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Old 05-26-2011, 11:05 AM   #16
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NEC and burial of service line


75' is a long way, they have walk-behind trench digging machines you can rent. It took 2 teenagers around 10 hours to dig my 32' trench. There were a lot of roots to cut through, but it was still cheaper than the rental. $120 minimum rental charge for 4 hours where I live, but you'd have the trench dug in 30 minutes. I did this when I was running a trench for gas and electric for a pool and heater at a previous house.

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Old 05-26-2011, 11:11 AM   #17
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75' is a long way, they have walk-behind trench digging machines you can rent. It took 2 teenagers around 10 hours to dig my 32' trench. There were a lot of roots to cut through, but it was still cheaper than the rental. $120 minimum rental charge for 4 hours where I live, but you'd have the trench dug in 30 minutes. I did this when I was running a trench for gas and electric for a pool and heater at a previous house.
I know it is a long way. I already have it done 18" about halfway. I'm just double checking the code and trying to be sure that it doesn't have to be deeper. I wish it did have to be 6" all the way, I would have been done by now. I'm trying to cut some of the labor costs from the electrician. I've already established that I cannot do the work myself from my local building dept, at least as far as wiring goes, and I am just trying to do what I can.

I could have rented a trencher, but like you say it costs..Shovels and a pick axe are a pain in the back but they are free
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:13 AM   #18
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Ok, I'm pretty sure the yellow box I have here outlined down on the left side doesn't apply to me. I just highlighted because I wasn't sure and need clarification of if it does apply.
You had said that this isn't under a driveway or an area you're parking cars so this doesn't apply.

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If that does not apply to me, I assume it puts me in the top red box catagory I have highlighted. Judging from the columns I think I have a choice here. If I go with metal conduit (colum 2) it only has to be 6", If I go with the plastic stuff (column 3) it has to be 18". Did I interpret that correctly? If so, why in the world does it have to be so much deeper if in plastic pipe as opposed to metal?
Rigid metal conduit has pretty heavy wall, it's not going to be damaged by anything like a shovel. At 6" of cover, a shovel will hit it. The plastic would likely crack.

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I'm pretty sure my local code is based on this but they may have their own codes on top of it. I just want to be sure I understand the code before i call and question them.

Here is the table from the 2008 NEC I have..Don't know if it changed in the 2011 edition
2008 is more likely in effect than 2011, you should check, but many areas are 3 years behind. For Michigan, 2008 only went into effect at the beginning of April of this year.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:18 AM   #19
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Rigid metal conduit has pretty heavy wall, it's not going to be damaged by anything like a shovel. At 6" of cover, a shovel will hit it. The plastic would likely crack.
Makes sense. Thanks

Is it more expensive to run metal as opposed to plastic? I think I may not be able to do metal anyway because my pipe going into the footing and coming up into the shop is plastic. I would think it would have to be 100% metal to abide by code in order to dig the ditch at 6" deep.

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2008 is more likely in effect than 2011, you should check, but many areas are 3 years behind. For Michigan, 2008 only went into effect at the beginning of April of this year.
As far as I know we are still using the 2008 code in my city.
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Old 05-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #20
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Makes sense. Thanks

Is it more expensive to run metal as opposed to plastic? I think I may not be able to do metal anyway because my pipe going into the footing and coming up into the shop is plastic. I would think it would have to be 100% metal to abide by code in order to dig the ditch at 6" deep.



As far as I know we are still using the 2008 code in my city.
I don't know what schedule 80 PVC conduit costs because I gave up trying to find it, but schedule 40 conduit for a 10' long piece in 2" diameter is $4.79. In rigid metal conduit, a 2" diameter pipe 10' long is $48 and change.

That would be a yes. More expensive.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:55 PM   #21
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That would be a yes. More expensive.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:07 AM   #22
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I think I may not be able to do metal anyway because my pipe going into the footing and coming up into the shop is plastic. I would think it would have to be 100% metal to abide by code in order to dig the ditch at 6" deep.
FYI…The pipe run doesn’t have to be 100% metal to run it at 6”. That portion that runs horizontal underground has to be buried 6” and be Rigid or Intermediate Conduit. You could then transition to plastic if you wished.

The 6" burial rule applies to the horizontal run under the ground. Obviously it's going to be less when the pipe hits the elbows and turns upward. The code recognizes this, and allows it.

I’m not saying this is what I’d do…just clarifying.

Another FYI note…if I were going to do this, I’d use metal elbows.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:22 AM   #23
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NEC and burial of service line


As a small consolation prize to using all metal, though, you are allowed to use it as your ground conductor so you only need to pull 3 cables instead of 4. But rigid metal conduit is more expensive per foot than a ground conductor. Even if it was copper.

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