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Code Q&A: Handhole Enclosure Requirements

The NEC and handhole enclosure requirements

Q. What is the Code requirement for handhole enclosures?

A. Handhole enclosures must be identified for underground use and designed/installed to withstand all loads likely to be imposed on them [314.30(D)]. Handhole enclosures must be sized in accordance with 314.28(A). For handhole enclosures without bottoms, the measurement to the removable cover is taken from the end of the raceway or cable assembly. When the measurement is taken from the end of the raceway or cable assembly, the values in Table 312.6(A) for one wire to terminal can be used [314.28(A)(2) Ex]. Underground raceways and cables entering a handhole enclosure aren't required to be mechanically connected to the handhole enclosure. Splices or terminations within a handhole must be listed as suitable for wet locations [110.14(B)].

Handhole enclosure covers must have an identifying mark or logo that prominently identifies the function of the enclosure, such as "electric." Handhole enclosure covers must require the use of tools to open, or they must weigh more than 100 lb. Metal covers and other exposed conductive surfaces of handhole enclosures must be connected to an equipment grounding conductor sized to the overcurrent device in accordance with 250.122 [250.102(D)]. Metal covers of handhole enclosures containing service conductors must be connected to an equipment bonding jumper sized in accordance with Table 250.66 [250.92 and 250.102(C)].

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