Dread of wiring your outdoor water fountain need not keep you from starting your project. Wiring can be confusing, but there are certain steps you can take to ensure both safety and success.
Step 1: Choose a Location
Choose the location for your fountain. Placement of the fountain is a purely aesthetic decision. You can place it anywhere you like as long as it poses no safety issues.
Step 2: Contact a Licensed Electrician
Before starting your project, you need to address safety concerns. Attempting to wire any electrical item without proper training and licensing is not only dangerous but foolish as well. Locate an electrician to install a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlet. Be sure to check the electrician’s licensing, insurance and credentials. A GFCI outlet is necessary to prevent electrocution in the event someone makes contact with the electrical current. The GFCI outlet will stop the current before any bodily damage occurs.
Step 3: Measure
With a properly installed GFCI outlet in place, use a tape measure to measure the distance from your fountain location to the GFCI outlet. Write the measurements down for later reference.
Step 4: Cut the PVC Pipe
You will use PVC pipe to protect the extension cord from the outdoor elements. Using the recorded measurements, cut the PVC pipe to length with your coping saw. If the distance to the GFCI outlet is longer than the length of one PVC pipe, gather the specific number of pipes you need to equal the distance. Cut any excess length off the last pipe.
Step 5: Position Fountain
Now it is time to position the fountain. Make sure it is set up according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You will save a lot of time and energy by doing so.
Step 6: Dig a Trench
Dig a trench at least six inches deep and wide enough to hold the PVC pipe. This trench should make a straight path to the GFCI outlet. Save any dirt removed from the trench to refill the trench later.
Step 7: Thread the Extension Cord
Thread the extension cord through the pvc pipe. If you need to use more than one PVC pipe, attach aVC P coupling to the end of the first pipe and thread the cord through the second pipe. Repeat this process until you have covered the distance to the GFCI outlet. Go back and attach all pipes to the pvc couplings.
Step 8: Bury the Extension Cord
Now, it is time to bury the PVC-encased extension cord. Place the PVC pipe in the trench and cover the trench with the previously removed dirt. Pack the dirt down by walking over it as you go along.
Step 9: Plug it in
Fill your fountain with water, and plug it in.
Wiring your outdoor water fountain was a challenge, but you tackled it fearlessly. Now, you are finished and can enjoy the fruits of your labor without any safety concerns.