Digging a trench by hand?

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Wannaretireearly
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

I had two electrical lines put in recently in my garden. 18-24 inch trenches roughly about 20-25 feet long, each trench.

Contractor charged me what was his labor cost only: $700. Said the normal cost would be around $2k (incl his profit etc).

Do you have other work to do in the garden? Perhaps club a few things together with the right contractor.
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tibbitts
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by tibbitts »

The best idea based on my personal experience: don't install a pool, above-ground or otherwise.
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tetractys
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by tetractys »

YeahBuddy wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:25 amI need a 25 foot long trench dug to run permanent electrical line to an above ground pool we are installing. The trench needs to be 18-24" deep and 6" wide to get the electrical conduit in the ground.

Do I give it a go? Or hire a pro? That rhymes. Bars. Thanks all.
This is not difficult; but do yourself the kindness of the right tools, a nice pointed trench spade, and a pick with mattock.
iskey
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by iskey »

rkhusky wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:21 am
There’s no need to do it in one go. An hour a day is fine.
Or maybe do 1 foot per day for 25 days. An hour of digging is too much for me!
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Candor
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by Candor »

That's an easy one day job with a shovel and a mattock if you are healthy. My father hand dug a similar trench of 120ft a couple of years ago at the age of 81 years old and he has had a hip and knee replacement.
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rule of law guy
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by rule of law guy »

I put in a 200 yard open drainage ditch with a friend, and he rented a trencher...like a big chainsaw that created a narrow trench. then we expanded it manually. as each spring went by the ditch got deeper and wider from snow melt runoff.
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spacemanspif
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by spacemanspif »

25 feet? The thought of hiring this out would not even cross my mind. Granted, I am still considered young by many at 50, but if you are in decent shape you would likely have this done in one day with some afternoon sun left.

I just spent the day with my 84 year old uncle this Saturday who lives on a 400 acre farm. The two of us cut down and stacked a half a dozen large trees. He still moves like a person 40 years younger than him mostly because he has always done this type of work daily. He is an inspiration to be around. He smiles while he works. He loves being outside. He does not need Ozempic.

He would dig the trench by hand as would I.
Grump99
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by Grump99 »

Glockenspiel wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 9:42 am You could do this so much more quickly using a trencher that you can rent from Home Depot or any other equipment rental place, for less than $100.
+1
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hand
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by hand »

I'm not doing it - get a trencher or get some savings with much less effort by subbing out yourself before the main scope of work begins.
MathWizard
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by MathWizard »

Up to age 45, I'd have done that with pick and shovel (and sawzall for roots).
Now at 66, I hire things done.

Slowly moved to hiring more done as time went by, and my net worth rose.

Renting equipment like a backhoe or trencher is an intermediate option.
Make sure you know how to get the equipment off a trailer easily.
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firebirdparts
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by firebirdparts »

Trenching with a machine is super easy and you'll be done in 30 minutes provided that you don't have some big rock right in the way. Totally worth it. I do everything myself and no way I would dig a trench just by hand, I don't think. I would rent.

I think everybody everywhere should rent a skid steer loader once a year and move dirt just for the general effect on your well-being. A ditch witch has maybe half as much therapeutic effect but that's not bad.

I have a shovel that is about 4" wide made just for cleaning out your trench also. Long handle. The ditch witch lets some loose dirt fall back in there.
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by spacemanspif »

I think everybody everywhere should rent a skid steer loader once a year and move dirt just for the general effect on your well-being. A ditch witch has maybe half as much therapeutic effect but that's not bad.
Well said. Sure, college and the fancy suit wearing job has been good for my net worth. But nothing does a better job of repairing the damage of the 9-5 to my male psyche the way a few minutes of hydraulics and diesel engines can. Tonkas for adults.
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by spacemanspif »

I think everybody everywhere should rent a skid steer loader once a year and move dirt just for the general effect on your well-being. A ditch witch has maybe half as much therapeutic effect but that's not bad.
Well said. Sure, college and the fancy suit wearing job has been good for my net worth. But nothing does a better job of repairing the damage of the 9-5 to my male psyche the way a few minutes of hydraulics and diesel engines can. Tonkas for adults.
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Toons
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by Toons »

"That Which Doesn't Kill Me,Makes Me Stronger"
Dig It
Smile Your Way
Thru It
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AllMostThere
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by AllMostThere »

YeahBuddy wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:25 am I need a 25 foot long trench dug to run permanent electrical line to an above ground pool we are installing. The trench needs to be 18-24" deep and 6" wide to get the electrical conduit in the ground. I called dig safe. I'm getting quotes from contractors of "at least $2,000" and another quote of $3k cash or $3,500 check. I received a cheaper quote but he's not calling back now.

