Can I bury a junction box?

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  #1  
Old 07-08-11, 08:08 AM
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Can I bury a junction box?

I just had a patio installed in the place where I used to have an above-ground pool. I want to run 120 out to each end of the patio and I currently have 1/2 pvc conduit underground to where the pool used to be. When the pool was removed they cut the wires underground & disconnected & capped the feeder end in the GFCI box. This is where I want to connect and it's dead center of the patio. SO...Can I install a pvc weatherproof junction box to the old conduit with 2 branches out to the patio?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-08-11, 08:12 AM
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A junction box can be installed but it must remain permanently accessible. Buried under dirt or concrete would not meet the code requirement.
 
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Old 07-08-11, 08:32 AM
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Well that just doubled my expense and complexity. What's the thinking? I thought the issue might be water leakage but it sounds like the desire is for future access for changes or inspection? How is this accomplished? I don't think in my 51 years I've ever stepped over an electrical access plate on someone's lawn...
 
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Old 07-08-11, 08:46 AM
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THere is a very good chance that u/g conduit fills with water. Wire nuts are not rated for flooded use, plus splices and boxes are not allowed where not accessible. There are splices rated for burial using UF feeder, but you have conduit. WHat are the distances involved? Water jetting might work under cement. What exactly is the patio made with?
 
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Old 07-08-11, 09:48 AM
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The issue becomes finding a buried box should a splice fail and being able to access it to make the repairs.
 
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Old 07-08-11, 09:48 AM
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No need to go under the patio--it's simpler to go around & I've already hand-dug the trenches. Each "leg" of the Y is about 32 feet long so I bought 100' spools. Sounds like I can pull new wire from the house all the way to one corner of the patio and then double back with a separate run of conduit around to the other corner. No underground splices but it'll take lots more expensive copper to do it that way.

I was hoping the rule against inaccessible boxes was for indoors only.

I wish I could use UF but the feed side conduit runs under my deck. I can access both ends to pull wire but I can't (won't) dig it up.
 
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Old 07-08-11, 10:08 AM
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Could you staple the UF under the deck and then go underground?
 
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Old 07-08-11, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by guy48065 View Post
Sounds like I can pull new wire from the house all the way to one corner of the patio and then double back with a separate run of conduit around to the other corner.
That's the way to do it.

I was hoping the rule against inaccessible boxes was for indoors only.
It's basically guaranteed an underground splice with fail anyway even if it was allowed.
 
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Old 07-08-11, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
That's the way to do it.
Allrighty then. I now need about 130 feet of each color (5--N, G, H+2 switched) so I need to buy 500' spools. One way I can save some bucks is to buy the 3 main colors (BWG) and apply colored tape to additional wire from those spools. That's code, right? I see that frequently but I want to make sure.

Is it permitted--but maybe bad electrical etiquette--to just buy one color and use tape to mark the rest?
 
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Old 07-08-11, 12:05 PM
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This might have a happy ending for me afterall. 500' spools are WAY cheaper per foot than 100' spools so if I can re-color 2 spools (green & black) I'll have way less waste. I might end up spending less than my original plan and it will be to code.
 
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Old 07-08-11, 12:20 PM
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The grounding conductor needs to be green or bare.

250.119 Identification of Equipment Grounding Conductors.
Unless required elsewhere in this Code, equipment
grounding conductors shall be permitted to be bare,
covered, or insulated. Individually covered or insulated
equipment grounding conductors shall have a continuous
outer finish that is either green or green with one or more
yellow stripes except as permitted in this section. Conductors
with insulation that is green, green with one or more
yellow stripes, or identified as permitted by this section
shall be used only as an equipment grounding conductor.
 
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Old 07-08-11, 01:58 PM
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so if I can re-color 2 spools (green & black
No. As PCBoss has clarified and I originally stated ground must be green, green/yellow or bare no recoloring allowed.

And to clarify my statement on neutral (the grounded conductor) #6 and smaller by code must be white.

200.6 Means of Identifying Grounded Conductors.
(A) Sizes 6 AWG or Smaller. An insulated grounded conductor
of 6 AWG or smaller shall be identified by a continuous
white or gray outer finish or by three continuous
white stripes on other than green insulation along its entire
length.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-09-11 at 08:36 PM.
  #13  
Old 07-09-11, 08:19 PM
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I got that. I meant I need to buy black and green but was going to recolor the only the black wires (to R,W,B).

I will end up with only about 50' of black wire left over but nearly 400' of green. Doesn't matter on this particular project but from the second code quote it sounds like not only are you forbidden to make a wire green but you also may not alter green wire to anything else. Correct?
 
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Old 07-09-11, 08:21 PM
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That's the way I read it but wait for the pros.
 
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Old 07-09-11, 08:23 PM
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The white conductor should have been white from the factory, not taped white in the field.

Green conductors are reserved from any other usage.
 
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Old 07-09-11, 08:51 PM
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Conductors #4 and larger only come in black and will be taped in the field, including green and white. The smaller sizes need to have the proper color insulation.
 
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Old 07-10-11, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
Conductors #4 and larger only come in black and will be taped in the field, including green and white. The smaller sizes need to have the proper color insulation.
As a side note, I have seen factory colored conductors as large as 750 MCM, but these are special factory orders and generally only used on larger commercial/industrial jobs although not mandatory by NEC. Typically, what pcboss has stated is true in that supply houses don't stock factory colored conductors in #4 and larger because it isn't required.
 
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Old 07-10-11, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pcboss View Post
The white conductor should have been white from the factory, not taped white in the field.
Oops too late now. I went with the other recommendation to tape all except green. It's done & buried now.
 
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