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I am the owner of a CCTV company located in Fresno Ca. I need to run conduit for CAT5 and 18guage power w/ 24vlts. It will be coming out of a main office and going across 600 ft grass , 3ft cement walkway, 15ft asphault, to get to a pole where i will then run it up about 15ft. The total length is about 600-800ft. I am having a company come out tomorrow and am just wondering is there anything I should be aware of?
Average of hours/days this might take?
Ball park figures of cost?
Any info would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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DGR,IABD
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The code does consider any underground conduit run to be a "wet location", even if the wire is in conduit. Oddly, the cable WILL get wet over time due to condensation. You MUST run flooded CAT5 or "icky pick" cable, and run the 18 gauge conductors out of a conductor type with a "W" in the lettering, such as THWN or THW or MTW. Doing anything less will result in failed cable in several years. I'm not sure what the load is on the end of that 24 volt run, but if it's more than 500milliamps, you're going to have VERY SUBSTANTIAL voltage drop. If you post the load amp or wattage, I can calculate the conductor size that you'll need up upsize to to eliminate voltage drop. If this if for tilt/pan type stuff, your motors will run much slower and run a bit hotter with the lowered voltage. I'd run #12 THWN conductors, at a minimum for that type of run for 600-800 feet, especially if your camera housing has the little heater to keep the glass from fogging.

Prices vary A LOT from localle to localle. In my area, trenching (with a ditch witch type tool) in grass is $1 a foot, plus rocks at time and material. Trenching in blacktop is $5 a foot, plus rocks at time and material. Boring or shooting under sidewalks is around 100 bucks for a 3 footer. Flooded cat5 is around 1.45 a foot, and #12 THWN is about .06 a foot. 3/4" pvc conduit is about .25 a foot. My totally ballpark guess, without looking at your job is about $3000 without any major problems with site access or rocks. Your price may be substantially more or a bit less. Replanting grass or fixing blacktop cuts is something I don't do, so I have no idea on that one. Any backhoe involvement drives the price up too.
 

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Think about getting a quote from someone who can put the stuff in without trenching. Directional drilling and pulling 'bore duct' will save a ton of restoration cost and, depending on the ground, can go very fast. I'm thinking $3K will be on the low end of the price scale.
 

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Other things to consider for long UG runs

MD is right on about everything he said about insulation and voltage drop and general cost. I would also agree that direct bore is a great option too. (They can install your pull line for you too) It's pricey and worth it.

A 600 to 800 foot run will be a real bugger to pull if it has any kinds of bends and there should be at least 2 of course. in it. I don't care what it is that you are pulling, it has a lot of surface area over its length. It causes a lot of stress on the insulation and on the conductors

My preference would be to add a junction box half way, but i've done runs as long as 1200ft pulling small wire in a huge conduit. (a couple of Cat 5 in a 4 inch!)

Use a lot of lube and pull slow and steady or else you could risk burning your pull line right through your 90! (I've had this happen and it isn't pretty)
Using sweeping rigid 90s can help prevent this as well as using a larger pull line. You can also find sweeping pvc 90's but you usually have to make your own.
 

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Custom Builder
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MD, I'll tell ya the truth, you place some pretty long posts, and your pic makes you look young as hell, so in my haste of fondled wisdom, I've overlooked a lot of your posts, however your posts here make me realize............you know your $hit.

good post:Thumbs:

Bob
 

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DGR,IABD
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Chicago said:
Use a lot of lube and pull slow and steady or else you could risk burning your pull line right through your 90! (I've had this happen and it isn't pretty)
Using sweeping rigid 90s can help prevent this as well as using a larger pull line. You can also find sweeping pvc 90's but you usually have to make your own.
Amen on that one. Do that once, and you'll have a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach for the next dozen pulls you do in PVC. Swabbing the conduit with lube before the pull seems to help. I've already installed rigid steel 90's in a long run of buried PVC to combat the problem. If space is not at a premium, I've heated an entire stick of pvc and made a huge radius 90 out of the entire 10' stick.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Glasshousebltr said:
...and your pic makes you look young as hell..
How old do you think I am? I have one of those youthful faces, sort of like ******************** Clark. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing in the opinion of others, but it's okay with me. My wife makes it a point to remind me from time to time that my bald spot is growing. I suppose if I went bald, that might help me look older. Maybe I could grow a big bushy mountain man beard too. :cheesygri

It does get under my skin sometimes when other tradesmen or customers call me "boy". My usual wise-guy response is to then call them "dad" or "mom". What they probably don't realize is that I have two nearly adult "boys" of my own.
 

