buried 220V and NEC requirements

Old 10-29-04, 02:07 PM
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buried 220V and NEC requirements

I recently had a 220 V 60 A circuit run about 75' to a spa in my back yard. I hired a licensed contractor and he had a sub do the electrical. The problem I have is that the trench they dug was about 10 " they put 1" conduit and covered with dirt. Talking with the electrician he said NEC said 18" with dirt over it or shallower needed 2" of concrete. I talked to the contractor and told him my concern and he said that it did not need to be, since I had a GFCI it would trip before someone was hurt. The job is done and I made him dig it up and put bricks over the conduit, since as someone digs they will hit that and I can access it easier since they ran the conduit alongside my irrigation pipes.

This is bothering me and I am not sure what my options are. I feel that a licensed contractor should do things correctly, that is what I am paying for. Now that the job is done and I am in the hot tub I am not sure how to remedy this, is this a problem or should I leave it alone and not worry about it. I have not paid for this service yet. Should I talk with the city? Try to work it out with the contractor? He had been dismissive of my concerns about the electrical as well as my concerns over the concrete pad with no base material.
Old 10-29-04, 02:40 PM
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Did the electrician(?) use rigid metal conduit or PVC conduit.

Can vehicles drive over where the conduit is buried?
Old 10-29-04, 03:51 PM
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Type of conduit

PVC 1" conduit. GFCI in the panel, and discconect near the spa. Just a walkway between two houses, actually in the planter bed beside the walkway, buried with the irrigation pipes.
Old 10-30-04, 06:25 PM
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Your question: What should I do?
How much effort do you want to put into coming out as the 100% winner?

If I was in your positon, and the trench was reopened, the whole conduit would have been relaid to 18" or deeper. No exceptions.
In your case, if the conduit is in a relatively secure location, I would live life, enjoy the warm water, and remember this event for future projects.

Was there a permit pulled from the municipality for the work?
An inspection?
Are there any other faults with the work, specifically electrical?

I would persue corrective action if any other issues can be identified with the electrical portion of the installation. Having an unbiased professional opinion of the work specific to the electrical by an outside source could help you determine the correct route to choose.

Old 11-01-04, 08:37 AM
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That is what I thought, that it had to be redone. I have sent a letter to the contractor telling him that my realtor would like a copy of the permit or if he does not have one that we need to have an inspector sign off on the project before I pay him.... I just want to be protected in case I need to sell, or if I have a fire.

If he has to redo the conduit it would be at his expense? I told him I wanted it done correctly.
Old 11-01-04, 11:24 AM
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How did your Realtor get involved in this?
Old 11-01-04, 04:23 PM
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Sounds like it does not met code. But you do have it protected with 1) CFCI in panel, 2) PVC conduit, 3) bricks over the conduit. Itís not crossing a path, or driveway, in a reasonable safe location. As I say, does not meet the requirements of code, but he has already dug it up once, is he really going to dig it up again?

I would be more concerned with the concrete pad with no base material. Did he just pour it in the earth?
Old 11-02-04, 12:33 PM
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Not to code

Well my realtor is a friend and I asked her about it. She said at sale it could be a problem if discovered.

The way I look at it, I feel that a licensed contractor and elctrician should follow code.

The pad, for a smallish pad people have told me it is OK, it is 16x16 4" thick.

It really is irritating that they don't just do it right the first time. As a doctor I suppose I just feel that I always do my best work ... frustrating to work with someone who takes no pride in perfection.

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