I'm running a cable from my house to a site in my back garden where I am building a shed. The length of the cable run is about 7-8 metres. I have steel armoured cable which is OK for direct burial.

Is there any regulation for the UK about what depth the cable needs to be buried to? I've started digging a 'slot' but it is really hard going due to the number of stones under the turf.

This is the cable I am using: Armoured Cable https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07B7DJZL8

  • 1
    I can tell you in the US that there are defined depths that depend on what you are burying (plastic conduit, metal conduit, or bare wire), so I would assume the UK has that too. Someone else should chime in with a real answer. If anything you might be more specific about the exact cable you want to bury.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 20, 2020 at 16:05
  • " If anything you might be more specific about the exact cable you want to bury." the poster is almost certainly talking about "steel wire armored" cable which is the norm for burried cables in the UK. Mar 20, 2020 at 17:16
  • It'd also be good if answers would address any differing depths for different wiring methods. For instance in the USA requirements vary from 6"-24" (150-600mm) and so for a short 7-8m job I would advise "the good stuff". That way you can trench it with a garden trowel... Mar 20, 2020 at 18:45

4 Answers 4


as I understand it BS7671 requires that the cable is buried deep enough to prevent the cable being disturbed by any reasonably foreseeable disturbance of the land but does not specify a particular depth. There should also be a warning tape burried above the cable.

Normally though the recommendation for a domestic garden is around half a meter. That is enough to give it some margin beyond the depth of a typical spade.

If you will be be getting an electrican to connect up and certify this I would strongly advise talking to them first before you buy and install the cable.

  • Thanks for your answer! I asked an electrician for their advice and they suggested the exact same thing as you! I wanted a second opinion. Mar 20, 2020 at 21:12

You probably need to show the electrician the cable in the trench with the warning strip above it before you backfill it so he can satisfy himself about the depth. Without seeing it he may not be willing to sign the installation off and give you a certificate.

  • Too late for that. I took lots of photos of the installation though. Sep 21, 2020 at 8:40
  • If you got your certificate all is well, assuming that you don't manage to damage it when digging in the garden !
    – JohnM
    Sep 23, 2020 at 15:06

Regulations for GB is that buried armoured cable is at a depth of at least 18". If its not armoured,it could be pyrotenex cable or in suitable conduit.

  • That answer has already been given.
    – Chenmunka
    Feb 20, 2021 at 18:45

Regulations are that cable is buried at least 18 inches. It must be SWA cable,or pyrotenex, any other cable must be in conduit and sealed against moisture. In a concrete floor,the SWA cable or conduit must be protected with an inch of concrete. Hope this helps.

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