There are three major ways of running an electrical cable from the main house to a tree house. Here are the three types of connections, their advantages, and disadvantages:
There are three main advantages of making an overhead connection to your tree house:
- It keeps the electrical cable away from ground hazards. For example, you won't risk tripping on the wire, and there is no risk of it entangling your lawnmower.
- It ensures the tree root system is not affected; for example, you don't need to cut tree roots to make the connections.
- It is easily accessible for maintenance or repair purposes. This makes it easy, for example, to upgrade the line or modify it to handle more appliances.
However, many people consider such connections an eyesore. Also, they can easily be affected by falling tree branches, which may create an electrical hazard. Then there is also the issue of weather; the insulating part of overhead cables is easily affected by rain and heat from the sun.
Underground connections are excellent for hiding the wiring. This means you won't have to worry about tripping and falling on the wires or creating an eyesore with the connections. In fact, once you finish the work, you can forget about the connections unless a malfunction happens and you want to repair it.
However, underground connections have some unique disadvantages, for example:
- It involves digging, which is hectic.
- It can easily interfere with tree roots.
- Diagnosing and repairing a malfunction isn't easy since the connections are hidden from view.
While underground wires are protected from some weather elements, such as sunshine, they are susceptible to deterioration from others, such as water from rainfall or melting snow. Therefore, the cables must be protected from damage, for example, by running them through PVC conduits.
On the Ground
You can also run your connections to the tree house on the ground. The main advantage here is that the work involved is relatively easy so that you won't spend a lot of money. They are also easy to repair or upgrade. However, it is the riskiest connection because the wires are easily affected by ground hazards. For example, people can trip on the wires and pets can chew on the insulation. In most cases, you should only go down this route if you are making temporary connections.
Whichever connection you opt for, ensure that you choose the right cable for the job. For example, choose cables marked "W" for wetness, meaning they can work under wet conditions, such as melting snow. You also need to consider the material for the piping or tubing that will be protecting the actual wire. Talk to an electrical contractor like Mid City Electric for help with these choices; don't forget that there may also be code considerations to follow.