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How to Wire an Above-ground Pool Pump

Ask This Old House master electrician Scott Caron teaches the safest way to wire a pool


  1. Working with electricity around a pool can be dangerous. Hiring a licensed electrician is recommended.
  2. Before doing any electrical work, ensure the power is turned off at the circuit breaker.
  3. Dig a 24” deep trench for the underground wire.
  4. Drill a hole to the inside of the house where the electrical panel is located. Use an extension if needed to get through the wall.
  5. Fish two 12-2 nonmetallic cables through the hole into the basement, then attach them to a plastic electrical box.
  6. Run conduit from the box into the trench. Continue the conduit into the trench and then into the post.
  7. Feed three individual 12-gauge wires through the conduit into the post.
  8. Mount the timer to the wall.
  9. Wire the twist-lock receptacle.
  10. Plug in the pool pump and cover it with a weatherproof cover.
  11. With the main service off to the house, wire in GFCI circuit breakers to the electrical panel.
  12. Connect an 8-gauge wire to the metal posts of the pool, the pump, and the metal plate on the skimmer and then wire that to the pump to bond the entire pool.

All of the tools and materials used can be found at local home centers or electrical supply centers.

Expert assistance with this project was provided by Caron Electric.