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Christmas In Abilene

Bury The Cable

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hello
Going to pick the brains of the masses, as well as looking for suggestions above minimum code requirement.
 
I have wanted a permanent flag pole for years.  In the past many problems prevented this.  Now that we are in the new house with lots of space, that is no longer a factor.  My wife has been weighing in on this as well, with positive suggestions.
 
The layout...
we would like to place the flag pole with electrical and comm. feeds about 125' in front of the house.  We have a gravel driveway that we will have to go under, otherwise no electrical, or other utilities in the path.
 
I know I have to place the electrical in approved conduit.  I thought that since I am going to the trouble to bury one cable I might as well as run a Cat5 out also.
Can/should the cat5 be in the same area as the electrical.
What I have read...
1 place 1 conduit inside of a larger conduit.
2 run equal size conduit... next to each other.
3 run equal size conduit... at least 6" apart.
 
So what are your thoughts. Something I was also toying with was 2 runs of C5. 1 for LOR, and 1 for DMX.
 
Thanks Kent

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Electrical and data cables should always be seperated when possible. The longer the run and higher voltage can interfere. I would suggest you do #3. 6ft apart underground should keep the network signal clean. I would also suggest running a 2nd network cable line through. Better to have a spare or a 2nd network cable in case the 1st fails or you need another universe on a seperate network.

Just my thoughts as a network installer/computer tech for 20 years..

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Your biggest expense will be the contractor cost or labor cost in digging the trench.  The cheapest cost will be the actual conduit itself.  With that being said, you should run conduit that is large enough for spares, etc.

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Option # 3 is what you need to do.  I would also spend the extra to get cat V that is rated for underground.  It will be more expensive, but it will save you from having to pull it out in a few years from moisture getting into the cable and messing up the signal.  Even with the wiring in conduit, it will still get moisture inside it.

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Option #3 at a minimum, with as many data cables as you can fit inside the conduit, or leave it loose enough and straight enough that you can use existing cable to pull through a replacement cable when the existing goes bad.  Leave a way to connect some compressed air to the conduit to blow out the condensation that WILL flood the conduit.

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Also look into your electrical codes for your area,where I live you can bury the 120 volt line direct w/o conduit if you use cable rated for it {marked UF for underground feeder} and bury it at least 18 inches deep. Could save you some $$ and labor.

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Class 1 power and class 2 data cables are not allowed in the same conduit.

 

NM-B aka "Romex cable is not permitted in wet locations, even if in conduit.  I recumbent THWN conductors.

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I would suggest that you run a (2) 4" pipe 24" deep, you can use regular drain pipe for the chase. If you ever want to add something later you will have the space, and not have to dig up your driveway. I had the builder install a 3" PVC pipe and I stubed the 3" up on both sides of the driveway and caped them off.

You will still have to run PVC sch 40 or 80 for all your electrical needs inside of the 4" pipe.

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I would suggest that you run a (2) 4" pipe 24" deep, you can use regular drain pipe for the chase. If you ever want to add something later you will have the space, and not have to dig up your driveway. I had the builder install a 3" PVC pipe and I stubbed the 3" up on both sides of the driveway and caped them off.

You will still have to run PVC sch 40 or 80 for all your electrical needs inside of the 4" pipe.

As an electrical inspector, I would not approve this suggestion. Though not specifically clear in the code, plumbing pipe is not a listed underground raceway and could be a hazard to any future excavators who can't identify the raceway as electrical.   I know there are much worse hazards and clearer code violations, but that's my take on this one.  As a code minimum-  If one or the other conductors(signal/ supply voltage) are in a raceway, no separation is required from the other.  If both are direct buried cables,  they must be separated by a minimum of 12 inches.   As a general rule, if the power circuit has GFCI protection at the house, the PVC can be 12 inches deep, If the GFCI is at the flag pole, the PVC must be 18" deep.  I am not aware of any minimum depth for low voltage cabling.

 

Steve

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