This seems very expensive so I'm considering doing this myself. Has anyone done this? I'm in good shape, lift weights and do cardio several times a week, but would be cautious as I have had a previous back injury from shoveling snow/lifting weights. Digging through the grass is somewhat easy. The challenging part is the initial 15 feet I would need to break through poured hot top walkway/patio material. Sledge hammer time!? Also, our soil tends to have lots of rocks. Then I'll need to backfill once work is completed.

We are already spending ~ $10k on pool + install and another $4k on a pool heater and probably upgrading from 100A to 200A service. Now this.

Do I give it a go? Or hire a pro? That rhymes. Bars. Thanks all.
Yes, I agree this is excessive. Yes, I have done exactly this to run power from house to a new garage. The ground was cement hard, but doable. I used a shovel with a long thin blade:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-28-in ... /315067731

Start the dig after a good rain to help soften up the ground a little and/or hose it down good. Do it over multiple days to prevent over doing your back. Alternative would be:

1) Join nextdoor app and place a help needed post for a high school or college age kid to help out. Mine is loaded with kids asking for work.
2) If not bashful of power tools, rent a 24" trencher and do it yourself. These are powerful machines, so maybe have a helper there to ensure no issues. You will still need a shovel to finish up and some hand saws/axes for tree roots.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/rental/Barr ... /316821460

Also, pray there are no old foundations and/or cement slabs buried under the topsoil. :oops:
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iamlucky13
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by iamlucky13 »

YeahBuddy wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:25 am I need a 25 foot long trench dug...I'm getting quotes from contractors of "at least $2,000"...

This seems very expensive so I'm considering doing this myself. Has anyone done this? I'm in good shape, lift weights and do cardio several times a week, but would be cautious as I have had a previous back injury from shoveling snow/lifting weights.
You know your own limits and your finances (and your soil) better than I do, but I would do this myself versus quotes even 1/4 that price. I think the trench I dug between my house and my garage was about 20 feet, and the hardest part about that wasn't the digging. It was getting deck boards out of the way despite paint filling the recesses of all the screws.

I would buy a dedicated trenching shovel. If the soil is particularly hard, a pick mattock is also helpful.

I wouldn't personally bother with renting a trencher for 25' long x 2' deep, but that's up to you. As a very rough estimate, I would expect to spend 1-2 long afternoons scoring and breaking up concrete enough to pile out of the way. Then I would spend another 2 or 3 afternoons digging, based on my experience in the local soil (glacial hardpan with a moderate amount of rocks, mostly less than 4 inches), or most of a Saturday using a trencher, 3/4 of which would be picking up and dropping off the rental and figuring out how to run it.
YeahBuddy wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:25 amThe challenging part is the initial 15 feet I would need to break through poured hot top walkway/patio material. Sledge hammer time!?
What is "hot top?" With enough patience, a large chisel and sledge can break up concrete or asphalt, but concrete in particular can be very hard to break up this way. If there's more than an oversized paver or two to go through, I would buy a masonry blade for my circular saw to score it as deep as the blade will reach and then use the sledgehammer and chisel and/or prybar to break the pavement apart along those score lines.

A circular saw won't cut as deep as the Stihl concrete saw someone linked to upthread, but it is cheaper and easier to handle. 7 inch diamond blades are reasonably priced and last a long time. 7 inch abrasive blades cost less than a latte, and you might need a couple of them. You would want to score deep enough to cut through any rebar that might be present.

Cutting masonry generates a LOT of very fine dust. Keeping a low flow of water along the cut can help control the dust, but I would definitely wear a mask to avoid breathing in all that abrasive material.
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by iamlucky13 »

barnaclebob wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 10:55 am Why 24" deep?

https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/wha ... cal-cable/

Just a note thats not clear in the article for the 6" option. Rigid Metal Conduit (RMC), is different than Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) which is typically whats sold at Lowes or Home Depot. Its also unclear how long RMC will actually last underground depending on the corrosiveness of your environment.
If I remember right, in my state 6 inch depth is only permitted with both RMC and at least 4 inch thickness of pavement.

Regardless, I personally will ALWAYS bury at least 18 inches deep if possible. I don't want to worry about hitting anything if I'm going to plant a shrub or any other routine yard task.

