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  1. #31
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Bismarck Arkansas
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    I was away from my home in Crosby Texas for about 8 months and while I was gone a house was built next door. When we got unpacked and started turning on some lights that night, we found that half the house had electricity and the other half the lights would just barely glow. I got out a meter and checked the power coming into the house and found that one leg had 120 volts but the other only had about 30v coming in. The power company came out the following day and found that "someone" had snagged my cable damaging the insulation coming out of a junction box and going UG to my house. The power company unhooked it, gave me a section of the cable that showed the damage and ran me a temporary cable just laying on top of the ground. It was 75 feet from J box to my meter and a local contractor wanted $5,000 to run 4 new #4 aluminum wires. That is when I found out the contractor's name that built the neighboring house and had him come by for a look. I showed him the cables and he agreed to run the new wire to my house.

    Houston L&P would not allow any splices in any of the cables and since they cut all the wires,(only one was bad) I had to have all 4 new wires ran. It took about 29 days of the 30 allowed with the temp cable to get everything done and schedule when the contractor would be available with HL&P to make the tie ins but it finally got done.
    I almost fainted when they told me $5K to run 300 total feet of UG rated aluminum wire and only 70 feet of ditching as the last 5 feet went into conduit up the wall to the meter.
    The problem was just as the OP said, insulation just nicked thru to the bare wire and corrosion finally ate up the aluminum wire
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  2. #32
    Veteran Member
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    May 2013
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    2,253
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    Knox, In,
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    Ford 3400, Gizmow ZTR, Simplicity 7116H

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Fowler View Post
    I was away from my home in Crosby Texas for about 8 months and while I was gone a house was built next door. When we got unpacked and started turning on some lights that night, we found that half the house had electricity and the other half the lights would just barely glow. I got out a meter and checked the power coming into the house and found that one leg had 120 volts but the other only had about 30v coming in. The power company came out the following day and found that "someone" had snagged my cable damaging the insulation coming out of a junction box and going UG to my house. The power company unhooked it, gave me a section of the cable that showed the damage and ran me a temporary cable just laying on top of the ground. It was 75 feet from J box to my meter and a local contractor wanted $5,000 to run 4 new #4 aluminum wires. That is when I found out the contractor's name that built the neighboring house and had him come by for a look. I showed him the cables and he agreed to run the new wire to my house.

    Houston L&P would not allow any splices in any of the cables and since they cut all the wires,(only one was bad) I had to have all 4 new wires ran. It took about 29 days of the 30 allowed with the temp cable to get everything done and schedule when the contractor would be available with HL&P to make the tie ins but it finally got done.
    I almost fainted when they told me $5K to run 300 total feet of UG rated aluminum wire and only 70 feet of ditching as the last 5 feet went into conduit up the wall to the meter.
    The problem was just as the OP said, insulation just nicked thru to the bare wire and corrosion finally ate up the aluminum wire
    Insurance...


    NIPSCO dropped the lines to a duplex I own one winter during an Ice Storm, saying the problem was on my end while ignoring the branch across their 2 lines before the pole... Anyway, the cut and dropped the lines and wouldnt return until I 'fixed' the problem. Called insurance, and they paid to rerun my cable and have the power hooked then sued NIPSCO.

  3. #33
    Gold Member
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    Feb 2011
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    300
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    Oshkosh, WI
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    Kubota L3650, Bobcat 773

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    Quote Originally Posted by buickanddeere View Post
    New wire is recomended. It really isn't that expensive to run four conductors of #6 copper from the house to pole barn.
    Yeah, it is. Run either 2-2-2-4 or 2/0-2/0-2/0-4/0 aluminum mobile home feeder depending on future needs.

  4. #34
    Platinum Member the old grind's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Mid-Michigan
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    NH T-1520 HST, JD 5210 2WD, Terramite T5C

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    Let a neighbor use the back-hoe to bury his pet last year and he severed my UG phone line. Power Co guy replaced a section and sealed both splices with epoxy/cartridge 'kits' that resembled the silicone/PVC/cap setup mentioned above. I looked 'em over and was pretty impressed by the details. Wish I had asked if he knew where I could buy something like that.

