Buried well pump wire breached by hack plumber


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Old 09-05-22, 06:34 PM
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Buried well pump wire breached by hack plumber

Detached garage construction. Hack plumber butchered the well water line to the house with ditch witch so he could tee into it for the garage. He then hacked into the 220V #10 wire (in conduit mind you) with a mattock. I couldn't believe he severed the waterline but the conduit I had already located and exposed for him (water line to garage had to go under it). He literally hit the 1 1/4" conduit so hard he broke it in half, cutting into the sheathing and what appears to be the black wires insulation. He then told me if "the pump turn on the wire fine" and tried to bury it. I said no do not bury that. Edit* The pump is working (but for how long)
Anyway.... Im leery of the wire and want to carefully trim the conduit back and put in a UB splice.
If the insulation on the wire isn't disturbed should i still splice?
Is a splice a good repair for this pigs $#* up?
Is there a good brand splice I should use?



 
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Old 09-05-22, 06:51 PM
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Hi, how far from the building is that break, that looks like UF cable in that conduit, that’s not going to be easy to repair, possibly a fiberglass handhole to make up splices with waterproof connectors.
might be a good idea to hire an electrician and back charge the plumber for the repair.
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 09-05-22, 07:19 PM
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I trenched, conduit and cable 3 years ago when the original cable that was directly buried failed. I guess it was a bad idea to run the UF in the conduit but I didnít think Iíd ever have to deal with it again.
my thought was to carefully square the jagged conduit ends, repair the wire then split some tubing that will ďwrapĒ and clamp/glue the conduit
the builder said heíd get his electrician out here Thursday, heís a 72 year old retired part time guy and I donít think heíll put a lot of effort into it. To be honest Iím afraid heíll say what the hack plumber said.
 
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Old 09-05-22, 07:35 PM
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Donít knock a 72 year old retired electrician, lots of experience, thatís not going to easy no matter who does it, if that outside sheath is broken chances are the conductor is bear also.
Good luck
Geo🇺🇸
 
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  #5  
Old 09-05-22, 08:23 PM
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That is UF cable, so you can fix with UF splice kit. Basically splicer with adhesive lined heat shrink tubing.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commerci...UFSK/311129144

The problem is, it won't fit in the conduit.
UF cable does not need to be in conduit if buried 24" or deeper. So, you could just leave repaired section outside of conduit, If wire inside does not show copper, just taping it up very good might be better than making splice.

Another option would be installing in ground splice box like this.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/ADAMAX-I...-910/202042083
 
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Old 09-05-22, 08:47 PM
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That is a pretty bad hit to that cable. There is no way that cable is OK even if the pump is working. As soon as it gets covered up and moisture gets into that break the conductors will start shorting to the earth. Eventually, it will fail. You really only have a few options in my opinion.

You can use an underground splice like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Direct-B...SKDB/307280838 which can last a while depending on soil moisture and how well it is sealed. The heat shrink in that kit is OK but you will have to be sure to wrap it with rubber tape https://www.homedepot.com/p/3M-Scotc...X-10/205523418 AND electrical before and after installing the shrink tubing.

Replace the cable entirely. This will ensure it will not fail.

Install a ground box(s) similar to the one in the picture and make a splice there. This will require replacing part of the cable or you will need two splices/ground boxes.

Either way, you/they will have to uncover more of the conduit and cut the cable. Carefully remove some of the conduit and repair the cable. The conduit will then be left open in that section. If you want the conduit also repaired all the cable will need to be removed and repulled.
 
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Old 09-05-22, 09:42 PM
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How long is the total run ?
I'd pull the wire out, repair the conduit and pull in new.
That's one reason for running conduit.

I'd only splice it if it was a last resort.
 
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Old 09-05-22, 10:25 PM
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Out of curiosity how deep is it? It's hard to tell from pictures but it looks...really shallow?
 
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Old 09-06-22, 08:03 AM
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I'd prefer not to splice but I do have a Gardner-Bender splice kit I bought it a few years ago thinking I could repair the faulty #12UF cable that the house builder buried directly in the ground. (Its a ~150 ft run how'd that pass code).
I ran the conduit and pulling the new wire myself 3 yrs ago. Im reluctant to put in a splice box as there is already a 12" cap for garage water shut off nearby that the hack put in (what a joke that is).
If no new wire and splice box is needed to make it right I'll have it done bc 3 to 5 years from now when it fails I'll have to fix it anyway.
Its ~150 ft total run. Its only about 10" deep. I knew this when I did it. The hack site is about ~90ft from house ~60ft from well. When I ran the conduit I put a 1 1/4" Type C conduit body half way in the run to help me pull the wire. I know that is not code but it helped. I took photos of it an know where that is.
I prefer to have the wire replaced. I ran conduit so that the wire can be replaced if needed. Honestly I never expected it to be an issue in my life time especially since I dug it up and exposed so the lazy POS would not hit it.
The #10 UF will be an SOB to remove/pull through. (That may have be one of the mistakes on my part but I believe if I had run easier to pull stranded 3 yrs ago it would have been severed when the conduit was bludgeoned with guests visiting and no water over a holiday weekend).
Im going to request the wire be replaced. (No turning back but if the #10UF is cut at the conduit break perhaps between me (63 yr old) and the electrician (72 yr old) we would be able to be pull it out from both ends!?)
Then pull #10 stranded and put a conduit repair coupling on the break?
Will #10 stranded work in this application? Any recommendations?
Anyone know where I can buy Qty. 1, 1 1/4" conduit repair coupling (I only see them in bulk)
Thanks for the help. FF
 
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Old 09-06-22, 08:37 AM
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I agree the best option is to replace the damaged cable/wires

In order to use THWN stranded wire, the conduit needs to be continuous. You may not direct bury THWN. Individual wires will be much easier to pull in conduit compared to UF.

