I built a pond that is about 50 feet from the house and nearest outlet and need to run a pond pump in it. The pond is too large for the solar-powered pumps I have seen.

I considered simply buying a long extension cable, but we recently had a flash flood, and had I run the cable out, it would have been a foot underwater.

Is there a safe way to run power out to the pond pump?

  • 1
    The question is too broad. Of course there is. What specific challenges do you have with your case?
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 18:36
  • Change the question at the end from "Is there a safe way..." to the exact question in the title and it'll be fine, I'd think.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 19:47
  • Does the pond pump sit at the edge of the pond, or somewhere in the middle? Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 23:03
  • I could put the pond and the edge or the middle.
    – Village
    Commented Jul 29, 2020 at 5:08

2 Answers 2


Yes, you're going to want to run either a direct-burial cable or a conduit in a trench from your home to the pond. You'll also want to pull a permit for this work even if you plan to do it yourself and be sure you understand the code requirements in your location so that you don't make an expensive mistake and have to pull it out and re-do the work.

  • I'd suggest conduit and I'd suggest over sizing it. You never know when you'll want to build a gazebo by the pond, then add electricity, then a swimming pool, then... Dig once, drop a pipe. You can pull bigger wire later for bigger loads and the cost differential now vs later will pay off.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 18:26
  • also run water to the pond for shower use and for possible future gazebo use
    – jsotola
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 19:08

The extension cable or almost any method would be fine if you made sure the circuit has GFCI protection.

Now, GFCI isn't just a different style of receptacle. It is actually a zone of protection. Obviously, it protects things plugged into the plugs (including extension cords), but it also protects any downline wiring that is attached to the GFCI's "LOAD" terminals. That is the single and only purpose of the LOAD terminals, and they should never be used for anything else.

So a run to the pond, through the flood waters, can be done safely by having that wiring be downline from a GFCI. Mind you, the GFCI will very likely trip during flood conditions, but you just reset it after it dries out.

If you saw video of the flood in Houston last? year, you saw many, many 2-story apartments with the first floor in 3 feet of water and the upstairs occupied by residents, with lights and air conditioning running, whilst the sockets on the first floor were obviously in the soup. That was because the buildings were built for that, with the pole line, meter and service panel being on the 2nd floor, and the only wiring to the first floor being branches that were GFCI protected with GFCI devices that are upstairs (probably GFCI breakers). The GFCIs tripped, life went on.

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