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Build your own garden kitchen – plan and install the electrics

Lesezeit 8 Minuten

When building my garden kitchen, the electrics were one of the biggest challenges. In addition to the right cables for the power supply and the perfect positioning of the sockets, proper fuse protection was of course also necessary.

It should also be possible to use a TV and a sound system in the garden kitchen at a later date. So I also had to plan for network and audio cables and install them in the garden kitchen.


 

What power supply do I need in the garden kitchen?

The design of my garden kitchen followed a U-shaped layout with a seamless worktop, which brought both style and functionality to the outdoor area.

The Napoleon Phantom P500 gas barbecue with rotisserie was to be the centerpiece of the equipment, supplemented by an indispensable refrigerator, which made careful planning of the electrics and connections essential.

Flexible socket solutions above the worktop for kitchen appliances such as ice machines, coffee machines or electric hot plates were also important.

I also wanted to integrate sockets for everyday kitchen utensils and planned to install a camera rack with lighting in the upper wall area above the gas grill for higher-quality shots of my cooking channel later on.

The connections for the entertainment system should then be installed above the bar.

Last but not least, I still needed lamps and the corresponding light switches. In addition to a well-lit area at the grill and on the worktop, the bar counter should have cozy atmospheric lighting.

LED light strips with color-changing functions under the bar counter should then be the highlight of the lighting.

 


 

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 21. May 2024 um 12:32 . Ich weise darauf hin, dass sich hier angezeigte Preise inzwischen geändert haben können. Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr. (*) Bei den verwendeten Produktlinks handelt es sich um Affiliate Links. Ich bin nicht der Verkäufer des Produktes. Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen. Dein Preis ändert sich jedoch nicht.

 


Electrics: Occupational safety concerns everyone!

Occupational health and safety when working on electrical systems is essential, especially for DIY projects such as building a garden kitchen.

The installation of electrical systems, from the laying of cables to the installation of sockets and lighting, involves risks that can be minimized through careful planning and compliance with safety regulations.

Whether it’s converting the electrical components of my Napoleon Phantom P500 gas barbecue with rotisserie, installing the sockets or the switching devices for the LED light strips, safety should always come first.

 

Short list of important safety measures:

  1. Switch off the power: Before starting work, always ensure that the circuit on which you are working is completely switched off.
  2. Use the correct tools: Insulated tools protect against electric shocks.
  3. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE): Safety goggles, gloves and, if necessary, insulating shoes can protect against injuries.
  4. Refresh your knowledge: Regular training on the risks and safe handling of electricity is essential.
  5. Check before use: Before commissioning, the electrical installation should be checked by a qualified specialist.

 

When building my garden kitchen, I placed particular emphasis on occupational health and safety to ensure both my personal well-being and that of my future guests.

Please note that work on the electrical installations should only be carried out by specialists!

 


 

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Electrical supply and fuse protection for the garden kitchen

Ideally, the power supply for the garden kitchen should be provided via the sub-distribution board in the basement. Fortunately, the distribution cabinet had a free top-hat rail that was perfect for this project.

In addition to the RCD, there was enough space for five circuit breakers and my Shelly devices for smart home automation.

So I first laid 2 NYY-J 3 x 2.5 mm² underground cables and a CAT7 network cable in my garden kitchen.

The necessary empty conduits, some of them large KG pipes, were already installed as a precautionary measure when the lawn area and the concrete base slab were laid. Thanks to the threading aids, pulling in the cables was quite straightforward.

The only thing that required more effort was laying the audio cable from my amplifier in the workshop to the loudspeakers in the garden kitchen. The electrical conduits under the lawn were unfortunately damaged when I installed the control cable for my robot lawnmower.

So I first had to find the damaged area and repair it before I could successfully lay this cable in the garden kitchen.

 



 

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Slitting cable ducts and installing flush-mounted boxes

Having already invested a lot of time, energy and money in the construction of my garden kitchen, it was important to me that the electrical installation was also of high quality and therefore “invisible”.

When installing the electrical components, I placed particular emphasis on keeping sockets and light switches out of sight by using flush-mounted boxes.

The cables therefore had to be laid inside the empty conduits under the plaster. Only the power cables to the two ceiling lights should be visible later – at least the cable ducts.

My aim was to use the two NYY-J 3 x 2.5 mm² underground cables to lay two circuits for the garden kitchen. Below the worktop, I decided on a surface-mounted installation in empty electrical conduits.

However, all cables and empty conduits in the visible area of the garden kitchen had to be laid invisibly in the walls.

I first installed a large power distribution box at each corner of the garden kitchen. These boxes are waterproof to IP67 and offer enough space inside to connect the cables securely using WAGO clamps.

I then marked the positions of the flush-mounted boxes and drilled the holes required for installation into the aerated concrete blocks using a core drill.

To continue the electrical installation of my garden kitchen, I installed large M32 cable ducts between the distribution boxes about 20 centimeters above the floor below the work surfaces.

I pulled the two NYY-J 3 x 2.5 mm² underground cables through these ducts to the boxes and installed the cables from box to box. Above the boxes, I then milled the cable slots to the holes for the sockets and light switches.

The flush-mounted boxes were then aligned in the holes with electrician’s plaster and firmly glued in place.

All that was missing now were the sockets, switches and, of course, the power cables to complete the electrical installation in my garden kitchen.

