Sprinkler wire run through attic, exposed on wall, and underground

JDBrown

Senior Member
Location
California
I'm looking for a multiconductor cable (5 or so conductors, #18AWG) that can be run through an attic, down the outside of a wall, and then underground. As far as I can tell, that means it needs to be CL2, Direct Burial, Sunlight Resistant, and rated for Wet Locations. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find one cable that meets all these requirements. Does it exist? If so, can you give me a link or manufacturer/model number?

For those who are interested in background information, I'm putting in an automatic sprinkler system (the irrigation kind, not the fire protection kind), and I want to make sure the right kind of cable gets used. The controller (which has a Class 2 power supply) will be inside the garage, and the plan is for the control cable to run up the wall, into the attic, through the attic to the opposite end of the house, down the outside of the exterior wall, into a trench, and underground to the sprinkler valves. The irrigation guys around here use the same cable for everything -- the type that is commonly found at home improvement stores -- and, while it is rated for direct burial, I can't find anything that leads me to believe it can be run in an attic or exposed on an exterior wall. I'd rather provide the cable myself and let them install it, than have them run that stuff through my attic.

So, is there a cable that fits the bill? What would you use?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
I'm looking for a multiconductor cable (5 or so conductors, #18AWG) that can be run through an attic, down the outside of a wall, and then underground. As far as I can tell, that means it needs to be CL2, Direct Burial, Sunlight Resistant, and rated for Wet Locations. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find one cable that meets all these requirements. Does it exist? If so, can you give me a link or manufacturer/model number?

For those who are interested in background information, I'm putting in an automatic sprinkler system (the irrigation kind, not the fire protection kind), and I want to make sure the right kind of cable gets used. The controller (which has a Class 2 power supply) will be inside the garage, and the plan is for the control cable to run up the wall, into the attic, through the attic to the opposite end of the house, down the outside of the exterior wall, into a trench, and underground to the sprinkler valves. The irrigation guys around here use the same cable for everything -- the type that is commonly found at home improvement stores -- and, while it is rated for direct burial, I can't find anything that leads me to believe it can be run in an attic or exposed on an exterior wall. I'd rather provide the cable myself and let them install it, than have them run that stuff through my attic.

So, is there a cable that fits the bill? What would you use?
It isn't cheap, and depending on the gauge might be a handful, but we use TC listed cable for those conditions. Works great in a power plant, should be fine for your house.
 

don_resqcapt19

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Illinois
It isn't cheap, and depending on the gauge might be a handful, but we use TC listed cable for those conditions. Works great in a power plant, should be fine for your house.
I agree that is a great product, but I don't think it is listed for the OPs application. It would also be prohibited by 336.12(2).
 

JDBrown

Senior Member
Location
California

JDBrown

Senior Member
Location
California
After doing some more reading, it appears that they use 14 AWG UF cable for commercial sprinkler valves. That's probably overkill for what I'm doing, but it looks like it will cost about the same for UF through the attic or sprinkler wire under the eaves. Is there any reason UF would not be Code compliant for this application?

Thermostat wire would be the cheapest, but I'm waiting to hear back from Southwire if it can be installed outdoors or not. The sunlight resistance rating would seem a little silly if it can't be installed outdoors, but I didn't see anything on the cut sheet or the package that said it's suitable for exterior/wet locations.
 
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JDBrown

Senior Member
Location
California
Another update:

I just spoke with a rep from Southwire, and he confirmed that the thermostat cable can be installed outdoors in a wet location. Since the thermostat cable will cost about half what UF or direct burial sprinkler cable would cost, I'll likely go this route. The only drawback is that the thermostat cable is not suitable for direct burial, but I think the valves are close enough to the wall that this won't really be an issue.

I'm still curious about whether the UF would be Code compliant, though. I think it would be, but it wouldn't be the first time I thought wrong...
 
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