Do It Yourself Outdoor Wiring

There are many times when we need some kind of electrical outlet or other power source on the outside of the home. This could be to run yard equipment or maybe some decorative lighting. No matter what the need is, you do not want to have to pay an electrician eighty dollars an hour or more to handle that for you. This is a job that can be done by the standard do it yourself person with little or no trouble. The main issue is safety and taking the proper precautions for this type of project.

Some things require special materials and outdoor wiring is one of them. This is due to the fact that soil and weather can have very harsh effects on a certain material or wiring and the last thing that you want is a fire or a failure in anyway. So for this kind of wiring you will need to make some special purchases that you would not normally make when doing the inside type of wiring.

For the purpose of this discussion we will use the running of power to a shed for maybe a light and outlet. For this you will need to tap into the existing power that you have in the home to get it to run to the shed. Now this may cause some power problems if you are planning on using the power for heavy duty items, such as power tools. For simple things, like having a light to see then you should have no trouble at all.

When you go to make the purchases you will need to purchase wire that is approved for outdoor use. This comes with a heavier casing then the indoor wire does. The reason behind this is too prevent the break down of the casing and the exposing of the wires as well. Exposed wires present a definite fire risk and can also result in power failure or severe electrical shock.

You will also need to get some conduit. Conduit is a pipe that comes in either metal or plastic. This material is used to run wires underground and works well to protect the wires from being damaged by the elements. Some people will tell you that this is not important. This is simply not true. Soil and the chemicals that are contained therein can erode the casing on a wire in a couple years or less.

The first thing to do is cut off the main power source to the home. With that taken care of you will need to determine where you are going to tap into the power. It is best to run the new wire to the basement or a crawl space to do this. Simply cut the existing wire in two and splice in the new one using wire caps and black tape.

Now you will run the wire outside through an opening that you have created. Once outside you will need to create a trench in the ground to hold the conduit and the wire. Now run the wire through the conduit and into the shed.

Inside the shed use the wire to rig the fixtures that you are adding. Once you have everything safely hooked up turn the power on and check your work. If everything is working properly you should go out and bury the conduit and you are all finished.

WARNING: Before working with any type of electrical project, please be sure to completely shut off the breakers and any other electrical currents that run through the area that you are working on. Also, be sure to follow all instructions on packaging for parts that you are using to prevent injury. If you are unsure of a project, or do not feel comfortable handling it on your own, please call a professional electrician to complete the job for you.