I have just bought a new house, and want to activate the pump for the water fountain.

The pump seems to run an insulated electrical line back to the house, but I am not able to find any indoor switches to turn it on.

I am not very knowledgeable about how fountain works. I have also thought about the possibility that fountains don't require switches and I just needed to replace the old pump.

The previous owner left it in a neglected state, and doesn't want to answer any questions.

Any input/suggestion is appreciated!

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Thanks guys. I did look around the house and was not able to find any outdoor outlet. However there is this indoor switch in the basement. Previous attempt does not activate the pump, but this could be due to the pump itself being defective as per blacksmith37's comment. I will try to detach the pump from the wire, turn on the indoor switch again, then measure the wire's voltage using a multimeter. If there is a current, then I know for sure that the pump is the issue and get a new one.

Will provide an update once I get to it.

  • There are pumps with no switches, However those I'm thinking of right now are the cheap solar powered ones.:D
    – Marco
    Jun 20, 2020 at 21:30
  • You need to follow that cord. It probably goes to a transformer that steps down the voltage to a safe level for water and some sort of switch.
    – JACK
    Jun 20, 2020 at 22:02

2 Answers 2


In my experience (since the prior owner is not being helpful) there's probably an outlet someplace that this just plugs into. Should be outside, have an "in use cover," and should be GFCI protected (preferably by a GFCI located inside,) but none of those may be true, or all of them may be.

And in all likelihood, the wiring is not remotely up to code - All too common to see an extension cord just barely below the surface of the grass, or running through a flowerbed. So, grab a trowel and follow that wire. I'll be shocked if you actually need a shovel (implying proper burial depth, though wrong type of wire is still a strong possibility.)

  • There's a strong possibility the OP will be shocked if he's not careful!
    – FreeMan
    Jun 21, 2020 at 19:42

Another approach is to just put in a new pump and wire. Chances are there is a problem with the existing pump. That is a small pump , probably get something similar on the internet under "pond pumps" for $25 plus the cost of wire. These pumps just plug in ,so you could use a switched receptacle if you want a switch. Two problems with a small fountain- a strainer is need to keep stuff out of the pump. And it could run dry if not checked every day; running dry will kill the pump. Actually it would more or less become a hobby to keep a fountain running.

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