How to Wire an Outdoor Shed

Shed surrounded by snow
  • 2-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-500

Once you have your outdoor shed wired, you will need to connect the wiring from the outdoor shed to the breaker box in your house. This is the most complex part of the process.

Step 1 - Safety Precautions

Before you begin working on the breaker box, you need to make sure the electricity to the house is off at the mains. It’s vital you do this, otherwise you could sustain a deadly electrical shock.

As an added precaution, stand on a rubber mat that’s large enough for you to work and move around on, and wear rubber soled shoes. Use a screwdriver with an insulated handle for screwing in the wires. Doing all these will give you protection in the event of a malfunction when the electricity isn’t off for some reason.

Step 2 - Add a Breaker

hand on a circuit breaker

The size of breaker you add to your main breaker box depends on the size of breakers in your outdoor shed. If you’ve used two 15 amp breakers there, then you’ll need to add a 30 amp breaker to your main breaker box. If you plan on adding more circuits, put in a 5-0 am breaker. To do this, simply put the electrical breaker into a spare breaker slot in the box until it’s securely in place.

You’ll see a small knockout hole at the side of the breaker box. Remove this and feed your cable through. Strip the end off the wires. Attach the white wire to the neutral buss, the green wire to the ground buss. The black wire will attach to your new breaker. With this done, turn the electricity back on and close the cover of the breaker box. Go to your outdoor shed and test the outlets and the lights to ensure they’re working.

Step 3 - Trench

trench through a yard

At this point, you still have a trench in your garden. Now that everything works well, you can go ahead and fill it in. You should do this by hand. Throw the dirt around the buried conduit loosely. Keep going until you’ve filled the trench, then tamp down the earth with your shovel.

You’ll find you have soil left over. Don’t move it away or discard. As the soil you’ve put in the trench settles, it will sink, so keep the soil there to add more and keep it level with the rest of the garden. This is a process that could take a few months until the settling finally stops.

Step 4 - Grass Seed

The line of the trench will leave a scar across your lawn. There’s nothing to be done about that immediately. After the settling has finally stops, spread grass seed over the bare soil. Allow it time to grow, then add more seed to fill in any bare patches.

Step 5 - Add Circuits

If you decide to add circuits to your outdoor shed, make sure the total amperage doesn’t exceed the amperage of the breaker in the house. You could put in the wiring and another electrical breaker in the outdoor shed using the same procedure you used already. Make sure the electricity to the outdoor shed is off first.