Hi, I just completed a second garage on my property. Planning on
running most utilities out to it. Question is, can everything share
the same conduit? Planning on having the following--
computer network (cat 5 cable)
My concern is interference of some sort with everything bundled
Your computer network cable... If it's going in the conduit with the
electrical, I would recommend getting a shielded cable, to cut down
interference. Otherwise there will be more noise on the line and therefor
more dropped packets. It will still work, but will be slower.
The electric will need to be in a conduit by itself or if it is direct
buried it will need to be kept separated from the other utilities by at
least six inches. The separation required for gas may be greater so
check the National Fuel gas code. The conduit for communications wiring
or direct bury communications wiring should be kept separated from the
electric power feeder by at least a half a foot to prevent interference
with the communications signals. The gas line should be in the bottom
of the trench to make it the least likely to be disturbed. Since I do
not have access to the National Fuel Gas Code at home I cannot tell you
how deep the trench needs to be for gas. It is good practice to bury a
warning tape above fuel lines as well as electric lines but that is not
required by the US National Electric Code.
If the trench will be 30 inches or more deep (0.75 meters) then you may
want to consider improving the grounding of the entire property by
installing a bare number two copper conductor in the bottom of the
trench that runs from the bonded buss bar of the panel that supplies the
feeder; which may or may not be your service equipment; to the Equipment
Grounding Conductor buss bar of the panel in your new garage. If you
use individual UF conductors directly buried at thirty inches of bury or
more the bare number two can serve as the Equipment Grounding Conductor
of the feeder. Taking that simple and relatively inexpensive step will
markedly lower the impedance to ground of your entire electrical systems
grounding electrode system. This will make your electrical system far
more resistant to damage caused by surges and spikes as well as
resistant to damage caused by lightning and accidental contact with
higher voltage lines such as when a downed power line falls across the
lines between the transformer and your home. Adding this extra
grounding is certainly not required but I believe that it is a great
thing to do if you are going to be trenching anyway.
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