DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Water feature pump control question

Postby iandb0812 » Sun Jul 24, 2022 9:36 am

Hi all

Is it at all possible to run / control a small water pump with a light switch rather than a 3 pin plug?

Fitting an out side light and will be putting a new switch inside and wondering if it could be done as there is no power at access to back garden and currently comes in through door and then clipped along skirting.

Hoping to be able to have a single hole through wall for both and have a switch next to light switch.

Many thanks
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:25 pm


Simply Build It

Postby Mr White » Sun Jul 24, 2022 10:39 am

Several things:
The circuit MUST be RCD protected
It depends how much current the pump draws.
You would also need a neutral at the switch (Don't always have that)

Suppose you went ahead, and you had RCD protection on the lighting circuit, and then one night a fault on the pump occurred, the RCD would turn all the lights off and you would not be able to turn them back on again (Because the fault on the pump is still there.)

So the short answer has to be a resounding NO, and the cable should not be clipped on the skirting board. (No mechanical protection)

Do you have a "smart speaker?" if you do you can get a plug in adaptor that you can not only set up what time to switch on/off but you can also say "Smart device name, turn on/off water feature" and it does, you can't do that with just a switch.
Mr White
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1137
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:54 pm

Postby ericmark » Wed Jul 27, 2022 6:23 am

I do not see a problem with clipping to skirting, but every thing else @Mr White says I agree with, I like to have anything out side an a double pole switch or plug and socket.

The problem is an earth - neutral problem can trip an RCD so want both lives that line and neutral able to be disconnected easy.

I do like the idea of plug in smart sockets, anything mechanical can go wrong, so being able to quickly and easily remove a smart device is good, I have removed 3 smart light switches and a smart socket due to failing and only been in house three years, so smart bulbs, and adaptors I now prefer, easy to swap if faulty.

But the smart device combines fixed times and remote control, be it an actual remote like used for TV or the phone, and depending on smart device you can some times select dust to dawn.

As to speech control, careful, Hey google switch off, when radio 4 extra is playing can get reply switching off 5 switches and all the lights go out. We use it for landing light, handy with a cup of coffee in each hand, but living room back to simple switch.

I note smart light switches default off, and smart light bulbs default on, which is handy as if turned off with smart device, you can turn back on by switching lights switch off then back on. But after a power cut smart light switches stay off, but smart bulbs turn on.

I have all RCBO's, so there is no link between lights and sockets, basic design should be, sockets and lights for every room used different RCD's so if you do some thing with some thing plugged in which gives you a shock and trips the RCD it does not also plunge one into darkness.

However we also don't want trailing leads up/down stairs, so better to split socket circuits side to side of the house, so should you not be able to reset, you can run an extension lead without it going up/down stairs. However for lights this is not easy, so lights tend to be split up/down.

So it is impossible with just two RCD's to ensure lights and sockets are not on same RCD for every room, you need at least three. However people seem to want everything on the cheap, so many homes even if you do take out doors supply from sockets, it still and stop lights working, but at least with plug and socket easy to unplug.

I have in the past used 10 mA RCD sockets for outside, idea was it would trip before taking out the main 30 mA, however it had a test button, made by MK so would think good quality, but press test button and 10 mA, 30 mA and 100 mA RCD's all tripped, so cause more not less power cuts.

It is in the main common sense, you do not want to loose essential supplies due to a fault with a decoration.
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 2697
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Llanfair Caereinion, Mid Wales.

Postby iandb0812 » Sun Jul 31, 2022 3:22 pm

Hi all

Thanks for the advise, have sorted this.
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2016 12:25 pm

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics