Best cable for short runs outdoors

2 Jun 2008
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United Kingdom

Im going to wire up the summerhouse once complete in the garden, it will be supplied with power via a run of SWA from the main house.

Near the summerhouse there are some lights and a couple of pumps which need to be connected up, what is the best way to do this?

Anything buried will be SWA but I dont really want to be doing 1-2m runs between FCUs for the pumps in it.

T&E in plastic conduit, regular flex in plastic conduit, arctic flex or swa?

Also would I be correct in assuming that I cant connect flex (eg. from a string of lights) directly to a switch, and it needs to go via a FCU? Or is it allowed as long as all the cable ratings are OK?
(i.e. wire a string of outdoor lights using 13A flex directly to the lighting circuit so long as I used a 6A MCB)
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Thanks 17thman,

EDIT: Never mind re: fence, my common sense took leave for a short while there ;), dont suppose I can blame it on the heat?

Sorry my first question made me look a little thick, ill rephrase:

I want to have a couple of runs but dont want to use SWA (these will NOT be attached to a fence, they will be run along permanent installations in the garden).

Looking around it seems T&E in proper conduit is generally acceptable, but I cant help but think that arctic flex, which was designed for use outdoors, in conduit, would be better than T&E, which was designed to be buried in walls and under floors indoors, in conduit.

Is there a good reason im missing to go with either of the above or is it just personal preferance and im making a big thing over nothing?
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Hi industryspark, ive read that Hituf is a nightmare to work with but it looks ideal for this.

dcwuk, because if the fence goes down for any reason, eg in a storm, the cable will go with it.

I never really considered this for my fence because its put up with large concrete posts and built better than some of the walls in the house but either way, the cable will be buried.

Just One more question then thats it: Is this acceptable?

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so its for a pond?

bearing in mind the way you have drawn it, the light will be on when the supply is on
no you can't do that, you can't run a seperate supply through a fitting..

if you switched the light off and took the cover off the fcu thinking it was safe, there's still the possibility that the pump wire will still be live..
Thanks ColJack & Breezer,

what about if I used a junction box in place of the FCU in the drawing, taking 2 feeds from that to the respective FCUs, would that be OK, or would you say just run 2 cables?

Breezer, sorry but I cant see how the light will be on when the supply is on, what am I missing?

I expect Breezer is wondering what turns the light off if you use the pump in the daytime.

The pump and lights are entirely different circuits, the switches in the diagram are meant to be individual switches in a 2 gang fitting, the 'joint' in the neutral isnt meant to be part of the switch so the lights and pump can be controlled individually, sorry if it wasnt clear.

I was trying to cut back on redundant cabling as I thought this was the most professional thing to do but Im getting the impression this idea isnt a very good one :oops:, the distance isnt that long so ill just run 2 lots of 3 core SWA.

Thanks alot everyone! :)

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