How To Install PVC Conduit In A Trench To Protect Wires Supplying Power To A GCFI Electrical Outlet By Your Backyard Pond

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A pond can add a lot of beauty to a backyard. However, to keep the pond water healthy, you'll need to circulate and aerate the water with pumps and fountains. Running long extension cords across the yard to power the pumps and fountains is unsightly and dangerous. Instead, you should dig a trench and run the wires through a PVC conduit to protect the wires and keep you and your family safe. Here is how to install an electrical wire PVC conduit system in a trench to supply power to the electrical outlet for the fountains and pumps in your pond.

Dig Trench

You should rent a walk-behind or ride-behind trench digger from a local hardware store to save yourself from hand digging the trench with a shovel. Trench diggers come with different size blades, so make so you rent one with a blade that will dig down below the frost line in your area. Water in the ground above the frost line will move around as the water in the ground freezes and thaws during the winter – that ground movement could damage the electrical wires.

You should also remember to call 811 before you dig so you know if there are any utility lines buried under the ground along the path you are going to dig the trench. Digging into utility lines is dangerous and can end up costing you a lot of money to have them repaired.

Run the trench from the electrical source you are going to tap into to supply power to the GFCI outlet to the base of the stake or pole you are going to attach the electrical outlet.

Lay the Conduit

You want to place the electrical wires going from the source to the outlet in a conduit to protect them from the elements. You can get PVC conduit at the local hardware store. You really won't need conduit piping that is more than a half inch to an inch in diameter to fit the wires.

Sliding the wire through the conduit is easier if you slide it through one length of conduit at a time. Place the conduit pipes alongside the top edge of the trench. Feed the wire through one length of the conduit. Once the wire is through the pipe, slip a PVC coupling over the wires and glue it to the end of the pipe. A PVC coupling allows you to join two lengths of PVC piping together.

You glue PVC material together by first coating the inside of the coupler and the outside end of the pipe with a PVC primer. Once the primer is on, you'll then coat the same areas with PVC glue (separate application brushes comes with the primer and glue cans). Slide the coupler on the end of the pipe to glue them together. You can then attach another long piece of PVC piping to other end of the coupler. Slide the electrical wires through the other end of the other pipe you glued to the coupler and repeat the process until you have enough pipe put together to run the distance of the trench.

Place a PVC elbow facing upward on both ends of conduit. Glue a piece of PVC piping into the each elbow. The pieces of PVC piping should be long enough to go from the elbow up to where the wires will connect to the sources of power and where you plan to mount your GFCI outlet onto a wood or metal stake. Make enough wire sticks out of each end to allow you to connect them to the outlet and power source.

For more information, contact D & D Electric Enterprises, Inc. or a similar company.


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