Power to Garage Help Required Please

5 Apr 2005
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United Kingdom

I've had a search and not yet found a definative answer.

As I am due to pour concrete 6" deep all over my drive next Saturday, getting a cable in now would be a good option, but I'm still a bit unsure of exactly what to use.

I need 2 double sockets and 5x60W bulbs in my garage.

I have a small consumer unit for the garage with a 6A and 16A MCB and 63A 30mA RCCB, so I intent to use the 6A one for the lights and the 16A one for the sockets.

The garage is about 15M away from the house.

There is a convienient air brick right under the floor under the main CU in the house which I intend to use for the cable to exit the house.

Do I go for 6mm SWA cable and bury it under the concrete or plastic conduit with 2.5mm T&E, also buried under the concrete?

I also intend to use a 20A MCB in the main CU in the house to supply the garage CU.

Any thoughts or advice anyone?


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Definitely 6mm² SWA.

Plastic conduit offers very little mechanical protection from digging.

Bury the SWA at least 18 inches deep, preferably 24 inches, as whoever takes up that drive will probably have heavy machinery.

5 x 60w bulbs???? I hope you mean 5 x 60w TUBES. Ordinary tungsten bulbs will do nothing to light a garage. You need fluorescents.


By the way, this work is tres notifiable to your local council's building control, under part p of the building regs. I would run the cable yourself, then employ a spark to connect both ends and test and certify.

Yep - 60W bulbs.

I don't like the light that the the fluoros give off and my garage has many joists across the roof so a tube would have to sit inbetween them which would severely limit it's light spread.

20" is feasable at this moment in time.

mount the fluorescents on the bottom of joists then. How were you going to mount the 60w lamps?

Like it or not, fluorescents are the future for the time being (until LEDs advance some more!). They come in all shapes and sizes too.

Get some light fittings with electronic ballasts - these flicker less and are instant start. And different shades of white are available! ;)
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One other bit of advice:

Install a ducting for the cable to go in. For what the ducting will cost, it will be invaluable should you ever need to replace the cable. This will save digging up the driveway again should the cable ever go faulty (It is unlikely but not impossible), or if you find you need a bigger supply to the garage in the future.

Have you considered also installing cables to the garage for things like the burglar alarm, phone, tv, computer network etc. I don't know if you require any of the previous, but they are worth thinking about before the drive goes down (even if you never use them)
securespark said:
Does a 20A MCB discriminate against a 16A?
We know that it doesnt. if you running 6mm² you would use a 32A breaker but your spark will decide that for you, won't he :?:


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