In this article, I’ll guide you on how to hide an electrical box in the yard. Most people do not consider hiding their electrical boxes, but it can be an excellent way to keep your yard tidy.
Utility boxes are, in most countries, state-owned, and there are many restrictions to them. As an experienced electrician, I will show you some ways to carefully hide a utility box in your yard without violating various rules. Knowing this can be pretty useful for you.
In general, to screen off a utility box in your yard:
- Use potted plants
- Use a trellis, screen, or fence to screen off the utility box
- Use shrubs and ornamental grass
- Use a wooden fixture
I will go into detail below.
How to Screen Off an Electrical Box in Your Yard
First, Check With Your Utility Provider
Always inspect the utility box to see any alerts or notices written on it. Some utilities, such as cable companies, may have access to electrical transformers, gas, or water meters.
You should know the least offset distances (how far away something needs to be placed from it). And whether it has underground cables or wires running to or from the box. The land above these wires or cables might be shown on your house/title plan as an easement.
If such information is unavailable, contact the company or owner in charge of the utility box. Check out the description above, particularly if there are any underground wires or other things you should know.
Anything close to the box’s front and/or sides may be ripped out and ruined in an emergency. Some utility boxes require a minimum offset distance to ensure adequate airflow during hot periods – with nothing in-between.
So, having something portable allows you to meet the provider’s needs while concealing the utility from view.
Method 1: Hide Utility Boxes with Potted Plants
Plants are an easy and effective way to conceal a utility box. Instead of planting them directly into the ground, where they may be damaged, you may be able to plant them in pots and containers and use them to cover or hide the utility box.
Method 2: Use A Trellis, Screen, Or Fence to Screen Off the Utility Box
A trellis, screen, or fence, similar to the pots or containers mentioned above, could be placed around the utility unit.
Step 1. If they are fixed (trellis, screen, or fence), set them back at a safe distance close to the utility box.
Step 2. Confirm that the footings for any uprights are clear of any potential underground wires.
Also, you can use a lattice screen as a backdrop for a garden bed.
Method 3: Make a Garden Bed Specifically for The Utility Box
If you want to plant a permanent garden around a utility box, it should be doable as long as you leave enough space around the box.
What to Do
- As previously stated, watch out for any potential underground cables or wires running from or to the utility box.
- Avoid planting trees if possible. Their extensive root systems have the potential to crack, strangle, or break protective elements surrounding wiring.
- To include trees, make the hole larger and line it with a root barrier mesh. That will limit the spread of the roots, reducing the size and spread of the trees.
- Allow the floor/base to be open so the roots are not enclosed but ensure the surface roots don’t spread too far.
- Inspect any potential plantings with a local expert to ensure they are suitable.
1. Shrubs and Grasses. Their root systems are typically shallower. Planting these above underground wiring should still be avoided for safety reasons and because they may need to be accessed at some point.
2. Planting Ornamental Grass in bunches works well because they look good. They grow large enough to completely or partially cover it. And they can be easily cut down for access if given the chance.
Method 4: Use Wooden Fixtures
You could construct a wooden barrier around the unsightly electric box to conceal it.
You could make it look like a cabinet for easier access. You could also make a wooden box to cover it. This method works for large electrical boxes installed on the ground. You can add flowers and porcelain vases on top of the wooden box to make it more visually appealing.
FAQs on Yard Transformer Boxes
Can I Paint a Transformer Box in My Yard?
No, you can’t paint a transformer box. Power companies restrict it, and that will be deemed vandalism.
Can You Plant Around an Electrical Box?
Yes, you can even use shrubs to cover it up.
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