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Ben Allen

Running Electrical to the Fountain

The problem with electrical work is that if you do it right, it works as expected and it is totally out of sight. So only the photographs and the memory of a sore back from buring the line reflect just how much work it is.


The trench was about 50 feet long. At one point I weighed a shovel of dirt and calculated how many shovels I'd have to move. It added up to about 2,500 pounds. Then once the line was in I'd have to move it back. Oye.


pulling wire wire

Meanwhile inside I bent and installed metal conduit, pulled the wire from the panel to near the exit point, put in a new GFI breaker and installed a fancy programmable switch in a metal box near where the wire leaves the house so that the fountain can be turned on and off from inside.


The end of the line is an outdoor rated box mounted on a treated post that goes down below frost line. At this point you can see the plastic conduit in the trench.


fish tape

I pulled the wire from the end back toward the house where the conduit comes out of the basement.


Having the conduit attached to the end box produced too tight a corner to pull the wire through so I detached the conduit from the box, pulled the wire, cut it a bit longer than I needed, then attached the conduit back to the box with the wire in place. This is after having the wire pull off the tape half way through the conduit. had to start over and have a helping hand pushing in the wire as I pulled on the fish tape.


Oooh. A nice straight trench with installed conduit and pulled wire.Trouble is, putting in the conduit and pulling wire (the fun part)takes about one tenth the time of digging the trench in the first place. Ah well, I suppose it's a bit like painting. Prep time is long but important.


2,500 pounds of dirt moved back into place. Ugh.