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Old 07-13-2010, 04:48 PM   #1
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Marking buried cable


I will be building a new house on my existing lot this summer. One of the changes will be removing the pole mounted transform and setting a ground transformer and new meter socket. My garage is powered as a service lateral so I will swing that 2-2-4 to the new meter. I know the code requires the trench to have a warning ribbon 12" above the cable and in my phone conversation with the inspector, he said I have to use one that is marked as buried electrical cable.
Does the code actually say it has to be like this:
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:05 PM   #2
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Marking buried cable


code just states they will be identified by a warning ribbon 12 inches above the conductor.
what was your question?

notice the term "identified". That term is critical to your question.

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Old 07-13-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
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Marking buried cable


My question is: Does the code require the warning ribbon to have the warning message printed on the tape or is my inspector just requiring it? I can't find this locally so would have to order it.
All I find is what you said - warning tape required - and no mention of color or other special conditions. What is usually used in other locations?
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:21 PM   #4
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Marking buried cable


you really missed my point.


the installation must IDENTIFY the fact there is buried cable below. The only way I can think it can fulfill this requirement is to include verbiage such as what is shown on your tape or something very similar.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #5
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Marking buried cable


Nap, question.......... all the Code Check Electrical books are siting the 2009 NEC and 2006 IRC as: "Warning ribbon". Does the complete NEC state-----"identified"? Then all the condensed pamphlets are wrong......... I've looked but do not have the NEC. For what year was that info given?

Thank you for the time taken!

http://books.google.com/books?id=eLo...3703.2&f=false

http://www.codecheck.com/cc/images/CC6thEdSample.pdf

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Last edited by Gary in WA; 07-13-2010 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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Marking buried cable


actually, if you have a 2009 NEC, go get your money back. The last issue is 2008 and the next will be 2011.

the actual verbiage from the 2008:
Quote:
300.5(D)(3)
Service Conductors.

Underground service conductors that are not encased in concrete and that are buried 450mm (18 in) or more below grade shall have their location identified by a warning ribbon that is placed in the trench at least 300 mm (12 in.) above the underground installation.
While I will say that my interpretation requires the term such as "buried electrical cable" or some similar verbiage is required to comply with the term "identified" is my interpretation, from using the code for the years I have, I have observed the NEC is generally quite literal in the usage of terms. In order for the installation to be identified rather than the lesser "marked" or "indicated", I believe the previously indicated verbiage is required to comply with the requirements of the code.

I read the term "identified" as just that. Unless the ribbon states what is buried, even though the ribbon would alert one that there was something about the area that one should take notice of, it is not identified as a buried cable unless the warning ribbon does in fact state "buried cable" on it.

Last edited by nap; 07-13-2010 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:50 PM   #7
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No NEC here, just the '03 Code Check cheapo.
Not to argue, but I read it as "location identified" not material identified, hence the "warning ribbon".
"---conductors---shall have their location identified" Probably see something in the next Code change--- No, "Police Crime Scene" or "Construction Area" warning ribbons........ lol.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_158665-46697...d=1216861&Ntt=

Thank you for return posting.

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Last edited by Gary in WA; 07-13-2010 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:21 PM   #8
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Marking buried cable


you are stressing the location, I am stressing the requirement of identifying. A blank ribbon in the ground does not identify the location as the location of a buried cable. Without the verbiage, it does nothing more than give you a distraction while digging your hole. A ribbon with the words buried cable does identify the location as one where you would find a buried cable.

a blank ribbon marks a location

the verbiage identifies it as the location of buried cable

at least that is my take on it.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:44 PM   #9
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Marking buried cable


So it should read:
"Underground service conductors that are not encased in concrete and that are buried 450mm (18 in) or more below grade shall have their location identified by a warning ribbon stating Buried Electrical Cable that is placed in the trench at least 300 mm (12 in.) above the underground installation.
This would clear things up. Nap, I appreciate you input and don't disagree with your interpretation as it coincides with my inspector's. Since it applies to service conductors which most big box stores sell, I would expect to find this warning ribbon at all of them. I'll find out tomorrow.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:59 PM   #10
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and as you mention, the inspector interprets it the same as I do.

The AHJ (typically the inspector) is given the authority to interpret code. That is especially important in situations such as this where there is no clear answer. Then, since the NEC specifically give the AHJ that authority, the inspector can interpret as he sees fit (obviously not beyond a reasonable interpretation and those that empower him (generally the state) will support his interpretation.

The AHJ cannot make code but if there is a question as to how something is interpreted, the AHJ does have that authority.

btw; anybody can submit suggestions for the code. Anytime you believe the code is lacking, unclear, or jjust plain wrong, you can submit a suggestion to correct that.
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:23 PM   #11
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Marking buried cable


Menard's, a local DIY big box store, had several rolls of warning tape on the shelf so now I own 1000' to do my 100' trench
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:30 PM   #12
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Marking buried cable


Quote:
Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
Menard's, a local DIY big box store, had several rolls of warning tape on the shelf so now I own 1000' to do my 100' trench
should have bought a second roll just to be sure.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:30 PM   #13
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Marking buried cable


Well, I researched this "warning ribbon"........

Submitter: Jamie McNamara, Hastings, MN
Recommendation: Revise as follows:
300.5 Underground Installations. ……..
(D) Protection from Damage. Direct-buried conductors and cables shall be
protected from damage in accordance with 300.5 (D)(1) through(D) (3) (4) .
(1)…..
(3) Service Conductors. Underground service conductors that are not encased
in concrete and that are buried 450 mm (18 in.) or more below grade shall have
their location identified by a warning ribbon that is placed in the trench at least
300 mm (12 in.) above the underground installation.
(3) (4) Enclosure or Raceway Damage. …….. (E) …….
(G) Service Conductors. Underground service conductors that are not
encased in concrete or in metal conduit and that are buried 450 mm (18 in.)
or more below grade shall have their location identified by a warning ribbon
that is placed in the trench at least 300 mm (12 in.) above the underground
installation.
Substantiation: To require direct-buried conductors and nonmetallic
conduits (PVC) containing service conductors to have identification ribbon.
When excavating around nonmetallic conduits buried 450 mm or deeper, the
conduits and the conductors inside are often damaged and striped, exposing the
excavator to hazards, before being recognized as conduit and conductors.
Panel Meeting Action: Reject
Panel Statement: Direct buried service conductors are much more easily
damaged, even when the operator is scratching the surface of the trench to
locate the conductors, than when the conductors are installed in a raceway. A
backhoe operator can damage any raceway system if the operator is not paying
attention and has no idea that anything is buried below.
All utility companies have a service that will mark the ground directly above
the service conductors, whether the conductors are directly buried or not, so
anyone digging in that area will be less likely to damage their conductors.
Cable locators should be used before any trenching or backhoe work is started
in an area where service conductors may be buried. The primary concern
for service conductors is providing an indicator, such as a warning ribbon,
for direct burial cables, especially where those cables have no other form of
protection. From: http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF...cle285-338.pdf


I think they should have both, just my opinion.


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Old 07-19-2010, 06:38 PM   #14
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Marking buried cable


My original question was whether or not the ribbon and to have the warning printed on it. I since found ribbon that has Caution: Buried Electrical Cables printed on it.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:48 PM   #15
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Marking buried cable


My SE trench was 30" deep, as was the trench to my pool cabana
So I put tape 12" above the conduit
Then another run 12" underground
On my front run - GFCI protected before it went in the trench - so 12" deep OK - I put tape about 4" above it
Then another run about 2" below the top

I do the same for any buried cable....1000' tape goes a long way

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