Electrical and water in same trench?

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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?
  7 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 02, 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 Belco Electric on Apr 05, 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 Plumbrite on Apr 05, 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.

  • Marko Jaric Marko Jaric on Dec 31, 2020

    Plum rite is wrong! They can be in the same trench.

  • Kris Kris on Jan 01, 2021

    Utiluty/Service lines are required to be buried t 48" where I live.

  • Eruly Eruly on Jan 26, 2022

    Indeed, the water must be buried at least 18"

  • Eruly Eruly on Jan 28, 2022

    Indeed, the water must be buried at least 18". Unlikely you want your communications to be damaged by accident. As for my house, all communications are lying about 32" below the ground. So you got the point: the deeper - the better. If you are planning to run an electrical line alongside, you need to ask electricians. It shouldn't be a problem, but you can't predict all nuances by internet post. Professional services, such as LIVE Services Group, will run both electrical and water lines for sure. Communication lines are not a thing you wanna save money on.