depth to bury electrical wire

Old 10-08-02, 04:44 PM
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Question depth to bury electrical wire

What depth do I need to bury a wire which will run between the house and a GFI switch for inground pool lighting? I do intend to use conduit. Thanks, in advance.
Old 10-08-02, 06:11 PM
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Let's see if I've learned anything in all my hours of reading on this forum. I am going to try to answer this one straight from memory with no crib sheets:

You must bury it at least 24" and it must be UF wire (rated for direct burial).

Structures: Do not quote me on this until one of the forum experts backs up or corrects my answer. I just wanted to give it a shot.
Old 10-08-02, 08:22 PM
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I urge you to either buy a copy of the National Electric Code or go to a public library and review article 680.There are many rules to follow when wiring a pool that confuse most electricians,myself included.
Are you doing all of the wiring or just the switch for the light?Give us more detail on what you have in mind and where the switch is to be located.Or are you just relocating an existing switch?
Old 10-09-02, 09:25 AM
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Exclamation GFI Pool lighting No longer allowed!!

The code does not allow a pool light to be run at 110 volts on a GFI circuit any longer!!!!

This circuit, if it is for the niche fixture of an inground pool, must be low-voltage and the transformer that supplies that low-voltage has to be a special kind of transformer.

As Texsparky said, doing any kind of wiring where a pool is concerned is something that must be done to the letter of the code and special caution must prevail.

There's a lot more to it than just running a line for a light. This installation involves a deck box and the box must be mounted a certain height above the mean water line of the pool and the conduit coming from the niche must be a certain size. Strain-relief must be provided for the cord running from the fixture to the deck box.

If you have not done this type of installation before, I strongly urge you to consider hiring a Licensed, Insured Electrician. When dealing with a pool you are dealing with a virtual tub of death if something is improperly wired. There are so many rules regarding pools and their associated equipment most electricians have to go back and read article 680 to catch up. And even then they may make a mistake that the inspector will catch or the inspector may require something they are not used to.

If you were to hire an electrician it's possible that you could do some of the work yourself and let him do the technical parts. For instance you can save a lot of money by digging the ditch and laying the conduit in, things of that nature. The cost of the electrician will be much cheaper than the cost of something improperly connected.
Old 10-12-02, 02:26 PM
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I agree with Sparks on this one. I was in Home Depot the a while ago and a guy was trying to buy stuff to wire a jacuuzi,, hot tub or pool or something of the nature. He is asking the HD guy and between the 2 of them they didnt have a clue but he was going to sell him a big gfci breaker. I did mention to them that this was no place to be practicing your wiring,, tub + water + electricity + people sitting in it,,, but they looked at me like I lost my mind so I go about my business. We will read about them in the paper one of these days.
Old 10-12-02, 09:15 PM
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Pool light voltages

What rule limits us to low voltage x-fmers without gfci protection?I am not aware of any.Is it a local building code in your area?
2002 NEC
680.23(A)(3) requires gfci protection and the voltage is limited in
680.23 (A)(4) Voltage Limitation
No luminaires(lighting fixtures)shall be installed for operation on supply circuits over 150 volts between conductors.
Old 10-14-02, 08:54 AM
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You are absolutely correct!!! I forgot that this is a local code. Locally, even if the light goes bad and you are replacing it, you must change over to the transformer to do so.

With as many codes as we have to keep in our heads to keep from losing our butts, it's not unusual to get them mixed up. However, I still advocate the use of a Lifeguard transformer as opposed to running a gfi protected 110 volt line to that light fixture. In my opinion, the cost and the time involved are worth the piece of mind that the transformer affords. I hate mixing water and line voltage!!! Especially pool water that has large amounts of chemicals in it helping it to become a good conductor.

Just my two cents worth and thanks for the correction tex..

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