already there and save the cost and labor later on. Wouldn't hurt to contact the company and ask.

Also when they run this system, they don't just start at one end and run to the other.. They lay pipe in the easiest areas first and then piece them together after they trench the hard parts, so your pipe might not go very far right now.

Something else I learned, was use the biggest pipe you can afford, because if the ground shifts and ground pressure increases the pipe might deform and you don't want it to tight to damage the cable. This is the reason I had to bury 2.5" pipe for my electrical line, when industrial code allows for 2".

paulz
Member
# Posted: 2 Nov 2018 09:29
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Wow, sweet deal. I'll ask them today.

Yesterday we attempted to trace that existing pipe. Compressed air ran through so knew it wasn't plugged. Air horn didn't travel down the pipe. I ran a garden hose to it and pumped well water down. And pumped, and pumped. Got more hose and ran it down the pipe. Got over 100' down it, still pumping water. Can't find where it's coming out! So this morning the fiber guy is going to try his tracer.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 2 Nov 2018 17:06 - Edited by: paulz
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The plot thickens. The cable guys put their fiberglass rod tracer thingy down the pipe, it went down 5-10 feet then apparently started coiling around. Best guess is there is an underground tank of some sort, not 10 feet from the telephone pole. And I must have pumped 300 gallons in it yesterday. Would explain why is was so easy to shove over 100 feet of hose down there easily. What I can't explain is what a tank is doing right by the road. I have one of those cameras on a wire that hooks to a usb port, I'll try sticking that down there next.

They also said they will run the fiber cable free above ground from pole to pole if you have poles, or through a conduit if you have one, otherwise, you dig and put in the conduit. Which sounds like what I'll be doing next week.

slatecreek
Member
# Posted: 2 Nov 2018 21:03
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More than likely that tank is actually a vault for fiber optic cable splice points or the power company communications vault. We use them where I work to splice fiber optics from a Central point. The reason it kept taking water is they are often buried on a bed of gravel so they don't hold water.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 3 Nov 2018 07:05
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Why would there only be a 4 inch stub, no way to access the vault?

I called 811 a couple day ago and filed a ticket. They are supposed to notify the gas and telecom companies of my new trench, which will run right over this (I think) so if it's the case, they should tell me. I can't start digging there until Tuesday.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 7 Nov 2018 15:20
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The mystery unravels, some. Some spirited pick and shoveling uncovered this 'vault', as slatecreek predicted. I got pretty excited when I saw exit holes in all four walls, but a brief poke revealed them all to be blocked off. Why would they put this thing in the ground and not run anything to, or through it?

Anyhoo, looks like it's not going to help with my fiber conduit trench dig.
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darz5150
Member
# Posted: 7 Nov 2018 15:32
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Now you got a great storm shelter or bunker if ya need it.
I assume it wasn't full of water?

paulz
Member
# Posted: 7 Nov 2018 16:20
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Lol, ya I've been thinking there must be something to use it for. Maybe I'll hide in it and yell at the cars that go by. You can see the water level in the first photo. I didn't poke at it to see how deep it is. I'll do that when I clean it out to decorate.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 9 Nov 2018 17:42
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Got my 2" pvc pipe. The fiber guy says I need sweeps at the ends of my trench with a 24" radius so the cable doesn't bend too tightly. I see Home Depot has them with 9" radius. Ever see a sweep with a radius that big?

slatecreek
Member
# Posted: 10 Nov 2018 09:32
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Vaults like this are installed and then they core drill (they are usually concrete or fiberglass) later to tie into them. We do it all the time if we dig up an area and run conduits down a road. As the area develops, we can run a fiber in them and out to the new customers.

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