Installing outlet/box for outdoor sump pump

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by dankoos, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. dankoos

    dankoos Member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    I had to install an outdoor sump pit and pump. The pit is about 4-5 feet from the house. I am going to install an outlet either attached to the house, or on a pole next to the pit, so need advice on that first. If I install on house, I am thinking I should run the sump pump wires through conduit so that they are not a tripping hazard (is this up to code?). If I install on a pole next to the pit, I don't have to worry about this. For the outlet itself, I have seen the standard covered outlet boxes, but none of them are deep enough to plug in the sump pump cords (both the pump itself AND the switch have cords, so the the pump plugs into the back of the switch and then into the outlet, making this plug about 5" deep), so most outdoor boxes' lids cannot close when this is plugged in. Any thoughts on a covered outlet box that can remain closed with such a long/deep cord plugged into it?
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
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  4. drick

    drick In the Trades

    May 16, 2008
    Outdoor sump pits are always a headache to wire. I would install the outlet on a post next to the pit. They make pumps with built in float switches and that would solve your stacked plug dilemma. Alternatively I would do the following:
    1. Cut the plug off the end of the float switch and wire a new standard weatherproof plug to it.
    2. Take a standard duplex receptacle and break the tabs off on both the line and neutral sides.
    3. Make a small jumper wire and run it between the neutral screw of the bottom outlet and the line (hot) screw of the top outlet.
    4. Wire your incoming power as follows; Black to the bottom right outlet screw, white to the top left outlet screw. (Your jumper wire in step 3 should already be connected between the other 2 screws on the outlet.
    5. The two outlets and now wired in series. They will work only when the float is plugged into one outlet and the pump is plugged into the other outlet. Plug your float into the bottom outlet and your pump into the top outlet.
    IMPORTANT: This receptable needs GFI protection from either a GFI breaker or a GFI outlet upstream from it! I know it goes without saying so I'll write it instead; Sump pumps never fail on dry sunny days and water plus electricity is extremely dangerous.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019
  5. Poncho

    Poncho dumb...but...try'n!

    Jan 31, 2016
    Electric Utilities retiree
    Sound advice. On my set-up I found a Deeper Cover, all else samo...
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