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Electrical Requirements Concerning Above Ground Pools (NEC 2002)

By Warren Goodrich
Electrical Requirements Concerning Above Ground Pools (NEC 2002)

The following article focuses on Electrical requirements concerning permanently installed above ground pools.

First we need to point out the difference between a storable pool and a permanently installed pool. The pool must not be capable of containing water depth exceeding 42" or of metal sides or this pool would not meet the NEC definition of a storable pool. A pool can not be installed inside a structure of any kind, and meet the NEC definition of a storable pool.

A pool that is of plastic and has a maximum water depth of less than 42" will meet the NEC definition of a storable pool. A pool that is made of nonmetallic and inflatable, material no matter the maximum depth of the water or size of the pool will meet the definition of a storable pool. A pool that is less than 42" deep and with plastic sides and is capable of being deflated or disassembled then stored away if this pool has not been installed within a structure such as a wood deck or in a house will meet the definition of a storable pool. NEC Article 680.2

Example of Inflatable Pool

An example of an inflatable pool that can be as deep or large around as you like and still be considered as a storable pool as long as it is not installed inside a wood deck, or underground, or inside a house can be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

Any pool that is contained in a structure [wood deck or house] is considered as a permanently installed pool. NEC Article 680.2

Examples of a pool made permanent due to being in a structure may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...

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Any pool that is made of metal sides and capable of holding a depth of water exceeding 42”deep meets the NEC definition as a permanently installed pool. NEC Article 680.2 Any pool that is so constructed that this pool is not readily disassembled for storage meets the definition of a permanently installed pool. NEC Article 680.2

Any pool that meets one or more of the above parts if this paragraph defining a permanently installed pool would apply to this above ground permanently installed pool article.

If your pool meets the definition of a storable pool, then the following paragraph will apply.

If your pool meets the definition of a permanently installed pool please skip the following storable pool paragraph, and proceed reading this article.

Electrical Requirements

The only electrical requirements to a storable above ground pool are as follows: If electric is required to supply a pool filter pump motor, or a pool low voltage underwater light fixture listed and labeled for us with a storable pool that is 42" deep or less, NEC Article 680.4, then your pool equipment must be served by a GFCI protected receptacle with an in-use bubble shield type weatherproof receptacle cover plate located at least 5' but not more that 20' from the water's edge, NEC Article 680.12 and NEC Article 680.31 and NEC Article 680.6.A.3 supplying the electric to the pool pump motor, or low voltage underwater light. NEC Article 680 part C The pool pump of a storable pool must be a listed double insulated pool pump motor. NEC Article 680.30 that's it! This pool may even be just plugged into an outside weatherproof GFI protected dwelling receptacle designed for general use.

For more information on storable pools please refer to the storable pool article.

To view the Storable Pool Article, access the following article "STORABLE POOL"

Buried or Partially Buried Pools

If the pool is installed either buried or partially buried in the earth or the pool is surrounded by a deck or otherwise inside a structure or the pool is deeper than 42 inches deep and not inflatable, whether with electrical serving the pool or not, this pool will be considered as a permanently installed pool. NEC Article 680.2

If your pool is either buried or partially buried then please refer to the "in ground pool" self-help article. References to this in ground pool installation may be found by clicking on the following link "IN-GROUND SWIMMING POOLS"


MAIN ABOVE GROUND SWIMMING POOL ARTICLE

Procedures to install above ground swimming pools that meet the definition of a permanently installed pool as described above in this article or meet the definition of a permanently installed pool. NEC Article 680.2

BASED ON THE 2002 NATIONAL ELECTRICAL CODE

To see the electrical “no zone”concerning electrical installations around a permanently installed above ground pool, and other distances allowing specific wiring installations please view by clicking on the picture icon to the left; NEC Article 680.10 and NEC Article 680.22 and NEC Article 680.26.B.5

The distance from the water’s edge is measured as the crow flies, but is not be measured through a structure such as a wood deck or wall. If you have a wood deck with the pool pump served by a receptacle, or a receptacle serving an low voltage transformer for an underwater light fixture placed under a wood deck, you should measure, not through the deck, but around the deck. You do not measure through a structure but around that structure. This means that you could have the pool pump or pool light transformer receptacle installed right next to the shell of the pool, but the receptacles would still be allowed to be considered as much as 10 feet away or more, due to having to measure around the structure but not through the structure. To measure around the wood deck from the water’s edge you would measure from the water’s edge the width of the top surface of the wood deck, then down the side of the wood deck, then back along the bottom side of the wood deck to the pool pump or pool light transformer’s receptacle. This distance you measured around the deck would be the NEC recognized distance from the water’s edge of the pool to the receptacle. NEC Article 680.22.A.6

Examples of a Receptacle Under a Deck

Examples of a receptacle under a deck as described above may be viewed by clicking on the following picture icons.


