Rewiring your backyard can seem like a daunting task if you've never done it before. However, with the right preparation and safety precautions, it's completely doable without hiring an expensive electrician. I recently rewired my backyard fountain and lighting myself, and it was much easier than I expected. In this guide, I'll walk you step-by-step through the process I followed to rewire my backyard efficiently and safely without any professional assistance.

Reasons to Rewire Your Backyard

Here are some of the most common reasons you may want to rewire your backyard:

Upgrading Outdated Wiring

Old or faulty wiring in your backyard can be a safety hazard. Upgrading will allow you to use newer, safer electrical codes and materials.

Installing New Lighting Features

Rewiring enables you to install new lighting features like pathway lights, flood lights, or LED string lights to illuminate your landscaping.

Powering Water Features

Running new wiring allows you to add exciting water features like ponds or fountains that require an electrical source.

Charging Outdoor Devices

New outdoor kitchens, TVs, heat lamps, and other gadgets require outlets. Rewiring lets you add outlets where you need them.

Preventing Damage from Weather and Animals

Burying and protecting wires underground keeps them safe from weather damage and curious animals.

Evaluating Your Backyard's Electrical Needs

Before getting started, you need to evaluate what type of wiring your backyard requires.


Consider lighting elements like flood lights on a house or fence, path lights along walkways, spotlights to highlight plants, and string lights for ambiance.


Determine if and where you need outlets for devices like speakers, TVs, or phone chargers.


Standard voltage is fine for most backyard needs, but higher voltage may be required for things like hot tubs.


Decide where you want lighting fixtures and outlets located for optimal utility.

Electrical Load

Factor in the total wattage of all lighting, devices, and fixtures to determine electrical load.

Gathering Necessary Materials

Rewiring a backyard requires some electrical materials and tools you may not already have. Here's what you'll need:

Make sure to buy only outdoor-rated materials to handle weather exposure. Consult local electrical codes for specific requirements.

Safety Tips for Rewiring Your Backyard

Working with electricity can be hazardous if proper precautions aren't taken. Here are some key safety tips:

Following basic electrical safety goes a long way in preventing shocks, fires, or other hazardous mishaps. Exercise caution at all times.

Step-by-Step Guide to Rewiring Your Backyard

Once you've evaluated your needs and gathered supplies, you're ready to start rewiring. Follow these key steps:

1. Turn Off Power and Inspect Existing Wiring

Shut off the main circuit breaker then locate and assess the existing wiring situation. This informs your new wiring plan.

2. Map Out New Wiring Route

Decide where you want new lighting, outlets, and wiring located. Map out an optimal route to trench and lay new wires.

3. Dig Underground Trenches

Use a trenching shovel to dig trenches about 12-18 inches deep wherever wires will be buried.

4. Lay and Connect New Wiring

Run new wires through conduit in the trenches between fixtures and junction boxes. Splicing connects them.

5. Attach Lighting Fixtures and Outlets

Connect new lights, outlets, and fixtures to the wiring using waterproof exterior electrical boxes.

6. Seal Connections

Use waterproof tape and sealant at all splice connections and ends to prevent moisture damage.

7. Backfill Trenches

Bury conduits, junction boxes, and sensors at proper depths by backfilling trenches with soil.

8. Test and Restore Power

Confirm circuits work safely with a voltage tester before restoring power at the breaker.

Follow all electrical codes and permit requirements for your area.

Mistakes to Avoid When Rewiring Your Backyard

It's important to sidestep these common mistakes that can create safety issues or code violations:


While rewiring your backyard takes planning and care, it can be executed safely without an electrician if you take precautions. The result is an upgraded outdoor space with better lighting, more power outlets, and up-to-date electrical systems. Just be sure to follow local permit requirements. With the right materials and some electrical know-how, you can enjoy a fully rewired backyard.