Lamp Post Installation

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I am installing a lamp post in my front yard. I already have electrical ran to the outside that was used for a lamp post many years ago (previous owners). They ran the cable not in conduit underground about 6 inches at most. I am going to put a new lamp post in and I was thinking that the electrical cable should be in a conduit. The existing cable is underground rated (or so it says on it). Thoughts on the conduit. Also, in the trench would you lay gravel or sand? Any general advise anyone can offer? Tips, tricks, or advise from experience?
Thanks Amy.
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I'd like to see it deeper, maybe 12", but it is otherwise just fine. I've had one cable buried for about 20+ years with no problem, another for 5 years.
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Any downside or benefit to putting it in conduit? Several articles I ran across on the web all talk about using conduit.
Amy

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Amy L wrote:

conduit first, instead of possibly energized electrical lines. There's a benefit. Tom
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No downside, especially if it is shallow. Tee conduit won't stop a backhoe, but will easily stop a shovel.
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Amy L wrote:

While conduit is not necessary, it just seems better, doesn't it! Do it if it is easy or inexpensive to fix just to give yourself some peace-of-mind. Deeper would definetly be better and I imagine there are some electrical codes that should be consulted. Make sure the circuit is on ground fault interrupter (GFI). Just back fill with dirt (or whatever is natural).
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In our area (California) all electrical conduit and wire must be 24" underground. May have to be in metal conduit, but not sure.
Would be quite a surprise if somebody digs up a live electric wire with only a spade. I guess too many people bit the dust.
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NEC requirements for buried wiring vary depending upon amperage of the circuit, type of conduit, type of protection, such as ground fault, and direct buried cables. It also varies depending where the trench is, such as under a driveway, road, etc. etc. Personally, in a residential application I like to sleeve U.F. cable through PVC pipe or flexible non metallic conduit, for added protection. More protection is obviously better. In your situation, at the very least I'd install GFCI protection on the circuit

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RBM (remove this) wrote:

I am familiar with GFCI outlets, but in this case the wire goes right from an internal light switch directly to the lamp post. Is there a different type of GFCI unit that can be placed inline?
Amy
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snipped-for-privacy@paxemail.com wrote:

panel (if you've got a panel with breakers). Tom
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And if it's grounded properly. snipped-for-privacy@paxemail.com wrote:

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Yes there is, it's called a faceless GFCI, but what I'd try to do is intercept the cable just before it goes out of the house and install a box with a GFCI device in it there

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Could be rather awkward for periodic testing of the GFCI? A possible problem is that the power feed to the lamp's switch does not have a ground wire?
lee
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I would expect that it does, but it wouldn't matter to the GFCI even if it didn't

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The GFCI needs to be placed upstream (ahead of) the switch which means you might have to do a little detective work to see how the circuit is routed. The idea here is to place it in an accessible location so that you can test and reset the circuit when neccessary. If you are lucky, you might just find that there is a duplex outlet upstream and you can just replace it with an inexpensive GFCI and follow the wiring diagram.
GFCIs are required to be grounded, if a ground is available, but they are also allowed to be installed when there is not a sufficient ground. In the latter case, a little sticker is placed on the outlet that says "No Ground" or something similar.
Beachcomber
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On Sat, 10 Jun 2006 12:30:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.none (Beachcomber) wrote:

A GFCI is also a switch (test & reset buttons act as off & on).
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Why would the GFCI need to be placed upstream of the switch? I'd put it in a box right where the U.F. leaves the building, on the load side of the switch

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Amy L wrote:

is better, conduit is better, etc. Just git-er-done and don't worry. Unless you are planning on digging in that area for some other reason. Oh, you already know there is a wire there. Also, anyone who sees a lamp post should be smart enough to assume there is a wire somewhere. I would just get on with installing the lamp post then enjoy the rest of your day and admire the complete job. Don't make more work than you need to.
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When I re installed the light at my in-law's home I installed an outlet on the post. Never dreamed I would use it as much as I have.
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On Sat, 10 Jun 2006 22:44:08 -0400, "Jimmie D"

An outlet sounds like a good idea. Is it switched with the light?
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