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Can You Run UF Cable in Conduit? (Read This First!)

Being an underground cable, the UF helps us bring electric power from the buildings to the outdoor lighting and other areas. It’s designed for underground use and will last for years. Also, the UF or Underground Feeder can be used in wet areas.

If you have a damp area and want to use a safety cable, you should consider buying the UF cable. It can be used under harsh conditions like near the mud or watery places. It has a robust build to cope with underground situations.

Can you run UF cable in conduit?

You can run UF or Underground Feeder cables in conduit. But the precondition of the fish cable is the size. Your conduit must have a 3 or 4 inches’ diameter to ensure the best security for using the UF cable. Although the UF cable is suitable to run in any conduit, you cannot use an NM cable.

The UF conduit has the best quality to work in the conduit. If you use the conduit for underground purposes, the UF cable would be your best choice.

It’s compatible, and the manufacturer recommended cable. So, you don’t have to wait for anyone’s permission to use the UF cable.

Although all the conduits are suitable for using UF cables, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions about using the UF-B cables.

There might be some preconditions before using this cable in every conduit. Let’s see if you can use the UF cables below conduits.

In PVC conduit:

You can use the UF cables in PVC conduit. It will be a perfect match and give your wire the best protection.

Plastic is naturally a long-lasting and durable material; it will make the conduit durable and make it compatible under the ground.

The PVC conduit is made for the electrical system. And it is perfect for use above the ground and in your building. If you’re planning to install the conduit in an under-constructed building, you must go for the PVC conduit & UF cables.

In EMT conduit:

EMT, or the Electrical Metallic Tubing, is the high-quality aluminum-made conduit that will last for decades and ensure the best protection of your cables and conduit.

Suppose you’re looking for a high-quality conduit and don’t want to use the PVC conduit. This one could be your best choice.

You can use your UF cables in the EMT conduit without any doubt. It will be your excellent protection against the environment or outside surface.

In metal conduit:

You can safely use the UF cables in metal conduit. Mainly, stainless steel or coated steel makes the metal conduit.

It is very durable and protective too. If you’re looking for a conduit that will give you structural support, you should consider buying a metal conduit.

It’s stronger than other conduits and will be suitable for all the cables. Also, when you have special equipment and want to give it the best quality conduit, the metal conduit will be your best option.

Does uf cable have to be in conduit?

The UF cables don’t have to be in conduit. You can use it directly underground or on the ground. It is a direct bury cable which means it doesn’t have to be in a conduit.

If you have a safe place to put the cable or install it, you can use the UF cables.

Also, the UF cable is best suited for the conduit and any other coverings. If you have any protective layers or pipes, you can cover the UF cable to protect it from external threats and other damages. Mainly from the rainwater and human touch.

Therefore, you can consider the UF cable as the direct bury cable that can be barely used underground without any protection.

But the best practice would be to use conduit. If you have choices to use with or without a conduit, you must choose the conduit option. It will be a safe and durable choice.

Can you run uf wire in conduit above ground?

You can run UF wire in conduit above ground. It will save you extra effort and give you the best service. Although the UF cable is mainly for underground uses, you can safely use the UF wire above ground.

Above ground refers to the uses of conduit and UF wire in your building. It will stick to the conduit and become a long-lasting construction. If you have any above-ground wiring system, you can install the UF wire there.

It has a durable and protective aluminum layer that will bear the pressure and last long. You can also use other plastic pipes or any covering materials to make the place safe and protect your UF wires from external threats. 

3 reasons why you can run uf cable in conduit

There can be a bunch of reasons why you can opt to run UF cable in conduit. Although there are several reasons you may find, I find that three reasons play a crucial role here.

They will help you make your decision correct and make the electric system perfect.

Three of the most important ones are as follows:

Combine with Metal or PVC Conduit:

One of the primary reasons you can run UF cable in conduit is its adaptability.

Underground, you can route UF cable through metal or other types of PVC conduit, according to your preference. This will bring much flexibility to your conduit.

Direct Bury:

Another reason you can run UF cable in conduit is the approval of exposed or buried wiring or cable for its use.

When there is at least 24 inches of cover, you can put the cable in the ground without putting it in a box.

Indoor and Outdoor Usage:

It doesn’t matter where you intend to run through your conduit wiring. In most places, you can use UF electrical wire as both an outdoor fixture and electrical wire.

If you want to put the cable underground, you don’t have to put it in an electrical conduit or anything else to protect it from electricity. You can also have it inside the home, of course.

If you think there is much sunlight, you can bury the UF in the ground or install it in an appropriate place, although its heat adaptability capacity is quite high. That is also why you can run UF cable in conduit.

What size conduit for UF cable?

You cannot use any size conduit for UF cable. It will require some particular size because of its aluminum-made surface.

Typically, the rule of 138% width conduit of the wire size can be used for UF cable. If the UF cable wire is one inch, your conduit size must be 1.38″.

But it’s impossible to calculate the width and find out the perfect match conduit for using the UF cable. You can use two size conduits for UF cable, considering the conduit size. They are:

  • ½ inch
  • ¾ inch

How to run uf cable into conduit?

If you want to run the UF cable into the conduit, you must follow some steps. Besides, some DIY skills will also help you run the cable properly. Still, if you don’t have any previous experience running the UF cable into the conduit, you will find my tips helpful.

Here’s the procedure through which you can run UF cable into conduit:

Dig Deep:

First, you should bury the UF cable not less than 24 inches below the earth’s surface to reduce the likelihood of the cable being perforated by regular shoveling.

Select Ideal Pigtails:

After that, you would require an ideal pigtail. You should use Ideal Pigtails for most connections because they are 12ga-stranded copper with a forked connector, which allows the connections to be pushed into the back of the box while putting less stress on the device in question.

Rigid conduit:

In the next step, you will have to look for a rigid conduit made of PVC for the vertical runs where the cable goes into the ground and comes out from one side of the house to the other side of the house.

Attach Fittings for Sweep:

Finally, to finish the installation, you will have to attach a sweep fitting to both ends of a vertical conduit at the bottom of the trench.

Now the wire will be able to join the elbows to the conduit from every side.

Final Thoughts

Since the UF cable is made with high-quality material that can bear the external threats and pressure, you can run the UF cable in a conduit. It will be a perfect and durable combination for underground and above-ground electric systems. Also, the UF cable can be buried directly under the ground.