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Get an Electricity Supply Outside

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 12 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Gardening Plants Electricity Gardening

Garden buildings are excellent additions to your property. But if you really want to increase their usefulness to your gardening, you will probably want to install electricity and water. You can always get by for a while with an extension cord and a hosepipe, but this sort of temporary arrangement will get old.

Electricity and Your Garden

Why would you want to get an electricity supply outside? Well, lighting for one thing. Lights are a helpful addition to a garden shed as they help you to find things in otherwise dark corners, and allows you to extend your working day if you want to spend more time gardening, working with tools or do other odd jobs after sunset.

Speaking of tools, having electricity in your shed also allows you to recharge your battery-operated garden tools.

Electrically lit garden paths greatly increase both safety and convenience. The right kind of lighting can also dramatically improve the aesthetics of your garden.

Some people opt for self-powered solar lamps along the path. But given the number of cloudy days we normally see, especially during the winter, lights powered from the mains will be more dependable. Plus, you have a wider range of lighting choices.

Electric lights can also be used to highlight specific garden features and plants. Electricity is basically a major point to consider if you're undertaking some gardening design.

Electricity is also a must for providing safe and efficient heating for your garden shed. Water features usually need electricity for pumps and filters.

Although you don't want your garden to become an energy hog, there's no doubt that if you get an electricity supply outside, it will enhance your gardening experience.

Safety Issues

Bringing the electric supply to your garden building is not a do-it-yourself job. Use the services of a qualified electrician to be confident that the job has been done right.

When you combine elements of the outdoors with amateur electrics, the results can be deadly. For example, cabling will need to run inside a pipe, which is itself buried in a trench. You are probably qualified to dig the trench.

In fact, the Electrical Safety for Buildings Regulations that took effect in January 2005 stipulate that you are obliged to hire a registered electrician to install an outside electricity supply to your shed.

SO if you want to get an electricity supply outside to your garage, shed, greenhouse or pond, be sure to hire a registered electrician.

The reason behind this new regulation was a desire to reduce deaths and injuries caused by poorly installed electrics. The law includes stiff penalties that include correction or removal of work that doesn't comply, as well as fines up to £5,000.

Recent numbers indicate that as many as 300,000 people in the UK had garden accidents that required a visit to the doctor. According to the Electrical Safety Council, a "significant proportion" were related to using electrical equipment.

As you are probably aware, dampness and electricity simply do not mix. The months of wet weather commonly seen here can also cause quick deterioration of existing installations.

Even if your garden electrical system was installed by a qualified electrician, you should remain vigilant to signs of frays or kinks in electrical wiring. Faulty plugs should be replaced immediately. Electrical equipment should never be used outside in wet weather.

Whether or not you intend to get an electricity supply outside to your garden buildings should be considered from the very beginning. By locating your shed reasonably close to the supply, you can make adding electricity much simpler (and therefore less expensive).

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