running electrical lines above-ground?

Hi all:
I am going to be trying to add an electrical circuit to a gazebo that is being placed in a backyard that is already completed/grown out. I don't think it would be possible to dig a trench without compeltely destroying portions of our plantings, not to mention the cost of trenching. Is there a type of conduit that can be placed above ground (its about a 50' run) and safely house electrical from the elements? I'm thinking of just running the conduit along the property line fence since there are a lot of shrubberies in front of it and the conduit would not be visible. Would fixed metal conduit suffice or does that have to be buried? I know I've seen above-ground conduit before, but only in short lengths.
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
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You can run PVC along a structure. You can also use Rigid galvanized pipe, or steel tubing with rain-tight fittings.
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*Galvanized rigid conduit (RMC) or intermediate conduit (IMC) only needs to be 6" deep. You could score a shallow trench with a pick ax.
You can strap PVC to the fence.
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OP could dig a hole at either end and drill a lole underground, pushing or pulling conduit to protect the line. Its amazingly easy to drill underground:)
Use a concrete bit and extensions
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If you're going to have something above ground, might as well stick with an extension cord. Even if conduit is allowed above ground, it would be ugly and vulnerable to damage.
50' is not a long distance, and it won't cost anything other than a few days of digging. I've hand dug hundreds of feet of trenches on our property for power lines, water pipes, drain lines, etc., and we have very rocky soil. If you take the sod up before digging, you can easily rake the dirt back in and put the sod back in place afterwards. Or, just dig the trench and throw on some grass seed afterwards. A few weeks later, you won't even know the trench was there.
Your trench doesn't have to be a straight line, you can navigate around trees or other plantings as needed. You can even tunnel under large roots, pipes, sidewalks, etc.
If you don't plan on replacing the cable in the future, you can skip the conduit and use direct burial UF (underground feeder) cable. You'll probably have to dig the trench a little deeper, but around here bare cable only needs to be 6" deeper than conduit (24" vs 18").
If your health or physical condition does not allow you to hand dig a trench, you could probably hire a neighborhood kid to do the digging for you.
If you're really concerned about the impact on your yard, or the time it takes to dig the trench, you might want to check around for someone with a "vibratory plow". They simply hook a cable or pipe to the machine, and drive it through your yard. The phone and cable companies around here use them all the time, and the plow line is practically invisible when they are done. The guy that pulled my cable line (300') told me his walk behind machine could pull up to 1" pipe up to three feet deep. It's a great option if you don't have a lot of rocks, roots, or other obstructions.
Regardless of what option you choose, remember to "call before you dig". And whenever possible, try to keep a map of all the underground cables and pipes you install. I always take lots of photos, and have found them very helpful when I need to do new work at a later date.
Good luck,
Anthony
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