Trenching for Grounding
Assessing trenching costs for a grounding system is one of the more difficult areas to estimate since you’re not always aware of what surprise underground encounters you’ll have, from an outcropping of rock to an unrecorded utility line. Even seasoned estimators are uncertain as to the accuracy of their earthwork numbers, especially if they haven’t been provided with enough site and soil information.
If you’re excavating on a greenfield site, chain trenchers can accomplish a lot in a short time and will adapt to most soil conditions, but they are impractical on small jobs. A colocation will often require considerable hand digging to avoid neighboring tenant grounding and electrical systems. The best choice in equipment depends on soil conditions, size of the trench, and the amount of work necessary. There's no single piece of equipment that fits every job.
There will always be hand excavation requirements to provide working areas for ground rod thermowelding and test well installations
Most specifications call for the ground ring to be buried between 24” to 36” below finished grade. The default pricing of $3.95 per linear foot (under 100') is the average subcontractor pricing for excavating, backfilling and compacting a 6”x30” trench based upon a typical colocation grounding system in normal soil conditions. It does not include ground wire placement.
Greenfield sites with large perimeter ground rings and sites requiring extensive runs for guy radial grounds will be less per linear foot. Add to your pricing the cost to remove any rock or excess spoils and concrete cutting expenses. This per linear foot pricing is not as reliable as your own cost data on work done by your crews, with your equipment and under conditions you know and understand. Track each job carefully so that you can quote your projects more profitably.
We recommend that you contact our listed grounding installation contractors to obtain additional information about their services, capabilities and experience.