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under ground electric line will electrocute?

Posted by chickadee4 (My Page) on
Fri, May 10, 13 at 7:27

THe pool crew refused to dig the in ground pool until we visibly saw the under ground electric line. We had call before you dig mark the line but these markers can be off in feet.
My question is how far can an in ground pool be from the underground cable. I have been told 18 inches, IDK, 5 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, 35 feet.
I have spoken to the power company, the pool builders, the electricians, and googled the internet looking for building codes.
THe cable and communication line was buried 38 inches and runs just under 5 feet to the pool's water.
I need to know code since the line is exposed and to coordinate the electrician, power company and the cable company.
No one answers their phones or has called me back after leaving messages.

What is code regarding how close an underground electric cable can run?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

Depends on what kind of line this is. If these are service lines, the code doesn't apply to them. They are typically at least 24" deep and could be much deeper. Even the code only prescribes MINIMUM depths.

Even the power company doesn't typically know. We had a lot of failures of the 13KV line to the transformer in my side yard. After seeing how deep they had to dig to get to it the first time I had an interesting discussion with the guy the second time. He insisted on 24" and I suggested that last time it was closer to 48". I went out and came back to find a guy up to his chest in the hole he was digging.


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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

5 feet. As in 680.10 of the National Electrical Code, "Underground wiring shall not be permitted under the pool or within the area extending 1.5 m (5 ft) horizontally from the inside wall of the pool..." Then it goes on to list a few exceptions.

You would be hard pressed to find an inspector that would let you use one of the exceptions, when you can move the wire or build the pool wall a few inches over.

In a modern pool the bonding grid would have to fail for this type of electrocution to be possible.

This post was edited by glennsparky on Sat, May 18, 13 at 4:09


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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

"Depends on what kind of line this is. If these are service lines, the code doesn't apply to them..."
If the pool were there first, the utility could do as they pleased. However, the pool contractor is bound by the code. In this case the five foot seperation must be maintained.


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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

The NEC does NOT apply to POCO distribution wiring.

They have there OWN rules.

If it is a distribution line there should be an easement to go with it.

The easement WILL say what limits the property owner is bound to.


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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

This electric line has given me headache and heartache.
I have verbally exchanged heavy heated words with the pool builder, the town officials , comcast and the utility company.
I am in a pickle since there has not been a consistent answer.
The above posts are exactly what I have gotten from those who are the experts in their field.
I also came across the 6810 building code. I have a relative who works for an electric company in another state who e-mailed me the code a few days ago.
I have also looked at my home documents and building plans to see the easements.

The operative word that is consistent is " depends"
I personally would like to move the line .
NOne of the necessary players in this relocation are returning my calls. What does that say? THat this is not an issue ? Or that they do not want the headache?

I appreciate the responses which has given me the ability to make decisions.
HOnestly this is pretty pathetic that their is no consistent answer.


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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

This is getting overthought and overcomplicated. There is only one person whose opinion matters. The inspector assigned to your permit number who will sign the interim inspection and the final inspection.

Find out what that person is willing to sign off on and do it exactly that way.

Everyone else can suck eggs.


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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

Even the AHJ has limited say on transmission lines since his code does NOT apply to distribution equipment.

It even says so in the opening paragraphs.

Any distribution line on your property is on an easement.

The terms of the easement restrict what you can do on the easement (like building permanent structures that block access to the line).

Building a pool over a line is likely not allowed by the easement, and if you did the POCO would be free to tear out the pool to access the line and not compensate you in any way.


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RE: under ground electric line will electrocute?

LOL I needed a good laugh.
Seriously I almost uttered the words divorce to the spouse since I was juggling the pool build, the teams, and my home projects.
The pool build had a hissy fit the day of digging. He said that the call before you dig lines are not accurate. Yes I have seen the lines marked but uncovering them showed they were located 18 inches off.
So I dug. I dug a three foot wide and 38 inch deep hole.
I have a tramp sunburn tattoo from leaning into the hole.
I have no issues with the pool builder refusing to dig with an electric line close to the pool build.
I had them turn off the transformer when we excavated.
Why am I solving the issues?

My freaking problem is that I saw the line and no one did diddlie squat for three weeks then all got into a huff.

The town inspector is to arrive today to clear the rebar and bounding. I will be reaching for Haiti Rhum if I am told to move the line.

All i wanted to know are we okay if the line lies four feet from the pool water. Can current travel this distance? The line lays next to the communication line in an encased grey pvc tube. I have another's state's code that says communication lines are to be two feet from electric lines. Well they are kissing each other and I do live in a different state.

True, if the pool was here first and they had space issue the electric line would be laid where it can fit disregarding feet guidelines.
True, NEC has their own rules.
True , the inspector is the final say on signing off on the permit. Hmm He said I need 35 feet. So I will be sucking eggs and drinking rhum to calm down.

Since no one is calling on how to get this solved I feel it is not an issue. The line lays four feet away and 38 inches deep at a 6 inch section.

I posted cause I was given a problem and don't have the expertise to make decisions.
Just for a chuckle I was told that we can not use my well water cause it is not potable. My well water is potable that is what I drink!!!!!

Thank You for taking the time to post.


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