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How Deep to Install Landscape Lighting Power, Is It Safe to Leave Electric Baseboard Heaters Unattended, How to Hook Up a Dishwasher Without a Ground Wire

May 30, 2010

DIY Electrical Wiring Help Chris Price asks:
I need to run 75 ft of 110 from my outside box on my house to a 18′ pole in my garden. I am connecting on a low voltage 12 volt 100 amp land scape lighting system. How deep must I bury the 110v cable and do I need to put a sheath around it? I have seen and worked with flexible PVC style will this work?

I also have two 20amp GFCIs for both ends and the special rain covers for the plugins. Please Help.
Chris Price
PS
Have had some ex.p in wiring my crawl space and garage , but never outdoors under ground.

Answer:
Residential Branch Circuits Rated 120 Volts or Less with GFCI Protection and Maximum Overcurrent Protection of 20 Amperes need to be 12 inches (300mm) deep. If the soil conditions are sandy, then direct burial cable is fine. However, if the soil conditions are rock or there are lots of roots, then I recommend PVC. The flexible PVC style will NOT work.

 

D Stitt asks:
I am considering buying an older home–built in the 1940’s. It is currently being heating with electric baseboard heaters that were put in 9 years ago.

The house is about 800 square feet–more like a cottage–on a lake–second tier.

The basement is finished with 1? heater there. The upstairs is where the bathroom, small living room and bedroom are located.

The house has been updated and very neat.

My main question is, is it safe to leave baseboard heat on in my absence, sometimes for several days at a time?

Thank you for answering right away as I am seriously considering the purchase.

Answer:
Yes, it is fine to leave the baseboard heaters on. You just need to ensure that there is nothing near the heater that could start a fire; including curtains, drapes and power cords.

 

Daniel Rezac asks:
Question: I am installing a dishwasher, but my wall outlet has a red, black, and white wire. Where does my green ground wire on the dishwasher come in? My wiring in my house is older, so I don’t know where the ground goes FROM the dishwasher.

Answer:
It sounds like you do not have a ground wire there. If the 3 conductor cable goes directly back to your breaker box, then you can change the red wire to a ground. Simply get some green phase tape and wrap each end of the red wire with green tape to re-identify the wire as a ground. Then terminate the newly re-identified ground wire to the ground bar in the breaker box.

If the red wire is being used as a hot wire to feed a garbage disposal or something else and you need a 3-prong receptacle, then you are permitted to either install a ground wire or install a GFCI receptacle. If you install a ground wire, then I recommend running it back to your breaker box.

If you do not have a ground, then installing a GFCI receptacle would be your quickest and cheapest solution. Instead of hard-wiring the dishwasher, place a 6 foot long appliance cord on the dishwasher and plug it into the GFCI receptacle.

 

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