Splicing 10/3 (with ground)

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Old 05-27-08, 11:30 AM
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Splicing 10/3 (with ground)

I have barn that's about 50 ft. from the house. The electrical route from house to barn is:

Two ganged 30a breakers --> 10/3 (with ground) --> through the band joist --> underground to sub-panel in barn with one 15a and and one 20a breaker.

The first 10 or so feet after passing through the band joist, the cable is buried only about 6". Thereafter, it goes up a steep slope to the barn, after which it is buried 18" or more. The cable emerges at the barn end via gray PVC cable.

When the ground gets wet, the breakers in the main panel open. As the ground dries out, the time for the breakers to open increases. When the ground is completely dry, the breakers do not open.

The day after a recent heavy rain the breakers were opening after about 5 seconds. I dug up the first 10 feet or so after the 10/3 comes out of the house. I observed that the outer cover is nicked in many places--in some cases, the insulation of one of the internal wires is also visible. This probably occurred during excavation for our new patio. After pulling this section out of the ground, I wiped the cable off with a dry rag then hit it for a few minutes with a heat gun. Every few minutes of drying, I'd reset the breakers; the dryer the cable got, the longer it took for the breakers to open. After cleaning and manually drying the cable then letting it sit in the sun for a couple of hours, the breakers do not open.

My conclusion is that water penetration and/or contact with saturated soil provided a low-resistance path between one or more of the inner conductors.

So, how to repair this? I'd like cut out the damaged 10-foot section of the cable (all the way back to the breaker box in my basement), splice in a new section, then bury it in rigid conduit about 18" deep. (I'd prefer rigid conduit because I plan to build a sidewalk over this area.)

My question: Is splicing feasible (and/or legal)?

If so, what's the procedure? Is there a splice kit? A waterproof, subterranean junction box?


Thanks in advance.

Joe
 
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Old 05-27-08, 11:52 AM
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For 50 ft, I'd just replace the whole thing, and properly bury it. I'd perhaps use the chance to upgrade the circuit to #6.
 
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Old 05-27-08, 11:53 AM
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So do you know what kind of cable this is? It should be marked on the sheathing. If it's UF-B, then yes, they do make a splice kit that can work with cables this size.
 
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Old 05-27-08, 11:54 AM
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Replace the cable the with the proper underground cable and bury it 24" deep if not in conduit, 18" deep if in conduit. You could if you wanted leave the inside part and put a junction box right where it exists the house to splice the new cable.
 
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Old 05-27-08, 12:30 PM
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I will agree with other guys and with this pretty short run it better off just replace the whole thing and do it propely.

Either use the UF or THHN/THWN in conduit.

Merci,Marc
 
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Old 05-27-08, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
So do you know what kind of cable this is? It should be marked on the sheathing. If it's UF-B, then yes, they do make a splice kit that can work with cables this size.
Yes, it's marked UF-B.
 
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Old 05-27-08, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by classicsat View Post
For 50 ft, I'd just replace the whole thing, and properly bury it. I'd perhaps use the chance to upgrade the circuit to #6.
I don't mind the digging, but the remaining 40 feet run under a several flower beds, a loose-stack wall, and a gravel pathway. Grrr.

..
joe
 
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Old 05-27-08, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by french277V View Post
I will agree with other guys and with this pretty short run it better off just replace the whole thing and do it propely.

Either use the UF or THHN/THWN in conduit.

Merci,Marc
Lisez ma réponse ci-dessous.
 
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Old 05-27-08, 03:07 PM
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You may not need to replace the whole cable. If you can bury the repaired section to the proper depth, I think you're okay. The rest of the cable may be buried properly anyway (since it's buried, there's no way to be completely sure, but it sounds like it's at least close).
 
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Old 05-27-08, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by John Nelson View Post
You may not need to replace the whole cable. If you can bury the repaired section to the proper depth, I think you're okay. The rest of the cable may be buried properly anyway (since it's buried, there's no way to be completely sure, but it sounds like it's at least close).
That's what I'm going to shoot for. Will the splice kit make the cable too fat to fit inside a metal conduit?
 
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