Conduit Dispute

Discussion in 'Development' started by albanga, 20th Feb, 2020.

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  1. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    HI PC,

    I need some general guidance on what to do next. Apologies for the long post.

    So I finished building my house 2 years ago and at the time we didn’t have NBN in our street.

    As part of the build I did the driveway separate which was done after handover. I was still in contact with my builder because some hand over items were not done and advised him I was doing my driveway.

    He realized the conduit for NBN had not been taken from the driveway and said not to pour before it was located and taken to the street. Well I had my concreters booked and they said TOO BAD.
    Anyway that morning the electrician went to my house and started digging up where he thought it was and luckily eventually found it before the pour started, he then claimed to have taken it to the front and that was the end of it. The pour was done and that was it.

    Well the NBN is now available and I went to have it installed and no conduit to be found.
    I called my builder and advised and he has the electrician call me.
    The electrician had ME dig up one side of the crossover and it wasn’t their. He then said actually i think it’s the other side which I then dig up and it wasn’t their.
    I called builder again and this time electrician came out and spent 10 minutes digging before deciding he definitely took the conduit to the street and it was dug up be concreters.

    I let it be for the last few months because I just had a baby and had more important things but now I’m working from home more and need NBN (I’m current using 4G) so I again call builder who again calls electrician who this time replies I didn’t take it to the side I took it out straight ahead and told the concreter not to pour crossover until they connect it....
    I have since replied that’s impossible given the old crossover was removed AFTER he supposedly took the conduit their. This is where it’s now at.

    Obviously the concreter is having none of it and won’t accept any responsibility and the electrician is clearly not either.

    So what’s the next step?
    My thought is builders insurer or VCAT.
    The fact it was not labeled or connected prior to hand over I think is grounds enough.

    Someone needs to rip up the crossover and find it and I’m not paying for that.
     
    Perthguy likes this.
  2. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Also my contract clearly states NBN Ready which is impossible with no cable to the street.
     
  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Did they find any sign of the conduit?
     
  4. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Nah nothing.
    When I dug on the side of the crossover I also dug under it about say 150mm but stopped as didn’t want to compromise the strength of the crossover.

    I was expecting to see something! But couldn’t find a thing.
     
  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    What would happen if you sell the house and new owner wants NBN? How would they manage to hook it up?

    Can they use overhead wires. My understanding is this is what will happen in our street, but I'm not really sure.
     
  6. turk

    turk Well-Known Member

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    How deep did you dig?
     
  7. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention the all important part than I’m a rear townhouse and no garden beds down the side so no matter what I cannot run my own conduit without ripping up all the concrete.

    And definitely can’t go above. I already explored all those options.
     
  8. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    A fair way down.
    Initially they told me to dig one side near the electrical pit which I did and hit the orange tape so went another 30mm under that.

    I did the same on both sides.
     
  9. turk

    turk Well-Known Member

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    I believe minimum depth is 300mm, how ever they can be deeper, they are around 500mm at our place.
     
  10. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Should be several inches below the tape not 1" otherwise if you hit the tape with a shovel or excavator bucket, you'd have gone through the cable too
     
    Archaon likes this.
  11. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Sorry meant 300mm
     
  12. Anthony416

    Anthony416 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if this helps but the NBN guys came a few months back to install the underground service conduit to my house (50m + run, battle axe block). Some observations;
    1) They used thin walled white conduit and they partially did it with a borer and partially a hand dug trench.
    2) Nowhere did they use the warning tape, so maybe your electrician did not use it the whole way/location not correct? Also ask what colour conduit he used, normally underground is thicker walled orange but not sure of the rules for telecommunication services.
    3) The depth seemed to vary greatly from 300mm to 150mm so you may also need to look high and low.
    4) Did the electrician install a draw wire/string? That would have been good practice for sure.
    5) My feeling is he should have provided you with a sketch/photo. His general lack of knowledge/care may indicate he really did not do much or finished it too short. Overall the sparky sounds very dodgy indeed.
     
  13. albanga

    albanga Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the detailed post @Anthony416

    Yeah he definitely used a draw string as the conduit at my house is their with it sticking out.
    I just don’t know where it is on the other side.

    The fact he came and located it the morning of the pour indicates to me that it’s going to be somewhere near the crossover and I’m sure if we ripped up 1 section and dug we will find it.

    It’s just who’s responsibility is that.
    I struggle to see how it’s mine. I mean who on earth would take a conduit directly to where a crossover is. And like I said my crossover was pre existing but thinking back it may have had a small section missing where he could have ran it to.

    Regardless seems a real silly place to do that knowing I would need a crossover
     
  14. shorty

    shorty Well-Known Member

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    I think the only option is to dig up the concrete or bore underneath. Talk to the builder about how they intend to rectify the defect. Doesn't sound like there's any conduit there.

    Underground service locators should be able to check if there's conduit down there
     
  15. Tufan Chakir

    Tufan Chakir Well-Known Member

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    Underground service locator is a good idea - worth a try before anything more invasive
    If still no luck try concrete cut across the driveway where it meets the footpath and dig there (then of course replace the cut area
    Strange it is not marked - either paint mark on the crossover, a stake, or at least photos...
     
    Marg4000 likes this.
  16. RyanB

    RyanB Well-Known Member

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    You poured “or engaged someone to pour” your driveway from what I understand from your post.

    Your Fault, you deal with it