Deck Wiring with UF cable

houlaSeptember 28, 2008

I am building an outdoor deck and plan to install lighting and outlets. I have been told I can use UF cable as long as the wiring is "properly supported" and not "subject to damage". I am contemplating running the UF under the deck from point to point and attaching it to joists with wire staples. I would run it through hollow deck posts to reach lighting fixtures and receptacles, and use short pieces of Sched 80 PVC conduit as needed where it may come through floors.

My neighbor suggested I should use conduit everywhere and THNN/THWN wire instead. Is this required or just preferred? It seems like that would be a great deal more work, but I am willing to do it if the advantages are considerable. Can anyone weigh in with pros/cons?

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bigbird_1

The THWN in PVC is much more professional looking. The UF is easier to install. The price will be pretty close for either. Both will deliver electric current at a potential of 120V AC to your lights and receptacles. Your decision.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 2:35PM
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brickeyee

Why does the UV resistance (or lack) of UF give me pause with this?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 3:31PM
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bigbird_1

"hy does the UV resistance (or lack) of UF give me pause with this?"

Interesting. In Canada, we have no UF designation. Our nylon jacketed weatherproof direct burial cable is designated NMWU, non-metallic waterproof underground. It can and is used above ground and is UV rated. Do you have such a cable in the US?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2008 at 5:51PM
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wayne440

"Why does the UV resistance (or lack) of UF give me pause with this?"

I don't know. I am pretty sure UV rays don't effectively penetrate wood or conduit. It sounds as if the majority of the installation will be shielded by one or the other.

IMHO, wire and conduit might be easier to service if something went wrong later on. On the other hand UF will be quicker/easier to install right now. Your $$ and your choice I suppose.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 6:42PM
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brickeyee

"I am pretty sure UV rays don't effectively penetrate wood or conduit. It sounds as if the majority of the installation will be shielded by one or the other."

While conduit is fine, there are gaps in every wood deck I have ever seen that allow some shafts of light to penetrate to underneath the deck surface.

Unless you ensure that the sunlight can never strike the cable, UV resistance comes into play.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 7:54PM
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