Monday, May 17, 2010

Work Like an Egyptian

It wasn't easy finding a pole to purchase. Once located, the delivery cost was more than the pole itself so loaded it (550 pounds) on the truck. I drove uphill from the hole. I just sort of untied it and got out of the way; it rolled right into my new fence, bounced off with no damage, and pointed itself pretty much at the hole---wrong side down. Pivoting it around on a slope without having it roll away involved lots of rope and anchors.
You have to put a board in the hole for the butt end to scrape against, otherwise the pole gets stuck and you collapse dirt back into the hole. Once in position you just lift the end of the pole as high as you can. The butt end frictions against the other board so you can re-position. (No pictures of the actual lifting because I was actually lifting)
Then a PVC pipe is strapped to the pole. This is so the inspector can run a rod down the pipe to make sure you buried the pole deep enough (5' is required; I went 6.5') Then a grounding rod is pounded in, 8' deep. Then all the electrical service stuff is built up and attached to the pole.
With everything dome according to County of San Diego and SDG&E specs, I called for an inspection. Over the phone the inspector said I needed a second 8' grounding rod pounded in at least 6' away with 4AWG copper wire bonding the two rods. I can't find that anywhere in the literature but, keeping the inspector happy is worth $15 in copper and 2 hours with the sledge.
He comes today while I'm at work. Hope it goes well; also hope he doesn't find some major flaw with the whole project (not likely, just one of those deep in the pit of the stomach fears)


Lee said...

Around here there was a number of incidents where they would sledge the copper down about three feet then saw it off and pound the end.

Grants Pass. Not Roseburg.

As far as inspection and approvals go, seems to me if you were going to build a dwelling for personal use on your own property there should not be a need for any such stuff.

However, if you are using it for rental or to sell then it should be certified inspected. Although, that is probably crazy sounding!

flyingvan said...

If you want to see what San Diego would look like free of building codes, just drive an hour south to Mexico.
Most of the rules and such make sense and lead to a well built fire resistive structure. There's some bureaucratic nonsense right now because they're trying to standardize the national building code, so they are applying all this commercial structure stuff to residential construction, but none of it is a very big deal. Stuff like guardrails having to be 42" high instead of 36"

flyingvan said...

Oh and I understand the temptation to saw off half the grounding rod. Not much more effort to do it right. They make a pneumatic driver too that would make it an easy job