Do you have the perfect garden in mind? Does it have a stunning water feature than requires a mains outlet to run? Maybe you have a Garden Shed which you would like to have power, so you charge or power your tools/office? For the best results you should follow these tips on getting mains power to your Shed or Garden.
Remember your safety: Never attempt any electrical work without the necessary qualifications or without consulting a professional electrician first! Attempting this type of work alone could lead to poor results or serious injury.
1. Plan Your Layout and Devices
First of all, a plan should be put into place. This will help you consider exactly what you want from your new power outlets. It also shows what you can safely fit into your project. If you’re running electrics into a previous shed, you should check for any leaks and ensure that it is insulated to prevent mold and moisture build up.
Grab a bit of paper, A3 size will be best and draw up a basic floor plan. Once the basic floor plan has been created decide what electronics you would want to fill the space, this should include lighting. Your chosen electrician will want full details on everything that you intend to do with the space. The more information you give them, the better the recommendations and end result will be.
2. Consult The Experts
Even if you feel comfortable carrying out these works by yourselves, you should always consult a qualified electrician before any works are carried out. You should get an electrician to consult on the project before you begin. They will advise where the trench should be run and what materials you will need.
If you’re ever in doubt you should always contact a qualified electrician who will be able to assist and give you the best professional advice!
3. Read Up On Your Legislation
Before you begin any work, you must first ensure that you fully comply with the building regulations. You should contact your local authority to notify them of the project and they will explain the current rules that you need to meet. If you’re not sure who your local council is then click here and enter your post code.
If you decide to sell your house in the future and you have installed the electrics by yourself, then you will need the necessary certifications to hand, you’ll need a Part P inspection upon completion of your project. You can only receive these from a fully qualified NICEIC electrician.
4. Consider Alternative Sources of Power
Rerouting the mains power is one of the most common ways to get electric to your shed or garden. Renewable energy is now reaching that stage where smaller projects such as a small pond fountain, can purely be powered by a solar panel.
If you only need lighting installation for your new project you can purchase solar panel kits, that are fairly simple to install and can provide up to several hours of illumination. However, to run your entire shed or garden from solar power would require more solar panels then the standard garden or house can hold and wouldn’t be as cost efficient. Your best option if your running devices such as computers and TVs, would be direct mains power.
5. Overhead or Underground?
One of the most asked questions we get asked is “Should the cabling be underground?”. Having the cable run overhead is a lot faster to install but it’s prone to damage, which could create a major safety hazard. We generally recommend running cables overhead if it’s within 10 feet from your home.
Although running your cable underground requires you to dig up part of your much-loved garden, it is recommended if you’re having permanent power to your shed. You should use PVC conduit for your wiring, or a specialist cable designed to be kept underground. It should be at least 18 inches deep below paths or patios and at least 30 inches below grass and flower beds.
6. Get An RCD
What is an RCD? An RCD (residual Current Device) is a must for any outdoor electrical project! The pure purpose of the RCD is to instantly shut off the electrical flow if it detects dampness or overheating. This in turn prevents potential fires and injury through electric shock. No matter the size of your project, we strongly recommend having this installed for safety reasons.
7. Use your time wisely
Projects like this can become time consuming with a fairly long list of things to get done. It might seem tempting to spread it across a few weeks, it not months. A good plan it to dedicate a good amount of time to the project for the technical installations such as electricals and preparation. Any other elements can be completed at a later date such as painting and decorating.
8. Outsource machinery when necessary
It might be an idea to rent the relevant tools from your local Machine Mart. This will help you save time digging up your garden and have it done properly. These types of machines can also be hired at a low daily or weekly cost.
9. Avoid Cutting corners
While a shed conversion project can look like a big job and a lot of work, if all of these steps are followed in order, it should help you cut corners to speed up the process. Cutting corners in any job regardless of size can have bad consequences in the future. Some examples are using an extension lead run to your shed instead of the proper cabling installed.
When sourcing any material, you should ensure that all of your electrical items are purchased from legitimate companies, they should all have the BSI kite marks and regulatory stamps. If they don’t, then don’t purchase them!
10. Get Online
Want internet access in your shed? There are a couple of different options. If you have a strong wireless connection and you’re only a short distance from your router, then you may be OK using Wi-Fi. If your signal strength isn’t strong enough then you may consider a signal booster. This will help boost your Wi-Fi signal up the garden to your shed.
Alternatively, you could run an Ethernet cable from your house to your shed and have a Wireless Repeater setup. This will act as your Wi-Fi and give you a good strong signal strength!
So, we have explained 10 tips on how to get power to your Shed and garden. If you’re still unsure on how you should proceed or don’t feel comfortable carrying out any of the works above, then have a look at our Domestic Electrical Services In Thanet and see how we can help you!