Electrical – 240V/60A circuit in PVC on the ground


This home has a PVC pipe running from outside the garage, to a pool+spa setup. The electrical circuit seems to be carrying 240V/60A – (primarily for the water heater). It runs on the ground beside a concrete slab for about 20feet and then it runs along the fence for 100 ft, ON the ground all the way.

<BREAKER OUTSIDE GARAGE> ----125ft long pvc --------<SUBPANEL NEAR POOL>

It sure is unsafe as PVC can break when a lawn mower goes over it and the wires get exposed.

Can junction boxes be used in this circuit? If yes, the easiest DIY fix seems to be
– breakers off
– cut the pipe, cut the wires and make junction boxes,
– dig 6" deep trenches, put new wires and connect those to the junction boxes.

<BREAKER> ---good/safe section----junctionbox---6" conduit underground
           -----junction box-----<BREAKER> 

That way, the electrical circuit itself does not have to be done from scratch. I am told by someone that an electrician would have to disconnect the entire electrical circuit, including all breakers, lay out new pipes with PVC 2" underground, new cable and reconnect the breakers/subpanel etc.

  1. Can you have junction boxes in this circuit?
  2. Can you run a metal conduit mounted in the fence?
  3. Can you run a metal conduit on concrete posts to keep it above the ground?

[EDIT/ADD] – The markings on the pipe indicate: Ridgeline SCH 80 Rigid PVC Conduit Max 90 C Wire NEMA TC2 Sunlight Resistant NSF NRTL UL 651"

PVC Pipe on ground with 240V/60A circuit

Best Answer

It should be buried at least 18" or have at least 4" concrete cover extending 6" to either side of the conduit. Or, as mentioned, it could be attached to a wall/fence above-ground.

Pouring a 4" slab that extends 6" to either side (i.e. minimum 14" wide, centered on it) would be the straightforward solution.

Burying it 2" would be just as bad as it is now, from a code point of view.

See NEC table 300.5

If trenching rather than pouring concrete, you might want to make it a more direct run (lacking a diagram, I'm guessing it turns to run along the fence, rather than being a straight run now) in which case there would be no splices needed if the resulting run is shorter (one side of a triangle rather than two sides.) Assuming a right angle turn, you'd go from 120 feet now to about 102 feet on the diagonal, leaving you 18 feet "extra" (roughly 3 of which you would use going down to the proper trench depth.) If digging, beware of your own services (septic tank, sprinkler lines, possibly underground conduit between garage and house?) and call whatever service (dig-safe or similar) marks utility underground services in your area sufficiently in advance to have them mark any of their services. You do NOT want to dig through a utility line without having called (if you call, they mark it, and you hit one where it's not supposed to be, it's on them, not you.)