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  • Outside wiring

    I am not sure if this has been covered yet but here goes. I want to install a few outside electrical outlets around my yard. I am going to be doing all the dirty work....(digging the trench,mounting the boxes,etc....). Just a few questions here. Can I just bury the cable in the ground or do I have to run conduit? I am going to be running some of it under my driveway,any special things I need to do for that? The main reason I am doing this is that I install ALOT of christmas lights all around my yard. Do the outlets need to be gfi's?

    I am going to hire an electrician to do all the final connections. I know I need to install a sub-panel in the garage. is that something I can do to help cut costs? Thank you for any imputs.

  • #2
    Re: Outside wiring

    Originally posted by sanman View Post
    I am not sure if this has been covered yet but here goes. I want to install a few outside electrical outlets around my yard. I am going to be doing all the dirty work....(digging the trench,mounting the boxes,etc....). Just a few questions here. Can I just bury the cable in the ground or do I have to run conduit? I am going to be running some of it under my driveway,any special things I need to do for that? The main reason I am doing this is that I install ALOT of christmas lights all around my yard. Do the outlets need to be gfi's?

    I am going to hire an electrician to do all the final connections. I know I need to install a sub-panel in the garage. is that something I can do to help cut costs? Thank you for any imputs.
    you can get wire that is rated for direct burial but it is nice to have conduit so if you need to pull a 2nd circuit you can.

    GFI out lets will work but depending on code you may need a GFI breaker
    Charlie

    My seek the peek fundraiser page
    http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


    http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

    new work pictures 12/09
    http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

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    • #3
      Re: Outside wiring

      You also have to worry about future digging by you or anyone else down the road that could damage your underground cable.

      You would also do well to map out the location of any buried cable or conduit on a copy of your plot plan with some reference measurements to landmarks that will not move or disappear in time like trees or fence posts. Take measurements from buildings or curbs for instance. Snap a few photos, number them, then reference them on your plan by number, with an arrow showing the direction the photo was taken in and where you were standing when you took the photo. If you had some surveyors flags (you can buy a bundle from your home center for cheap) at turning points and/or other keys locations it would be very clear where the cable or conduit was located and no question 5 or 10 years from now by you or the next owner.

      Might sound like unnecessary work but if you are going to the trouble to wire up your yard to support holiday lighting then this is just a small piece of the puzzle. Shouldn't take more than an hour or two to put it all together and I think it will pay off in the long run. Especially the run under the driveway.

      Oh, yes, I believe they will be required to be GFI circuits, and the breakers will be a better choice because they will protect the whole circuit. If you put weatherproof boxes out around your yard with GFCI receptacles in them then the run back to the breaker panel is not protected. Which would mean that someone who unknowingly puts a shovel in the ground could cut through the buried cable (if not in conduit), short the wire and maybe get a shock.
      Last edited by Bob D.; 01-06-2008, 07:12 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
      "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
      John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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      • #4
        Re: Outside wiring

        or if you put the first outlet on the house with a GFI in it then the all after that will be protected
        Charlie

        My seek the peek fundraiser page
        http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


        http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

        new work pictures 12/09
        http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Outside wiring

          Thanks for all the imput. I am what you would call....electricity challenged Now when laying the cable or conduit,does it need to be below the frost line or do i need to consult the local codes? Now in mounting the outlets,can I mount them to the trees I have in my yard or do I need to mount them to a seperate pole? I have seen some where they are mounted to trees and I was not sure how safe that was.

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          • #6
            Re: Outside wiring

            Originally posted by sanman View Post
            Thanks for all the imput. I am what you would call....electricity challenged Now when laying the cable or conduit,does it need to be below the frost line or do i need to consult the local codes? Now in mounting the outlets,can I mount them to the trees I have in my yard or do I need to mount them to a seperate pole? I have seen some where they are mounted to trees and I was not sure how safe that was.
            this is a local code thing
            i would put them on a 4x4 post and up about 2ft off ground. if you use wire then you should run pvc pipe into the ground so you cant get the wire with a string trimmer .
            Charlie

            My seek the peek fundraiser page
            http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


            http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

            new work pictures 12/09
            http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

            Comment

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