I want to run power from my house, under my porch for ~13 feet, to an outdoor outlet on the "wall" below my porch. I'm wondering, can just run UF cable from the breaker, through the wall of the house, under the porch, and into the outlet box?

My front porch is maybe three or four feet above ground level and has decorative concrete blocks on three sides (and the house on the other side). There are holes in the decorative blocks, but too small for a person. So, since no human could get under the porch, it seems like the run wouldn't be subject to damage. (I can get in behind some drywall in the basement and then unscrewing an old boarded up window in order to work under there). So, I don't think I should need conduit. I figured I should use UF cable since rain/hose water could theoretically get under the porch.

Do I need to support the cable under the porch or can it rest on the "ground" under there? If I need to support it, what's a good way to do so considering I'd be surrounded by masonry? (I assume regular staples are not an option.)

I'm in the U.S.

1 Answer 1


Since this is outdoors, and a location where it shouldn't be subject to physical abuse (such as being stepped on, weed-whacked, or run over), nor will it see much if any sun, go ahead and run a UF cable under your porch. You can either run it in the porch floor as if it were a NM cable (so, NM cable staples, bored holes through joists, or cable clips attached to masonry by whatever-means-needed), or leave it laying on the ground (it's direct burial suitable, after all). You can even dig a trench under your porch and bury it if you so wish.

  • 3
    I don't think laying UF on top of the ground is a suitable solution to any permanent wiring. Being "...direct burial suitable, after all.." requires burial to minimum recommended (required in some peoples minds) still if it is not affixed to something? I'm one to push the limits of code and safety but that one sounds a bit dicey :).
    – Damon
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 20:22
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    @Damon -- 340.12 doesn't prohibit it provided physical damage and sunlight exposure aren't concerns, and 340.10(3) allows it in "wet, dry, or corrosive locations" Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 20:51
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    Given the cable will not always be obviously visible and will get shallowly covered up over time in my OPINION physical damage IS a concern as wood or equivalent porches are not permanent fixtures. During rebuild, repair, or modification of the porch.there will be a physical damage concern every time (read multiple times). And if they do not cover the same extent of the old porch there ends up a permanent everyday concern for physical damage. Just my 2 cents!
    – Damon
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:12
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    @Damon -- concern for the cable during construction on the porch isn't really something Code takes into account -- after all, you'd have the same problem if the cable was run in the porch's floor! Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:35
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    GFCI, though only required at the outlet, would be a nice addition at the breaker box to protect the entire run.
    – Kris
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 23:20

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