Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Dark: Kennel Electricity Part I
Electricity travels at the speed of light which is more than 186,000 miles per second… let’s hope the puppies will seem to be here almost as quickly! I doubt it…. but positive thinking never hurt anyone. Keep reading to see how we attached working electric to the kennel. To get caught up see Kennel.
When reading all of these suggestions keep in mind that my husband is a licensed contractor BUT he is NOT an electrician!! In some towns it is against code to complete electrical work unless you are a licensed electrician. These are merely SUGGESTIONS. We live in a rural area where if you own the property you may work on electrical without being a licensed electrician.
With electrical, it only takes one little mistake to cause dire consequences.
Step #1: Change the landscape so that digging trenches for electrical cord is possible. Do not dig to close to trees, or you risk hitting roots which will further complicate trenching. We removed the fence so that the dog kennel is more accessible. (When I say we I mean my husband.) Then he attached a gate to the previous fence, and put up an electric fence around the kennel so that the cattle don’t ruin it.
Step #2: Lay out wire between the new electric location, and the existing electric. In our case, my husband knew that we should use 10-2 wire. This is because are house is approximately 230 feet from the kennel. We are attaching the new electric up to the existing electric on our house.
- One thing to note is that a 10 GA (gauge) may not be thick enough for you. It depends on the length of your run and the power demands of the kennel. We are only planning on running one light, a box fan, and a small 110 a/c or heater. We will never run the heater, and the AC at the same time. Keep in mind that my husband is worried that if too many items are plugged in at one time that we might draw more electric than the 10-2 GA wire can handle.
- There are many resources on the internet to help you figure out what wire is right for your situation. Please take into consideration that nothing is more valuable then the knowledge your local electrician has. It would be wise to consult with a licensed electrician. (Most are great people and are always willing to answer some basic questions. You never know where you might find a fellow dog lover!)
Step #3: Trench holes near the kennel by hand. The location of our kennel is surrounded by rock, the trencher will not be able to dig through it. As you can see in this picture we had to dig underneath a rock.
Step #4: Trench hole by the house so that the electric can be tied onto existing electric. This hole has to be 2 foot deep. After we dug the trench we installed the cord into PVC pipe to protect it from future digging in the area. The 10-2 can be buried directly underneath the ground without a pipe around it. (It is rated that way) In the future, we plan on adding an addition to our home so we took the extra precaution of adding the PVC pipe.
Step #5: Install outlets and lighting. My husband wired up 4 outlets inside the building, 1 exterior outlet, and 1 exterior light. Instead of a light fixture, we chose to install an outlet into the ceiling. Since we installed an outlet we can easily change the type of lighting that we have later on. To cut costs, my husband volunteered his shop fluorescent light.
- We used 12-2 Romex cable inside the building (Power is fed by the 10 GA wire coming from outside. They are wired together in the “junction box”)
- There are many how to’s on the internet and YouTube videos regarding installing electrical outlets, and light switches. The key is to ensure the power is off when working on any of the electrical. My husband even showed me how to install one of the outlets myself!
WE HAVE ELECTRIC!
AND WORKING OUTLETS!
Make sure that your outlets are placed where your dogs CANNOT come into contact with them. Also, make sure they aren’t placed underneath pens where they could be urinated on.
In the picture above (left side) my husband used a double gang box which allows space for two outlets. He is using the gang box as a junction box to feed the wire from the outside. That way he can branch off the wiring onto the different circuits inside the building. He did this because there won’t be any wire connections inside the wall. All wire connections will be accessible even after the walls are insulated and sheeted.
Clear as mud?