Whenever fiber internet comes to my neighborhood, I'm installing conduit 18-24" deep myself prior to install.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by SmileyFace »

Rocks would be my concern.
What if you hit a rock the size of a small car? Even watermellon sized rocks could take 2 or 3 people to get out of the ground so you might need to grab a freind or neighbor to get the large rocks out.
creme_gold
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by creme_gold »

I would dig it with a spade. Probably 5 feet a day over a week, 2 hours per day. You’ll be making $200 per hour tax free. It shouldn’t be that tough. I live in an area with glacial till and have done similar digs for shrubs and a patio. I have a rather impressive rock pile.
tibbitts
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by tibbitts »

Question for pool experts: isn't it possible to bring the water to the pump/filter vs. bringing the pump/filter to the water? In other words use an existing electrical connection. In retrospect I didn't explore this possibility for my pool but would have if I had to do it over.
retire2022
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by retire2022 »

Op Have you checked with your home insurance or umbrella coverage regarding a pool (safety ie children drowning) and possible coverage on the pool?

Your insurance will go up, and it there is an electrical fire from this project, will your insurance covers this? if so, I would leave the work to the professionals as they would be liable for construction and workmanship. I am not saying you are not qualified, but it is better to have third party contractor.

apologies in advance for being a chicken little.
iamlucky13
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by iamlucky13 »

retire2022 wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:44 pm Op Have you checked with your home insurance or umbrella coverage regarding a pool (safety ie children drowning) and possible coverage on the pool?

Your insurance will go up, and it there is an electrical fire from this project, will your insurance covers this? if so, I would leave the work to the professionals as they would be liable for construction and workmanship. I am not saying you are not qualified, but it is better to have third party contractor.

apologies in advance for being a chicken little.
Electrical work needs to be done according to local regulations, which typically just copy the National Electric Code.

Digging the trench isn't electrical work. It's precursor work that enables the electrical work. Anybody who knows how to use a shovel and calls before they dig is qualified to do this.

Incidentally, this excludes all of the extras from the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indiana Jones discovered the Well of Souls. The extra's swinging their tools around like they've never even seen a shovel before always makes me laugh. :twisted:
random_walker_77
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by random_walker_77 »

Personally, for this length, I'd just dig it, but that's because I own this demolition hammer and the wide scraping chisel. That has enabled me to dig into solid limestone. It'll easily cut through rocky soil, heavy clay, or rocks, and can work through thick concrete and presumably asphalt (there's an optional asphalt cutter head that might be useful). There's a spade attachment, but since I have the wide chisel, I probably wouldn't even bother with that. You wouldn't be using this heavy tool to lift the dirt, only to loosen it for easy shoveling, so I don't know that the spade head would be all that useful

https://www.amazon.com/XtremepowerUS-22 ... B00IO3Z5MS

That said, someone who has back issues from shoveling snow should probably hire this job out.
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vnatale
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by vnatale »

Tycoon wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:50 am Only 25'. My 86 year old neighbor could do that with a drain spade and it wouldn't take him half a day.
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vnatale
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by vnatale »

Candor wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 2:11 pm That's an easy one day job with a shovel and a mattock if you are healthy. My father hand dug a similar trench of 120ft a couple of years ago at the age of 81 years old and he has had a hip and knee replacement.
Somewhat two ways to read what you wrote.

Presumably you mean he did this after a hip & knee replacement.

Alternative reading is that doing the work caused the hip and knee replacements!
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Sandtrap
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by Sandtrap »

YeahBuddy wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:25 am I need a 25 foot long trench dug to run permanent electrical line to an above ground pool we are installing. The trench needs to be 18-24" deep and 6" wide to get the electrical conduit in the ground. I called dig safe. I'm getting quotes from contractors of "at least $2,000" and another quote of $3k cash or $3,500 check. I received a cheaper quote but he's not calling back now.

This seems very expensive so I'm considering doing this myself. Has anyone done this? I'm in good shape, lift weights and do cardio several times a week, but would be cautious as I have had a previous back injury from shoveling snow/lifting weights. Digging through the grass is somewhat easy. The challenging part is the initial 15 feet I would need to break through poured hot top walkway/patio material. Sledge hammer time!? Also, our soil tends to have lots of rocks. Then I'll need to backfill once work is completed.

We are already spending ~ $10k on pool + install and another $4k on a pool heater and probably upgrading from 100A to 200A service. Now this.

