Depth Requirements for Buried Electrical Cable

Buried electrical cable is just one type of electrical cable, but it certainly has perks. While above-ground cables do certainly have many benefits, there are equally important benefits of buried cables, including aesthetics, reduced outage concerns, and reduced safety risks. But when burying electrical cables, it’s important to keep National Electrical Code requirements in mind. Buried cable, must in other words, be “up to code,” a large component of which entails burying cables at the proper depth. So, what are the proper depth burial requirements for this type of cable? Read on to learn more, or contact us here at Gateway Cable Company about our cable solutions.

What Are Some Common Types of Buried Cables?

There are a wide variety of buried cable types, each with different depth requirements. Let’s dig into some of the most common ones (pun intended):

Metal Conduits

Metal conduits are perhaps the most expensive type of cable to bury. They should be buried six inches below the surface of the soil. Alternately, they can be buried four inches underneath a four-inch concrete slab, like a foundation. 

Nonmetallic Conduits

These types of buried cables, also known as raceways, are less protected against weather-related and other damage than metal conduits. They must, accordingly, be buried deeper. How much so? We’re talking 18 inches down. If they’re buried under two inches of concrete — or an equivalent protective barrier — they can be buried 12 inches down.

Underground Feeder Cables (UF)

UF Cable burial depth is deeper than even nonmetallic conduits, but one of the main advantages to using these types of cables is that they can be buried without additional protection; they have a tough jacket specifically designed for burial purposes. So, what is the suggested UF cable burial depth? Twenty-four inches below the soil surface is ideal, or 18 inches when protected by two inches of concrete. 

Low Voltage Cables (LV)

Low voltage cables, such as those used in lightning systems, that are rated for no more than 30 volts, have a much lower burial depth than UF cables. What’s the suggested LV cable depth? About six inches — or around the same depth as metal conduits. 

Rely on Gateway Cable Company for Your Cable & Power Assembly Needs!

At Gateway Cable Company, we’re here to provide you with cable and power assembly solutions that meet the unique challenges and needs of your business. Give us a call today at (631) 766-7969 or email us at to learn more.