I am always very nervous that I start blowing breakers when I first turn my lights on. I get especially nervous as many of the lights run on the same circuit as my garage door opener, every time I hit the button to open the door I worry a breaker will pop taking out the lights. When I add an extra controller each year I am also very anxious around my load capacity so I decided to remove that anxiety. I’ve been thinking about adding more power to my front yard for a few years, being stuck at home I decided to action it and add some extra circuits in my front yard.
It seemed a little foolish to be digging up my lawn again after digging up my sprinkler system to fix all the lines and heads (not that I’ve needed it with the weather this summer) and then digging out the front flower bed and building a retaining wall around it. But all the digging got me to thinking about running power lines.
I had a few electricians come by to take a look to see what they think and provide me with some advise . After talking with several, I found someone who understood what I wanted and provided me a good plan to get it done (most were too focused on doing it as cheap as possible and not my requirements).
Now I had a plan, the first phase was for me to dig an 45 cm deep trench, this was about 18 meters from the house to the front flowerbed where I wanted the lines to terminate. After two days of digging I had the trench complete.
Now the electrician could do his thing. Once he was done, I just needed to cement in the post and fill the trench back in.
So now I have 4 extra outlets each running on 20Amp lines, 2 in the front flowerbed and 2 at the front of the house. I shouldn’t need to worry about power anymore.
I’ve got the power (Power, power)
After the power was done, I thought it would be a good idea to put in some permanent network cables. I filled in the trench about 30 cms then laid some conduit and put in three outdoor cat6 lines from the computer in my garage to the front flowerbed then 2 lines from the flowerbed; one to the front of the house and one to the tree then from the tree to the front of the house.
Before filling in the trench I needed to test the network cables. All seemed to work so I glued up the conduit, fitted the waterproof boxes. I tested the cables again and I had one line not working, removing the end it seemed I had nicked one of the wires and it broke when I put it in the box. I tried again and did the same thing, a third attempt to finally get it all working. Being the paranoid individual I am, using the cable tester wasn’t enough, I also had to hook up a PC and a controller to make sure I got LOR signal on each line. I cemented the posts in place, filled in the trench then tested again.
This will allow me to run 2 separate networks to the front lawn side of my house. I had to add a second network last year when I hit the channel capacity on an LOR network. I am also planning to have some DMX controllers this year so I will need a separate DMX network as well which is why I ran 3 lines from the house.