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Trenching for Underground Utility Lines

Digging for Underground Utilities

Today, we have an update for you on the property we’ve been doing videos on in Middleton, Idaho. We had a mini excavator and skid-steer dropped off so we could start digging for underground utility lines, specifically the electricity. We also have a well shed that’s being built.

The telephone Pole is the Power Source

The telephone pole is where we get our power, and at the top is a transformer. So what we have to do with our underground is take one three-inch schedule 40 conduit, suitable for up to a 400-amp panel, and take it to where the trench is right under the transformer so the power company can hook it up.

How Much Dirt Needs to Cover Underground Conduit?

There must be 30 inches of cover over the conduit, meaning there are 30 inches of dirt on top of it. So we have 36 inches, which is plenty.

Avoid Low-Voltage and High-Voltage Interference

There is no low voltage here, so your cable, phone, or anything like that is on the telephone pole; currently, it’s underground. But if they upgrade facilities and bring it overhead, we want to ensure we have a schedule 40 conduit if it becomes available. And one thing we have to do is ensure that we have 12 inches of separation horizontally or vertically between that low-voltage line and the actual high-voltage, which is our electric line. So we do this to avoid interference with those two systems.

Installing a Remoter Meter Base

We are installing a remote meter base; it’s permanent but not attached to the house. The poles are two-inch thick steel and will be four feet apart. Then we’ll set a 200-amp meter base within a 200-amp sub-bit panel with a three-inch conduit. We’ll also have a two-inch conduit schedule 40 to our well house, which has 60 amps that’ll be going over to that; we’ll also have a one-inch conduit for future electricity we don’t know about today. For that panel, we’ll get a template that we’ll show you in our next video. We’re going to build a template because this trench runs right where our posts will go.

Water Line Installation

Another thing we’re putting in is a water line to be with the septic and power. We’ll also have a 50-amp outlet for our RV to plug in. Another water line will run to the well shed, an inch-and-a-half or two-inch, and the other line will be poly. So we have to ensure the trench is three-feet deep so we can get enough cover atop our water line to stay below the frost line, which is at two feet.

Progress Update on the Well Shed

The well shed is also being built; they’re making a few adjustments to the studs. So we’re going to undermine the footings here and take the electrical line to it so we can get our 60-amp panel; we set up a 14-and-a-half-inch bay to get our electrical panel in. Also, we’re digging the water line to go inside the well shed and make up a banafold; we’re using some of the old plumbing.


I hope you learned something about what we’re doing with the underground and the well shed we’re building. If you need to trench before digging for utilities in Idaho, call Dig Line. We’ll do a lot of updates on this project coming up. We’ll be having a house torn down, the property cleaned up, the underground is going in, and we’ll get the actual sub-panel set for the electrical as well. So we’ll keep you posted on new changes, and if you have questions, let us know.

Contact Real Property

If you need more information on building, buying, or selling a home or land, feel free to contact us. Have an excellent rest of your day.

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