||11-26-2006 03:19 PM
Wow! I never would have expected that "minimum cover requirement" ("burial depth" to us less versed) would have sparked such an exchange. I asked the question because I like to plan projects with safety in mind, and since the NEC is primarily in the business of safety, I figured an professional electrician familiar with the NEC could give me the correct, and presumably, safe answer. Although, I will admit that safe by the NEC, or any other building code in any of other trades, is not always best. You do, of course, have to consider other factors such as convenience and application. In my application, I simply want two duplex receptacles in the front of the house that will permit my wife's extensive christmas lights to go up without any problems. We had a receptacle out front, but the circuit is dead for reasons unknown. And since the cable runs behind finished falls and through voids in concrete block, trying to find the problem is more of a hassle than just simply replacing it. The conduit run I'm planning will go by the front of the house underground about twelve feet (did I mention the wires would be protected in conduit for the whole run????), make a left turn at the corner about two feet, and go up to main panel outside...pretty innocent project. However, that does not mean that I don't want to pay attention to those vital details that make a difference- for example "minimum coverage". Running conduit horizontally on grade and covering it with 12" of florida sand, although acceptable, will not probably work. Three summers from now, and 50 wind driven rainstorms later, will make that 12" mound a 4" mound of sand. Likewise, burying conduit 3 feet underground on a 20-amp GFI protected circuit seems to be a bit of overkill, no matter how lazy or stong your back may be....The likelyhood that you would shovel down more than 12" to plant a bush is slim, and any tree that would require that type of excavation you most likely woudn't want to have growing right next to the house. Additionally, negatively re-grading to the point of actually exposing the slab is not practical for me or any future owner of the house. If anything the elevation of the dirt near the house would be brought up- not down. However, placing stones near the run so as to provide a bit of warning to the person excavating is a pretty clever idea, and I think I will do that.
Now, my next question is which gun should I buy to protect my family a 9mm beretta or a smith and wesson 357 magnum...Just kidding! :thumbup: Thanks for all the input guys...take it easy!