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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whoever installs underground conduits without leaving a pull rope installed ought to be drawn and quartered.

This happens from time to time, and today was my lucky day. An excavator installed the majority of the conduit from the xformer to some houses, and I finished the conduits to the meter cans. There was no pull rope installed when the pipe was laid, nor was either end capped in any manner. When I jammed a fish tape down either end, I discovered that the pipes were substantially full of mud. Without a pull rope, I couldn't even swab the pipes if I wanted to. I got a gigantic sewer auger and cleaned it out, after much frustration. I was nearly ready to call these conduits "abandoned".

Anybody run into this from time to time like I do? AND... what's your typical solution?
 

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mdshunk said:
nor was either end capped in any manner.
Leaving the end of any buried pipe unprotected is just plain stupid. I've put in lots of conduit without pull-rope and I've blown plenty of pull-rope through empty conduit without difficulty. But leaving it unplugged is inexcusable - with or without pull-rope.
We have a fitting that'll go on the end of a compressor hose that jets backwards - towards the hose. It kind of pulls itself in as it blows dirt back. It won't work in mud. Flushing with [lots of] water is about the most effective means of clearing a blockage. That requires a good dewatering pump or being able to 'daylight' the conduit trench.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did consider the flushing with water idea for a millisecond or two. In my case, I already had the conduits hooked up to meter cans at one end, and the other end was stubbed up inside of a live 7,200V padmount xformer. I didn't think that mixing muddy water with that would fall into the "good idea" category. It just an aggrivating situation that I should have never had to deal with.
 

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General Contractor
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I've seen our electricians using an air compressor and a nerf ball to fish pull ropes through conduits... worked pretty damn good. For smaller conduits they just tie a balled up wad of paper to. Of course, that would be tough with mud blocking the way :)
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hatchet said:
I've seen our electricians using an air compressor and a nerf ball to fish pull ropes through conduits... worked pretty damn good. For smaller conduits they just tie a balled up wad of paper to. Of course, that would be tough with mud blocking the way :)
Sure, blowing or sucking in a string is a fairly mundane task for an electrician. The mud was the unusual obstacle in my case.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really don't "let" the excavators do this. Sometimes the GC's let them or the excavator just does it. I'm not sure exactly how it evolves, but sometimes my conduits just "appear". I really don't care... except in the rare instance when they do the work in a manner that causes me trouble.
 
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