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Detached Garage Electric Wiring Tips

August 20, 2020 | Blog

For 7 years I have gone without electric ran out to my garage – I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to do so.

When we first moved into our home near Harlem and Higgins in the Norwood Park Neighborhood of Chicago, there was power running out to the garage underground that was not installed in a conduit. The wire was old and unsafe, and was effectively removed when we added a brick paver walkway.

Seven years later I finally used my craft as an electrician to install power out the garage. Let me tell you how I did it and why I wish I would have done it sooner.

Where To Begin

Running power to my detached garage, even being in the trade, seemed like a daunting task. I was staring at a sidewalk that we had to get under, PLUS a 30’ trench to dig to get the conduit out to the garage. I had it in my head the conduit needed to be underground, but I don’t like digging even though we have a gas power trencher at the shop that would do most of the work.

So, I compromised. We had no choice but to go under the sidewalk, so we cut the concrete sidewalk wide enough to fit brick pavers. The channel in the concrete was large enough to get a skinny shovel in there to dig down. It was just the right size for a brick paver so there was no concrete to repair or match up.

We placed about seven bricks in the channel to cover the trench, making it a safe and level walkway. We chose something simple knowing that in the next few years we are ripping up the concrete anyways to extend our brick paver walkway to the side of the home where the pipe came out.

Then, instead of getting the trencher out or hand digging a trench, we surface mounted the conduit on our fence on the side of the yard. This method works really well and is a great option to avoid lawn repairs or running the risk of ruining flower beds or vegetable gardens. It also makes future repairs easier, and the obvious, avoids damage while underground from landscaping or gardening projects.


By doing this project we were able to add 3 – 20amp circuits to the garage. We used one circuit to power up the outlets in the garage which has allowed me to run my table saw and compressor to do my woodworking projects.

The second circuit we used to power up interior work lights as well as some new exterior area lighting for our patio and some security lighting as well. The last 20amp circuit is used to control one exterior GFCI outlet to power a pool pump for a pool to be placed on our patio.

This project was put on hold for a long time and I wish I didn’t wait as long as I did. We really wanted to use the garage more because of COVID-19 and shelter in place orders. We knew we could utilize our back yard AND our garage much more to allow for more activities for the whole family. Looking back, it would have been very beneficial to have the power out there earlier and would have made life a whole lot easier sooner rather than later.

Don’t Wait!

If you need help with your detached garage wiring project or need help with any other electrical projects around your home, Arnold Electric Services, Inc is here to help. Contact us TODAY! Call 773-647-1120 to book a consultation with a licensed electrician.

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The team over at Arnold Electric has been great to work with. We recently purchased a home and have had Pedro out to do a review of the electrical system, make some minor repairs and present some options to improve the out dated and DIY wiring in our home. The team has done a great job of communicating expectations and explaining everything for us.

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