Bungalow construction - Utilities

Utility trench

Getting the electricity, gas, telephone and water supplies from the village street to the bungalow was one of the most disruptive parts of the project as far as our long-suffering neighbours were concerned. We had to dig a trench down the centre of the shared drive which was unusable for a couple of days, and even when it was back-filled it remained muddy and messy for many months until we had it re-surfaced. John, our groundwork contractor, is here putting rags in the ends of the various ducts before burying them, later to be located by the various utility companies. The black duct is electricity, yellow is gas, grey is telephone and below them are three blue water pipes. We put in three because at this stage we were expecting to have to install a sprinkler system in the bungalow and needed a lot of capacity to deliver the required flow-rate over the long run without too much pressure drop. Later on, this requirement was relaxed in favour of installing smoke detectors in all rooms, so we then had a choice of 3 pipes for the water connection!

BT connection Electricity connection

In the photo on the left BT are extending the ducting across the village street to a chamber in the footpath. Unbelievably, 30 minutes after they back-filled and re-surfaced the hole in the road, the electricity contractors arrived and dug up the same spot!

3 phase cable drum Extending the trench

Because of the distance to the bungalow, we had to install 3-phase cable for the first half of the run even though we only needed a single-phase supply - this was the only cable thick enough to be able to guarantee sufficient voltage under all load conditions. Later in the project we discovered that the planned positions of the consumer unit in the kitchen, and the external meter box in the bungalow wall, were too far apart! Steve had to get his shovel out and extend the electricity ducting to a new position at the rear of the bungalow.

The water connection went well once we'd worked out which of the 3 pipes buried at the road end of the drive was the rising main in the bungalow!!