Do I give it a go? Or hire a pro? That rhymes. Bars. Thanks all.
Call around to the local contractor equipment supply centers.
Not sure of your logistics, close to a wall, home, soil type, flat or hilly, and you skills, and what's in the ground already to look out for (call for blue stake service/utilities, etc) before digging.
You will have to do manual digging and cleaning the trench up with a trencher, depending on the size of your conduit, or if direct burial.
You can use a mini excavator and get a 6 inch wide bucket, really tiny. Get one with a blade in front to cover up and smooth things over after.

Doing it by hand.....for many, including myself, even when young or professionally...is never an option.
You mention "PREVIOUS" back injury". So, ....is that common sense to risk disc herniation, etc etc, on an already compromised spine from previous injury? (not medical advice but sensible vs non sensible logical advice to prevent a lifetime of suffering because of 1 second digging the earth.

Rent a machine. Have fun with it. Look around your property for what else needs to be done with it. Maybe you can rent a mini excavator with a blade for a week from a contractor center and get a lot of things done.

j :D
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exodusNH
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by exodusNH »

YeahBuddy wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:25 am I need a 25 foot long trench dug to run permanent electrical line to an above ground pool we are installing. The trench needs to be 18-24" deep and 6" wide to get the electrical conduit in the ground. I called dig safe. I'm getting quotes from contractors of "at least $2,000" and another quote of $3k cash or $3,500 check. I received a cheaper quote but he's not calling back now.

This seems very expensive so I'm considering doing this myself. Has anyone done this? I'm in good shape, lift weights and do cardio several times a week, but would be cautious as I have had a previous back injury from shoveling snow/lifting weights. Digging through the grass is somewhat easy. The challenging part is the initial 15 feet I would need to break through poured hot top walkway/patio material. Sledge hammer time!? Also, our soil tends to have lots of rocks. Then I'll need to backfill once work is completed.

We are already spending ~ $10k on pool + install and another $4k on a pool heater and probably upgrading from 100A to 200A service. Now this.

Do I give it a go? Or hire a pro? That rhymes. Bars. Thanks all.
Depends on your soil!

I had to dig a 3x3x3 hole to address my sump pump backing up. The joker that owned the house before me trenched it to the side yard with a 1 1/4" PVC pipe into a "dry well" that consisted of bricks, from the foundation of carriage house he tore down, haphazardly tossed into the ground. I filled a rolling garbage bin full of bricks.

It took me two days to dig that hole.

But even in other parts of the yard, it's rock after rock after rock. It's a side effect of the last ice age and this land never having been cleared for farmland.

If you don't have that problem, you can try renting a trencher. You will be very, very sad if you try it by hand.
rogue_economist
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by rogue_economist »

Those quotes are absurd, I would definitely be going the DIY route for something that small.

I don't think renting the machine is even really required here, though it might help. The blacktop will be the worst, but it will go a lot easier if you work from one edge underneath it and remove the soil that is below, that way the blows from the top on it will not just transfer into the ground.

Two other DIY tools I've used for trenching are a rototiller and water. Even with very hard soil, a high pressure jet of water can cut material quickly and soften things up. You can use a hose or a pressure washer if you have one. But wear eye protection! The rototiller helps loosen material to be scooped out.

There is nothing wrong with doing some physical activity, its good for the body as long as you don't do it wrong. Work smart not hard.
white_water
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by white_water »

Dug a trench 120' x about 18 " x pitched to deepest at 36" most 20-24 " " a year ago fall. Took about 5 days digging in AM when it was cool. 79 yrs old then, not a gym rat. Slept well though. Ran into less rocks than expected. Quite a few roots and construction trash encountered.

I wouldn't have attempted this but had family trip scheduled and could find nobody willing to work.
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YeahBuddy
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by YeahBuddy »

Billionaire wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:23 am What are you trying to prove?
That I'm not a billionaire? And $3,500 is very expensive for us peasants.
Light weight baby!
chinchin
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by chinchin »

