How to Wire an Electrical Outlet for a Pool Pump
Water and electricity do not mix, and extreme caution is necessary when wiring an outlet for a pool pump. Installing a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) is required when hooking up a pool pump, and highly recommended as an upgrade on older pool installations. The GFCI has a built-in trip mechanism that monitors the flow of electricity, and when the slightest short or surge of power is detected it will "trip" or shut off, protecting anyone around or in the swimming pool from shock.
Turn the circuit breaker supplying power to the wiring for the outlet to the off position. The circuit breaker is in the main service panel, and labeled on the inside of the service panel cover door.
Remove the screws holding the outdoor outlet electrical box cover in place. Set the cover aside. Pull the electrical wiring out of the box, so you have access to about 6 inches of the cable.
Strip 4 inches of the outer insulation off the cable. This will expose the three interior wires inside the cable: black and white wires, which are insulated, and a bare wire. Strip 1 inch of insulation off the black and white wires.
Connect the black (hot) wire to the brass screw labeled line or hot, and the white (neutral) wire to the sliver screw labeled line or neutral. Connect the bare wire to the green (ground) screw. Tighten each screw down onto the wires to hold them in place.
Push the wiring into the outlet box, insert a screw into the top and bottom of the GFCI outlet, and tighten them down into holes on the outlet box. Replace the outlet box cover and insert a screw into each hole and tighten them down.
Plug in the power cord from the pump to the GFCI outlet. Turn on the power at the circuit breaker and test for operation.
- It may help to install a GFCI circuit breaker for the wiring to the outlet as an added layer of protection.
- Never work on any power cables or wires that have not first been turned off. Failure to do so could result in serious electrical shock or electrocution.
Laurie Brown has worked as a high school English teacher for the last several years and loves writing. She enjoys helping her students develop a love and appreciation for writing, reading, and literature. Laurie has a degree in education with a major in English. Currently she is a writer for eHow.