Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
improving homes
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was on a job today and saw the electrician installing a post lamp light. He was using direct burial UF wire from the house to post lamp. All he did was stick his shovel in 4-6 inches and lift the ground up and slip the wire in the hole and then take the shovel out and stomp the ground back down. I'm not an electrician so don't have a clue but 4-6 inches seems like it should be buried deeper so someone doesn't cut it planting flowers. What is the code for how deep UF wires need to be buried to post lamps?

Also, should a post lamp be set in concrete or just in dirt? I went out after he left and it was really loose, as in I could wiggle it very easy. He just piled the dirt back in around it. Just seemed like an all around hack install and I've never even put one in. Just wondering if he was a hack or if what he did is alright?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
23,773 Posts
Minimum 24" buried.

Post Lamp needs to be set in concrete or bolted to concrete.
 

·
improving homes
Joined
·
1,034 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Minimum 24" buried.

Post Lamp needs to be set in concrete or bolted to concrete.
This guy missed that by a lot. Wow. Wire is 6" at the most and post is just set in hole with dirt piled back in, not even tamped down. I'm going to mention something to the home owner tomorrow, feel sorry for them paying for that kind of work.

So 24" depth is NEC code? Also the concrete is NEC code? Just so I can be sure I'm telling the HO the truth.
 

·
Box Builder
Joined
·
6,315 Posts
24" for a piece of wire. I wouldn't bother. 6" is definitely not enough. 12" would probably be safe enough. Is the lamp post wood? He probably doesn't have much knowledge on hand tamping and tightening a post. Done right it can be made very tight.
 

·
General Contractor
Joined
·
7,935 Posts
What others said, open wiring not in conduit should be buried at least 24" below the surface and wiring in plastic conduit is 18" below the surface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,392 Posts
Around here 6-10" seems normal for 110v lines to lights and stuff.

Gas lines are anything from 1-2'
Main power coming in is about 3'
Cable and telephone about 3"-6"
Low voltage about 3"-6"

Gas lines are what get me. Some are so close to surface it's crazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
sadly 99 out of 100 post lights are installed exactly the way described in the OP. I've actually seen electricians run the wire directly on top of the dirt (rough-grade) assuming that someone else will bury it. :no:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,622 Posts
Seems to me there is supposed to be some kind of plate over the wire so a shovel would hit this barrier before hitting the wire. One of Ray Mullin's books might have said this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,443 Posts
Could be only 12" if the circuit is 120 volts or less and is GFCI protected and 20amps or less.

No NEC requirements on how the post is installed.

300.5 NEC, 2014 cycle
This is correct. Although I personally have my firm bury conduit at 18 inch no matter the amps (residential).

This whole thing sounds like craigs list hack work to me, and, if this was a licensed electrician, someone should yank his license ASAP.

I have seen 20amp 120vac direct burial romex (UF-B) running to light poles via the expansion cracks in concrete walkways at an auto dealership. Nothing much surprises me anymore. I also lost the bid on this job cus I was going to bore under the walkways to run conduit.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,622 Posts

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
This guy missed that by a lot. Wow. Wire is 6" at the most and post is just set in hole with dirt piled back in, not even tamped down. I'm going to mention something to the home owner tomorrow, feel sorry for them paying for that kind of work.

So 24" depth is NEC code? Also the concrete is NEC code? Just so I can be sure I'm telling the HO the truth.
If it's a low voltage light that's kosher.
 

·
Goin' Down in Flames....
Highwayman
Joined
·
5,005 Posts
It doesn't seem that different from using nailing plates and I'd think you could go less deep if you use rot-resistant protective boards.
Yeah, that's how I do it.

I did a big commercial job, with 28 lamp posts, about 6000 feet total.

The electrical portion wasn't so bad, but the steel plates in the ground really ran the price up. :blink: :rolleyes:


Delta
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,622 Posts
Yeah, that's how I do it.

I did a big commercial job, with 28 lamp posts, about 6000 feet total.

The electrical portion wasn't so bad, but the steel plates in the ground really ran the price up. :blink: :rolleyes:


Delta
This could be a straw man argument. I'm getting better at spotting them.:laughing:

If it's any consolation, less than a half percent of my last degree is still relevant today.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top