How to Run Overhead Electrical Wire to Garage

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Most homes will have an attached garage, where power and electricity will already be available for use. However, if your home has a detached garage or shed, you’ll have to run power to it separately.

A standard option is to run overhead electrical wiring to your garage from your home. Today, we’ll walk you through how to run overhead electrical wire to the garage and the steps you’ll need to take to get power to your shed or detached garage.

how to run overhead electrical wire to garage

2 Reasons to Power Your Detached Garage

There are a couple of reasons why you’d be concerned about running power to your detached garage –

  1. Run equipment in your garage or treat it as a work station, in which case it’ll be the same as running power to a workshop.
  2. Power outdoor lighting attached to your shed or garage.

Running Power to Your Detached Garage/Shed

There are a couple of ways you can run power from your house to the shed or detached garage –

  1. Underground electrical service – run underground wiring.
  2. Overhead electrical service – run overhead wires to the garage.

In either case, you’ll have to rely on more than one circuit. Moreover, it’ll be better to add a sub-panel to the detached building to handle power distribution.

What Parts Do I need to Run Overhead Power to My Detached Garage?

The parts you’ll need to run overhead power to your garage are –  

  1. Weather-proof mastheads
  2. Turnbuckles
  3. Guy-wire
  4. Rigid conduit
  5. Wiring or cabling
  6. Insulation material
  7. Guy-wire clamps
  8. Cable ties

How to Run Overhead Electrical Wire to Garage – Setting Up an Aerial Wire to Garage

There are times when running a line underground is impractical. Moreover, you’ll often run into obstacles, including the driveway, patio, or other structures around your home that’ll get in the way of running a wire cleanly underground without making a big mess.

In these cases, you’ll have to run a wire overhead to power your detached garage.

To Run an overhead Electrical wire to your garage, follow these five steps:

Step 1Ensure the overhead cables don’t go over any of your common service areas around your house – including your driveway and patios. Moreover, make sure you don’t run overhead wires over your swimming pool, hot tubs, or Jacuzzis. All of these are significant safety hazards, and you should avoid them at all costs.

Additionally, you could be in trouble with your local building laws if you don’t keep your overhead cables a safe distance away from your home’s water features. To get an exact number, do a check-up with your local building regulatory office.

Step 2Set up two 13 feet tall conduits. One on the side of your main home where you’ll run the power from, and the other against the side of the detached garage, where you’ll run the power to. For this next step, you’ll need to brush up on your carpentry and roofing skills.

To set these up correctly, you’ll have to be proficient in basic carpentry skills. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on hired help to get this part done. Setting up conduits 13 feet high comes with the convenience that you can easily reach the top with an extension ladder, and it’s a clearance height for most vehicles.

Step 3 Run a guy-wire between two independent supports, like the conduits attached to your home and garage. You’ll need a guy-wire because electrical cabling and wires cannot support their weight, and so you’ll need to add some mechanical support with the guy-wire.

Ensure that you properly insulate the guy-wire, and it’s rigid enough to support the cabling’s weight. For this, you can use National Hardware N267-013 2573BC Guy Wire which will do that work for you.

Also, make sure to allow slack for the guy-wire as it’ll contract and expand depending on the outside temperature. If you’re not careful, the wire will end up ripping itself out when it gets too cold.

Step 4Wrap the electrical cabling around the guy wire, once every 12-14 inches. Ensure you leave slack between each gap to allow the wires to contract when the weather gets cold. Instead of wrapping the wire, you can also use cable ties to hold the wiring in place.

Step 5 Ensure the conduit’s masthead is weather-proof to prevent water from reaching the main electrical panels.

And that’s all there is to know about running an electrical wire outside above ground.  With your new direct aerial wire to the garage, you’ll be able to run outdoor lights or power tools.

Overhead Electrical Cable to Shed or Garage – FAQ

1.   What is the cost to run electricity to the garage through overhead wiring?

Depending on the wiring length, installing masts and conduits, materials, drilling, paneling, and types of breakers you install, u003cstrongu003erunning an overhead electric cable to your shed or detached garage will set you back anywhere between $1000 and $2000u003c/strongu003e. For electrical wiring, you can use u003cstrongu003eu003ca href=u0022;linkCode=ll1u0026amp;tag=providdiagar-20u0026amp;linkId=d114f60c394a2dede41c7a8e2e84898fu0026amp;language=en_USu0026amp;ref_=as_li_ss_tlu0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003eSouthwire 28827423 100′ 14/2 wiresu003c/au003eu003c/strongu003e. These have pretty decent reviews on Amazon.

2.   Can I run electrical wires outside or along the wall?

u003cstrongu003eNou003c/strongu003e, it would be best if you didn’t run electrical cabling along your walls; u003cstrongu003einstead, use an insulated and rigid conduit.u003c/strongu003e

3.   What are the common types of conductors for overhead cabling?

The four common types of electrical conductors used in overhead cabling include –u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003ea. u003cstrongu003eFull Aluminum Conductoru003c/strongu003eu003cbr/u003eb. u003cstrongu003eFull Aluminum Alloy Conductoru003c/strongu003eu003cbr/u003ec. u003cstrongu003eAluminum Conductor Steel Reinforcedu003c/strongu003eu003cbr/u003ed. u003cstrongu003eAluminum Conductor Alloy Reinforcedu003c/strongu003e

4.   What breaker size should I use for my detached garage?

u003cstrongu003eDepending on the type of equipment you’ll run in your garage, you’ll have to settle for higher amperage breakers. Generally, though, you can settle for a 20-ampere breaker.u003c/strongu003e


And with that, you know how to run overhead cabling to a detached shed or garage. Remember to check with local building laws to ensure you have permission to run overhead cabling – the rules and conditions vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Next, remember to hire professionals if you need help setting up the conduits, masts, or wires. Finally, don’t run wires over water features, especially swimming pools; otherwise, you run the risk of electrocuting family members.

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Hi, I am Brent Hartman. I am a DIY enthusiast and love to improve and organize the garage in the most innovative way. I created this website out of my passion for helping people organize their garages.

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