Don't you have to check if there are underground cables? Maybe that is part of the quote. I have no idea what they would use, but I would imagine maybe ultrasonic sensors or metal detectors?
not financial advice
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by lazydavid »

chinchin wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:11 am Don't you have to check if there are underground cables? Maybe that is part of the quote. I have no idea what they would use, but I would imagine maybe ultrasonic sensors or metal detectors?
Most states will have a free marking service. In Illinois it is called JULIE. You call or put in a ticket online at least a few days before you dig, and all your local utilities will come out and mark their cables/pipes for you.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by SmileyFace »

tibbitts wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 5:42 pm Question for pool experts: isn't it possible to bring the water to the pump/filter vs. bringing the pump/filter to the water? In other words use an existing electrical connection. In retrospect I didn't explore this possibility for my pool but would have if I had to do it over.
Depends on pool location.
If the pump is far away from the pool to get it closer to power source you will still need to run the water underground across the yard - trench still needed albeit maybe not as deep. AND, since the water pipes are longer, the pump will run less efficiently if it is farther away from the the pool. And in places where freezing is a concern- with more piping you need to anti-freeze during the winter. Usually better to get the electricity out to where the pump should be.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by SmileyFace »

lazydavid wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:33 am
chinchin wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:11 am Don't you have to check if there are underground cables? Maybe that is part of the quote. I have no idea what they would use, but I would imagine maybe ultrasonic sensors or metal detectors?
Most states will have a free marking service. In Illinois it is called JULIE. You call or put in a ticket online at least a few days before you dig, and all your local utilities will come out and mark their cables/pipes for you.
The OP said "called dig safe". Dig Safe is the term used in many states for this service so OP has done what you and chinchin are asking.
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by Tundrama »

YeahBuddy wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 7:25 am I need a 25 foot long trench dug to run permanent electrical line to an above ground pool we are installing. The trench needs to be 18-24" deep and 6" wide to get the electrical conduit in the ground. I called dig safe. I'm getting quotes from contractors of "at least $2,000" and another quote of $3k cash or $3,500 check. I received a cheaper quote but he's not calling back now.

This seems very expensive so I'm considering doing this myself. Has anyone done this? I'm in good shape, lift weights and do cardio several times a week, but would be cautious as I have had a previous back injury from shoveling snow/lifting weights. Digging through the grass is somewhat easy. The challenging part is the initial 15 feet I would need to break through poured hot top walkway/patio material. Sledge hammer time!? Also, our soil tends to have lots of rocks. Then I'll need to backfill once work is completed.

We are already spending ~ $10k on pool + install and another $4k on a pool heater and probably upgrading from 100A to 200A service. Now this.

Do I give it a go? Or hire a pro? That rhymes. Bars. Thanks all.
…wow, kinda looks like you are advertising for a Daisy May convention.

Do it yourself. Have some pride unlike some of these posters worried about breaking a nail; embarrassing.
I’m certainly not opposed to renting a trencher but I did this exact job last fall with a shovel and pick. I’m 59, and a two comma guy. I still care about 3k as I won’t burn money either.

I’m building my own home, 99%, other than rough electrical and plumbing. In my experience, most contractors over charge and do less quality work than you can do yourself…if they even show up as promised.

…heck, if ya go for a run today, you may have a heart attack and croak.

Lordy, what has happened to good ole fashion work ethic??? I’m happy you are asking. Get it done!
Tundrama
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by Tundrama »

YeahBuddy wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 6:46 am
Billionaire wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 8:23 am What are you trying to prove?
That I'm not a billionaire? And $3,500 is very expensive for us peasants.
…”what are you trying to prove?”

Hmmm, I’d not let Billionaire mentor a squirrel with that attitude.
andypanda
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by andypanda »

Digging in our neighborhood is about like trying to dig through a wall built of our fine old red Virginia bricks. The clay may change color as you get deeper and deeper into the hole, but it's all rock hard. And if it's wet it's hard, heavy and sticks to your shovel and your boots. Oh well. I've taken down some trees and dug up some huge bushes and some them had all the roots on the surface because they couldn't penetrate down.
andypanda
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by andypanda »

For those with no experience in clay, here's a random pic of a trench in New Jersey.

