Many outdoor home improvement projects involve digging, either to plant a tree or to do some landscaping. Unfortunately, when digging you may accidentally break a PVC conduit buried underground that was used to run an electrical line. These are typically used to run a wire to a lamppost in a front yard, or any other outdoor lighting that you have. If you feel up to the challenge, you can fix this broken conduit all on your own.
Shut Off The Electricity
You can never be sure if you damaged the wire, so shut off all electricity running through your PVC conduit. Repairing the conduit involves more digging, and you do not want a live wire being in the path of you digging with a metal shovel.
Expose The PVC Conduit
You need to dig down deep enough to expose the PVC conduit. Dig about a foot wide trench in the area where you broke the conduit to give you plenty of room to make the repair.
Test The Electrical Wire
Now is a good time to double check if all electricity is shut off to the wire. Stick a voltage tester into the broken PVC conduit and touch the wire with it. If you properly shut off the electricity, you should not have any electrical current show up on your voltage tester.
Remove The Damaged PVC Conduit
You'll have to remove part of the PVC conduit to inspect the wires for damage, as well as repair the broken conduit. A PVC pipe cutting tool can easily get the job done. Place it around the pipe approximately a foot away from the damaged section, and then twist it around repeatedly while tightening the tool. The tool will eventually cut through the pipe. Repeat the process on the opposite side until you have a section that is loose. Use cutting pliers to cut down the pipe's length of the small section that you removed, and then open up the conduit to remove it from around the wires inside.
Inspect The Electrical Wire
Did you cut through the electrical wire with the shovel? If so, you'll need to have an electrician repair the wire for you. They can splice in a new section of electrical wire, or fish a new wire through the pipe.
Install New Split Conduit
Split conduit comes in two half sections that snap together to form a solid pipe. You simply cut it to size, place it in the gap where you removed the conduit, and snap the two sections together. PVC end clamps will go over the ends of your split conduit in a similar fashion, closing any gaps where the two sections of PVC pipe meet.
If you need help doing any of these steps, know that an electrician can do it for you when they come and do the electrical repair. To learn more, contact a company like Narducci Electric.