Is electrical cable that is rated for installation underground, also capable of being laid underwater? Through a stream or across a pond?

Also, please make sure to mention if it is possibly but not ideal, or a just as good as/superior solution.

  • What sort of body of water are you trying to span with this run? Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 15:15
  • I am considering laying some cable to a location that is blocked by a small pond (50 feet across at its widest, probably only 6 deep). It would save dozens of feet going through instead of around, and then I would not have to worry about driving over it with giant machinery, or me or some animal digging it up (at least that portion of the cable).
    – Jonathon
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 21:16
  • I presume that with a pond this size you aren't ever going to put a boat out on it? Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 21:42
  • Also, are there other obstacles present to an overhead span across the pond? Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 21:47
  • No boat, would not even be any point to putting a kayak on it. And I suppose their is nothing, thought I have misgiving about how that would look.
    – Jonathon
    Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


Absolutely not. Underground rating presumes physical protection by the surrounding earth.

Undersea cable is designed to be laid on the sea floor. You may have other threats like water-moved rocks, or the footfalls of people or animals that even undersea cable is not made to deal with. There might be no cable rated for that duty.

If the cable is buried so it is both underwater and underground (in reasonable soil near the cable, i.e. not sharp rocks; but then rocks or something above to stop stream bed erosion) -- that would be fine.

  • There are submarine cables that span flowing bodies of water, but I haven't been able to find any sort of submarine cable intended for <1kV applications -- they're all MV-type cables! Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 22:00
  • Also -- weirdly enough, Art. 680 has an absolute prohibition on running a cable under a pool or whatnot that falls under its jurisdiction, but Art. 682 doesn't prohibit it... Commented Aug 27, 2017 at 22:19

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