What factors should be considered when deciding on how deep to bury landscape lighting wiring?

You have a shovel in one hand and some landscape lighting wiring in the other. How deep do you need to dig to adequately bury the wiring? Keep reading to see what other landscaping enthusiasts had to say on the topic.

Alice Hayward

Alice Hayward

Alice Hayward, Editor & Content Ambassador at Our Daily Homestead.

Consider Aeration and Dethatching Before Installation

Lighting systems have various installations. The easiest and most common one is landscape lighting wiring. Landscape lighting wiring consists of UV resistant and low voltage wire, which is advisable on various landscapes such as patio, garden, and walkways.

Homeowners must consider two factors; the first one is the ground aeration, and the second is dethatching before the installation starts. Lighting wiring should be buried at least 6 to 12 inches deep to prevent water absorption, wire breakage, and cuts.

It also helps to eliminate fault circuits to protect humans or animals from possible electric shock. That’s why it’s crucial to learn those factors and use the best wiring cable for safe and long-term lighting usage.

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski, CEO, Improovy.

Check Local Ordinances

When burying landscaping wire, you should consider your local ordinances. As long as you’re using low-voltage wiring, six inches should be deep enough. However, you should be checking with your local authorities, as many states have specific regulations on digging into the ground, the minimum depth for wires, and the subsequent wiring marking.

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson

Melanie Musson is a landscaping expert with USInsuranceAgents.com.

Consider Your Yard Conditions

You have several options for wiring depth, and to help you make your decision, you should first consider how much power you need. For example, if you need only low-voltage lighting, you can dig a more shallow trench than what is required for high-voltage cables.

Next, consider the type of soil you have. That will help you decide between a six-inch trench or a 12-inch trench. You might wonder why you’d dig deeper if you can get away with shallower. Well, the reason is rodents. If they can easily dig six inches underground, then they’ll chew your wiring.

You’ll need a galvanized conduit for a six-inch trench, which is quite expensive. On the other hand, if you dig 12 inches, you can bury a properly rated, low voltage cable without a conduit.

If your soil is good, the 12-inch deep trench will be worth your time, but if you have incredibly rocky soil, the galvanized conduit may be worth your money. You should also think about how long you need to run the wiring. If you only have to go a short distance, you may be willing to dig deeper or pay for the short bit of conduit.

Another factor that will play into your decision is your lawn. The bigger the trench you dig, the more challenging it will be to leave no trace.

Adam Rossi

Adam Rossi

Adam Rossi, CEO of TotalShield.

Determine the Locations of Lights and Transformer

When planning the depth for your landscape wiring, be sure to figure out exactly where you want your lights to sit. Your first fixture should be at least ten feet away from your transformer. Your transformer should be in the center of your design so that you can easily wire the system. Also, your path lights should be evenly spaced and should be about eight to ten feet apart. Planning each and every aspect before you start digging will prevent a great deal of extra work, frustration, and destruction to your lawn.

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of lawnlove.com.

Six Inches is the Rule of Thumb

The general rule of thumb is to bury wiring at least six inches below the surface. This ensures that the wiring doesn’t resurface or isn’t accidentally cut by edgers. You want it to be low enough that it won’t budge and won’t be touched by anything that can damage it.

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