Electricity in the Garden
Electricity in the garden can enable you to install various electrical installations such as heating, hot / cold fans, water pumps and garden lighting to name but a few.
Electricity and water handled wrongly can be quite dangerous or even fatal, meaning the first consideration is how to make the use of both relatively safe.
Following these guidelines should help:
Ensure that the installation work is carried out by a fully qualified electrician.
Buildings Regulations on Electrical works January 2005, stipulate that you are obliged to hire a registered electrician to install / repair any electrical products on your property.
Failure to comply can result in fines up to £5,000.
They should use only fittings and cables designed specifically for outdoor use.
Fit a residual-current circuit breaker (RCB) on all sockets used for garden tools so that power is cut off if any thing goes wrong.
It might be a simpler option if a number of sockets are likely to be in use to fit a consumer unit with an inbuilt RCB and radiate each socket independently back to this unit.
This can be useful if you want to isolate a particular electrical unit for maintenance or repair purposes, or turn off seasonal units such as the heating or pond pump without turning off everything else.
Maintenance and repairs:
Annually check the condition of cables and equipment and have them serviced regularly.
Never service or work on equipment without first switching off and disconnecting from the power.
Power can be taken to the consumer unit via underground or overhead cables.
If going the underground route it is best to excavate a trench in a area that is rarely subjected to deep digging (to prevent accidental damage by digging tools) and lay galvanized steel or rigid plastic conduit.
Ensure you fit a drag wire through the conduit as it is laid to assist in pulling through the power cable.
If using the overhead method fit galvanised support wire to suitable walls and or posts and by means of adjustable / tensioning eye bolts.
Keep the support wire as high as practically possible to ensure that it is not snagged by say a ladder when performing maintenance task around the home, e.g. painting.
The electrician will pull suitable cable through the conduit or tie it to the overhead support wire.
Once all this preparatory work is completed the desired electrical attachments such as garden lighting can be wired up.
This can be security lighting, lighting in a greenhouse / outbuilding or decorative lights such as floodlights and Christmas tree lights to name but a few.
As mentioned above these attachments can be fitted to an independent fuse in the consumer unit or run off a suitable ring main.
If a ring main is to be used it is best to keep lighting / power supplies separate so that fuse amperage can be rated to suit the appliance/s.
If power is to be supplied to a water feature this is best taken underground as described above.
Once again the spur can be fuse rated to suit the appliance/s.