Lawn Care Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to run some low voltage landscape lighting wire and I have a 5' path to cross in two spots. From what I can tell the paver base goes down about 8 inches.

There seems to be 3 methods to get under the walkway:

1) Pound conduit through.
2) Use a flexible auger type drill bit.
3) Make a water wand/jet to get through.

I've tried #1 and my soil is just too hard and rocky. I spent about 4 or 5 hours on this yesterday and it was a complete failure. So, out of the 2 remaining methods, has anyone tried them?

Thanks!
 

·
Administrator
5.6ksqft Bewitched KBG in Fishers, IN
Joined
·
15,314 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
g-man said:
I havent tried this method, but ligrass has. so option #4.

LIgrass said:
Getting under the sidewalk was a bit of PITA and a mess with the water drill method. BOpv-1c3c1g[/MEDIA]]This method worked much much better.
This is the method I use. I used it this year actually. I also used it last year as well.

It's painful but it works. Then again what isn't crappy when doing that job?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
high leverage said:
What's your budget? Ditch Witch trenchless drilling? It sounds like you might need to try harder. How big was the sledge hammer used, size of conduit, plastic or metal?
The pvc went through, the problem was it was filled with rocks and compacted soil. So much so that I couldn't clear it while it was in the desired spot. I'd pull it out, bang on the outside with the sledge hammer to break up the rocks and loosen the soil up to get it all cleared out and try again. Same thing happened a second time, so I gave up.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,720 Posts
chrismar said:
high leverage said:
What's your budget? Ditch Witch trenchless drilling? It sounds like you might need to try harder. How big was the sledge hammer used, size of conduit, plastic or metal?
The pvc went through, the problem was it was filled with rocks and compacted soil. So much so that I couldn't clear it while it was in the desired spot. I'd pull it out, bang on the outside with the sledge hammer to break up the rocks and loosen the soil up to get it all cleared out and try again. Same thing happened a second time, so I gave up.
Use the method in the video. Cut pvc on an angle like shown so it can cut through dirt. Pound the pvc like 2 to 3 inches at once then pull it out and clear debris in pipe. Then pound another 2 to 3 inches and pull out to clear debris from pvc. Rinse and repeat until your through. As you get deeper in the trench or hole, the pipe will get more and more difficult to twist and remove from hole. Drill a hole through pvc at the side of pvc that your pounding with sledgehammer and use a long spike nail or long like 8 to 10 inch lag screw to act as a lever and to help twist pipe to pull it back out of the hole.

Be prepared to break the pvc and have a spare on hand from pounding it with sledgehammer or regular hammer.

I did this last spring. I bored a 4 inch pvc under a 4ft paver walkway. Did it about 10 inches under surface. It's slow and painful but it works. No water needed.

Your seriously going to let that trench get the best of you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
wardconnor said:
... Your seriously going to let that trench get the best of you?
Definitely not! That's why I'm asking for some tips!

I think my problem is two-fold: 1) I didn't try with a large enough diameter pipe. 2) I didn't go deep enough, so I was hitting some of the base (3/4" stone, sand, etc) material.

I'll try again this weekend. I'm seriously considering a flexible auger drill bit, though. I only have one 14/2 wire to get across in both locations. 1.5" PVC seems like overkill for such a small thing.
 

·
Administrator
5.6ksqft Bewitched KBG in Fishers, IN
Joined
·
15,314 Posts
So the PVC went thru but it was full of stuff. Dont pull the PVC out since it is going to collapse. Use a reebar or something to clear the inside of the pvc while in place.

The second option around the rocks collapsing is to go deeper below the rock paver base like wardconnor said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
g-man said:
So the PVC went thru but it was full of stuff. Dont pull the PVC out since it is going to collapse. Use a reebar or something to clear the inside of the pvc while in place.
Yup, exactly. I didn't have anything rigid enough to poke through stuck stones, so I pulled it out and broke it up. The hole collapsed, so I did it again. I did try triple duct taping the end of the pipe this time, but obviously that didn't last long. The 2nd result was the same as the first.
The second option around the rocks collapsing is to go deeper below the rock paver base like wardconnor said.
This, I think, is the critical part. If I went 3 inches deeper I probably would have been more successful.

And also bigger pipe. I have 1.5" gray PVC lying around, so I'll probably try that next. 3/4" crushed stone will probably be easier to get out of that than a 3/4" pipe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
chrismar said:
wardconnor said:
... Your seriously going to let that trench get the best of you?
Definitely not! That's why I'm asking for some tips!

I think my problem is two-fold: 1) I didn't try with a large enough diameter pipe. 2) I didn't go deep enough, so I was hitting some of the base (3/4" stone, sand, etc) material.

I'll try again this weekend. I'm seriously considering a flexible auger drill bit, though. I only have one 14/2 wire to get across in both locations. 1.5" PVC seems like overkill for such a small thing.
I used 1.25" pipe with the chisel cut at 45 degrees with a big mallet..didn't even need a sledgehammer. I can't imagine I would've gotten through mine with .75" pipe though. I wouldn't worry about overkill with the pipe size. Try 1.25" or greater and get back to us. I think you'll get through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I went out this morning and showed that walkway who was boss!

The base of the pavers was an astonishing 16" deep, and since I didn't feel like digging an 18" deep, 5' long trench to pound a pipe into, I aborted than plan real quick. Instead went to HD, picked up a 72" flexible auger bit and dug an 18" deep, 2' long trench and went to town. Low and behold it popped out the other side! My wire attached easily to the hole in the bit and it reversed out (pulling the cable with it) like butter.

Now I just gotta rinse and repeat in the other spot tomorrow morning!

(side note: on my first attempt the drill bit bent at the shank end, so I wasted a few minutes cutting it off with an angle grinder and then grinding the sides down so the drill would have something to bite into. But now that gives me a reason to return it to HD and tell them I want nothing to do with their inferior tools!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
882 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
LIgrass said:
Good job! Who the heck built a walkway with 16" base is what I'd like to know. That seems like such a waste to me unless they had elephants & rhinos walking on it...
No kidding. The other area of the path had a modest 8" base, so that was much easier to get under.

Thanks for the motivation, guys! I got 'er done!
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top