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I'm in the US, and have a run of UF cable serving floodlights along my driveway. It leaves the garage in a conduit, and reappears at each of 3 locations where a junction box about 12" above ground level connects the incoming line, one running up the tree to a light fixture, and the outgoing line. (I believe it's just directly buried once it leaves the vicinity of the garage).

At the second location, both the incoming and outgoing wires were damaged right at ground level; I'd like to be able to reconnect them (I've disconnected the run at the first location temporarily).

Is there a safe (and ideally, code compliant) way to splice UF at or below ground level? I have enough slack to connect them, but not much to spare.

Replacing the run is not feasible, as it crosses under a driveway.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Your UF cable can be easily spliced to either add in a new piece of cable or to rejoin a break in an existing cable. The splice kits are typically specified for copper wire only and consist of some set screw cylinders that join the wire ends and then some heat shrink tubing that has a very sticky adhesive inside. The splices can be buried and it may be preferable to do so from an appearance standpoint so just new wire shows above the ground level.

One product I am aware of is from 3M company and is called their "UF Splice Kit" as shown below.

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Another very similar product from Tyco is available at Home Depot stores.

Do read the customer comments on the Home Depot page. One thing to learn from there is that a torch is not right tool to use for shrinking the tubing. Instead I recommend using an electrically heated hot air gun. (Although do use care using an electrical appliance outside, particularly of you are working in a wet hole in the ground). Another point of note is that successful sealing of the UF cable with these splice kits is to clean the wires very well before applying the tubing.

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