How to Wire a Pole Barn

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Things You'll Need

  • Metal conduit

  • THHN/THWN wire

  • Wire nippers

  • Wire strippers

  • Metal electrical boxes

  • Metal circuit breaker

  • Conduit bender

  • Conduit clamps

  • Wood screws

  • Screw driver

  • Hacksaw

  • Conduit bushings

  • Conduit locknuts

  • Fish wire

  • Friction tape


Always make sure that electricity is shut off when working with wiring. It is a good idea to use safety goggles and gloves when working with wire and conduit. When constructing a pole barn, you should check the safety codes and legal guidelines for your building area to ensure that you are in compliance.

Among barns and other structures built in the United States, a pole barn is one of the simplest structures to build. These barns became popular during the period of the Great Depression, due to the large number of telephone poles that were available for use in construction. The walls of the barn are simply nailed onto the pole skeleton. Often a pole barn does not even have a foundation. A pole barn may be used to hold hay or livestock or even as a garage. Once constructed, wiring a pole barn is equally simple.


Step 1

Sketch the interior of your pole barn, and determine where you want your wiring to be placed. Using your sketch as a guideline, measure the total square feet that your wiring will cover. Diagram where your electrical boxes and circuit breakers will be located.

Step 2

Based on your figures, purchase the total square feet of conduit, THHN/THWN wire, electrical boxes, bushings and locknuts that you need.

Step 3

Install your circuit breaker near your power source by attaching it loosely to the nearest post with wood screws and a screw driver. Attach your electrical outlets to poles in your pole barn loosely with wood screws.


Step 4

Run conduit through your barn from your electrical circuit breaker to the outlets. Keep your lines as straight as possible. Where you have to bend the conduit, using a conduit bender, make gently curved bends that do not close the diameter of the conduit. Attach your conduit to the poles of your pole barn using conduit clamps and wood screws. Cut your conduit to the right size with a hacksaw.

Step 5

Attach conduit to your circuit breaker and electrical outlets by attaching locknuts to the ends of the conduit and inserting the conduit into the boxes. Screw the bushings into the ends of the conduit inside the boxes. Then tighten the locknuts so that their teeth dig into the boxes. Finally, tighten the screws that attach the boxes to the building.


Step 6

Cut the wire to the correct size using wire nippers and strippers. Pull the wire through the conduit by first running fishing wire through the conduit. Attach the fishing wire to the electrical wire, and tape friction tape over the wire where it joins. Then, gently pull the wire through the conduit. Attach the wire to the electrical outlets and the circuit breaker. Then turn the power on so that it reaches the pole barn.


references & resources

Tracy Morris

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.