We moved the hot tub last Fall and have since powered it with an electrical cord. Although functional, it was unsightly and not necessarily safe. So this spring, Slav decided to run an underground electrical line for the hot tub, when the weather was still cool and the ground was relatively easy to dig from all the Spring rain.

1. Bringing the power to the side of the house

Running an electrical line is more than just burying an isolated electrical wire. The insulated and specialized electrical wire needs to be put inside a metal conduit. And the conduit needs to be buried at least 18 inches deep as measured to the top of the conduit according to our local code. In some places of the country, directly burying electrical wire is permitted, but we decided to take the safer approach to use the conduit.

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There is already an electrical box installed on the north side of our house, close to the hot tub. This electrical box feeds power to the AC unit via a specialized electrical box below. Instead of splitting the power from these two boxes, which should be designated for the AC, we decided to wire the hot tub on its own circuit. Slav installed an electrical box next to the one powering the AC unit (on the left in the picture below), and laid down a long wire in the attic to bring power from our main service panel to this new box.

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2. Burying the conduit and electrical wire

With the power brought to the side of our house, Slav started working on the hardest part of the project – digging. According to the building code, we need to bury the conduit at least 18 inches deep. But due to the slope of the yard, Slav had to dig down over 2 feet at some places.

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Luckily, the hot tub is not too far away from this corner of the house. But the trench is still over 30 feet long. Slav decided to put the outlet to the side of the hot tub away from the house, so this outlet can be closer to the garden shed where we sometimes need power as well.

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The trench ended inside the small flower bed I created last Fall. Slav had to take the retaining wall apart partially to finish the trench.

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After the trench was done, Slav installed the conduit on the side of the house, and laid down more conduit in the trench. Electrical wires were threaded through and connected to the electrical box.

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3. Installing the terminal electrical outlet

At the end of the trench, Slav buried a 4 x 6 post to bring the electrical wires above the ground.

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Then, he installed a waterproof outlet box on the post and ran the conduit and electrical wire to it.

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After closing up the trench, Slav finished everything up with a thick layer of mulch and everything looked super neat. No plants were harmed during this project. 🙂

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4. Burying the downspout extension

Right after Slav buried the electrical conduit, I suggested that Slav bury the downspout extension too. Originally, the downspout extension pointed to the left in the picture below. This corner of the house is significantly higher than the surrounding area, so whenever there was a storm, the rain water rushed out and washes away some mulch. By running the downspout extension under the ground, the surface soil and mulch can be preserved. We did the same for one of the front yard downspout which worked very well.

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Slav gladly ran with my idea and brought the downspout extension out. He used an elbow to connect the downspout to a PVC pipe:

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Then ran the PVC pipe out about six feet until it is leveled with the soil surface lower on the slope.

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Then he covered everything back up and resurfaced the ground with gravel and mulch.

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Now we have a clean finish around the downspout.

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And you cannot even see the opening of the PVC pipe. We have observed how well this system worked during the last a few storms. Since the slope of the PVC is a lot more gradual than the slope of the slope, the rainwater tends to trickle down the slope and does not wash away the mulch anymore. The pipe is also directed towards one of the evergreen tree we planted last Fall and hopefully can be used by the tree root.

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5. The final results

So! Here is the result of a couple of weeks of labor – an underground electrical line to power hot tub and shed use, and an underground downspout extension! To top everything off, Slav replaced the broken insulation on the HVAC refrigerant line and grouped all the wires and pipes neatly together. Although I do not like to see the HVAC unit and two silver conduits outside of our house, these units are necessary for our enjoyment and are hidden on the corner of the house we rarely see. Good job, Slav!

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