Running Power to Your Shed or Garage: What You Need to Know

running power to your shed

Are You Considering Running Power to Your Shed or Detached Garage?

When considering running power to your shed or detached garage, we highly recommend using a licensed electrician.  It may or may not be legal for you to do yourself in your area, but even if it is this is not a simple project.  You run the risk of damaging your property or hurting yourself, and we highly recommend using a licensed electrician.  That said, if you're considering doing it yourself or just want to know if it is feasible to do and worth calling an electrician for an estimate, here are a few things you need to know.

Is There Room in the Main Panel?

Most likely, running power to your shed is going to require a dedicated circuit.  This can really depend on what you're trying to power in your shed, like powering just lights versus power tools and a deep freezer, but as a general rule a dedicated circuit will be required.  If a space isn't available on your outside electrical panel, you may have to install a sub panel or otherwise upgrade your entire setup.

Alright, I Have a Dedicated Circuit, Now What?

If your electrical panel has room for adding a circuit, now it's time to think about how you will get the wire from the house to your shed.  Most likely it will have to run underground, which will require a reasonably direct route and a clear path to dig.  Having things like a pool, tough terrain, or other obstacles in the way may make it unreasonable to extend your electrical from your home to your shed.

There is also the consideration of what kind of cable is required.  Will you need to use shielded cable or conduit?  The specific needs of your project may be tough to discern, which is why a licensed electrician is highly recommend for this kind of project.

Can the Shed Handle It?

Just because you can get power to your shed or detached garage doesn't mean you're done and good to go.  As a structure on your property, electrical codes may require very specific modifications and improvements to be legal and able to be connected to your home's electrical.  Meeting these requirements may take more knowledge than you can garner from Google, as well as more skill than you may have to bring your shed up to code.  And keep in mind, it isn't just a matter of satisfying code.  At the end of the day, you don't want your shed to burn down, and being up to code is what helps keep that from happening.

Considering Running Power to Your Shed?

If you're considering running power to your shed or other detached structure, talk to us first.  This type of project can be wrought with code requirements and other intricate difficulties.  While a licensed electrician is more expensive upfront than doing it yourself, it will save you money in the long run by having the job completed correctly.