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Buried cable to garage

I have an unused 20amp circuit in my box now that I replaced my electric dryer with gas. I'd like to use it to run a new line out to my garage (about 30-40ft from the box), put in a small subpanel, and then completely rewire the garage as it's a mess right now and underpowered (currently uses a 15amp circuit). I've read elsewhere on the forums about using direct bury cable, but how deep will that have to be buried as I live in Western NY, which has cold winters? Also, any advice on how to get it out of the house and into the garage in a way that is protected from the elements? Use conduit perhaps? Thanks for any advice.

Re: Buried cable to garage

12" deep, electric wire doesn't freeze so you don't have to worry about frost depth. You can drill a hole in your foundation level with the trench or use conduit to run out and down into the trench.

Vern Smith
Re: Buried cable to garage

Just be aware that if you feed a "small sub-panel" you have created a "feeder", instead of a branch circuit, which requires ground rods at the garage, since it's a separate building. At least that's NEC. New York may have other requirements as well.

Re: Buried cable to garage

Correct answer is 24 inches direct burial, 18 inches in non metallic(PVC) conduit and 6 inches in rigid or intermediate metal conduit. If you have one branch circuit rated at 120 volts or less with GFCI protection and 20 A overcurrent protection you can direct bury it 12 inches. This will vary somewhat if you are going under a driveway. Look up NEC table 300.5.

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