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I have an electrical question. I have a cable feeding an outdoor yard light. It was cut, I spliced it, soldered it and wrapped it with tape. Is there a way to splice and bury it safely to code? If not, I'll need to dig a 30 foot trench to replace the whole length.

Was about 8 inches below ground, surfaced over the years and probably hit with the weed trimmer.

It is outdoor cable inside copper tubing. Years ago when I bought the wire I knew outdoor was gray. The box said outdoor but it is white like indoor wire.

It was spliced about 20 years ago but am fixing up house and like to hide the ugly splice.

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    You can't direct bury romex (and you can't bury standard non-waterproof romex at all). What enclosure is it in? – Someone Somewhere Jul 29 at 11:16
  • It is outdoor romex inside copper tubing. Was about 8 inches below ground, surfaced over the years and probably hit with the weed trimmer. – user104433 Jul 29 at 11:40
  • Does said "copper tubing" contain the entire run of UF (aka "outdoor romex", typically has a grey jacket)? – ThreePhaseEel Jul 29 at 11:41
  • Years ago when I bought the wire I knew outdoor was gray. The box said outdoor but it is white like indoor wire. It was spliced about 20 years ago but am fixing up house and like to hide the ugly splice. – user104433 Jul 29 at 11:51
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Is this a 120VAC circuit, or is it low voltage? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 29 at 14:15
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What you call "Romex" is actually NM cable. It is not rated for outdoor, wet locations nor direct burial. UF is rated for all three.

For direct burial rating, what matters is the lettering on the cable, not the color. Several vendors are choosing to use white for NM 14, yellow for NM 12, orange for NM 10 and gray for UF of any size. But that is not a standard and has no force of law

Copper is not a legal conduit wiring method, so it is irrelevant and it counts as direct burial.

Direct burial requires 24" burial depth. Rigid conduit requires only 6".

Direct burial splices are not allowed except with certain splice kits designed specifically for that.

This would be a hot mess if it were mains wiring.

But it's low voltage DC. Right?

Because these defects would not be of concern if this circuit were less than 30 volts and less than 55 watts.

So I would be thrilled to hear that the cable actually goes from the switch to a low voltage power supply in the 12-24V range, which then powers 12-24V LED lights at the pole. These are readily available for RV or automotive use.

I presume it might be low voltage since it can easily handle the load, so there's no reason to risk electrifying the ground and wasting energy from AC mains leakage at the splice

  • There is such a thing as red brass RMC, but it's quite a bit thicker than copper tubing.... – ThreePhaseEel Jul 29 at 22:32

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