Why Does My Underground Electrical Wiring Not Work?
How to Install Underground Electrical Wiring: Common Problems when Installing Underground Wiring and How to Fix Them, Make Sure Your Underground Wiring is Installed the Right Way.
Installing and Repairing Underground Electrical Wiring
Electrical Question: Years ago I buried an insulated electrical wire in the back yard of a lake house and attached an outlet on one end and a plug on the other.
- Length of Wire
The distance is about 75 yards.
- Tripped Circuit Breaker
Now when I plug it in by the house to a GFI outlet, even with nothing plugged in on the other end, the breaker trips.
- Buried Wire Connection
I put a new plug on the end, is it possible the wires are crossed?
Background: Jeff, a Homeowner from Leawood, KS.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Jeff.
Application: Installing Underground Wiring.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Depends on the number of lights that will be required within the circuit wiring.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tool, Voltage Tester, trenching equipment or shovels .
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools and the condition of the soil where PVC conduit will be installed.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit or power source, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring and connections.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring for outdoor lighting should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
How to Install Underground Electrical Wiring
Common Problems when Installing Underground Wiring and How to Fix Them
- Buried Electrical Wiring
This question prompted me to have some of my own questions
- What kind of wire did you use?
- How deep did you bury it?
- Buried Electric Wire Type
Direct burial cable Type UF, Underground Feeder, is the most commonly used cable for this purpose as long as it is sized correctly.
- The UF cable should be buried 24 inches deep.
- Where the cable emerges up from the ground it should must be protected with PVC conduit.
- Junction Box and Cover
Outside wiring should be placed in a weather proof junction box with an approved cover.
- Damaged Buried Wire
If you did not use this method of wiring then any one of the above mentioned components has possibly been damaged and the circuit may need to be replace using the correct wiring methods.
- Wiring Worked Before
If the wiring you installed long ago did work at one time, then the wiring is most likely not crossed up if the connections are still made the same.
- More detailed information can be found here in this website. Just click the Electrical Code Articles link below.
More about Home Electrical Wiring:
Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Wiring
For more information about Outlet Wiring
Electrical Code Articles for Home Wiring
Electrical Code Directory covering electrical-underground and electrical-wiring.
For Best Results Consult a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Locate An Electrical Contractor in Your Area
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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