Running electrical wiring underground is not only acceptable, it is often the best and safest option. However, electric wiring must be run correctly and according to all local building codes. You should always use a qualified electrician for your electrical services. In addition to meeting code requirements, your homeowner’s insurance should cover any damages if the work was performed by a licensed professional.
Uses and Benefits of Underground Electrical Wiring
Electrical wiring running across your property is exposed to damage from ice and wind. Tree branches falling on the wiring can cause you to loose power. In high winds, these branches will also rub against the wiring. If you have wiring near tree limbs, you will need to use a professional tree trimming service to prevent the possibility of electrocution. Electrical wires are not allowed to run above outdoor swimming pools, which may prevent you from having a pool installation.
Running electrical wiring underground is useful for home to garage, shed or outdoor appliance applications. When the wiring is installed correctly, you will not have to worry about damage to overhead wires. In some cases, underground wiring can shorten the distance required to complete a circuit. For example, if a connection is made from a box in your basement or crawl space, the wire can be run directly where it is needed. Otherwise, the wire needs to be run up through a penetration in your roof and then overhead to the connection.
National Electrical Code
The complete electrical code is complex, the information provided here is designed to be a guideline summary. You should also keep in mind that some jurisdictions might require different or more restrictive measures for underground wiring.
- NEC 300-5 requires that wiring approved for direct burial be run 24 inches below ground level. When non-metal raceways, conduit, is used the minimum depth can be 18 inches.
- If the circuit in a residential application is 120 volts or less, and rated for 20 amps or less and GFCI protected, the depth can be reduced to 12 inches.
- Where the wiring leaves the burial point, it must be protected in approved conduit from the below grade distance to the termination point.
- Wiring running under driveways, or areas where vehicles may cross, have stricter requirements.
With the complexities of the code, you should use a qualified electrician for any underground or other electrical services. Jackson, MS, does follow the National Electric Code and other municipal code requirements may apply to your situation. Work done improperly can lead to fire and electrocution hazards.
At Dent Air Conditioning, we know the code requirements for Jackson, MS, and the surrounding areas. Our trained technicians are available to handle your air conditioning, electrical and plumbing needs. Call us today for professional, courteous service.