Image
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by lazydavid »

SmileyFace wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:54 am The OP said "called dig safe". Dig Safe is the term used in many states for this service so OP has done what you and chinchin are asking.
I wasn't asking, just providing some info. Thanks for bringing it all back full circle.
masuhada
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by masuhada »

Digging a hole | Nate Bargatze - YouTube

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surfinagin
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by surfinagin »

I did a similar project about 4yrs ago, in my early 60's.
Satisfying.
If you've got the time and inspiration there's nothing to lose, start digging and see how it goes -not an irreversible decision.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by SmileyFace »

lazydavid wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:21 am
SmileyFace wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:54 am The OP said "called dig safe". Dig Safe is the term used in many states for this service so OP has done what you and chinchin are asking.
I wasn't asking, just providing some info. Thanks for bringing it all back full circle.
Got it - And I was providing info that the OP already knows to do this and did so :D
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dknightd
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by dknightd »

If I was installing an above ground pool. I would probably use above ground power supply.

aka an extension cord. That could be easily unplugged. I would not bother digging a trench.
Retired 2019. So far, so good. I want to wake up every morning. But I want to die in my sleep. Just another conundrum. I think the solution might be afternoon naps ;)
tibbitts
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by tibbitts »

dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:58 am If I was installing an above ground pool. I would probably use above ground power supply.

aka an extension cord. That could be easily unplugged. I would not bother digging a trench.
That may be a code compliance issue, I'm not sure, but I don't think it's practical to plug and unplug daily. What will you do when you're gone for days at a time?
dknightd
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by dknightd »

tibbitts wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:14 am
dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:58 am If I was installing an above ground pool. I would probably use above ground power supply.

aka an extension cord. That could be easily unplugged. I would not bother digging a trench.
That may be a code compliance issue, I'm not sure, but I don't think it's practical to plug and unplug daily. What will you do when you're gone for days at a time?
If I was not going to be around to use it. I'd probably unplug it.
I would probably bury the cord to avoid tripping hazard.
Retired 2019. So far, so good. I want to wake up every morning. But I want to die in my sleep. Just another conundrum. I think the solution might be afternoon naps ;)
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SmileyFace
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by SmileyFace »

dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:22 am
tibbitts wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:14 am
dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:58 am If I was installing an above ground pool. I would probably use above ground power supply.

aka an extension cord. That could be easily unplugged. I would not bother digging a trench.
That may be a code compliance issue, I'm not sure, but I don't think it's practical to plug and unplug daily. What will you do when you're gone for days at a time?
If I was not going to around to use it. I'd probably unplug it.
I had a neighbor at my first house that did this. He actually had no outside electricity whatsoever so ran a long extension cord out a window of his house. It might be against code in the state of the OP but definitely something that should be considered for Above-Ground (I was thinking this was inground initially). My neighbor was only planning on keeping the pool when his children where young so took some shortcuts.

OP: you are buying a $4K Heater for a $10K above ground pool? Maybe skip the heater and use the money to have the trench dug. Tell your family to suck-it-up and enjoy the cool water :) Getting a good solar cover can help.
We had a heater for our pool (although it was inground). We used it a lot the first few years but after that - if the water was too cold for family wanting go swimming such that the heater needed to be turned on - the air was also too cool for anyone to have the desire to go swimming. We barely used it after the first few years and I eventually removed it. Desire to go swimming was lost during cooler temperatures and pool was warm enough during warmer temperatures. Heater was not needed.
flarf
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by flarf »

The caloric expenditure from nearly 100 posts worth of keystrokes would have dug most of this trench.
lazydavid
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by lazydavid »

dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:58 am If I was installing an above ground pool. I would probably use above ground power supply.

aka an extension cord. That could be easily unplugged. I would not bother digging a trench.
No way in hell I'd string an extension cord across my driveway and lawn to a permanently installed fixture that draws 15A for several hours every day. This is one of the sillier things I've read on BH.
dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:22 am If I was not going to be around to use it. I'd probably unplug it.
I would probably bury the cord to avoid tripping hazard.
It just gets better and better. So now we're burying a cord that is not approved for burial. And "burying" necessarily implies "digging", so now we're just back to a far less safe version of square one.
cheesepep
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by cheesepep »

When I was young, my family had a rental property with a septic tank. My dad, being cheap, hired the family to dig it all up. Something like 45 feet long, 6 feet deep, and maybe 2 feet wide, all for free. So yes, it is possible.
tibbitts
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Re: Digging a trench by hand?

Post by tibbitts »

dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:22 am
tibbitts wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 9:14 am
dknightd wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:58 am If I was installing an above ground pool. I would probably use above ground power supply.

aka an extension cord. That could be easily unplugged. I would not bother digging a trench.
That may be a code compliance issue, I'm not sure, but I don't think it's practical to plug and unplug daily. What will you do when you're gone for days at a time?
If I was not going to be around to use it. I'd probably unplug it.
I would probably bury the cord to avoid tripping hazard.
I think you can go for several days without the pump running but after a week or so wouldn't the water have severely deteriorated?
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