Outside Weatherproof Receptacles Associated with Dwellings

New to the 2002 NEC requirements concerning outside receptacles whether associated with a pool, or even mounted on the home or commercial or industrial settings, installed as a new outside receptacle installation, the outside receptacles still must be weather proof approved for use exposed to the weather, but now any of the outside receptacles associated to a dwelling must be with an in-use weather proof bubble shield type receptacle cover plate. NEC Article 406.8

This in-use weather proof bubble shield type receptacle plate must be used on all dwelling's outside receptacles. This will allow a cord to be plugged into the receptacle and the bubble shield making both the receptacle and the cord plugged in to be weather proof while the cord is plugged into the receptacle protecting both the receptacle and the plug of the cord from the weather.

Example of Bubble Shield

An example of an in-use type bubble shield weather proof receptacle plate may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

 

Above Ground Pool Circulating Pumps

Wiring designed to serve a pool pump must be with a green insulated equipment grounding conductor NEC Article 680.21.A.4 and NEC Article 680.23.F.2. This insulated equipment grounding conductor serving a pool pump must not be smaller than a 12 awg copper conductor, except that part of the branch circuit wiring installed while inside a dwelling and serving a pool pump. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 Wiring for permanently installed pools serving the pool motor NEC Article 680.21.A.4 but not the underwater pool light NEC Article 680.23.F.1, the equipment grounding conductors serving a pool pump, while inside a dwelling the motor branch circuit may be with a bare equipment grounding conductor using nonmetallic sheathed cable (aka Romex) that contains a covered, but not insulated equipment grounding conductor, but only while inside the dwelling or structure.

Concerning the NEC Article 100 Definitions, the term "covered" means that this conductor is only covered and not insulated that is within a nonmetallic sheathed cable (aka Romex). When the plastic sheathing of the nonmetallic sheathed cable (aka Romex) is stripped off exposing the conductors within that nonmetallic sheathed cable you will find a bare copper equipment grounding conductor. The hot conductor is black or red commonly for hot conductors and white for the grounded leg (aka neutral) or a true neutral conductor and bare only for the equipment grounding conductor. The only wire that is not insulated in a normal 12/2wGrnd nonmetallic sheathed (aka Romex) cable is the bare wire being the equipment grounding conductor. Nonmetallic sheathed cable whether NMB (aka Romex installed inside a home) or UF cable (Romex allowed to be installed while exposed to sunlight, corrosion of earth and direct buried) does not contain an insulated grounding conductor as recognized by the NEC, but this conductor is recognized by the NEC as only a covered equipment grounding conductor and will not be recognized by the NEC as an insulated conductor while inside a nonmetallic sheathed cable (aka Romex).

The pool pump wiring that is installed "only while inside your home going to the outside" while serving your outside above ground permanently installed pool pump motor is allowed to have a covered but non-insulated equipment grounding conductor recognized by the NEC as being found in a nonmetallic sheathed cable (aka Romex). NEC Article 680.21.A.4 Only that part of the wiring serving your pool pump that is installed while inside your home may be installed in nonmetallic sheathed cable (aka Romex) or UF Cable. Once the wires pass through to the exterior of your home you must use THWN single conductors using a green insulated 12 awg or larger equipment grounding conductor. These THWN conductors must be contained inside a conduit the entire time this branch circuit is installed outside the structure of your home. NEC Article 680.21.A.1

Example of Weatherproof Junction Box

An example of a weatherproof junction box installed in order to convert from Romex inside the home to conduit outside the home as required or allowed concerning pool pumps can be viewed by clicking the picture icon to the left.

The branch circuit serving an underwater light must be installed in a conduit with single insulated conductors such as THWN conductors including the 12 awg copper equipment grounding conductor. The branch circuit serving an underwater pool light must not be served in any manner by a nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex] or UF cable, whether installed while inside or installed while outside the dwelling structure.

The following wiring styles is allowed to be installed to serve an underwater pool light. You may install your branch circuit serving that underwater pool light fixture in a rigid metal conduit, or an intermediate metal conduit, or a sealtite flexible nonmetallic conduit type B, or a rigid nonmetallic conduit [PVC] NEC Article 680.23.F.1. The conductors must be single conductors and insulated including the 12 awg copper equipment grounding conductor.

Examples of Conduit

Examples of conduits leaving the inside of a home then entering a trench may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons below...

