My pool is about 7ft from fence, and i need to dig a trench about 70ft long. About 10ft (will bring pvc at 45 degree angle to fence and out 45 deg to other side of pool) will run along fence and the land abruptly slopes by fenced area to keep the dirt off the fence.

The slope starts about a foot away from fence, right where I would like to start the trench. Im debating hand digging, but I would like to get the smaller 18inch deep trencher .. so im wondering if i am able to run a board to help keep trencher straight, what would be reference to measure for depth? The higher side or low side of soil?

I ask mostly because if i needed to go deeper a ditch witchis much too big, and I am using pvc conduit so I will need to dig the rest otherwise. I figure with the 18inch trencher i can use my 15lb digging bar to smash down the extra inch so 18 inches measures from top of conduit. But now im wondering how the slope will play into this.


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  • Not sure you are going to want this slope by the fence. If you are planting grass, its going to be annoying to cut/whack. As far as trenching, I would trench. Use some snap-line or twine and two pieces of rebar. Drive the trencher along side of it. The run does not have to be perfectly straight. I'm not confident but would suspect 18" is plenty. You are running electrical.
    – noybman
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 3:43
  • Yea, i just didn't want the dirt resting up against the bottom of thr fence where it was to possibly have it rot from moisture. A lot of that dirt was from the pool dig out as it was a 2ft difference. Im just worried about one side being a few inches lower on the trench than the other, and the trench not deep enough as 18 inches is required for pvc conduit.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 4:23
  • Thank you for the response. A little off topic, but when adding a new circuit, do you connect it to breaker before inspector comes, or after they check over everything first?
    – eaglei22
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 13:19
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    @Tester101 and to answer your question, the grade does slope on a slight decline away from the pool on fence side. the leveling was off a little less than inch so there was a slight decline toward the wall side of pool site. So I do get sitting water near wall, which I why I intend to add the gravity drain soon. But I will maybe grade the slope a little better so it declines a tad more on fence side too.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 13:34
  • 1
    If it's final inspection, then everything should be in working order. Leave the trench open, so the inspector can see that you are at the proper depth. Everything else should be installed, and ready to flip the breaker on. Make sure you check with your local building department concerning electrical disconnect for the pump. Some places allow the plug to act as the disconnect (if it's a plug in pump), others require a weatherproof switch near the pump.
    – Tester101
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


The depth of the trench is measured from the final grade above the conduit. So It would be measured from a point right above the conduit, which would be about the average of the slope. However, most inspectors aren't going to ding you for an inch or two. In fact, most inspectors don't even measure, unless it looks too shallow.

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