WesBell UFB cable is an underground cable used in place of NMB cable and MC cable when it needs to be installed directly underground without conduit. The cable layout is flat in order for the jacket to cover each THHN conductor (and ground) individually. Simply dig a trench and put UDB cable in it for the life of the installation.
UFB Cable Construction
Underground feeder cable is design with THHN wires, a bare copper ground wire and a strong PVC jacket that covers each conductor individually. Since each conductor is individually surrounded by the jacket it’s flat and it can be buried directly in the ground without the use of conduit or raceway. The ground is not insulated but it is still fully protected by the PVC jacket.
UFB Cable Approvals
Since this type of cable is being buried directly in the ground it needs to have multiple approvals, not just from the manufacturer, but also from third party laboratories such as UL and the National Electric Code. UL83, UL493, AA59544, RoHS, REACH, NEC and NFPA 70 are all listed on the specification sheet from Southwire and WesBell is an approved distributor for all Southwire products. The UL website has this listed as their testing procedure for UL493 cables: “Multiple-conductor cable that is marked "UF-B" has a 75°C (167°F) jacket and conductors with insulation of 90°C (194°F) dry and at least 60°C (140°F) wet locations. Multiple-conductor cable that is marked "UF" has a 60°C (140°F) jacket and conductors with insulation for 60°C (140°F) dry and wet locations. Single-conductor cable is marked "UF" and has an integral insulation and jacket for 60°C (140°F) dry and wet locations. The ampacity of all cables covered in these requirements is that of 60°C (140°F) conductors.” Not only does Southwire list these approvals and stand by their cable design, UL also test and approves it before Southwire sells it to distributors.
UFB Cable Applications
Generally, underground cables are designed to be used in severe conditions and directly underground at all times. If you plan to use it in another way you should buy a cheaper cable such as MC cable (outdoor) or NMB cable (indoor). Perhaps you’re building a garage and need to run power to a new electrical box. In this case you may need it to install it underground, and indoor cables cannot be used in these installations, whether it’s 10 feet or 500 feet. Another great application would be for those that are running power to a hot tub or barn that needs a cable to run underground before reaching its destination.
Once you reach the new barn or garage electrical box you’ll need smaller cables to run power to the outlets and light switches. Typically, ROMEX® or NMB cable is perfect for these installations but they can only be used indoors where moisture will not come in contact with it. If the barn or garage will produce moisture it’s best to use UFB 14 AWG cables instead of NMB 14 AWG cables. You’ll get the added protection and longer life for a slightly higher price. Remember, the expensive part of cables is the copper, so upgrading to a cable with added protections (same AWG) isn’t a detrimental price increase.
UFB Cable Manufacturers
Several companies are equipped to manufacture underground cables, however not all of them approve the cable as much as Southwire and Encore Wire, two companies that WesBell uses frequently. Even though WesBell isn’t specifically to blame for poorly manufactured cables, we still want to deliver a quality product every time. So we make sure to use the best manufacturers when purchasing our electrical wire products.
- Bare copper
- THHN conductors
- Flat conductor layout
- Individually covered conductors
- NFPA 79
- Direct burial underground cable
- Residential wiring
- New electrical supply cable to a barn or garage
- Connect power to hot tub
- 600 Volts