Can a Shed Have Electricity?
A shed with electricity can add a lot of functionality and even resale value to your property. Installing electricity in your shed might not be as straightforward as you think and might be a big undertaking but having lights, heat, and outlets in your shed can be worth it. There are a few important things to consider before you get started such as regulations in your area, potential safety hazards, and picking your power source. Below we will review each of these key factors and look at suggestions on how to address each one.
Getting Electricity to Your Shed: Regulations and Hazards
The first step in adding electricity to your shed is to check your area’s zoning regulations before taking any further steps. Most areas will allow electricity to be installed in your shed, but you will probably need a permit to do so. Ensuring that you have all the required permits or permits on hand before you start the project can save you time and money and you will not have to deal with fines once your project is done or delays as you build. Beyond just needing to comply with regulations you also need to consider safety. It is important to remember that working with live electricity is an extremely dangerous process even for a licensed electrician. Remember this before attempting this project yourself and rather consult with a trained professional for help. You might save a bit of money in the short run but it is definitely not worth the risk of fire, injury, or permanent damage. Getting an electrician to do the job will ensure that the job is done legally and safely.
What Are The Best Options for Putting Power to a Shed?
The type of electricity to use to power your shed is one of the last big hurdles to consider. Your choices to choose from include a generator, solar panels, or permanent wiring the shed to your main electrical panel. Each option brings its own set of pros and cons depending on your needs.
Connecting a Generator to a Shed:
Using a generator to provide power to your shed is one of the easiest options to use. You should however note that you should not put and operate the generator inside the shed. Generators should never be placed and operated in such a closed environment as it quickly builds up fumes which are very dangerous, combustible and deadly.
When you are not using your generator, you also need to ensure that it is stored away safely and is protected from the elements. Generators standing outside unattended can be damaged and leak and could cause issues and risks for your property. Using a generator might look like a clear cut and simple option to bring power to an area, but it is the most labor intensive and least economical type of power to use. You also need to maintain and service your generator and fill it with fuel on a regular basis.
Using a Solar Panel for Shed Electricity:
Once you have decided to install solar panels to power your shed the first step is to calculate your shed’s wattage hours demand. You need this information to buy the appropriately sized panels to meet your electricity needs. Solar panels use the rays of the sun to generate electricity and this means that the panels need to be in full sunlight for the better part of the day. The location of your shed is thus essential information to consider. If your shed is under a tree line or in a location that does not get enough direct sunlight during the day you will not be able to generate enough electricity. The biggest advantage of solar panels is also their biggest limiting factor.
Connect the Main Electricity to the Shed:
The safest and most reliable option is to have qualified electrical contractors connect your shed to the main power supply. They can use your main electrical panel as the source of power for your shed. This way you will have consistent power in your shed no matter the time of the year or day. There will be no fumes or generator maintenance to deal with and if the sun does not shine you still have power. The biggest issue with running electricity to your shed is trying to do it yourself or getting an unqualified person to do it for you. This can pose a fire hazard for your shed and property and can result in a major fine if your property is inspected.
You also will have to deal with digging trenches to bury the conduit and wiring, and knowing and complying with local code specifications.