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OT - Romex Used Outside?

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  • OT - Romex Used Outside?

    I need to string some wiring to a barn for a light and receptacle. I plan on stringing it through the trees. My question is, is it really necessary to use UV rated wire or would regular romex be OK?

  • #2
    Squirrels will chew Romex wire like it is candy!



    • #3
      Oddly Type UF wire (underground feeder) is labeled UV resistant. It has multiple conductors like romex. Squirrel-proof? Dunno.


      • #4
        Stringing the wire through the trees is already a violation of the electrical code, why do you care if your choice of wire violates it further?



        • #5
          Just as a note..... the use of "live vegetation" to support wiring, which would include trees supporting type "UF" cable, is not allowed per the US electrical code..... should you happen to be in the US.

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan


          • #6
            nonsense --- have a tree inspector take some measurements of ring growth data by drilling a core sample and then by utilizing this along with the species of tree and taking a stab at future weather by using the farmers almanac you will then know how much excess wire to leave danging from the tree for slack/growth...

            Also - don't forget to compensate for wind flexing, don't worry about squirrels as this situation will take care of itself as soon as they chew through and connect with a hot and a neutral at the same time,

            last but not least pick up some good fire insurance - has to be fool proof stuff that will cover even the biggest of fools


            • #7
              UL direct earth burial cable.. you can use a plow or tiller to bury it, dig the soil and soften it, spoon it out, bury cable.. no more worries..

              Us electricians have a "lazy mans" shovel that is only a few inches wide..

              Swinging it? not a good idea.. wind works the copper like bending it back and forth, eventually breaking it, causing a poor connection, causing a fire.. hooked to a tree, it has fuel.

              That being said? there is wire strung all across america. Look on them big poles on the sides of the road.

              The electrical code was modified over and over by people looking at things that burned down. Mostly common sense.
              Excuse me, I farted.


              • #8
                Murphy's Law of insurance "Always buy fire insurance since floods are so hard to start"


                • #9
                  rws, bury it in a conduit, at least a foot deep. Direct burial cable needs 2' if I remember correctly. I have used PE pipe as conduit in the past, it comes in rolls for waterline use. Or buy the non-metallic conduit and put it in.
                  No wind worries or accidentally pulling it down.


                  • #10
                    Like others have recommended, bury your line either using PVC conduit and gluing the joints to make it water tight, or use underground rated romex. I'd also add a diagram of the location of the wire to the inside of your electrical panel.


                    • #11
                      One more thing, use a larger gauge wire as once you have the outlet and light in the barn you will want more devices in the future.
                      Last edited by Lu47Dan; 05-31-2011, 11:52 AM.


                      • #12
                        The yellow sheathed Romex is made to be burried.

                        What Lu47Dan said.


                        • #13
                          Yellow sheath on romex does not nescessarily mean direct bury - today that just indicates 12awg.

                          If you want to string overhead (not on trees) , you can use UF so long as it's marked UV resistant, AND, you use a suitable support carrier - such as a cable. There's also requirements for weather proof entries and often drip loops. Look up the code for all the details.


                          • #14
                            OK, while I realize I'm not exactly following code, I'm also not contracting this out anywhere. If I wire this to a GFI breaker, any animal chewing through, or damage from a falling limb, it would kill itself before doing damage. My ground is shale, not the easiest to dig into.

                            I've been in construction for over 30 years, and I know by safety regs, you must hang temporary wiring from an insulated member, and I can easily do that using THHN wire.

                            Plenty of wiggle room through the trees would go without saying.


                            • #15
                              I would just string is as described. If you use a ground fault breaker in the service box it should be safe even though not legal. It sounds like your on a farm, not in a subdivision. It's not like it's for high amps.
                              It's only ink and paper