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SO/SJO Cable direct buried


Oct 16, 2009
Palm Beach County Florida
So the contractor piled rocks on top of this termination to make it look as though the conduit continued underground. When I find stuff like this it just makes me look harder with more detail at everything else.

But, is this an actual violation?so



Jun 23, 2011
California concrete jungle
ARTICLE 400 Flexible Cords and Cables

400.8 Uses Not Permitted. Unless specifically permitted in 400.7, flexible cords and cables shall not be used for the following:

(1) As a substitute for the fixed wiring of a structure

(2) Where run through holes in walls, structural ceilings, suspended ceilings, dropped ceilings, or floors

(3) Where run through doorways, windows, or similar openings

(4) Where attached to building surfaces

Exception to (4): Flexible cord and cable shall be permitted to be attached to building surfaces in accordance with the provisions of 368.56(B)

(5) Where concealed by walls, floors, or ceilings or located above suspended or dropped ceilings

(6) Where installed in raceways, except as otherwise permitted in this Code

(7) Where subject to physical damage

110.3 Examination, Identification, Installation, and Use of Equipment.
(B) Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in accordance with any instructions included in the listing or labeling.

I didn't find an explicit prohibition for direct burial of So or SJO cord. I didn't find any cord that can be direct buried. So with that, it can't be direct buried.

Table 400.4 states that SO/SJO can be used in a damp location. I can't copy and paste tables but the footnote says it all.
Table 400.4 Flexible Cords and Cables
9. Cords that comply with the requirements for outdoor cords and are so listed shall be permitted to be designated as weather and water resistant with the suffix "W" after the Code type designation. Cords with the "W" suffix are suitable for use in wet locations and are sunlight resistant.

400.8(6) states that the cord can be installed in a raceway where permitted elsewhere in this code. The elsewhere is found at 400.14 Protection from Damage. Here it is:
In industrial establishments where the conditions of maintenance and supervision ensure that only qualified persons service the installation, flexible cords and cables shall be permitted to be installed in aboveground raceways that are no longer than 15 m (50 ft) to protect the flexible cord or cable from physical damage.
Even if this were the case here, the wet location defeats it.

If this were a cable that is listed for direct burial, the violations would be that the conduit shall extend to the required burial depth or a minimum 18" and the burial depth would be 24". In my area a 24" deep trench next to a footing is another violation unless the trench gets filled with slurry.....or I suppose they could provide a compaction report.

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