How to Run Direct Burial Electrical Cable

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According to Electrical Wire, underground electric cable (UFB) is designed to be buried directly underground without the necessity of enclosing it in conduit. UFB is used mostly to feed power to outside lamp posts or to outlying structures. The insulation is made of sunlight- and moisture-resistant PVC, allowing it to be safely buried. Running direct burial electrical cable is more economical than running the electrical wires inside of conduit. Since there is no need for conduit, you may save some money.

Things You'll Need

  • Drain spade or trenching shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Check with your city and your local electric service provider for any restrictions prior to running direct burial electrical cable. Each municipality has specific rules that designate the exact depth you must bury your electrical cable. Depths can range from 18 inches to 24 inches.

  • Verify the locations of any underground sewage lines, water lines, cable lines or any pre-existing electrical lines prior to running your direct burial electrical cable.

  • Dig your trench. Use a drain spade or trenching shovel to dig to the depth designated by your municipality or local electrical company. Use a tape measure and periodically check for the correct depth.

  • Lay your direct burial cable at the bottom of your trench and cover it with dirt.

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