For many homeowners, a shed is just a place to store tools and gardening equipment. But for some, it may also be a workshop, an extra room, or even just a place to hang out. However, for anything more than a storage place, one thing you will need is electricity. If your shed isn’t already powered, you may be wondering if you can add power, and the answer is maybe. There are a few factors to consider in deciding whether or not you can add power to your shed, and here we will review them.
Consider Local Regulations
The first thing to consider is whether or not you can run power into your shed or if local regulations even permit it. In most jurisdictions, the answer will be yes in most circumstances, but local regulations vary, and this may not always be the case, so make sure to check first.
One thing to keep in mind is that even if it is permitted, you will most likely need to acquire a permit before you begin. It is important to have the necessary permits ready before you begin to avoid delays and potentially even fines down the line.
Working with electricity is always dangerous, and there are a number of things to consider before you begin to ensure you and your property remain safe. First of all, unless you are an experienced electrician, it is crucial to work with a professional to ensure that everything remains safe.
In addition, when you are working with an existing shed, it is important to consider what shape the structure is in. If your shed is particularly old or you have concerns about its structure, adding electrical wiring may not be wise.
Does Your Existing Panel Have the Capacity?
If your home is equipped with an electrical panel that can service at least 200 amps, then it is likely the additional draw from a backyard shed won’t overload it. However, for older homes, there is a fair chance that your panel is outdated and is only equipped for a capacity of 60 to 100 amps.
If this is the case, then your panel will likely barely be able to handle most modern homes’ temperature control, appliance, and devices, let alone handle the additional load of powering a shed. You can always talk with a licensed electrician, however, and discuss upgrading your home’s electrical panel.
You may not need to run the power from your home’s electrical panel at all. There are alternatives, including using a generator or solar panels. A generator can be located outside the shed and used as a power source instead of permanently wiring power from your home.
This has disadvantages, including the need for regular maintenance, storage considerations, and the costs of fuel. However, if you only infrequently need power, these concerns may not be a dealbreaker.
Another option is to use solar panels, and this is an environmentally friendly option with low maintenance concerns once installed. However, it is important to consider your electrical needs and the size of panels this will require. Also, keep in mind solar panels will require direct sunlight, which means sheds located in a shady spots may not be able to receive the sunlight necessary for suitable power.
Installing an electrical source can add a considerable amount of utility to your shed. However, it is important to consider the above factors before committing to such a project. It is also crucial to ensure you are working with a licensed and experienced electrician to ensure your project goes smoothly and safely from start to finish.
For help planning and following through on your electrical project, contact Clark Electric. Our licensed and experienced electricians are ready to help you with all of your electrical needs and ensure your home is safe and up to code. Call us at (844) 431-8050 and connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.