Jun 02 , 2020
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Installing an Underground Power Line
If you’re considering running a power line underground through your yard, you have four options. Your choice depends on how much power you want. It also depends on your soil type. If it’s sandy and easy to dig, save money by digging deep (you won’t need to use metal conduit). If it’s rocky or clay, keep your digging to a minimum.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to include a service entrance ell, which has a removable cover to give you access to the inside wires above ground level. And get a permit and talk to your inspector about local codes before starting.
Electrical Cable Depth Options
- Decide how much digging you’re prepared to do, which determines the type of wire you need to use.
- Underground cable for running electrical power to a remote location can be installed at different depths, depending on the type of conduit and type of wire used.
- For a 6-in.-deep trench, use galvanized rigid metal electrical conduit with individual conductors inside.
- For a 12-in.-deep trench, you can direct-bury GFCI-protected underground feeder cable with a short length of PVC conduit at the house.
- At 18 inches, you can use THWN-2 conductors inside a continuous length of PVC conduit, which protects the wire all the way through the trench to the house.
- At 24 inches you can bury underground feeder cable, using PVC conduit to 18 inches below ground only where the wire comes up.