Pond pump electrical installation

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A pond with a water pump creates a focal point in your landscape. The flowing water aerates a pond so that water-loving plants, flowers and fish may enjoy the pond and receive sufficient air for survival. All electrical connections for a pond pump require protection from any type of moisture so that they are long lasting and do not pose any threat of electrical shock.

Pump Placement

Pond pumps require placement out of the weather and hot sun to operate properly. Rain or extremely hot conditions can cause electrical shocks to either persons touching the outside pump casing or fish inside of the pond. Any type of plastic container or sealed waterproof container can house the pond pump safely. Use a container that has at least 12 inches of room and airflow on each side and at the top. This will allow room to work on the pump if necessary and air space to eliminate over heating. The pump operates best if it is on a level concrete surface like concrete blocks.


A pond pump requires a grounding system either by a copper rod at least 30 inches long or a copper plate in the ground. A ground wire attaches to the embedded copper and the other end attaches to the pump itself on the ground terminal. Make sure that the connections are tight on each end by twisting tightly with pliers so that they will safely ground the pump.

Electrical Requirements

You may use an outdoor electrical receptacle to wire the pump but make sure that it is grounded and includes a GCFI (Ground Circuit Fault Interrupter) outlet. This is a safety measure in outlets that will cut off the electricity flow by pushing a reset button. This method allows the electricity to be shut off for repairs to the pump or in emergency cases without fear of electrical shocks.


Wiring from the pump to the electrical source can be above or below ground. Both methods should include conduit pipe to enclose the wires and include as few elbows and turns as possible between the two locations. Conduit keeps wiring from splitting or tearing and keeps it dry so that the pump does not short out. Using at least a 3/4-inch conduit makes pulling the wire through the pipe easier, as does limiting turns in the length of pipe. The underground method requires digging a trench so that the pipe lays in the trench, then covering it up with soil. This is a professional installation procedure so that the wiring is not obvious in the conduit on top of the ground.

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