electrical lines crossing buried nat'l gas

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Old 03-16-12, 07:54 PM
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electrical lines crossing buried nat'l gas

We're going to be installing a new sign with some underground lighting at our congregation. The exact position of the sign is somewhat flexible, but the place we would LIKE to place it comes pretty close to the natural gas line. What this would mean is that one of the electrical conduits would cross over the top of the buried natural gas line.

Is this OK or is it against some unknown code to place electrical lines (in conduit) across buried gas lines?
 
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Old 03-16-12, 08:10 PM
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Is this in the utility easement?

This is not a residential property that you live in. There are rules about working in commercial structures that typically require licensing and insurance isssues due to liability. I would suggest contacting a licensed contractor.
 
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Old 03-16-12, 08:31 PM
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I assume your congregation means the sign is being installed on a property privately owned by a church, so the mindset may be do as they want. I am sure your gas company would appreciate staying clear of their line though. Some forward thinking would indicate that it would not be a good idea anyway. ..

I had a plumber installing a water line for me at work and I showed him where NOT to dig. Thirty minutes in to the dig he dug over two feet off of my intended path and he hit the properties 3 in natural gas main and ripped it wide open....

Instant chaos followed as there was a large swimming pool full of people not 30 feet away. Imagine the outcome if that backhoe had ripped a electrical line apart at the same time.
 
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Old 03-16-12, 08:52 PM
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We've left a message with the electrical contractor but he's not returning our phone calls. (go figure) I understand your point completely, Greg. I would assume that this line would be treated no different than our existing sprinkler lines, which already crisscross their gas line in multiple places. Meaning if they come in and trench up their line, repairs to any of our existing sprinkler lines would be at our expense. I would imagine the single wire electrical line to what is basically a landscaping light would be the same way. At least that's how I read the regulations at our natural gas company's website, because they specifically mention landscaping.

Also was good if your backhoe operator wasn't puffing on a cig.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 07:13 AM
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I guess I might be missing the exact question but here is my take:

Yes, electric wires can cross a gas line, or any other line for that matter. Care should be used when digging and you should ALWAYS call your underground utility marking service in your area. (I believe it is free in all states) When they come and mark the locations, you need to hand dig within 2' of the marks.

It has already been mentioned about contacting a contractor, (you should call one that returns phone calls), Also be aware you should also contact the city for permits as there will be setback rules to follow here.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 07:32 AM
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Yes, electric wires can cross a gas line, or any other line for that matter. Care should be used when digging and you should ALWAYS call your underground utility marking service in your area. (I believe it is free in all states) When they come and mark the locations, you need to hand dig within 2' of the marks.
Yes, this is done every day. But, be advised that the underground utility marking services only locate and mark public utilities and not privately owned utilities. If the gas line is on the property owners side of the meter, it is generally the property owners resposibility to locate and mark his lines. This should always be spelled out in the contract with the contractor. There are some utility marking services that work for property owners as well. All reputable excavation contractors have locating equipment too.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 07:36 AM
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All the things mentioned have already been done. And the electrician finally did call, he says it's fine.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 07:39 AM
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Not sure, Joe. We call 811 and they mark everything from the building to the street, whether it be a gas line after the meter or underground, phone, fiber optic, water, etc. Of course each utility marks their own lines, or declines if the service is defunct. I do agree with privately owned gas lines from propane tanks. As a courtesy they will locate it if it is in the vicinity of the dig.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 12:46 PM
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Not sure, Joe. We call 811 and they mark everything from the building to the street, whether it be a gas line after the meter or underground, phone, fiber optic, water, etc.
Maybe I should have stated that "Typically", they don't locate lines on the customers side of the meter. I do know that in some areas the gas meters are located near the street and in those cases, I believe the gas company is responsible for the line all the way to the house, but I can't say for sure, it's not that way here. Regardless, usually the utility owned lines are marked without question. It's possible that in some areas a "Courtesy" location and marking might happen too. In this area, it is state law to call either 811 or 1-800-DIG-RITE before excavation begins. As a side note, sometimes all utilities, such as cable TV companies, don't belong to the "One Call" system.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 01:18 PM
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Too bad they don't mark sprinkler heads. Had one casualty this afternoon with the sod cutter. LOL
 
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Old 03-17-12, 03:23 PM
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I like they way the pros do it when they are doing directional drilling: They have the crossing utilities marked, and then they gently excavate a slit trench with a small backhoe at each crossing so that they can physically watch the existing utility line as the drill head passes. This trench is often only 6" wide and two feet long.

Then the only problem they have to deal with is unmarked lines.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 04:31 PM
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I've posted this before, but the water department located their run 4' from this location. If it hadn't been for the tracer wire and God's hand, our auger would have penetrated the 2" line supplying the college.
 
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Old 03-17-12, 08:52 PM
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Was at a party tonight with a buddy who works for the gas company. He said a 3" main line (high pressure) got cut by workers trenching, and they had to evacuate most of the town. I guess a lot of gas comes out those lines at 500 psi.
 
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Old 03-18-12, 05:45 AM
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I am so thankful the 3 in. main our plumber tore open was low pressure and there was a LOT of gas cloud instantly from it. I cannot imagine the cloud from a 3 in. 500 psi.
 
 

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