Utility line in the way of pool dig

swimmer2bApril 22, 2008

Getting ready for pool dig and the electric utility line is not in the easement where it should be but right through the middle of our back yard - right where the pool is to go. PB said an electrician will need to move this and this is an additional cost at about $14 per linear feet. Turns out this will be about 140 ft. Certainly an unexpected cost. Anyone have this problem? Is this a reasonable rate?


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Is this a primary line or secondary? If it's the secondary, then it doesn't go in an easement because it's the feeder from the transformer to your house. To pull a new secondary a new conduit has to be installed (secondaries are installed about 4' deep), then new conductors pulled from the transformer to the meter can on your house. It will require shutting down your house power briefly during the switchover.

I hope it's not the primary because that's 8 plus foot deep, high voltage, and would likely cost substantially more than the quoted price. It would also require a power outage to anyone down the line from you (unless you're in a remote location). Primaries are supposed to be in an easement, but it's not unheard of to find them outside of where they are supposed to be. It's unusual, but not unheard of.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 12:10AM
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If it's not where it's supposed to be, I would check to find out who's error that is, and make them pay to move it. FYI: There's a company called USA (underground service alert) that is called whenever any digging is needed. They are under contract with the utility, water, pipeline companies and will mark where things are. If the records they have are incorrect, they would know the protocols for who's responsible.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:39AM
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We have the exact same problem. The electric company is charging us $1800 to move it. Yes, their dumb placement and we have to pay for the fix.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 8:38AM
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we had this problem a few years ago with a gas line, the gas company moved the line without charge since it was out of easment It took quite a while on the phone, finding the right person, complaining on my part that they were delaying the dig ect.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 9:36AM
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I'm in houston and had the same problem. The secondary lines don't have to be in the easement. I did get some guy to do it for 9 or 10 dollars a linear foot. Saved some cash on that end.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 9:47AM
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Quote: "FYI: There's a company called USA (underground service alert) that is called whenever any digging is needed"

Utility locate services go by different names in different areas. In our area (DFW, TX) it's DIGTESS that is called for this. I don't think any of them charge for this service (I know DIGTESS doesn't). DIGTESS actually calls the various individual utility companies and instructs each to do a line locate, so they are usually not all done at once. The normal procedure is to spray paint the line location and stick a flag in the ground every 10' or so. The disadvantage to this is you don't know how deep the line is. I also discovered from moving the phone line myself that the lines they mark on the ground can be off 10" one way or the other from the actual location!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 11:07AM
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Ron Natalie

The wire to your house is not required to be in the easement, that belongs to you and you'll have to pay to have it moved. If it's the wire feeding the neighbors, then yes, you can complain.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 2:13PM
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Good luck on it, about 20 years ago when my parents built their house, the phone company put a service post in where their driveway was going about 50 feet in front of their house. The stated need for the post was in case someone else built a house nearby they would be serviced from the same post. Which makes a certain amount of sense until you know they house is on 500 acres of land with a 10 acre front yard.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 3:32PM
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So here's the update...
The PB had his electrician reroute the line. I guess there was no communication back to the PB that the new line had not yet been approved by the electric company. So when the crew came to excavate they dug up the live line! Knocked power out for about 4 hrs, including the neighbors. Luckily no one was hurt. The new line was eventually approved and is now working.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 8:50AM
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tagprod, if you're still out there .. I'm in Pearland and would like to try to get the name of the electrican you used to reroute your electrical. I've got a 160' run and at $9 or $10 a linear foot he would save me some serious coin.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 3:35PM
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I need a line moved in Sugar Land too. Can you give me a name?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 10:27PM
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I had estiamtes from $12 to $19 but it has been moved.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 7:56PM
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keithintx, my current best is $14 per foot and I've got a 160 foot run. Are you in Houston and, if so, who moved your line?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 10:27PM
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Maybe a little late, but another option is to do it yourself. I had my drop to the house buried. My power company has it set up so that for a $500 fee, they give you the conduit and you dig the trench and bury it and you have to unconnect the old, overhead lines from the meter can once the power company pulls the meter and it's safe to do so.

You can rent a trencher for about 50 bucks.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 7:51AM
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I used A&J Trenching. They are in Rosenberg. 281-341-7582. He was quick and has family that does the electrical connection. They are licensed.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 8:59AM
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Hey another "Keith in Texas" LOL. I had this done too a couple YEARS ago. Still have not built the pool yet. Starting to work on the plans again. I think it was about $12/ft. which I thought was good for a line pulled in conduit 4' down. Why did they run the line right across the backyard (right through where anyone would obviously want to put a pool)? I guess to save 30' or less of line! Could have jogged near the home instead of right across the backyard at an angle. Always something!

    Bookmark   September 25, 2008 at 11:21PM
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Across the center of the yard=CHEAP. It is gone now so we move on.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 8:57AM
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