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Yet another DIY Question

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Yet another DIY Question

Old 10-31-10, 08:27 PM
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Yet another DIY Question

How would you recommend running electrical under a driveway?

I've got a circle front drive. Fairly wide (two cars could fit side by side). So there is an island I'd like to get electrical too. I'd like to run some lighting to two large trees I have and have a plug for temporary lighting (read Christmas lights).

Three years ago I had a sprinkler system put in and I should have had them do it then, but didn't think about it at the time. I'd prefer a do it yourself solution. I can do the electrical myself. We have exterior lights on the house so plenty to tap into.

I've "heard" of several options, including water jets, or digging a trench and hammering a pipe or something. I guess I could dig a trench, but surely there is an easier way. I wouldn't mind renting something if there was a tool available.
Old 10-31-10, 09:04 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
How would you recommend running electrical under a driveway?
Call a pro, as what you want sounds like a world of hurt if not done correctly.
Old 10-31-10, 09:06 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Sledge hammer and shovel!



Or maybe consider doing what the guy above me said!
Old 10-31-10, 09:16 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Extension cords
Old 11-01-10, 12:17 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

If it is a concrete driveway, I'd dig down and go with the hammering a pipe method. If it is blacktop, I'd think about cutting it and patching it. Hammering a pipe is not exactly easy. Need a way to keep the pipe level and you tend to hammer it deeper. Water method is not a good option, imo. Very tough to make sure you get all the dirt, etc. back in and make sure you don't leave a void that will end up cracking and causing damage.

It is the type of thing where specialty tools are the key. I'd call around and you may find that someone with the specialty tools (and knowledge) can do it cheap enough for you to not bother.
Old 11-01-10, 12:27 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_energy_transfer
Old 11-01-10, 12:34 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

THE BULLET MOLE!
Old 11-01-10, 01:14 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

It is a concrete drive way. So no not going to cut it up.

Aggh....I might call the guy that did my sprinkler system. They went under driveway and than under patio in back yard quick and easy, but I wasn't home to see how they did it. Wonder if I could hire one or two of his crew for an hour or two to do it.

I'll go by a rental place and see if they got anything they would work....
Old 11-01-10, 01:17 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
I'll go by a rental place and see if they got anything they would work....
Sdallnct: Did you see my post just above yours?

(...maybe I'm on his ignore list. & )
Old 11-01-10, 01:25 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Looks like what I might need! Just need to find it locally...

http://www.rentrain.com/aaaurent/product.php?id=34409

Porta-Mole Underground Boring Machines are used to put pipe, cable or conduit under paved surfaces. Porta-Mole will bore 2" to 13" in diameter and up to 200' in length in sand, clay and hard rock soil conditions. Porta-Mole also cleans Culvert Drains and Core Bores Curbs and Foundations.

Porta-Mole Boring Machines can easily be transported in a small truck.
Old 11-01-10, 01:27 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by The Edit King View Post
Just catch a mole, tie a string to it and set it loose under the driveway
Old 11-01-10, 05:54 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by The Edit King View Post
Sdallnct: Did you see my post just above yours?

(...maybe I'm on his ignore list. & )
Yea...I did see it. Thanks. That particular one is not available in my area per their web site. Maybe there is a copy cat/different brand out there.

Tho I didn't realize there was an actual tool for it, I knew of that general ideal. Just hammering a piece of pipe threw.
Old 11-01-10, 01:57 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by NORML54601 View Post
Just catch a mole, tie a string to it and set it loose under the driveway
Actually...

Before I saw the video, I thought 'THE BULLET MOLE!' was a product that consisted of a musket, some gun powder, and one live mole that you stuff in the barrel and then BLAST that lil' BASTARD right under the driveway!



'Sounds okay to me!'

Hey! It's Granny Approved!

-Theekel Boone!

Last edited by The Edit King; 11-01-10 at 02:08 PM.
Old 11-01-10, 02:09 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Yea...I did see it. Thanks. That particular one is not available in my area per their web site. Maybe there is a copy cat/different brand out there.

Tho I didn't realize there was an actual tool for it, I knew of that general ideal. Just hammering a piece of pipe threw.
There are boring machines that can do the work as well.

Not sure if you could rent these types of things, but here's one called The Hole Hog.

Here's another one called The Porta-Mole

We have a project where we are going to have to connect two buildings at one of our facilities with a fiber optic cable and getting through the driveway is going to be a bitch. We're contracting a company to do the work, and I heard they would be using some sort of boring machine to do the job.
Old 11-01-10, 09:54 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

There should be an expansion joint between the driveway and your garage, assuming you live in an area which freezes in the winter. Take out whatever is in the joint (probably caulk), lay down your electrical wire, and put new filler back in.
Old 11-01-10, 10:04 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
There are boring machines that can do the work as well.
...

I heard they would be using some sort of boring machine to do the job.
We get it, you don't find this kind of thing exciting.
Old 11-01-10, 10:07 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
Not sure if you could rent these types of things, but here's one called The Hole Hog.




I think he just goes by, "Hog" for short.
Old 11-01-10, 10:12 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

I've seen this done twice. The first time was by a plumbing company that needed to run a new water line across my lawn (distance of about 15 feet). They used a system called "trenchless plumbing" very similar to your Porta-Mole.

The second time was by AT&T when they had to run a phone line under my drive way because the connection box was on the left side of the house and the hook-up was on the right (yeah, stupid). They used the same type of machine, but a different model.

The difference was that the plumbing guys had to dig only a small hole, maybe 1 foot square, to start the bore. AT&T needed a longer "runway" to angle their bore, so they had to dig up a lot more of the lawn before tunneling under the driveway.

If you are lazy or want to avoid the risk, you might want to call a plumbing company to see how much they charge. The whole thing was amazingly quick, 15 minutes after they got the machine set up.
Old 11-02-10, 11:18 AM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Well "obviously" I'd like to not have to trench several feet on either side. For one, that would be more work and take more time than the actual boring. Two, the mess and more likely I'm going to hit something like sprinkler and such. And three, while trenching in the island part would be ok if I had to, doing it up by the house would be the suck. Small area to work, ground cover and bushes, etc.

I more than realize that often with DIY projects the prep/clean up is more work than the actual job, but I was hoping to minimize it. Especially since again, I'm looking at such a small hole. Just enough to run run some electrical.

I have not made it to a DIY place yet....I'll do some checking....
Old 11-02-10, 12:06 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by Numanoid View Post
We get it, you don't find this kind of thing exciting.
Where the hell did I put that ban stick?

Old 11-02-10, 12:23 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

You have to dig at least a small hole on the starting side, and there will be a fair amount of water and mud generated by the machine. On the island side, you have to to dig enough to reach the line after it punches through.
Old 11-02-10, 10:48 PM
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Re: Yet another DIY Question

Originally Posted by kuroiinu View Post
You have to dig at least a small hole on the starting side, and there will be a fair amount of water and mud generated by the machine. On the island side, you have to to dig enough to reach the line after it punches through.
Yea, I figure that....And that is fine. And the more I think about, the more I'll do it in the island. I figure I'll put the electrical box up next to one of the trees. Which is in the middle of the island. I'll need to bury the cable anyway, so I can use the trench for that. So I'll need to do it on that side. I guess I'll need a small one by the house, same reason.

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