    Here in MI conduit has become a code req as of a decade or so ago. Heat-shrink tubing seals to water repellant but if submersed is only temporary, and a gamble at best. btw: I've seen HS-tubed stake-ons with a goo inside for marine use, but it looked more like a silicone grease than a 'glue'. I hope the OP will be able to redo his run with something better next time. (Until then I'd use the silicone & PVC tube method, with a bleed hole midway between the caps to let air out as the silicone goes in.)

  5. #35
    Veteran Member
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    May 2013
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    Knox, In,
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    Ford 3400, Gizmow ZTR, Simplicity 7116H

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    Quote Originally Posted by the old grind View Post
    Heat-shrink tubing seals to water repellant but if submersed is only temporary, and a gamble at best.
    Heat shrink is about all you get with a well install now-a-days..

    -3a4038aa-927c-463b-b763-34b232a90535_300-a

  6. #36
    Platinum Member the old grind's Avatar
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    Mid-Michigan
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    NH T-1520 HST, JD 5210 2WD, Terramite T5C

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    Quote Originally Posted by Midniteoyl View Post
    Heat shrink is about all you get with a well install now-a-days..
    I do hope it's copper wire that you'd get with a well kit ... vs aluminum.
    -mdr-jpg

  7. #37
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    5,947
    Location
    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    I hate to admit it but I once did a repair like you're talking about. I bought the heatshrink kit and spliced in a new section of wire. I didn't like just heat shrink so I slid a piece of pvc conduit over the splices and then used automotive urethane used to seal windshields to seal up each end of the pipe. Of every sealant I have used none is as durable or lasts as long as it. Plus you can get fast setting so it'll dry in minutes so you can bury it much quicker than any other types of sealants.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  8. #38
    Gold Member smiley's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    437
    Location
    Upstate NY

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    Had to come back and reread this thread as we're putting in a new gravity feed well and I thought I knew pretty well where all underground utilities are but, used a metal detector as a precaution to mark out exact locations of the barn and satellite dish wires, plus visually located and marked water and sewer lines for a travel trailer hookup. I started digging my pipe trench and about 75 ft into the dig, up comes the broken barn wire on one tooth, SIX FEET from where it was marked out.
    I was totally mystified as to what the other detector hits in a straight line could have been until today. My wife remembered we had run a phone wire just 2 or 3 inches deep to the travel trailer. I guess I should have detected my entire centerline of trench!!
    Oh well I guess I'll get to see how these modern repair kits work.

  9. #39
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2008
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    Ontario Canada
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    Kubota R510, JD 6200, JD 770, Cushman 6150, Steiner 430 Diesel Max, Steiner 430 Max w Kubota Gas, Kawasaki Diesel Mule

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    I had a line of alluminum triplex (overhead) running up a steep hill and through a planted forest, just lying on the surface. It wasn't possible to do anything close to code for reasons of cost and this wire was free. Anyway, the conductors went under a roadway a couple of times in a plastic pipe which had filled with water. Over time, these overhead type conductors must have developed pin holes in the insulation, for they totally disintegrated. I just hate to think of the power wasted for many months in these unintentional immersion type heaters!

    It gave me a new respect about making buried connections.

  10. #40
    New Member
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    Upstate NY
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    SAME Mini-Taurus 60hp 4wd, Trenchman Backhoe

    Default Re: ? How to insulate/waterproof repaired underground power lines

    Industrial Toys,, very good that you bought up what happened to you....This confirms what BuickandDreere and I had previously posted.... There is no fix for electrical power wires which are buried or placed in conduit in the ground which do not have insulation which is specifically designed for that application... And that is the root problem here.... the wrong type of wire was used in the ground to begin with....

    West1

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