There are certainly many advantages of underground utility installation that an aerial placement doesn’t provide. However, there are still certain dangers involved. Thankfully, they can be mitigated by following various protection protocols during the installation. The process of protecting the underground utilities varies depending on the placement and the type of utility.
One thing to consider is when the underground utility will not be encased in concrete. Since the cables are not protected by concrete, it is important to put warnings in place so that someone digging won’t hit and damage the cables. One protocol to minimize this happening is to place a warning ribbon in the trench 12” or more above the cable. When digging, this ribbon will be hit first and warn the excavator to stop before hitting the cable itself.
Protection must also be put into place at any point that the cables emerge from the ground. The use of enclosures or raceways not only show that a cable is there, but protect it from damage. Protection is also put into place where the cable enters a structure. Various conduit can be used for this purpose, including rigid or intermediate metal conduit or schedule 80 rigidi nonmetallic conduit.
Another consideration when doing underground utility installation is to take care that there aren’t damaging materials around the cable. Installation should avoid the use of backfill that is corrosive, sharp, or otherwise capable of damaging the cable. The proper type of enclosures should be used for wet locations, as well.
As you can see, there is far more to underground utility installation than meets the eye. That is why you should always leave this task for a highly-trained and properly equipped professional. At GP Associates, Inc. in Knightdale, North Carolina, we have many years of experience and 80 highly qualified employees that are well-versed in the protection protocols this type of work requires. Reach out to us today to discuss your upcoming project and learn more about what we can accomplish for you.