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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Do I need to make sure the wire from house to garage is at least 12" down?

    I had to dig a trench from the house to the garage to replace the wiring because the garage had no power, there was already conduit there so all we had to do was replace it with new wire which was rated outdoor and didn't need the sleeve or whatever it's called because the elec. guy at the store said that there is no requirement anymore to encase the wire in a conduit pipe because it gets too hot so as long as you use the proper oudoor wire, you can just stick it in the ground and cover it back up with dirt, etc... But when we were filling the trench back up I noticed that in some spots, the wire is only 6" from the top, should I tamp it down farther or is that ok? The guy told me it shouldn't be too taut so I was afraid to push down on it too much. Would it be a good idea to cover the area with pavers or something on top of the dirt? The part that is going into the garage runs under concrete which we will have to redo anyway. Any help would be appreciated, I just want to set my mind at ease. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Do I need to make sure the wire from house to garage is at least 12" down?

    I alwasy thought you have to be 24" down, but maybe that's only for conduits and feeders, not branch circuits.

    I' still a fan of using conduit and pulling individual wires for a feeder to the garage and installing a small subpanel. IT gives you a lot more flexibility and you have to dig a trench either way.
    1925 Two-Story Stucco Beaux Arts Neoclassical

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Do I need to make sure the wire from house to garage is at least 12" down?

    Table 330-5 in the Codebook lists the various "cover" requirements. If you're using direct burial "UF" wire in a residential 120V branch circuit that has GFCI protection and is protected by no more than a 20A breaker you can bury it 12".

    It's best not to tamp the wire down in the trench too hard, but should not not be a problem. If some spots are buried only 6" deep you can legally pour 2" of dry concrete (will set overnight) over the high spots to keep it from being cut with a shovel.

    If you already have PVC conduit buried 18" deep it might have been easier to re-pull a wire like THW (rated for wet locations), but since you've already done the job, you should be fine. Overheated conductors should not be a problem but if the run is over 200 ft. long using wire a size larger than usually required, may have been worth the money, to prevent voltage drop.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://the semi-retiredelectrician.com
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Do I need to make sure the wire from house to garage is at least 12" down?

    the guy didnt know what he was talking about as far as the wire getting to hot if its in conduit. Maybe if you way undersize it and run many conductors in the pipe. I personally prefer PVC pipe, and if im feeding a building from one to another. I like to run larger than needed pipe for future expansion. Then pull in single conductors...

    However you didnt and what you did will be fine.. If im just burring a UF cable for myself or a family member wants something done, i tell em get it atleast a shovel depth deep. then dont tell anyone or put the shovel in the ground their again! IF this is under a drive way (gravel) then this would be a BAD thing though!!!

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