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Old 01-20-2009, 05:52 PM   #16
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It makes no sense what so ever, do you think 120 is more safe or less safe than 240?
I don't know, ask the people who wrote that exception into the NEC that limits it to 120v at 12 inches.

My point is that the inspector isn't entirely off the wall with this.

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Old 01-20-2009, 06:14 PM   #17
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My point is that the inspector isn't entirely off the wall with this.

Sure he his, check out note #4 under 300.5
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:26 PM   #18
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Sure he his, check out note #4 under 300.5
Right, that's the note that allows UF at 12 inches provided it's 120volts 20 or 15 amp and GFCI.

I don't think it's a stretch to disallow two 120v on different phases that are buried in the same trench at 12 inch depth. I could see an inspector going either way on that one. I definitely don't think it's clear cut enough to dismiss the inspector out of hand for deciding that two 120v on different phases is the same as 240v.
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Old 01-20-2009, 06:46 PM   #19
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Right, that's the note that allows UF at 12 inches provided it's 120volts 20 or 15 amp and GFCI.

I don't think it's a stretch to disallow two 120v on different phases that are buried in the same trench at 12 inch depth. I could see an inspector going either way on that one. I definitely don't think it's clear cut enough to dismiss the inspector out of hand for deciding that two 120v on different phases is the same as 240v.
If this were a 240 V circuit, I would agree. But the fact is they are two different circuits, each GFCI protected. And there is no guarantee that each circuit is on a different phase. They could just as easily be on the same leg of the panel, and thus 0 V between them.

I would say that the inspector is totally baseless with this call, IMHO.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:01 PM   #20
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When using direct-burial cables, you can put all of them in the same ditch, wrap them around each other, tie them in knots, etc. Just don't damage the insulation with shovels, rocks, heavy equipment, etc.

They need to be in close proximity to each other, and where they emerge from the ground they need to be in conduit. The bottom of this conduit needs to be at least 18" below finish grade.

The minimum depth is 24", except where they are buried under a driveway, or under concrete. 18" is the minimum here. Table 300.5 of the code governs underground installations.

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Old 01-20-2009, 10:17 PM   #21
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Are you running both of these circuits to an outbuilding or do you have 2 loads that are both outside?
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:18 PM   #22
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Are you running both of these circuits to an outbuilding or do you have 2 loads that are both outside?
Good catch.
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Old 01-20-2009, 10:28 PM   #23
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Are you running both of these circuits to an outbuilding or do you have 2 loads that are both outside?
Why would that matter?
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:09 AM   #24
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Why would that matter?
Because you can only have one feeder or branch circuit to a detached structure.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:07 AM   #25
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Because you can only have one feeder or branch circuit to a detached structure.
But how does that affect them being in the same trench?
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:16 AM   #26
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But how does that affect them being in the same trench?
Because if they were going to the same structure it would be a problem.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:21 AM   #27
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I wasn't going to argue with him
When I 1st called & said I was running UF 20a 12" down that would be GFCI protected, 1st they said I couldn't do that. Then I quoted the specific code out of NEC. They said they would have to call me back

They called back & said I could run 1 line per trench
If I ran (2) circuits they said someone digging could hit 240v
Waddya gonna do
It would be interesting to ask this inspector how you should deal with a 120/240V feeder to an outbuilding or a 240V line to a well pump.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:28 AM   #28
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Because if they were going to the same structure it would be a problem.
Only once they hit the structure, the guys question was can they be in the same trench, not can you run two circuts to a structure. So I dont get why were talking about this. Lots of assuming going on.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:39 AM   #29
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Only once they hit the structure, the guys question was can they be in the same trench, not can you run two circuts to a structure. So I dont get why were talking about this. Lots of assuming going on.
That's why this question was asked:

Are you running both of these circuits to an outbuilding or do you have 2 loads that are both outside?

There was no assuming going on.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:06 AM   #30
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Both of my circuits were for the yard - terminated at an outlet on a post. I did run 60a feed to my pool cabana for a sub - but that was in conduit. But yeah, buried 240v feed you would have the same issue if you hit both hots with a shovel

But I think that would need to be at 18" depth?

To add, these circuits were run along the side of a garden. So he may have used that fact to reach his decision. Since most gardens can be dug up more then a yard

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