Part P of the building regulations now requires you to notify the Building Control Authorities if you intend to have electrical work done in the garden or it must be done by a Part P qualified electrician. There is no room here for DIY Electrics as it is simply too dangerous.
To help homeowners meet their obligations under the Building Regulations, Abode Electrical, who are ELECSA registered electricians in South-West London undergo an independently assessed annual assessment to ensure that they are operating to the highest technical and professional standards. As such we can self-certify our work as being compliant with the Building Regulations. We notify ELECSA of the work that we have carried out and they will then issue the building compliance documentation to you and the Local Authority in keeping with the requirements of Part P. This means that you do not have to pay the Local Authority for an inspection of the work. Once you have this documentation keep it safe as you will certainly require it if you plan to sell the property.
To put cables underground in the garden the regulations state that the cable, preferably SWA or Steel Wired Armoured cable must be covered with a buried warning tape to alert anyone digging in the garden.
You are also allowed to put the cables in a suitable conduit or duct and both must be buried at a depth where they cannot be “damaged by any disturbance of the ground reasonably likely to occur”.
If you are using a conduit you can use flexible plastic electricians conduit or plastic drain pipes. The best way to get the cable into the conduit is to thread a rope into the conduit before you bury it, then when its buried, tie the cable to the “draw rope” and pull it through.
In a modern house it’s very common to have lighting and power sockets in a garage but an older house might not be so well equipped, particularly if the garage is detached. Here we explain the issues you will face if you want to get electrics to a garage or other outbuilding.
The main issue is that you will have to employ an electrician, for the connecting up and testing at least. Changes in recent years to building control regulations make it prohibitively expensive for anyone other than a fully qualified and certified electrician to do anything more than changing internal fittings.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do the rest of the donkey work yourself and save money. You’ll need to make sure that there is a spare slot in your consumer unit or distribution board (or fuse box in old money) to take the supply as it must have its own supply. It will need a residual circuit breaker (RCD) at the consumer unit which will cut the supply as soon as it detects anything untoward. Of course, we’ll be delighted to do the entire job for you if you’re not a DIYer.