Can electrical cables be concealed in a fence between two structures? In this residence, the power meters and outdoor panels are located on the garage. There is a panel inside the residence like most places.

In the fence I see three bundles of wires:

  1. Telephone and cable TV
  2. Typical NM like is used inside the walls of a house
  3. Larger cable like is used from a pole to a house normally, probably aluminum.

What seems out of place is that the wiring is concealed in a fence between the structures. I would expect it to be buried or overhead. As it stands, someone attempting to make repairs to the fence could easily drive a nail or screw directly into what appears to be electrical wiring. enter image description here

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    I believe standard NM cable used in the states is not rated for wet areas. That part is likely against legal. Beyond that, I don't know. – SomeoneSomewhereSupportsMonica May 17 '17 at 5:38

Given that the horizontal studs are 1.5 inches deep plus the depth of the vertical planks being .5 inch ( guessing ) total depth is 2". This is a good thing but, and I am going to have to emphasize the but, ..... this is not normal and given the amount and size of wires in there I am not comfortable saying this is okay. But what do I know, I'm only a licensed master electrician who runs his own insured company. ;-)


I would not be comfortable with it either - but somehow I think it fails.

There is no protection from nailing and the nail ending up into those wires.

Replacement of the fencing also , personally I think something is amiss. Also there are no warning labels on that fence (that I can see) about high voltage being present.

Did a DIY'er do this to run power to a light pole and also run his cable and TV lines himself ? because you know it is a matter of digging - dollars and time.

Exposed or buried wiring/cable must be listed for its application. Is that wiring listed for its application - is it UM wire ?

Also as an FYI typically a buried cable with no conduit is 12" deep, with RMC 6 inches is acceptable.

What you are seeing for some reason it just smells to me - it might not violate the letter of the code but it is not a normal practice - hence I think a DIY'er perhaps running his own stuff to save $time.


  • This is the only source of power to the building. It appears to the original installation, as I can find no indication of conduit in the ground at all. – Eric Urban May 17 '17 at 19:28

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