Safety Tips When Wiring from a House to a Shed

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Wiring a shed from a house can turn the shed into a small workshop, studio or a getaway from hectic life. Follow these simple safety tips when adding lighting and electrical outlets to your shed.

  • Running the wire from the house to the shed can be done by overhead installation. This is a fasted method if you do not mind the look of the suspended wire. You should make sure that the two ends are secured properly to each structure and you are using the proper overhead wire. Overhead wire generally has an exposed neutral wire that has a steel cable woven into it for the suspended installation.

  • Burying the wire is another method. It takes more work, but the finished results are out of sight. You should be sure to use only underground type wire. Be sure to bury the underground cable deep enough. Electrical codes will dictates the depth. Be sure when backfilling to replace the trench with only clean backfill dirt, no rocks. Rocks can work their way into the cable and damage the wire.

  • Install a ground rod at the point of entry for the wire when it is terminated in the shed. Every electrical system needs a separate ground rod for safety when outdoor circuits are being considered. In case of an electrical short occurring in the shed, the ground rod will take the electrical power and send it directly to the ground through the fuse or circuit breaker box. Local codes will have the information for proper size and depth. Most ground rods are six to eight feet and the full length should be used when driving the ground rod into the ground.

  • Use a separate circuit breaker or fuse box for the new circuits installed in the shed. This circuit box should be installed in the shed. Properly install the circuits through a correctly rated distribution box. If you are installing any power receptacle outdoors, you should be sure to use a ground fault circuit interrupter for that circuit. These circuit breakers are used for the interruption of current for all outdoor applications.

  • Properly size the wire that feeds the shed from the house. If you are not sure, consult local codes for the proper sizing of the feeder wire for the shed. You will also have to install a feeder circuit breaker from the main panel in the house to power the wiring for the shed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult and follow all local electrical codes when installing electrical circuits and devices.
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