Outdoor cables need to be mechanically protected from damage and also protected against exposure to sunlight (UV). Ideally the cable should be run in a conduit or buried using steel wire armoured cable, commonly abbreviated as SWA. It is a hardwearing power cable designed for outdoors use, or for when protection of the conductors are needed in a specific environments.
Buried cables need to be at a sufficient depth to avoid damage, as a rule a minimum of 1/2 metre and marked and laid with a cable warnings sheet. Buried cables should be indicated on diagrams for future reference as garden layouts change and knowing where cables are will avoid any unintentional cable digging! SWA cable is the preferred choice due to its steel protection surrounding it.
Prolonged exposure to sunlight causes cable insulation to breakdown due to ultraviolet light degrading the PVC, shortening the cable life and leading to faults and short circuits. Grey twin and earth cable, or white cable, is not recommended to be used. Black cables are recommended if direct exposure can’t be avoided.
Adding outdoor sockets outside is much safer than having leads running outside. Leads are prone to getting run over with lawn mowers or even chewed by animals. They look untidy and can cause a trip hazard. Any socket outlets used must all be of a waterproof construction. In particular power points for garden ponds are of real concern due to the water. All equipment used must be specifically designed for pond use. Cables etc. Should ideally be built into the pond structure and not left loose. All electrical connections must made in robust water resistant junction boxes.
If you have any queries or issues with any outside power and / or lighting that is installed, please feel free to contact me for any advice or guidance or you may want.
If you would like a FREE quotation designed to suit your needs contact Nathan on the information below.
Livewire Electrical Design & Installation Ltd