Gate frame is up, now it’s time to do the electrical work. First of all, I needed to have power on the site! After searching around the house, I decided to run the power cord from my garage. I already noticed that my garage is on a 25 Amp breaker in my plan. 25 AMP should allow enough juice to flow through for the gate opener.
Drill a hole through the wall and run the cord to the outside.
Care must be taken on the location where to extend the power cord. It’s better to start from the main power cord directly from the breaker panel. DO NOT extend the power cord from a light fixture or an outlet. I used 12-3 building wire for my total extension distance of about 40 feet. Smaller gauge (thicker copper) might be necessary if the distance is longer.
Install a pull box on the outside wall.
Drill a hole through the wall so that the power cord could go outside. Hang a pull box on the wall and now you can terminate the power cord inside it. Just like the name, a pull box is where you can “string” and “pull” the wire that will need to go somewhere, or in my case, across the yard. There are various options for a pull box shown as the photo below. I chose a relatively big one because I needed to install an outlet in it. I used a GFCI outlet because the outdoor environment is prone to get wet and cause electrical shock. And plus, I could use the “TEST/RESET” button as a switch to turn on / cut off the power for the gate opener without affecting the rest of the garage. This idea turned out to be very useful, especially during the installation process.
Dig a trench for the conduit across the yard and lay the PVC pipes.
According to the local code, I needed to bury the conduits 12 inches deep if I use PVC pipe. It took me some serious efforts to dig the trench, especially when the dirt is dry and hard. I highly recommend dampening the soil first before putting your shovel on it.
Worrying that I don’t have the tool to string the cord through a long pipe, I was struggling between stringing-wire-before-laying-pipe and after-laying-pipe. However, stringing the wire in advance didn’t turn out to be an efficient way as the PVC glue and dirt together were just enough to make everything in a mass. Miraculously, I though of my drain cleaner snake and it ended up to be a great tool for this job!
Cover with trench and seal the conduit for next step