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I'm in Canada and from my research into the electrical code I need 6/2 direct bury wire to accomplish this task and keep the voltage drop under 3%, it seems excessive and I don't even know if 6 AWG will fit a 115 v outlet directly.

Right now I'm running with 2 x 100 ft 10 gauge extension cords and everything works but I need to move it every time I mow.

I'm looking for guidance on confirmation of code and maybe an option that would be sensible where voltage drop code is a bit more lax. I feel like if I'm running 6/2 I might as well run 4/3 aluminum and build a power shed with a 240 v 50 Amp panel but I really don't want to go that route. At this stage I wouldn't be DIY'ing.

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    Could you see yourself using extra power there if it was available? Connecting a sub panel up, is not that more difficult than connecting up an outlet, just an extra wire, and ground rods.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 19:09
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    Any possibility of switching the pump (rewiring, if the motor supports it, or replacing) to 240V? 7A @ 240V is under 3% with 12 AWG. Though better might be to use conduit - you don't have to dig as deep and (provided you plan for the future by using large-enough conduit) you can later replace with larger aluminum wire if you put in a subpanel. Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 20:12
  • @crip659 I definitely could but wanted to minimize surface equipment, landscape appeal and whatnot. Ideally it would be a single 120v outlet sitting on a post next to the dugout.
    – DaHendo
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 21:43
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    @manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact The current pump isn't of any particular value, box store consumer grade. Digging isn't an issue, I have my own excavation equipment.
    – DaHendo
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 21:43

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6/2 copper is too costly, it would be a mistake to use it. You are correct it won't fit on a receptacle. It may not fit on a 20A breaker either. *Since you've got that problem anyway, you might as well add a fused disconnect or subpanel simply to serve as an adapter from large wire to small. (the fusing to allow you to use a larger breaker that takes larger wire). And once you've done that, you might as well switch to aluminum wire as well.

Your pump needs a 20A circuit because 13.8A x 125% = more than 15.

The first strategy is to replace the pump with a 240V pump because it's cheaper than heavy wire. At 240V, this isn't even hard - just 2% drop on 12 AWG wire. The price difference between #12 and #6 (even aluminum) will probably pay for the pump. If it's a plug-in temporary pump, time to get serious and hardwire in a proper pump.

If you really want 120V out there for other reasons, then feel free to install, say, 2-2-2-4 aluminum or even 2-2-4 (120V-only) to a subpanel. #2 will typically fit on a 60A breaker, so use a 60A in the main panel and circuit-appropriate breakers at the disconnect or subpanel. They won't make a 60A/120V breaker, so use a 60A/240V and only attach to one leg.

and maybe an option that would be sensible where voltage drop code is a bit more lax.

Other than switching to a 240V pump, your best bet is to secede from Canada and join the United States. Here we don't care about voltage drop, as long as it doesn't interfere with fault clearing (the breaker tripping on a dead short)... so there's about a 10% practical upper limit on permissible drop in the US. In Canada it must be <=3% at either 100% of the actual load or 80% of the breaker if it's a general-use circuit or feeder.

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    I never thought of switching to a 240 V pump and hardwiring it. It appears the smallest irrigation pump commonly available is a 1 hp which should be 8 Amps at 240 v, still enough with 12 awg according to my math. Thanks for the detailed response!
    – DaHendo
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 21:39

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