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Thread: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    18

    Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    I can't find a separation requirement for a natural gas line and underground service entrance conductors. Can they run in the same ditch?
    :confused:
    Texas CBO - 2000 ICC, 2002 NEC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    3,172

    Re: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    Gas lines should be at 30 inches, so the electric cables should be under that elevation by six inches.

  3. #3

    Re: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    Excel Energy has a standard in their "Blue" book. I don't have mine handy but I believe they require 12" seperation. This is ussually done by "Shelving" the trench with a backhoe so that the seperation is vertical. At least thats how my company does it.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2003
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    3,172

    Re: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    Secondary cables at 6 inches. Primary cables at 12 inches.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Leesburg, VA
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    6,933

    Re: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    3 years ago in VA there was a residential property where the utility feeder and gas crossed
    in the same ditch. The Utility cable faulted at some point and the gas line ruptured. Blew one house off the foundation, two kids were blown out the bay window into the shrubs, father was badly burnt and the mother was killed. The two utilities were finger pointing, course the courts settled the case
    Brian John
    Leesburg, VA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    12

    Re: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    In my experience seperation is determined by the utility companies that serve the area. You can go online and visit their web site or find a phone number so you can call a service planner or inspector. Some utility companies, like SCE, have downloadable versions of their underground service requirements.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Westchester County, New York
    Posts
    3,552

    Re: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    In Westchester County NY, Con Edison requires all gas and electrical to maintain at least a 12 inch separation, no exceptions, which is enforced by the electrical inspector.

    Pierre

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    6,102

    Re: Separation of Gas and Electric in ditch

    Originally posted by gent:
    . . . separation requirement for a natural gas line and underground service entrance conductors.
    You say service entrance conductors but I am assuming you are talking about service conductors. The NESC would be the standard and Rule 353 would apply. Rule 353A1 states "These rules apply to a radial separation of supply and communication conductors from each other and from other underground structures such as sewers, water lines, gas and other fuel lines, building foundations, steam lines, etc. when separation is equal to or greater then 12 inches.
    NOTE: For radial separation less than 12 inches see Rule 354."

    Rule 354 covers random lay and refers back to Rule 353 for gas lines. Prior to the 2002 edition of the NESC, random separation was permitted as long as all parties agreed. The previous edition was the 1997 edition. :cool:
    Charlie Eldridge, Indianapolis, Utility Power Guy
    Responses based on the 2011 NEC, unless stated otherwise.

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