Question about underground wiring: Electric  -- Home Building Discussion Forum and Review Question about underground wiring: Electric -- Home Building Discussion Forum

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 09-26-2004, 12:40 Post: 97229
Smiffer
2004-09-26 12:40:18
Post: 97229
 Question about underground wiring

In our backyard we have a pond that is about 80' in diameter. Next year we would like to purchase a fountain for the pond and are thinking of running electricity from the house to the edge of the pond. We are currently doing some major landscaping and while our entire backyard is torn up I would like to run underground wire out to this location. It approximately 150'. I have rented a ditchwitch next week to run our gutter downspouts from the house to the pond and figured this would be a good time to run the wire. My question is what gauge of wire should I use? Is there a certain type for underground use? As you can tell I am by no means an electrician.






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 09-27-2004, 05:46 Post: 97247
TomG

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 Question about underground wiring

I'd get a 'wiring made simple' book from a building supply. It will give trench requirements for your area. It likely would have to be a GFI protected circuit. Runs over 100' require larger gauge, which would be 12-gauge for a 15A circuit in most places. Direct burial wire would be the usual choice. If it's run through conduit (ABS drain pipe works since it doesn't enter the house) then the wire can be replaced if necessary with digging up the entire trench. A Permit and inspection may be required.






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 09-27-2004, 06:19 Post: 97249
kyvette

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 Question about underground wiring

Smiffer, you are treading on dangerous ground if you don't know what you are doing. Now with that said, as TomG stated you must use GFI (ground fault interrupter) and install all conductor in PVC conduit. The GFI (depending on code requirements) can be a GFI receptacle at the load or a GFI breaker, protecting the circuit.

I assume you plan to feed this circuit from your distribution panel in your house. I would expect your load to be small, therefore, as TomG stated a #12 copper conductor would work. Be sure the conductor is three wire and rated for in ground burial and for wet/dry locations. Normally, the three wires are black (hot), white (neutral),and bare(could be green) for grounding. For a 120vac circuit the black is connected to the lug on a single pole breaker. You must use a spare breaker or install a new one, do not double up on an existing breaker. The white is connected to the neutral lug (bar) and the bare is connected to the grounding bar or in some cases is the same as the neutral bar.

Be careful and good luck with your project.






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 09-27-2004, 06:57 Post: 97252
TomG

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 Question about underground wiring

It'd be good to check code for the conduit. Here it's not required for branch circuits. When used, it can be left open at both ends and the conduit joints aren't glued. Most material is OK. The vertical sections from the trench do require conduit and it must rated for residential use. Frost loops in the bottom of the trench floor (likely around 2' deep with 6" of sand) may be needed. Mark the trench line using a laser level (conduit doesn't bend much). Don't dig from both ends without figuring out how to get the tractor off the trench--hope we aren't discouraging you too much.






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