outdoor water fountain pump problem

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Old 07-02-13, 02:46 PM
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outdoor water fountain pump problem

I have a 10ft tall cast aluminum water fountain in front of my house. It sits in a 8ft wide by 2ft deep plastic basin that is partially buried with stone around the top. About a month ago I was going to use a aluminum handled net to clean the leaves out of the basin. When the metal handle hit the water I got a pretty good shock so I replaced the submersible pump and it fixed it but now I am wanting to add some lights to the fountain and I was wanting to know what is the best way I can keep the fountain from becoming live again. The way I have it hooked up now is a 15 or 20 amp breaker wired to a digital timer in the house and than outdoor #12 wire that goes to a waterproof box beside the fountain were the pump is plug is. The pump is a 115v Little Giant 1/3hp with a 1 1/2" output.
 
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Old 07-02-13, 04:32 PM
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The circuit should be GFCI protected. Is it?
 
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Old 07-02-13, 07:54 PM
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no it is not protected what exactly is GFCI
 
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Old 07-02-13, 08:01 PM
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It is the code mandated method for detecting leakage to ground in outside circuits, bathroom circuits, kitchen circuits, garage circuits, and, north of the Mason Dixon, basements. See: Residual-current device - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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Old 07-03-13, 07:00 AM
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GFCI outlets and circuit breakers are reasonably inexpensive and available from any home center or electrical supplier. For any electrical work you need to insure that the power is off and if you are not comfortable replacing a circuit breaker you may want to hire a pro if that's the way you decide to go. Replacing the outlet is a bit more DIY friendly as long as you turn off the power at the circuit breaker first.
 
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Old 07-03-13, 09:23 AM
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I don't think the plug would hold up to harsh environment that it would be in so how do you hook up one of the circuit breakers my local hardware store has a square D 20 amp for about 50 bucks.
 
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Old 07-03-13, 09:44 AM
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Not the plug the receptacle. They make weather resistant GFCI receptacles and of course it should be used with an in use cover (AKA buble cover). I think though you are confusing the terms plug and receptacle. Plugs are male. Receptacles are female.

A GFCI breaker would need to be specifically for your make and model of breaker panel. Size of breaker depends on wire size. When you ran this you did use a wire size appropriate for the breaker didn't you?

Did you run cable or conduit to the receptacle at the fountain? If cable what kind? NM-b (Romex) can not be used.

I would suggest before going further you buy the book Wiring Simplified. You can get it at Amazon or in the electrical aisle of some home stores. You need to know the basics before doing electrical work.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 07-03-13 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Correct typo.
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Old 07-03-13, 12:20 PM
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Ray,
I could have sworn that plugs were male and receptacles were female.

I must have missed something in sex ed.
 
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Old 07-03-13, 12:36 PM
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But some are transgender. Thanks for catching my typo. I have corrected it.
 
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Old 07-04-13, 04:43 PM
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I can't remember what type of cable it was its been so long ago it was kind of like romex except the sheath that was around the wires was made so the individually insulated wires were held apart. I then put it in 3/4" plastic conduit with a outdoor receptacle and a bubble cover. The wire is #12 and I have a 20 amp breaker but could probably get by with a 15 amp. My breaker panel is a square D QO so would the GFCI breaker wire in just like a regular one.
 
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Old 07-04-13, 06:07 PM
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That would be UF type cable. Not normally run in pipe as it's a direct burial type of wire.

Yes....there is a Square D QO GFI breaker made for your panel. When you wire a GFI breaker it has an attached white wire that goes to the neutral bar in the panel. The neutral wire and the hot wire from your circuit both get connected to the breaker. There will be two attaching screws for those wires.
 
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Old 07-05-13, 12:55 PM
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I just installed the new GFI breaker and everything is still running so I guess my pump is still working properly. Thinks for the help everyone.
 
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Old 07-05-13, 01:10 PM
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Thanks for letting us know the outcome and good luck on your next project.
 
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