Asked on Apr 2, 2012

Electrical and water in same trench?

PlumbriteBelco ElectricKMS Woodworks


Our church is wanting to run a water line and electrical service out to the corner of the lot that is about 300 ft in distance. Can the electrical and water line (PVC) be run in the same trench? We will drain the water line each winter, so how deep does it need to be?
3 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Apr 2, 2012

    yes they can..the wire can be rated for burial or set in poly conduit. Normal depth is 18" for wire in PVC...deeper for direct burial

  • Belco Electric
    on Apr 5, 2012

    The National Electrical Code does not specify whether power and water can or cannot be run in the same trench. I have had inspectors give different views on the acceptance of this topic. Some say yes, others say no. Certainly, running them in the same trench can save time, but can also cause major headaches in the future where maintenance is concerned. Water lines are generally run at a minimum depth in GA of 8" deep. Depending on the installation method, power must be installed at a minimum coverage depth of 18". If in the future you need to access the power line to make repairs, you run a real risk of cutting the waterline that rests on top before reaching the electric lines. I tend to discourage running a power line in the same trench with any other utility. Though it may be accepted by the NEC, in the long run, it is not the best way.

  • Plumbrite
    on Apr 5, 2012

    you will need to bury the water at least 18" and any thing else in the same ditch needs to one foot to the side and one foot above.

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