Supplying Electricity to a Shed at the Back of Your Yard

Having a shed at the bottom of your yard can become even more of an asset if it had a power supply. Supplying power is a fairly straight forward process.

Step 1 – Decide ‘How Much’ Power is Needed

Work out what sort of electrical equipment you might want to use in the shed so that you know the strength needed in the cable you will use to supply it.

Step 2 – Survey the Supply Route

Ideally the power supply for your shed will be on a dedicated circuit. This is particularly true if you are going to be using high wattage equipment. Trace the route from your main control panel in the house to the shed. Choose the route that will be easiest to conceal or protect the cable.

Step 3 – The Most Direct Route

Generally the most direct route for a power supply will be from the switchboard, over the roof, across the yard and into the shed. If the cable will cause a problem, it can be placed underground in a conduit. An alternative route could be from an outdoor outlet that already exists but is not used.

Step 4 – Wire the Shed

Before installing the connection build the circuits in the shed. These could be as simple as an overhead light with an on/of switch and a spare socket. Once the circuits are built, use a circuit tester to ensure that they work. When connecting wires to a wall, always use conduit and always have the bends in the conduit at 90º as far as possible. This makes for a much neater job.

Step 5 - Take the Shed Wires Back to the House

The wires from the shed will have a point of egress which should be built to reduce the wear on the cables that will go through it.
For cables that are going to go overhead you will install the poles that will support the cables far enough above the ground that they are no danger to anyone.

For cables travelling underground you will need to install conduit in the yard. The conduit does not need to be thick so burying it in the ground could be a simple matter of inserting a spade in the soil and moving it backwards and forwards. Make sure that you know exactly where the conduit will be.

Step 6 – Connect to the mains Board

Connecting the new circuit to the mains is a specialist job. If you are competent to change the specifications of your switch board and have the expertise to set up a separate circuit for the shed go ahead and do it. If you are not sure how to do this or if there is a regulation by your utility provider that any new wiring connections need to be checked by their qualified staff – you will have to ask the utility company to make the connection for you.

Once you have your circuit in place, ensure that the equipment you use is protected by a circuit breaker. Also remember the level of demand that you installed the cable for.