Trenching Water and Electric Lines – Off Grid Living


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Trenching water and electric lines isn’t that big of a deal if you have or rent the right equipment. And of course doing your research before hand helps too!

Why pay someone else to do something that you can do yourself…right? That’s the way I look at it. Not only does it save you money, but it also gives you some good experience and a good workout all at the same time.

Living off grid does have its advantages. Cheaper way of living, a better quality of living (my opinion) and being isolated so that your not surrounded with so many idiots. Lol!

I would never go back to living in town, or sub-divisions like we did before. Why? To many foolish people (idiots) for lack of a better word. Most city people can’t poor pee out of boot much less drive a car like they have some sense. And no way could they accomplish what my wife and I just did with an excavator, shovels, warm clothes and some will power.

Trenching water and electric lines was work, but we also chose to make it fun. We didn’t bitch and belly ache about it, or tell everyone how bad we have it. Instead, we got in the trenches and got dirty, muddy and a little sweaty. After a few days work, we have it all done!

Check out the pictures below and see start to finish as we done our own trenching water and electric lines. The water lines are 4′ deep and the electric lines are 3′ deep.

There was one place where the water line and electric line shared a trench for about 60′ and the water line was laid in the bottom of the trench and cover with dirts for about 2 foot, the the electric line was laid in and then another 1 foot of dirt, then we laid red danger tape in and on top of that dirt, then covered the rest of the trench up with dirt and rock on the driveway portion of the trenches.

The red danger tape in the last 1 foot of the trench allows for someone that ever digs to find it 1 foot down and hopefully they will have the sense to stop digging before ever going any further.


While still living in our fifth wheel camper while we build our new home, it is important to have a place on our land to do our laundry and also a place for shelter against severe storms, so we are running water lines and electric to our property from the road which is 1/4 mile and also building a severe duty storm shelter in our big shop.


The storm shelter will all be concrete (ceiling included), it will have plumbing inside for washer and dryer, sink, shower and toilet. Everything we needed until our new home is complete.

Below are pictures of the project completed 🙂

Trenching water and electric lines
Since we do shop around for the best deals, and occasionally get scrap lumber from build sites that we’ve been given permission to, helps considerably cut materials cost. It doesn’t hurt to shop around for the best deals. You never know when you might be saving yourself hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, especially on bigger projects like we are doing.

My large 4-4-4 aluminum direct bury wire for the electric was over $500 everywhere local, so I got on eBay and found the same thing for $300 with free shippping, and had it in 3 days. The conduit I needed was all taken from dumpsters on job sites that builders had threw away. Zero cost there, just some time searching through dumpsters for it (15 minutes) to be exact!

You can do anything you set your mind to as long as you believe that you can. Chase your dreams and live the life you want to live.

Always do your best,

-Mike and Rhonda Pilcher

Trenching water and electric lines
P.S. Videos of this project will be posted soon. Also I wanted to add the cost of this project. 1-1/2″ blue water line …600′ was donated to us, the electric wire mentioned in the post above was $300 for 325′, the Kubota u35 excavator was $225 for a day and a half, red danger tape $7.00 per 300’…

Our labor cost was free/donated to the project…just doing it out of love. 🙂

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