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md, It used to tick me off when I was in my 30's, I was 'carded' for the last time when I was 35. As you mellow with age, you begin to discover that it is not such a bad deal. Most people guess me at early 40's, works for me!
 

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Custom Builder
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Hell I'm still 8.......at heart.

Maybe mind too, every so often I try to hand Judy a buger, it took her a few years but she's now wise to it.

Bob
 

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In long runs underground I use a whole stick of rigid pipe and hand bend a loooong sweeping 90. It pulls easier with the long bend and won't burn through like PVC.
If the local landscape company is nearby, I glue all the PVC together and they pull it underground with their underground plow that vibrates (I can't recall the name of this process) The shank on this thing is about two inches wide, so the only rehab is to walk behind and step on the grass to settle it back in. Cheaper than boring but obviously wouldn't work under your sidewalk.
 

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cptkinguru said:
If the local landscape company is nearby, I glue all the PVC together and they pull it underground with their underground plow that vibrates (I can't recall the name of this process) The shank on this thing is about two inches wide, so the only rehab is to walk behind and step on the grass to settle it back in.
Are you talking about an edging trencher? It cuts a small channel just big enough to fit plastic or steel edging.
I know a lot of guys do that but the only problem with them is that if they run shallow, they are susceptible to the occasional deep aerator (if in pvc) which ironically is used by the very same company that made your "trench" for you!
Incidentally, what is your approach when you ask the local landscaper to do you a "favor" and how much is your introductory offer? Just curious
 

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DGR,IABD
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Chicago said:
Are you talking about an edging trencher? It cuts a small channel just big enough to fit plastic or steel edging.
I know a lot of guys do that but the only problem with them is that if they run shallow, they are susceptible to the occasional deep aerator (if in pvc) which ironically is used by the very same company that made your "trench" for you!
Incidentally, what is your approach when you ask the local landscaper to do you a "favor" and how much is your introductory offer? Just curious
I think he may have been talking about a "vibratory cable plow" like the lawn irrigation contractors and underground cable TV contractors use. They are super cool, but at 75 grand, I'll never own one. I'm not even sure where I'd rent one if I wanted to.
 

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The "cable plow" term sounds familiar to me, but I'm still not sure. All I know is that it works slick. I work right with the machine so I know if it hits something or or runs shallow. I think Landscapers don't get a whole lot of respect so a few kind words and a box of donuts go a long ways towords getting things done right. I don't see all the paper that flies through the office, so I don't know exactly how much they charge, but I'm told they cut us a good rate. On the other hand, we run right over and fix underground wiring that they cut too, so it's a good working relationship.
 

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Old School Marine
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I think he may have been talking about a "vibratory cable plow" like the lawn irrigation contractors and underground cable TV contractors use. They are super cool, but at 75 grand, I'll never own one. I'm not even sure where I'd rent one if I wanted to.
Seen them at auctions more than once go for less than $3500.
 

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Union Electrician
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Wow, with all the veterans in the room, I'm almost scared to post.

Wait, me scared, never......
It's just too bad i don't have much to say

But I've never operated or watched entirely the machines named above, but i don't think I've ever seen a directional bore at more than 200 feet, and I can only imagine the dollars per foot they charge for a sytem like that(meaning I've never seen them subbed out on a job site, only the fiber branches running through this valley)
The machine I saw that drags in the PVC went to a depth of three feet, it was terribly old and didn't start on most days, but it was the first time i saw such a thing so i thought it was pretty slick.

And when bidding this project, if you could narrow the length to less than a margin of 200 FEET it'd probably help you bid more wisely.
 

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I'm generally not a fan of wireless, but it sounds like quite a run you have to make there. What about one of those small solar panels and a wireless link. By the time you pay for trenching, PVC, Cat5 cable, Cat5 Baluns, 12ga THWN you could buy a real high quality wireless link. Not sure if you care that someone can receive your signal, but I believe for the kind of money you are talking, a high quality secure video link is a viable option. I imagine you already have sources for all of this stuff, but just incase supercircuits.com will have what you need.
 
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