HV Cable depth regs?

I was digging a trench in the garden earlier with pick and shovel. We are planting a hedge soon and it's only a 30cm deep job but the ground is full of roots and rocks and is really hard digging.

Anyway, while working my way through one particularly stubborn stretch, my pick head was met with a bright flash, a loud bang and a puff of smoke. I used to be a sapper so i knew what it was as soon as it happened. I'd hit an HV cable and somehow defied the predictions of all those terrible H&S videos i had to watch back in the day.

For some reason, 6cm under the surface of my gravel driveway, there is a 415v HV cable that now has a crack in the outer sleeve and the armour has been penetrated. It was raining earlier and the wounded cable is now buzzing, crackling and steaming away with the water getting into it.

Naturally, I did what all good sappers do in these circumstances and quickly filled it back in and made myself scarce.

It seems that everyone still has power so although the cable is damaged, it still works.

When I last laid a cable, we were told that they always had to be at least 600cm deep, covered with warning tape and if possible marked on the surface with a post of something. What is the law surrounding this?

I have a bloody great cable 6cm's under the surface, i'm being charitable too, it may be less than that as the ground is not level but it's literally possible to scrape the surface with my heel to expose the thing now that I know where it is.

If i report this "fault", it is likely that the electricity people will come knocking at my door with a hefty bill so i want to be able to tell this to piss off and find the moron's who laid it and get the money from them, assuming that they are still alive and have not bee killed by any of their other professional cable installations.
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Polyester

War Hero
415 isn’t HV. Anything above 1000v AC (1500DC) is HV. Anything below is LV. Unfortunately for you, that will fault at some point soon and they will come looking for it.

Sorry man, wish I had better news for you. To be fair it’s unlikely they will bill you. They will probably just joint it up and that’ll be that.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
What I can remember about electrical stuff is possibly out of date, however minimum depths depend on the surface, road, garden (600mm for that I'm sure), etc and the type of ducting depends on the cable inside, be it single phase or three phase
 

morsk

LE
This
 

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415 isn’t HV. Anything above 1000v AC (1500DC) is HV. Anything below is LV. Unfortunately for you, that will fault at some point soon and they will come looking for it.

Sorry man, wish I had better news for you. To be fair it’s unlikely they will bill you. They will probably just joint it up and that’ll be that.
ok fair enough. What makes you think that they wont bill me?
 

Polyester

War Hero
Because I work for a utility company.

E2A ; I should be clear on this: It’s unlikely.

It looks like a standard LV service cable and it isn’t at the right depth and has no warning tape on it. They can hardly blame you when it’s a couple of inches below the surface. Other wise everyone would need cable detection tools for doing the gardening.

Actually, thinking about it, they will probably shit themselves that you could potentially have been injured from their incorrectly installed service. Who is your provider?
 
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Troy

LE
Basically the former Electric Boards were an authority to themselves and could more or less do as they wanted. If their labouring crew or pointing crew decided "that will do " on a particular day then that was it. So you could have a Friday job there.
There would be times even when jointers or linesmen who would see a potential fault and not report it. Knowing that one day someone would get the call-out and overtime to fix it.
 
At least 60cm with warning tape for SWA, less if properly ducted (from memory of digging in the 230v cable to the shed)
 

Troy

LE
At least 60cm with warning tape for SWA, less if properly ducted (from memory of digging in the 230v cable to the shed)
That's what they want you to do, and they might check that its correct. But it doesn't follow that all of their own work will always comply.
 
I was digging a trench in the garden earlier with pick and shovel. We are planting a hedge soon and it's only a 30cm deep job but the ground is full of roots and rocks and is really hard digging.

Anyway, while working my way through one particularly stubborn stretch, my pick head was met with a bright flash, a loud bang and a puff of smoke. I used to be a sapper so i knew what it was as soon as it happened. I'd hit an HV cable and somehow defied the predictions of all those terrible H&S videos i had to watch back in the day.

For some reason, 6cm under the surface of my gravel driveway, there is a 415v HV cable that now has a crack in the outer sleeve and the armour has been penetrated. It was raining earlier and the wounded cable is now buzzing, crackling and steaming away with the water getting into it.

Naturally, I did what all good sappers do in these circumstances and quickly filled it back in and made myself scarce.

It seems that everyone still has power so although the cable is damaged, it still works.

When I last laid a cable, we were told that they always had to be at least 600cm deep, covered with warning tape and if possible marked on the surface with a post of something. What is the law surrounding this?

I have a bloody great cable 6cm's under the surface, i'm being charitable too, it may be less than that as the ground is not level but it's literally possible to scrape the surface with my heel to expose the thing now that I know where it is.

If i report this "fault", it is likely that the electricity people will come knocking at my door with a hefty bill so i want to be able to tell this to piss off and find the moron's who laid it and get the money from them, assuming that they are still alive and have not bee killed by any of their other professional cable installations.View attachment 539551
That is not HV. HV is anything above 1000V, and usually red in colour. That is medium voltage 415V. 3 phase. The phase and working voltage will be marked at intervals on the outer casing.
 
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I was digging a trench in the garden earlier with pick and shovel. We are planting a hedge soon and it's only a 30cm deep job but the ground is full of roots and rocks and is really hard digging...<Snip>


</Snip>...If i report this "fault", it is likely that the electricity people will come knocking at my door with a hefty bill so i want to be able to tell this to piss off and find the moron's who laid it and get the money from them, assuming that they are still alive and have not bee killed by any of their other professional cable installations.
As I see it you have two options... report the 'fault' and be prepare to involve various media outlets if the try to charge you for fixing the problem...

...or find the local pikey encampment and offer them the job of digging out a trench at some exorbitant rate. Come morning you will find a couple of blacked corpses that no longer require payment and someone to blame for trying to steal the copper cable. Jobs jobbed as they say :)
 
Because I work for a utility company.

E2A ; I should be clear on this: It’s unlikely.

It looks like a standard LV service cable and it isn’t at the right depth and has no warning tape on it. They can hardly blame you when it’s a couple of inches below the surface. Other wise everyone would need cable detection tools for doing the gardening.

Actually, thinking about it, they will probably shit themselves that you could potentially have been injured from their incorrectly installed service. Who is your provider?
That was my first thought but then i read up on it a bit and it seems that it's an automatic insurance issue and people just try to claim off reach other left right and centre.

I actually did feel daft for not CAT'ing it and considered purchasing one to check the rest of the garden out, who knows what else is under the surface but we cant all be reasonably be expected to get a cat and genny out for a bit of gardening like this. I mean, my photo pretty much illustrates it as it is.

When all is said and done, utility company's are not known for being fair and reasonable so I am reluctant to report it
 
That was my first thought but then i read up on it a bit and it seems that it's an automatic insurance issue and people just try to claim off reach other left right and centre.

I actually did feel daft for not CAT'ing it and considered purchasing one to check the rest of the garden out, who knows what else is under the surface but we cant all be reasonably be expected to get a cat and genny out for a bit of gardening like this. I mean, my photo pretty much illustrates it as it is.

When all is said and done, utility company's are not known for being fair and reasonable so I am reluctant to report it
If you don't report it, someone who has lost power surely will, For your own safety it must be reported. If you get any flack from the owners of said cable, i am sure your local paper would be very interested in the story. As would your local town hall counselors, H&S executive, and MP. just a few random thoughts.
 

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