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Barn Blog

January 7, 2015

How to Install Electricity in Your Pole Barn

If you are planning to use a pole barn as a workshop or home, you will want to wire it so that you will have electricity to run lights, tools, or other things you will need for your lights, work, or hobbies. Here are some things you will need to know if you plan to install wiring in your pole barn yourself. If you do not feel confident in your abilities, it is best to hire a professional electrician for the job.

The first step is to estimate how many amps you will need to power the lights, tools, or other things that you plan to use in your pole barn. If you intend to use your pole barn as a home or workshop, you will obviously need more power than you would if you were just going to use it for storage. Calculate the number of amps you will need by dividing the watts by the voltage (generally 120 or 240 volts).

If you are planning to run cable from your house to the pole barn, measure the distance between them. The farther the distance, the more cable and the larger wire gauge you will need. If your pole barn is far from the house or needs a lot of power, it would be better to get a new service feed than to run a circuit from your main home service panel.

Check local electrical codes to find out about regulations in your area. Local laws generally require that electrical jobs be inspected by an electrical inspector.

Run the cable from your home's main service panel to the pole barn. You may be able to bury the cable directly in the ground, or you may have to bury it in conduit. Check your local electrical code to find out how deep cables need to be buried.

Wire the fixtures, switches, and receptacles in your pole barn and connect them to the cable that you have run from the service panel in the house. Then connect the cable to the service panel. Depending on the locations of the fixtures and receptacles in your pole barn, you may need a GFCI-protected circuit breaker. After you have had your electrical work inspected, you can turn on the power in your pole barn.

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