Your shed most likely can have electricity, which can add functionality and even resale value to your property. As helpful as having lights, heat, and outlets in your shed can be, running electricity to a shed can be a big undertaking. Before you get started, there are a few important things to consider; regulations in your area, potential safety hazards, and picking your power source.
In this article we will review each of these key factors and offer suggestions on how to address each one.
Getting Electricity to Your Shed: Regulations and Hazards
The first thing you need to consider before taking any further steps to add electricity to your shed is to check your area’s zoning regulations. Although most areas will allow electricity to be installed in a shed, you will most likely need a permit to do so. Having the necessary permit(s) in place prior to starting the project can save you time and money, as you won’t have to worry about delays or deal with fines once the project is completed.
Beyond regulations, safety should also be a big consideration. Working with live electricity is an extremely dangerous process, even for a trained electrician, so before attempting this project yourself, consider reaching out to trained professional for help. Saving a few dollars is not worth the risk of permanent injury, or worse. Hiring a pro will ensure the job is completed safely and meets the proper regulations.
What Are My Options for Putting Power to a Shed?
One of the last big hurdles to consider is the type of electricity you’ll use to power your shed. The three most common options to choose from are a generator, solar panels, or permanent wiring the shed to your main electrical panel. Depending on your needs, each option brings its own set of pros and cons.
Hooking Up a Generator to a Shed: One of the easiest options is to use a generator to power your shed. However, it’s important to not put and operate the generator inside the shed. Operating a generator in such a closed environment creates a dangerous environment as deadly fumes quickly accumulate and can lead to death. In addition, you’ll also need to find suitable storage for your generator when not in use, because exposing it to the elements can cause other risks to you and your property. While a generator seems like a simple solution it is also the most labor intensive and most expensive type of power to use. The generator will need to be maintained, serviced and filled with fuel on a regular basis.
Related Topic: The ABCs of Safe Generator Operation
Using a Solar Panel for Shed Electricity: If you decide to go with solar power, you’ll need to calculate your shed’s wattage hours demand, so you can buy the appropriately sized panels to meet your electricity needs. One of the biggest benefits of using solar panels is also one of their bigger drawbacks. Since solar panels are reliant on the sun to produce power, their usefulness will be impacted by the location of your shed. If your shed is under a tree line or in a location that does not receive much direct sunlight throughout the day, electricity production will be significantly reduced.
Related Topic: Are Solar Panels Worth the Cost? Mr. Electric Weighs In
Running Electricity to a Shed: The most reliable and safest option will be to have electricity professionally installed using your main electrical panel as the source. This will provide consistent, year-round power without the risks associated with a generator or potential decreased solar power production caused by less sunlight. The biggest drawbacks to running electrical wiring to your shed is the inherent danger of trying to do it yourself, the hassle of digging trenches to bury conduit, and ensuring the job meets local code specifications.
Run Electricity to Your Shed
Whether you like to tinker around the yard or enjoy having a separate workshop away from your house, having electricity in your shed can prove very useful and convenient. But because of the safety issues associated with working with electricity, powering up your shed is one project that’s best left to a pro. And the pros at your local Mr. Electric can help. Backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise, we will help evaluate your needs, identify the best solution, and get you shed up a running with the power you need. To get started, give us a call at (844) 866-1367 or schedule an appointment online today.