1. ATTENTION returning members. If you are coming here from the old forum for the first time, you will need to reset you password. However, we had an email problem getting password reset links set out to a lot of the email addresses. That problem is temporarily rectified but IF you still have an issue, email me direct at info@thebuildingcodeforum.com and I will give you a temporary password.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Welcome to the new and improved Building Code Forum. We appreciate you being here and hope that you are getting the information that you need concerning all codes of the building trades. This is a free forum to the public due to the generosity of the Sawhorses, Corporate Supporters and Supporters who have upgraded their accounts. If you would like to have improved access to the forum please upgrade to Sawhorse by clicking here: Upgrades
    Dismiss Notice

Warning Ribbon 12" Above Service Conductors

Discussion in 'Electrical Codes' started by jar546, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,469
    Likes Received:
    418
    OK, I was recently schooled on this by a co-worker and realized that I had been enforcing something that I always saw as standard practice even though it is not actually required under NEC 300.5.

    Who enforces this when the service conductors are in conduit and are not direct burial conductors?
     
  2. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8,066
    Likes Received:
    824
    (D) Protection from Damage. Direct-buried conductors and cables shall be protected from damage in accordance with 300.5(D)(1) through (D)(4).


    (3) Service Conductors. Underground service conductors that are not encased in concrete and that are buried 450 mm (18 in.) or more below grade shall have their location identified by a warning ribbon that is placed in the trench at least 300 mm (12 in.) above the underground installation.

    It seems odd that no ribbon is required until the cable depth is 18" or more. What seems damned strange is burying a bare cable at any depth. In all of my weeks as an inspector I've not encountered that.
     
    Francis Vineyard likes this.
  3. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,469
    Likes Received:
    418
    In PA I saw direct burial conductors a lot, especially for long runs and that is when the tape marker 12' above is actually required. This section is applicable to service conductors and most POCOs require 36" depth anyway so the requirement kicks in.
     
  4. ICE

    ICE Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    8,066
    Likes Received:
    824
    #4 ICE, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    jar546 likes this.
  5. Sifu

    Sifu Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,132
    Likes Received:
    110
    Thanks ICE, that was a shocking video.
     
    jar546 likes this.
  6. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,113
    Likes Received:
    416
  7. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,469
    Likes Received:
    418
    Nope, looks like it’s In conduit
     
  8. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,113
    Likes Received:
    416
    "Underground service conductors that are not encased in concrete and that are buried 18 in. or more . . . "
     
    my250r11 likes this.
  9. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,469
    Likes Received:
    418
    Yes I know. BUT,............ The section it is in is specifically for direct burial conductors. 300.5(D) is specific to direct burial conductors and the requirements are under that section.
     
    Francis Vineyard likes this.
  10. Francis Vineyard

    Francis Vineyard Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    3,113
    Likes Received:
    416
    Got it! (D) is saying (3) only applies to direct buried service conductors and the warning ribbon is one of the methods listed for protection.

    To humor here are some different interpretations from a "celebrity" author and another official interpretation of the NEC.

    Article 300
    Wiring Methods

    300.5 Underground Installations

    Replace the word “service laterals” with “service conductors,” so that this section now reads:

    (D) Protection from Damage.
    (3) Service Conductors. Service conductors (in a raceway or cable, or exposed) that are not encased in concrete, but are buried 18 in. or more, must have their location identified by a warning ribbon placed at least 12 in. above the underground installation.

    Intent: The intent of this editorial change, was to clarify that a warning ribbon is required for service conductors (exposed or in a raceway) buried more than 18 inches.

    Author’s Comment: Often service lateral conductors are installed in nonmetallic conduit (which must have 18 in. of cover [Table 300.5]) by the electrical contractor; therefore, a warning ribbon must be placed at least 12 in. above the underground raceway.

    300.2(D).JPG
     
    jar546 likes this.
  11. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    279
    It makes "common" sense too.
     
    jar546 likes this.
  12. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,469
    Likes Received:
    418
    Agree and I like using it. We just can't enforce common sense.
     
  13. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,469
    Likes Received:
    418
    To drive this home even further, here is a ruling by the code panel when someone wanted to change the code to required it for conductors in conduit.

    Screen Shot 2019-04-04 at 22.16.16.png
     
  14. ADAguy

    ADAguy Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    3,100
    Likes Received:
    279
    Is this tape required to be metallic or nonmetallic?
     
  15. jar546

    jar546 *****istrator

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    6,469
    Likes Received:
    418
    It is not required to be either one. It just says "warning ribbon"
     
  16. steveray

    steveray Sawhorse

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    6,346
    Likes Received:
    834
    I knew it was service conductors, but I thought it was all, as that is what the utility requires here.....
     
    jar546 likes this.

Share This Page