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Scooter777's profile

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15 Messages

Monday, November 27th, 2023 5:28 AM

Traceable buried fiber drops

The recent fiber installations to the houses on either side of me have their fiber drops buried from a handhole by the curb to the slack NID on the side of the house.  These fiber drops have an integral tracer wire.  If a fiber drop were buried approximately 12 inches deep and installed in 1-inch schedule 80 PVC conduit or orange corrugated innerduct, would the locator still be able to locate the buried drop? 

Accepted Solution

Expert

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19K Messages

3 months ago

As long as there's a tracer, yes. 

Accepted Solution

2 Messages

3 months ago

The ability to locate a buried fiber drop depends on various factors, including the depth of burial, the type of conduit used, and the presence of a tracer wire. In the scenario you described:

  • Depth of Burial (12 inches): While the standard recommendation for burying fiber optic cables is deeper than 12 inches, having the fiber drop at this depth may still be locatable. However, deeper burial can provide better protection and reduce the risk of accidental damage.

  • Conduit Type (1-inch Schedule 80 PVC or Orange Corrugated Innerduct): The type of conduit used can affect the ability to locate the fiber. PVC conduit provides some protection and can be located, but using an orange corrugated innerduct may offer additional visibility for the tracer wire, making it easier to locate.

  • Tracer Wire: The presence of an integral tracer wire is a significant factor. Tracer wires are designed to help locate buried cables by carrying an electric signal that can be detected with appropriate equipment.

Given these considerations, if the fiber drop is buried at a depth of 12 inches with an integral tracer wire in either 1-inch Schedule 80 PVC conduit or orange corrugated innerduct, it should still be locatable using specialized locator equipment. The type of equipment used and the expertise of the person operating it also play a role in the successful location of buried cables.

However, it's important to note that adherence to industry standards for burial depth and conduit type enhances the reliability and ease of locating buried fiber drops. If there are concerns about the installation, it may be advisable to consult with the fiber optic service provider or a professional installer to ensure compliance with best practices.

Accepted Solution

Expert

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19K Messages

3 months ago

Well, if they were to follow the NEC code for direct buried communications cable the minimum is 18 inches. Sadly, most don't follow code. 

Community Support

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229.5K Messages

3 months ago

Hi @Scooter777,

 

Thanks for reaching out to us! We'd be glad to help you get this taken care of.

 

In order to answer your question, you will have to contact with our buried wire team at 800.924.9420. You can also report the issue by calling our customer care at 800.288.2020.

 

For more information, please read our article on How to Report Exposed Wires or Unburied Cables.

 

Let us know if you have any questions, we're here to help!

 

FionaA, AT&T Community Forum Specialist

 

New Member

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15 Messages

3 months ago

Fiona A:  I am grateful for your quick response.  However, this is just a hypothetical situation.  I don't actually have a case to be pursued.  I was just curious about whether or not a locator could still successfully trace a fiber drop if it were buried 12 inches deep in Schedule 80 PVC conduit or innerduct.  Perhaps someone out there in the community forum would have some insight about this.  Thanks.

Expert

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19K Messages

3 months ago

@Butler3544 Not sure how many locates you've done, but you can locate cable several feet deep easily. 

New Member

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15 Messages

3 months ago

Many thanks to spoom2 and Butler3544.  Your information is quite helpful.

New Member

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15 Messages

3 months ago

Some background about my question:  I noticed that the crew who came along to bury the initial drop installation buried the drop about three inches below grade by rocking a spade back and forth in the ground and tucking the drop into the resulting groove.  That's why I was curious about a deeper burial and putting it in some kind of duct for a little protection and to make drawing in a replacement drop, should that ever be necessary, a simple job.  Thanks again. 

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