Electrified Garage!

Having taken down all of the structures in the backyard except for the 2 car garage, we had nothing connecting the house to the garage in terms of electricity.  We had planned on getting an electrician to the job, so I had one come out to give a bid. He explained the project as saying it was simple, but the real cost would come from the labor of putting the conduit up in the garage, and getting a trench dug to bury the conduit from the house to the garage.  I told him that I’ll dig the trench, and call him when we need the electrical work to be done.  He was surprised, but was happy with that plan.  Yet, we never called him for electrical work.

Instead, my Uncle Tom brought the knowledge we needed.  We went to dinner with Jenyce, my cousin, last week and when we explained the project, she said, ” My dad can totally do this. Call him.”  So we did, and he came out a few days later.

We also need to thank Tony, our brother-in-law,  for his help with the trench.  A couple Sundays ago, he helped me with digging the trench.  It went smoothy, other than me hitting an irrigation pipe and causing a small leak!  I was able to repair it the very next day though.


Conduit traveling from the house. The repaired irrigation pipe can be seen crossing the trench horizontally.

So, with the trench dug, we were ready for uncle Tom to come out.  He came over with tools in hand ready to work.  Tom has a lot of experience in this area, as he regularly volunteers for Habitat for Humanity. It was great to be able to learn from him.  If you noticed, Todd tackling the electrical on his own was never an option–I would have died, or there would have been a 3 alarm fire!  Tom knew what he was doing though! After teaching me how to put up the outlet boxes, Tom set to work first on getting the conduit connected and buried in the trench. He then explained how to run the Romex- which is a thick wire (containing three wires) that is the industry standard–and one of the only parts of the garage that is up to the  “industry standard!”  Anyway, running the Romex took some time, as it has to be stapled with tacs and a hammer every 3 feet or so, and is up high.  It was hot, and full of spider webs, but I was happy I was doing the work, because my labor is FREE.  Plus, it was a great learning experience for me.

Tom connected the line at the garage and installed the outlet.  We then wired all of the outlets, and included one that is controlled by a light switch so that I can install a shop light or two.  As 5:00pm rolled around, we thought we were done.  As it turned out, we had a minor issue.  The only conduit we re-used from the old set up caused a short somewhere.  After popping the circuit breaker 10 times or so, it became time to call it a day.  Uncle Tom then came back over 2 days later, and helped us replace the conduit in question.  Sure enough, it was fixed, and we have power in the garage! We were so lucky to have Uncle Tom’s help, as we couldn’t have done it without him! See the photos below to see the work in progress.




An outlet box in progress.


Lunch Break! Tom brought his Drone!


From the trench up to the garage.


From the house into the trench.



Uncle Tom wiring in an outlet.


The new light switch- all wired in.




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