In order to supply electricity through underground conduits you need to be aware of the depth of the burial to keep people safe from the hazards that electricity can bring. So, how deep should it be?
Electrical conduits should be buried within 4 inches to 24 inches depending on the nature of the conduit and where it is being buried. For metallic conduits the depth will be less than that of a non-metallic conduit.
There are many other aspects which determines how deep your burial should be. I am going to write about all the things that you should bring into mind while making your way for electrical conduits. Let’s start with the basics.
What Is an Electrical Conduit?
Well electrical conduit is like a canal or pipe for placing conductors to carry electricity from one place to another. Conduits can be used anywhere. In case of underground transmission, the conduit is buried in such a depth so that the conductor is not damaged due to the pressure over it. And it is also kept in mind that it is safe enough for the people around it.
Types of Electrical Conduit:
Electrical conduits are mainly categorized into two types, like:
- metallic conduits,
- non-metallic conduits
We will see both of these conduits’ conditions while buried underground for electricity transmission.
How Deep Does Electrical Conduit Need To Be Buried?
Like I already said, electrical conduits should be buried at least 4 inches below the surface of the ground. The burial depth depends on the surface material and the type of conduit you are using. I going to show you the safe depth of every type of conduit.
Metal Conduits Burial Depth:
Metallic conduits are stronger than non-metallic conduits. They require less burial but then again, the method that is implemented is costly than the non-metallic conduits.
Generally, you need to bury a metal conduit 6 inches below the ground. If the conduit is buried under concrete slab, then you can maintain the depth at 4 inches.
In normal driveways, these conduits are used a lot. In such cases, maintain a depth of at least 18 inches as there are quite heavy loads driven over the driveway. If you are going to use these conduits under public roads or highways, then the depth must be at least 24 inches.
In rocky areas, the metal conduits are buried through the rocks. There the conduits are buried 2 inches below the rock surface with strong concrete covering.
Non-Metallic Conduits Burial Depth:
Non-metallic conduits are cheaper than metallic conduits. These are less strong as well. So, you need more burial depth than the metallic conduits. If you are going to bury the conduit directly under soil without any concrete coating, then bury 18 inches below the surface. If there is a 2 inches concrete, then burying 12 inches below the surface is good enough.
In Case of Direct Burial Of Electrical Cables:
UF Cables: You may often see electrical cables directly buried under the ground. Like- Underground Feeder (UF) cables. These special cables come with a strong coating or jacket. So, creating a channel is not always necessary.
But the cables must be buried at least 24 inches below the surface of the ground. If there is a 2 inches concrete layer then 18 inches burial is enough.
Low Power Cables:
In Case of Other Low Power Carrying Cables, You Can Use A lesser depth of the burials. For a 120 V cable with a limited current capacity of below 20 amps, you can keep the burial around 12 inches deep.
But if you add a 2 inches concrete layer, 6 inches deep burial is enough. Use proper rated circuit breakers to avoid any kind of hazards.
If you are going to bury this type of cables under the driveways, keep a depth of at least 12 inches.
You will find control cables wherever there are control appliances like sub-stations, lifts or other equipment are used. These control cables carry low voltage like 30V or something close. A depth of 6 inches is enough for these types of cables.
Why Should You Use Conduits?
Conduits are mainly used for safety. Besides using a conduit also gives protection to your wires from physical pressure or damage. Underground cables are safe it they are kept at a depth so that they cannot come in contact with people.
People often burry holes unknowingly if there is a cable underneath or not. Conduits give protection to the cables in such cases since bare insulations are often damaged by hits of sharp tools.
Again, coming into contact with such wires can cause accidents. So, a conduit is essential in case of underground wires.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Can I Run Two Circuits In The Same Conduit?
Yes, you can run two circuits in the same conduit. But make sure there is enough space inside the conduit and the wires are separately well insulated.
2. Can I Run Different Size Wires In The Same Conduit?
Yes, you can run wires of different sizes in the same conduit. There is no problem doing so. Just make sure the wires are properly rated according to the current it is going to carry.
3. Can I run 240 V and 120 V cables in the same conduit?
There is no problem running cables of different voltages through the same conduit. Always make sure the cables are well insulated and are eligible for the specific power supply.
I hope now you have the knowledge to know about electrical conduits as well as what type of conduit you will be needing for your own use.
This article will guide you to know the basics of the electrical conduit burying and pave the way for you to learn even more.
If you are going to create a conduit for your house or work space, make sure to read the necessities described above. Maintain proper depth and use the correct wires for your job. Good luck with your experiment!!