They do make repair kits for 1 1/4" PVC but you will likely only find them in electrical supply houses or online. https://www.vikingelectric.com/produ...scepter-077982

I will use expansion couplings to repair electrical PVC due to the tight spaces. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kraloy-1-1-...-93/5001209681
 
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Old 09-06-22, 09:34 AM
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Lowes has THHN.... is that acceptable?
 
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Old 09-06-22, 10:22 AM
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You want THWN cable.
Lowes does not show any THWN. They do show THHN and specify dry use only.
That is probably a mistake and is an old description.

Most wire now is THHN/THWN. It should say that on the wire at Lowes.
It is that way at the depot.
 
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Old 09-06-22, 10:40 AM
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Lowes has THHN.... is that acceptable?
If you look at the wire in person it will likely say THHN/THWN along with other ratings. All THHN wire I have ever used is duel-rated THHN/THWN but I am sure it might be out there so it is good to double-check.

If this is what you were looking at you are good. It is duel rated. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Southwire-1...oll/1000777278
 
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Old 09-06-22, 10:52 AM
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  • Southwire type THHN or THWN-2 conductors are primarily used in conduit and cable trays for services, feeders, and branch circuits in commercial or industrial applications as specified in the National Electric Code
  • When used as a type THHN conductor it is suitable for use in dry locations that are not to exceed temperatures of 90ļC
They need to get the descriptions updated.
At the bottom of the page they show it cannot be used underground,
 
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Old 09-06-22, 10:59 AM
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They need to get the descriptions updated.
At the bottom of the page they show it cannot be used underground,
Maybe they meant direct burial? Yeah, I find many descriptions that are not correct.
 
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Old 09-06-22, 11:17 AM
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The wire linked above is only 100 foot spool.
I just measured and ts exactly 130 feet from the house wall entry LB location to the well casing. I told them to buy 180 feet to make sure there is plenty of service loop. (There is a junction in the casing so this wire will not go all the way down to the pump).

This is the wire I see at Lowes that is sold by the foot. Lowes THHN by the foot

 
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Old 09-06-22, 03:31 PM
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Note that by NEC, neutral must be white and ground must be green or bare.
 
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Old 09-06-22, 03:36 PM
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I went to the Southern Wire website (for the Lowes listed wire in above link) it states:
THHN 10 Str Cu We 500SpC Southwire #: 22974001
600 Volts. Copper Conductor. Thermoplastic Insulation/Nylon Sheath, Heat, Moisture, Gasoline and Oil Resistant II. Rated THHN and THWN. Also rated MTW and AWM

The only problem now is my closest Lowes only has 80 feet of the black in stock... (plenty of red, white and green)
I guess it will be ok to use red for the black?
 
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Old 09-06-22, 03:47 PM
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You can use any color for a hot wire except for white (with or without a colored stripe), gray (with or without a colored stripe), green, green with a yellow stripe, or bare.
 
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Old 09-06-22, 04:18 PM
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My Lowes is showing .68/foot for #10.
They're also showing $156/500foot roll.

Cheaper to buy a roll for the hot wires.
Ground you'll need to buy per foot.
 
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Old 09-07-22, 07:23 AM
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Pete - If I tell them to get one roll to use for hot wires.... what color should it be?
 
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Old 09-07-22, 07:29 AM
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Any color but White or Green , itís a 240volt circuit .
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 09-07-22, 09:39 AM
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Sorry for all the questions on this but...
I found an online chart that shows #12 wire for a 230V pump @150ft run.....
I told my contractor to tell electrician to bring #10 but if he looks at the info he might just bring #12 if that is all thats required.
I ran #10 originally so can I expect them to replace with #10 if its not required?


 
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Old 09-07-22, 09:48 AM
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Hi, not sure why you are telling the electrician what to use, tell him the pump size and length of the run and let him decide, if it fails, its his problem.
Geo🇺🇸
 
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Old 09-07-22, 10:15 AM
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Im not in direct contact with the electrician - he is the builders sub so I gave builder the as found info.
The electrician is retired and dosent even have a cell phone and he cant make it out here until tomorrow.
I live an hour from any Lowes or supply store. Im trying to make sure they show up with the needed materials repair it same day not show up and say we dont have the materials and be back tomorrow.
 
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Old 09-07-22, 12:11 PM
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Data shown is a 1/2hp pump. That is very small. Are you sure that's the size you have ?
For a 1/2hp at that distance.... #12s are ok.

If it was me..... I'd stay with the #10 wiring for future upgrade and lowest voltage drop.
 
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Old 09-08-22, 06:47 PM
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Disconnected the damaged wire, tied a heavy nylon string to one end and pulled old wire from well til the string was at the conduit break. Cut/squared broken conduit. Cut the string, slipped the conduit extension on one end, retied string then pulled all the old wire through at well til string came through. Tied new wires to string pulled string/new wire all the way back through, trimmed new wire made connections and done. Was worried the damaged #10UF would be hard to pull but came right on out.
thanks for the help!
ff
 
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Old 09-08-22, 08:33 PM
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Good to hear!
 
 

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