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#97906 - 04/12/06 09:03 PM more USE questions  
Tripp  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 99
1)Once USE has entered the building, is there a limit to how far it can run inside a wall without being in conduit? Code references appreciated.

2) How near to flowing water (as in a creek) can USE be run without further protection?

3) And speaking of creeks, I'm thinking of sleeving the USE in PVC where it runs over the culvert (because we might not get a full 18" below grade). So what does one use to seal the ends of a PVC sleeve in a situation like this? Is duct seal sufficient? And should I also use duct seal where the USE enters PVC to climb the exterior wall of the building it will be entering?

Thanks for your tolerance of my many questions. Only seven years in the trade, so it'll be "a while" before I've seen it all. [Linked Image]

2017 / 2014 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides

#97907 - 04/13/06 09:40 AM Re: more USE questions  
raider1  Offline
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 46
north logan, utah, US

Take a lok at article 338. This article deals with SE and USE cable.


#97908 - 04/13/06 10:20 AM Re: more USE questions  
markp  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 60
Kent, WA, USA
I'm not so sure you'll find all you answers in the code book. How far flammable conductors can go into a building is usually a local code issue. The length could be 0, a few feet, or maybe 10 feet and may require metalic conduit. If this is dual rated, then there may be no length limit, but you'll probably need to talk to the inspector.

Physical protection is also typically an inspector call.

PVC has to be buried 18", and USE would have to be 24". To go less than this requires rigid metal or concrete. If the culvert is a "driveway", you may have to go 24" regardless of how its protected.

You may not have to seal a conduit. USE is rated for direct burial, so it can get wet. You would have to seal the raceway if it was outside and entered a heated building since each end is exposed to different temperatures.

Kent, WA

#97909 - 04/13/06 11:20 AM Re: more USE questions  
PCBelarge  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
The code is not as specific as the UL White Book, which says USE is not suitable for use in premises, except to terminate to service equipment.

Pierre Belarge

#97910 - 04/13/06 06:11 PM Re: more USE questions  
Tripp  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 99
Thanks for all your responses.

Raider: thanks, but I already checked 338 before posting my questions. I didn't find my answers there, as Markp suggested I might not.

Markp: why a burial depth of 24"? I guess I should have specified that this is a single-family dwelling. Table 300.5 says 18", yes?

PCBelarge: thanks for the UL reference. In this case, the USE would be entering the building solely for the purpose of termination in a subpanel - probably less than 3' from where it enters the buiding. So it sounds like that might make it okay by UL. I just need to find out if it needs to be in conduit for those 2-3 feet.

#97911 - 04/13/06 07:41 PM Re: more USE questions  
markp  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 60
Kent, WA, USA
Table 300.5 is confusing. The most important item is row 1 column1 -- direct burial cable for all uses except the rows under it is 24". All of those other rows cover specific areas or coverings (buildings or concrete). I think the intent here is further protection and not less. Look at column 2 and you'll see RMC which is normally buried 6" has to be increased to 18" or 24" in most of those other rows. But if you're running this under a dwelling only driveway or parking area (perhaps even a gravel one), then you may be able to only go 18".

Kent, WA

#97912 - 04/14/06 06:16 PM Re: more USE questions  
trekkie76  Offline
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 220
baileyville, maine, usa
Are you using the USE for a service? If so, its not so much a limitation directly for the SE as it is the placement of the service disconnecting means. 230-70a1(2002)

I don't see anything about being near water.

#97913 - 04/16/06 05:31 PM Re: more USE questions  
Tripp  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 99
The USE would be used as a feed from one subpanel to another.

#97914 - 04/16/06 05:53 PM Re: more USE questions  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
The USE would be used as a feed from one subpanel to another

A violation IMO.

USE is not allowed inside at all any longer.

Just today I found that the 2002 allowed 6' of USE indoors to terminate in equipment but that was dropped for 2005.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#97915 - 04/16/06 06:23 PM Re: more USE questions  
Tripp  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 99
Right, Bob - I, too, have noticed that that particular paragraph was eliminated from 2005. So no USE indoors - no matter how short a length, no matter if it is sleeved for that short a length? So what does that leave me with as an option? Maybe UF - but without my codebook in front of me at this moment, not sure. Let's see who finds that answer before me.

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