How to Install an Underground Conduit

wires coming out of conduit underground
  • 10-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-1,000
What You'll Need
Hammer (sledge hammer)

Conduit has many different uses and applications. As a homeowner you may want to run conduit under the ground. For example, you may have a garage or a workshop that is built away from the house and situated at the other end of your lot. You may not have enough electricity in the workshop and need to run conduit under the ground in order to upgrade the electrical service received in your workshop. By running the conduit under the ground, you do not see it and you can maintain the aesthetics of your home. Conduit also offers protection from cars on the driveway and the elements of nature. Here is how you install an underground conduit.

Step 1 - Obtain a Permit

Whenever you are laying conduit underneath the ground, you will need to likely obtain a permit from your local municipality or township. Take a trip down to the local municipality building and ask for the building permits department or codes enforcement department. You may have to take an application and submit it to the local municipality before you can begin your work.

Step 2 - Dig a Trench

a trench in a yard

Using a shovel, dig a trench in between the two locations that you want to run the conduit. For example, if you are running the conduit between the house and the workshop, then dig the trench between these two locations. Before you dig, make sure you have marked out the location and the direction of your conduit. The last thing you want to do is have to dig your trench all over again. Leave the excess dirt on the side of the trench.

Step 3 - Mark the Entrance Locations and Drill

At either end of the conduit, you will need to run the wires inside the structures. Mark the location of where the conduit will enter and drill a few small holes. Using a sledge hammer (if concrete) to tap the holes. The concrete will break up and you will be able to open up the area for the conduit. You need to do this at both ends (for example: at your house foundation and also at the workshop).

Step 4 - Lay the Conduit

Lay the conduit with the wires inside of the trench, from one end to the other. If your run is not straight, you may need to use conduit benders to bend the conduit in the direction you want it to run.

Step 5 - Run the Conduit to the Electric Panel

circuit panet

Once the conduit has been laid inside, run it to the electrical panels at each end of the conduit. Connect the wires based on the manufacturer's specifications and based on your building code regulations.

Step 6 - Fill in the Trench

Fill the trench in with the loose dirt you have originally dug out. Make sure the dirt is filled in evenly both under and over the electrical conduit. Smooth in place and seed the grass or replace gravel so that the landscaping restores itself as it was before.