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Energy CostsIN CHARLOTTEJuly 25, 2022by AndrewHow to Bury Electrical Cable for Ponds

Leaving the electrical cables to a pond pump, filter or skimmer exposed to the elements can bring about serious damage to the cables and create a hazardous tripping risk in your yard. Burying the wire keeps it risk-free and concealed. You don’t want to take any chances when dealing with electricity and water. So, more than just digging a trench and laying the cable in it is necessary. Study your local building ordinance before digging; some areas have rules mandating where and how deep electric wires need to be buried. Here’s how to bury electrical cable for ponds.

Step 1

Measure the cords you’ll be using. You need to know their diameter. The electric conduit you have to use must have a size large enough to hold all the wires. Some pond components call for three cords while others require four or more cords.

Step 2

Mark the area where you will dig a trench for the electrical wires by marking the ground with spray paint. Draw out the excavating line for the trench as straight as possible. Measure the trench’s length so you know how much electric cable is required.

Step 3

Dig a trench along the spray-painted line with a shovel. The majority of trenches for electric wires are 18 to 24 inches deep. You should make your trench’s depth based upon your home or property building regulations and the sort of electric cable you are using. Metal electric conduits are expensive but works in an area as shallow as six inches deep; PVC electric conduit should be used in trenches 12 inches or deeper.

Step 4

Put a 1-inch deep layer of sand in the bottom of the trench. Sand will secure the conduit from roots, rocks or various other damaging objects.

Step 5

Tie a metal nut to a long string. Glue electrical conduit pieces with PVC cement if using PVC or metal adhesive if using metal conduits. Drop the nut with the new pieces as you add them. The conduit must be long enough to fill up the trench. The string will be a feeder line for the electric cables. The string feeder line ought to run completely through each piece of the conduit, with string visible on both ends.

Step 6

Lay the conduit in the trench. Link one end of the string to the electrical wires. Pull the other end of the string to feed the cables through the section of conduit. Untie the string. Enough cable ought to come through both ends of the conduit to reach the electric boxes affixed to your residence and the pond. Cover those ends with PVC elbow joints to protect the cords, leaving enough slack in the wires inside the joints.

Step 7

Shovel dirt, which you dug out to make the trench, over the conduit in the trench. Fill the trench with soil to within four inches of ground level, and lay aluminum-backed warning tape in the trench at that level. Caution tape usually has aluminum support to make it observable with metal detectors and is printed with words such as “Caution: Electric Line Hidden Below.” Burying the tape guarantees the cables can be found and avoided in the future by another owner or worker.

Step 8

Shovel extra dirt into the trench, covering the tape. Include dirt up until it gets to the same level as the ground close to the trench.

More Reminders

Obtain the correct and lawful permits from your local community authorities before beginning any work, including running an underground cable from your residence to a pond. Local authorities will provide you with the correct building ordinance and likewise give you the location of underground utilities going to the house.

Employ a licensed electrician to set up a dedicated ground fault interrupter-controlled circuit on your main electric panel, with an enclosed type UF wire going to the outside of your house and running to the pond. Ask the electrician to mount a down facing conduit elbow joint to the exterior wall, with enough cable coming out of the conduit to reach the pond.

Ponds, including fish ponds, need power to run pumps, filters, heaters and lights. Given that water and electricity are very dangerous together, this needs the use of a GFCI outlet, or ground fault circuit interrupter. This kind of circuit is very sensitive. When it is in contact with dampness or there is a cut, it will turn off instantly. Outdoor electrical wiring additionally calls for conduit to enclose open wires or using direct burial cables.

Read and follow the directions with all components and from the manufacturers. Set up the necessary waterproof junction box or outside electrical outlet onto the end of the conduit sticking out from the ground. Make sure to affix the bare copper earth wire to the side of the receptacle with the green earth nut given.


Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation. We can provide electrical safety inspections and installation, inspections and work with GFCI outlets. In addition, our professionals provide whole-house generator sales and installation to meet your needs. See everything South End Electric can do for you. Call us direct at 704-368-4694.