 



 

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Practical tips and tricks from my experience

When planning and implementing the electrical installation in my garden kitchen, I placed particular emphasis on safety, aesthetics and functionality and gained a wealth of experience in the process:

  1. Detailed planning for a functional design: I drew up a comprehensive plan of my garden kitchen in advance. The aim was to achieve precise positioning of sockets and light sources so that they are available exactly where they are needed for cooking and socializing.
  2. Selection of weatherproof materials for durability: I decided to use materials designed exclusively for outdoor use. These included waterproof power distribution boxes and cables that were specially developed for outdoor use to withstand the weather in the long term.
  3. Installation of an RCD to increase safety: To maximize safety when handling electricity near water, the installation of a residual current device (RCD) was essential. This step minimizes the risk of electric shocks.
  4. Flush-mounted installations for an attractive appearance: I integrate sockets and switches in flush-mounted boxes to achieve a harmonious and unobtrusive appearance. Laying the cables in empty conduits under the plaster ensured that they remained completely invisible.
  5. Protection of flush-mounted boxes during the plastering process: Attaching cover caps to the flush-mounted boxes during the plastering process not only made it easier to find them later, but also ensured that the boxes were protected from damage.
  6. Strategic positioning of the sockets: I deliberately positioned the sockets above the worktop and at other strategic points. This positioning guaranteed optimum accessibility for the use of light sources and electronic devices. The height of the sockets was precisely adapted to the final height of the worktop and to tile protrusions.
  7. Careful laying of cables in empty conduits: I attached particular importance to running all electrical cables in empty conduits. This method not only offered protection against potential damage, especially for cables laid underground, but also allowed flexible adaptation to future requirements. This meant I could easily extend or modify the electrical installation if necessary.
  8. Targeted lighting planning for atmosphere and functionality: The correct arrangement of the lighting, especially above the grill and work surfaces, proved to be essential. Sophisticated lighting not only improves functionality when preparing food, but also creates an inviting atmosphere.
  9. Consultation of experts for standard-compliant implementation: To ensure professional and standard-compliant implementation, I consulted experts for certain parts of the electrical installation. This measure guaranteed that all work complied with current safety standards.
  10. Use of flexible cable ducts for difficult areas: In areas where it was difficult to lay the cables and lines conventionally, I resorted to flexible cable ducts. These proved to be extremely useful for keeping the cables protected and tidy.

By taking these aspects into account, I was able to ensure that the electrical installation in my garden kitchen not only met my aesthetic requirements, but was also functional and safe.

 


Video masonry and gluing gas concrete

While building my outdoor kitchen, I kept my camera running. I then published the individual stages in various films on my Youtube channel in a separate playlist for the construction of my garden kitchen.

If you want to see more of me and my projects, feel free to check out my YouTube channel.

Abonniere COMMAIK auf YouTube

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Installing lamps and switches in the garden kitchen

In the next stage of my garden kitchen project, I’m focusing on installing the sockets, light switches and lighting, including smart control using Shelly products.

The sockets and light switches are installed near the barbecue and bar counter to illuminate these areas efficiently. In addition, RGB LED lighting elements under the bar counter will provide atmospheric lighting that can be adjusted to suit the mood.

The integration of Shelly products enables convenient control of all electrical elements, which promises not only convenience but also energy efficiency.

Look forward to the next blog entry, in which I will go into detail about the technical aspects and implementation of these installations.

 


 

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 21. May 2024 um 19:15 . Ich weise darauf hin, dass sich hier angezeigte Preise inzwischen geändert haben können. Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr. (*) Bei den verwendeten Produktlinks handelt es sich um Affiliate Links. Ich bin nicht der Verkäufer des Produktes. Als Amazon-Partner verdiene ich an qualifizierten Verkäufen. Dein Preis ändert sich jedoch nicht.

 


Summary and conclusion

Installing the electrics played a key role in the construction of my garden kitchen. The challenge lay not only in selecting the right cables and the ideal positioning of the sockets, but also in ensuring proper fuse protection.

It was important to me to ensure a reliable power supply for kitchen appliances and future extensions such as a TV and sound system. This also included the consideration of network and audio cables.

The U-shaped layout of my garden kitchen with a seamless worktop required careful planning of the electrics, especially for the Napoleon Phantom P500 gas barbecue, the fridge and flexible socket solutions for kitchen gadgets.

I also planned special connections for an entertainment system and atmospheric lighting, including LED strip lighting under the bar counter.

Health and safety was a top priority throughout the installation process. I observed important safety measures such as switching off the power before starting work, using insulated tools and wearing personal protective equipment.

The electrical supply was fed via a sub-distribution board in the basement, for which I laid 2 NYY-J 3 x 2.5 mm² underground cables and a CAT7 network cable. Despite a damaged conduit under the lawn, I was able to install all the cables successfully.

The electrical installation included the slotting of cable ducts and the installation of flush-mounted boxes. I wanted the installation to be “invisible” and integrated sockets and switches accordingly.


 

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My name is Maik and I have been writing this construction diary since 2008. In addition to my family and job, the expansion and renovation of our art nouveau villa is an important part of my life. Here in the blog I share my experiences. Attention: Some of the linked products are affiliate links. If you order the products through the links, I will be supported with a commission. This has no effect on your price.

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