SOOW cable in conduit

pfactor2

Member
Location
United States
I’m reluctantly offering to permit a installation that the homeowner had installed by some knuckle heads and has been cited by the county for the dock being installed without permit.
They install approximately 80ft of 6/4 SOOW cable underground in 1.5 PVC to a boat dock, obviously stick by stick. Does anyone know without reservation is this is legal?
 

EC Dan

Senior Member
Location
Florida
Occupation
E&C Manager
NEC 2017 400.12 and 400.17 would indicate it is not permitted, both because it is not to be used as a replacement for permanent wiring and because it is not to be installed in raceway (and especially underground raceway) outside of an industrial establishment.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
400.8(6). If you are an inspector, wiring around water is one area I would never fudge on. The owners were cutting corners and should not be given any slack for the "better to ask forgiveness" rather than get a permit and use real contractors for this dock. I would bet they have the means to do so in South Fl.

Roger
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
I agree with Dan that it is not "allowed".

Now, whether or not it is safe is another discussion IMO. If it is protected at the ratings listed in chapter 300 vs chapter 400 then I really don't see a problem.

Dan, I am curious as to why you wrote
because it is not to be installed in raceway (and especially underground raceway)
.

Why "especially underground raceway"?
 

EC Dan

Senior Member
Location
Florida
Occupation
E&C Manager
400.17 indicates raceway installations of flexible cable are permitted in an industrial environment, but only if it's aboveground, which means flexible cable can never be installed in underground raceway no matter the context.
 

busman

Senior Member
Location
Northern Virginia
Occupation
Master Electrician / Electrical Engineer
I would think the rubber insulation could be subject to degradation from anything that might be in the ground water.

Mark
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
One exception regarding use of cord is found in 555.13(A)(2) 1&2 criteria for marina purpose. Also 555.13(B)(4) has additional criteria. While SOOW is listed for wet location, he would argue that the exception condition does not extend to underground feeder to the dock itself. There are a lot of very specific safety considerations related to marina installation that need to be considered.
I suggest reviewing extensively Article 555 before giving a PASS to the installation, making sure every (i) is dotted and (t) crossed.
You only mentioning a portion of all possible listing on the cord, it can have other markings that allow additional conditions such as UV resistant that are related to the conditional allowances in 555.
 

acrwc10

Master Code Professional
Location
CA
Occupation
Building inspector
every other code violation aside, without looking at the table, I think the cable is too large to even be in the conduit. the code sections in post #7 is what I would be using. keeping in mind, cost is not a consideration when approving an "alternate method". They didn't want to install it with a permit, let them pay to make it safe.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
Occupation
retired electrician
I’m reluctantly offering to permit a installation that the homeowner had installed by some knuckle heads and has been cited by the county for the dock being installed without permit.
They install approximately 80ft of 6/4 SOOW cable underground in 1.5 PVC to a boat dock, obviously stick by stick. Does anyone know without reservation is this is legal?
300.18 Raceway Installations.
(A) Complete Runs.
Raceways, other than busways or exposed raceways having hinged or removable covers, shall be installed complete between outlet, junction, or splicing points prior to the installation of conductors. Where required to facilitate the installation of utilization equipment, the raceway shall be permitted to be initially installed without a terminating connection at the equipment. Prewired raceway assemblies shall be permitted only where specifically permitted in this Code for the applicable wiring method.
 

Fred B

Senior Member
Location
Upstate, NY
Occupation
Electrician
Does anyone know why a "W" rated cord is not allowed in conduit, especially underground? It's rated for wet locations, so... ?
Not so much about the conduit as it is allowed to be sleeved for the marina application but cord cannot be used to to replace or substitute for perminant Article 300 wiring methods per 400.12
400.10(A) indicates what acceptable uses are, (A)(10) allows if specifically allowed in another section of the code, like Article 555.

AFA cordage use in conduit even buried for short distance Generac has a cable with multiple listings for use in connecting the generator to the ATS. It has the control and power cables bundled, but it is listed for direct bury also.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
The bottom line is there is no article section or exception that allows the feeder to the dock to be a flexible cord underground in conduit as a feeder. The dock was built without a permit, and considering as many electrocutions that occur around docks and piers each year, allowing it to remain should not even be a consideration. If something were to happen it wouldn't matter if the feeder had anything directly to do with it.

Roger
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
The reason I asked my question is that many years ago (over 20) I wired a marina and did it wrong, nobody caught it (it was inspected).

I used a W cable from the panel, UG PVC to the bulkhead (actually through the bulkhead) (about 100'), then supported under the gangway into the end of the dock, through the dock framing and up to a power center. As far as I know it's still operating w/out problems.

You can beat me up if you like, yes it was not according to the code.

So, does anyone know why mom and dad (NEC authors) are saying you may not install a wet rated cord in a conduit? I know you can do it and I know it works, what I don't know is why it is not allowed.
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
The bottom line is there is no article section or exception that allows the feeder to the dock to be a flexible cord underground in conduit as a feeder.

Roger
Around here, it is not uncommon to have the feeders to the dock being W cable (or G) from the panel (normally adjacent to the gangway). The panel is normally fed by chapter 3 wiring methods.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Around here, it is not uncommon to have the feeders to the dock being W cable (or G) from the panel (normally adjacent to the gangway). The panel is normally fed by chapter 3 wiring methods.
Wiring on the dock to the panel or devices can be a proper flexible cord, it is allowed if it is installed per 555. What is not allowed is using it as the OP describes. Once again, it comes down to the liability that comes with an incorrect installation regardless of whether we agree with a code section or not. Search Mike Holt's news letters (or whole website) for electrocutions around docks and piers.

Roger
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
Wiring on the dock to the panel or devices can be a proper flexible cord, it is allowed if it is installed per 555. What is not allowed is using it as the OP describes. Once again, it comes down to the liability that comes with an incorrect installation regardless of whether we agree with a code section or not. Search Mike Holt's news letters (or whole website) for electrocutions around docks and piers.

Roger
Seeing wiring around older docks, it is my opinion that chapter 3 wiring methods contribute to shock hazards more than W or G cable. I think that's why the local authorities "work with" an accommodative attitude. Like they won't require a panel at the dock (on shore) to be above the flood plain. They are of the opinion that it is just too impractical to install the panel and supporting structures 10' - 12' above land where it will be an eyesore for the million/billionaires that own/use the property.

I'm pretty sure some powerful people stepped in and had this perspective pounded into the AHJ.
 
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