Running Wire Through a Gravel Driveway

Usually you can run the wire unprotected through the ground and across a driveway. The boundary wire is surprisingly durable and can even be run above the driveway unprotected without succumbing to breakages. (although it will wear out sooner). But, gravel driveways are an exception to this general rule. With gravel you want to use a pipe or other conduit to protect the dog fence boundary wire.

We have two gravel driveways that need to be crossed with the wire. Due to a rough winter (lots of snow, thus plowing, melting, and some rutting) I am concerned with finding the best way to bury the wire. In a garden hose? Then buried 6 inches? PVC Pipe? Or can the wire take being buried in gravel without any protection – it seems it will damage it?

How does one get the wire fed through the PVC or garden hose? Unfortunately the wire is in the middle of the spool so that would be a few hundred feet of threading or is it ok to add another splice for this purpose?

When running wire over, under or through a gravel driveway, the wire needs to be protected otherwise the sharp shards of gravel grinding against each other when you drive over can break the wire or wear it down quickly. Wire is typically protected using PVC pipe or a garden hose that is buried just below the surface. (one inch down is fine). I find garden hose easier to work with, but if you expect to be running other wires through this conduit, you are better off putting in the larger diameter PVC pipe.

It is easiest to run the wire through the conduit before it is laid down. You can either feed the wire directly through the conduit, or use fish tape for longer runs. Run the fish tape through the conduit, then securely fasten the boundary wire to the fish tape using electrical tape. Then gently pull the boundary wire back through.

Where possible I will try and avoid creating another splice point as these tend to be weak spots in the system. But, certainly breaking the wire a few feet before and/or after the conduit section and splicing it back together is no big deal.

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1 Comment

  1. Mike Galle says:

    I have an existing underground fence that I am having problems with due to the small gauge wire installed with the original fence kit. I’m going to run new 14 to 16 gauge wire but have to cross a gravel driveway. The old wire is run through small pvc pipe across the driveway and buried about 3″ deep. Is that acceptable? Could I use PEX tubing and still get the same protection for the wire? Thank you for your response to my question!

    ADMIN – Hi Mike. Yes, the existing PVC that is only 3″ deep should be fine. The recommended bury depth is 1-3″.

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