If you look up “ugly” in the dictionary, you might find a picture of power lines. As much as we appreciate what they do and bring to a building, they don’t look good. To top it off, they are also potentially hazardous, bringing the fear of electrocution in the case of heavy storms and falling branches.
Fortunately, there is a way to avoid the eyesore of power lines, and that is by digging trenches and burying them underground. This is the type of project that typically requires a permit and inspection, so be sure to get those boxes checked off before going any further.
Assessing Your Soil
Before you start digging trenches, you need to assess your soil type. If the soil is easy to dig into, you can dig deeper more easily. However, if your soil is difficult to work into, you won’t want to dig as deep. These factors impact the rest of your trenching process.
Mapping out the Path
You’ll need to determine the most efficient path from your home to your power access point. As with any sort of digging, make sure you aren’t running into any existing underground utilities. Also, the location of your underground electricity needs to be carefully documented and added to your home schematics.
Removing the Obstacles
If you’re lucky, the area that you need to trench will be devoid of any obstacles, like sidewalks or tree roots. In the more likely case, you will encounter some obstacles that need to be taken care of. That may leave you digging up or sawing out tree roots, taking the jackhammer to some concrete, or even having to divert your electrical trench around something easier to just go around.
Digging the Trench
Based on the assessment of your soil and the type of cable selected, your trench will need to be a specific depth. Those depths can range from 6-inches to 24-inches below the surface. Depending on the length and depth of your trench, you may benefit from the rental of a trench-digger (or by hiring a company that owns one). However, with smaller, shallower projects, a spade and shovel can often do the trick.