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  1. #1
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Extension cord below grade.

    Is there some goofy exception for this? It seems so wrong, but looks like it was meant to be this way.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Maday View Post
    Is there some goofy exception for this?
    It's called "Stupid People Tricks" and, no, it is not a code allowed exception, it is, however, a Darwin Award "Stupid People Trick" to by pass the initial application process and proceed directly to the quarter finals.



    It seems so wrong, ...
    That's because it is wrong.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    Look at the bright side - they did use an in use cover

    Stupid is - as stupid does


  4. #4
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    It's funny, there were plenty of DIY "fixes" here. This was a "new" aerobic system. I wondered who installed it after I found a couple of 4" used PVC lines in the garage attic that appeared at one time to be below ground.


  5. #5
    John Steinke's Avatar
    John Steinke Guest

    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    We need to ask "what's the hazard?' if we want to address the problem.

    Here's the hazard: that extension cord, which would last for decades on the surface, will degrade quickly buried in the soil. The material is not designed for direct burial. Give it a few years, and you will see the cords' path as a line of dead grass... grass that has been electrocuted by leaking current. I have unearthed several such cords, where all that remained were the copper strands.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    Haven't seen any like John describes but wonder the proper way to do this. It seems that the septic pumps are made this way and the tanks are all underground, not just at the surface.


  7. #7
    Rick Maday's Avatar
    Rick Maday Guest

    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
    Haven't seen any like John describes but wonder the proper way to do this. It seems that the septic pumps are made this way and the tanks are all underground, not just at the surface.
    Protected conductors (rated for exterior use) GFCI outlet in the box instead of extension cord.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Maday View Post
    Protected conductors (rated for exterior use) GFCI outlet in the box instead of extension cord.
    With the conductors in conduit from the minimum burial depth (typically 24") to the first enclosure or 8 feet above grade, whichever is first.

    AND, that conduit would have to be a conduit rated for protection from physical damage, in the case of PVC that would require Sch 80 ... NOT Sch 40 ...

    As John S., said, those cords do not last long underground, in ground, in water, underwater, or exposed to sunlight - they simply are not rated or approved for that use because they are only for "temporary" use only any way.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    John Steinke's Avatar
    John Steinke Guest

    Default Re: Extension cord below grade.

    Jim, the 'devil is in the details.'

    The first item is 'direct burial in earth,' as opposed to being suspended in a concrete pit, with a short section in conduit to a nearby box. It seems that the dirt contains something that attacks the rubber.

    Mind you, the pits I've seen often do have the insulation damaged - it's often swollen in the conduit to the point where you cannot remove the wires for replacement.

    Finally, there are many different types of cords. While the cords may look the same, I suspect that there is a difference between 'pump cable' and the SJTEOOW that is often seen on extension cords.


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