Most building projects, whether residential or commercial, require you to either install new underground utility lines or work around existing electrical lines. Enlisting an experienced electrical excavation contractor will always be to your advantage. Seasoned contractors with top-of-the-line equipment can expertly and safely dig underground to install new power lines or reach existing electrical wiring through a process called site electrical excavation.

Site Electrical Excavation Basics

Electrical excavation covers several areas in both residential and commercial projects, including site lighting, primary and secondary electrical feeds, transformer pads and pedestals. There are two primary ways to complete site electrical excavation: trenching and directional boring. The right option for your project depends on numerous factors, including project budget, any obstacles in the way and the overall layout of your property.

Trenching Versus Directional Boring

Trenching involves excavation contractors digging trenches of varying lengths and depths to create the space needed to place underground electrical conduits. One of the biggest advantages of traditional trenching is that it’s significantly cheaper than directional boring, which is important for projects on a tight budget. However, if your property isn’t relatively open, the cost can increase dramatically, especially if pavement or large boulders must be torn out before trenching can occur.

Directional boring involves excavation contractors drilling boreholes along a preplanned underground route through which utility lines will be pulled. Boring is more environmentally friendly than trenching because it doesn’t disturb ecosystems or potentially pollute groundwater. It’s also a safer process because you eliminate the risk of workers or equipment falling into open trenches. The primary disadvantage of directional boring is cost, which is typically much higher than trenching unless there’s a multitude of obstacles to be removed.

New Electrical System Excavation

Trenching is typically used for new electrical services in residential, commercial or industrial developments where there are no existing utility lines. The ditch trenched must be wide enough to accommodate the conduit that’s typically placed to protect underground electrical lines. Multiple utility services are often installed within the same trench, so this can change the parameters.

Different types of conduit are used based on whether it’s primary conduit, secondary conduit for 200 Amp or 400 Amp service or conduit for street or security lighting. If the trench is dug through rocky terrain, the conduit must be bedded with sand. Once the conduit is installed, the excavation contractor backfills the trench. New utility lines are pulled through the conduit in a process called cabling, and lines can be hooked up by a licensed electrician and service turned on. Directional boring may also be utilized to lay new utility lines when these lines need to run beneath existing obstacles.

Existing Electrical System Excavation

Although directional boring may be used for excavation to upgrade an existing electrical system where concrete slabs are in the way, hydro excavation is the safest, least invasive method of excavating buried electrical lines. Existing underground utility lines can be all over your property, and you may not know exactly where to find them. To prevent the risk of an electric shock, electrical excavation contractors use specialized utility locator tools to safely find these existing lines.

When you need to excavate existing electrical systems for inspection, repair, retrofitting or replacement, vacuum exaction is ideal to avoid unnecessary risks. Hydro excavation is the safest, most efficient vacuum excavation method to dig and locate utility lines. It’s also nondestructive, and it increases productivity while decreasing overall costs of the project. Hydro excavation removes soil with pressurized water before a vacuum transfers the debris to its respective tank.

Earthworkz Provides Expert Site Electrical Excavation

Finding an experienced site electrical excavation contractor that you can trust is easy when you contact Earthworkz Construction. We’re a full-service excavation contractor and can meet all your electrical excavation needs for both new and existing utility projects in residential, commercial and industrial developments. Regardless of your task, we have the equipment and a highly trained and experienced team to get the job done and save you time and money in the process. Founded in 2009, we remain one of the most respected excavation and utility infrastructure companies in the greater Kansas City area. Contact us at 816-625-1254 to schedule your electrical excavation project today.