How to Install Underground Electrical Wire

Updated February 21, 2017

When installing underground electrical wire, it is important to use the correct cable for the task. Underground feed (UF) cable is specifically designed to be buried in the ground. The cable’s conductors are enclosed in solid thermoplastic insulation that is both sunlight- and moisture-resistant. UF cable is more economical to install because there is no need to enclose it inside conduit.

Check with your local municipality for the direct burial regulations prior to installing your underground electrical wire. Depending on your locale regulations, direct burial wire has to be placed 18 to 24 inches underground.

Dig your trench to install your underground electrical wire. Use a trenching shovel to dig your trench to the depth that your municipality requires.

Lay your underground electrical cable into the trench that you dug in Step 2. Underground feed electrical wire is specially designed to be buried underground without the need for conduit.

Cover the underground electrical wire with the dirt you removed from the trench in Step 2.


Make sure you know where any plumbing or electrical cables are buried in your yard prior to digging any trenches for your new cable.

Things You'll Need

  • Trenching shovel
  • Measuring tape
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.