New Product on Market

There is a new product out on the market that I am not trying to sell but is specifically listed by the NEC that is approved to be used on pool motors and also approved by UL, but not specifically stating this type wiring method in the NEC for use with the underwater pool light fixture, that may be installed while meeting the UL listing and labeling of this product allowed for both inside and outside the home, and also allowed to be direct buried, exposed to sunlight, exposed to corrosive conditions of soils, and even allowed direct buried in concrete. This cable is a manufactured cable that is a combination of a metal clad cable with a covering the same as liquid tight rubber coating and flexible same as liquid tight (aka sealtite). This new cable contains copper conductors from size 16 awg to 4/0 awg and comes in 2 to 8 conductors in the rubber coated metal clad cable. The name of this product is called "metal clad lot cable". I am not yet seeing this cable in the electrical field and am unaware of the cost factor of this cable, but if you can find it in your area you can use this "Metal Clad Lot Wire Cable" for all your wiring needs while serving anything in your above ground permanently installed swimming pool and associated equipment, and is installed as easy as Romex or sealtite with the conductors manufactured in this cable as if is manufactured.

An example of these new products can be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

I am not trying to sell a product, just trying to show you a new product on the market that is an approved cable to do all the pool wiring needs from inside the home at the panel to the outside to underground to the pool pump motor. The only limitation is that this cable must be protected from physical damage such as lawn mowers hitting it. This cable pulls through walls much like the nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex] and is as flexible as nonmetallic sheathed cable. Almost sounds too good to be true but check to see if this rubber coated “metal clad lot wire”[rubber coated like seal tight and built with the wires installed same as metal clad cable] is available in your area. The manufacturer of this metal clad lot cable is “AFC Cable Systems”. It is built just like 3/8”metallic rubber coated sealtite but with the wires manufactured within this cable during the manufacturing process. It can be pulled through your wiring project much like Romex but can be installed almost anywhere including directly embedded in concrete. If you have this metal clad parking deck / lot cable available in your area it would be a one wire does all wiring style concerning your pool pump wiring, except the underwater pool light branch circuit this metal clad is not listed as an approved underwater light branch circuit wiring style, yet. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 One thing that may be detrimental to this new cable on the market may be the price of the cable, check pricing before you buy. The price of this cable I have not researched yet, I have just seen it demonstrated and was impressed with its versatility of use in the electrical field.

Otherwise you may install nonmetallic sheathed cable, while inside the house, walls, crawl space, attic, but only to the point of exit to the outside of the structure of the home, and only while serving the pool motors. NEC Article 680.21.A.4 You must not use nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex or UF cable] to serve the pool underwater light fixture or pool light low voltage transformer. NEC Article 680.23.F.2 Underwater pool lights you must be served by installing conduit and THWN the entire installation from the panel to the underwater pool light j-box or low voltage transformer receptacle. NEC Article 310.10.C and NEC Article 100 Concerning the single conductor wire insulation types the T stands for thermoplastic insulation. The H stands for a 75 degree rated wire. If two Hs are in the wire’s initials then this wire would be rated 90 degree. Be careful though unless this wire is 1 awg or larger the ampacity must be rated as 60 degree wire and if 10 awg or smaller must be rated in amps as follows; 14 awg copper = 15 amp –12 awg copper = 20 amp –10 awg copper = 30 amp. NEC Article 110.14.C.1 There are some exceptions to the prior amp ratings as an example would be a dedicated copper conductor serving only one motor and nothing else. Then you may use the ampacity as the following for that motor only as follows; 14 awg copper = 20 amps –12 awg copper = 25 amps –10 awg copper = 35 amps while using THWN copper conductors serving a motor load only with no other loads. NEC Article 430.6 and NEC Table 310.16 Again remember you would be allowed to serve a ½ horse power pool pump motor pulling only 9 amps with 14 awg copper conductors NEC Article 430.6 and NEC Table 310.16 but while using nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex] while inside your home as allowed you must use 12/2wGrnd because of the minimum equipment grounding conductor size [12 awg ] allowed to serve a pool pump motor or underwater light. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 14/2wGrnd only has a 14 awg grounding conductor that would not meet the 12 awg minimum equipment grounding conductor sizing to serve that pool pump. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 General use receptacles or area lighting around the pool is not required to be with a 12 awg grounding conductor insulated or not. A 14/2wGrnd nonmetallic sheathed cable while inside or UF cable while inside and outside direct buried would be allowed to serve normal area lighting but not the underwater pool light. Area lighting and general use outside receptacles could be ran from any normal branch circuit as normal wiring. Only pool pumps and underwater pool light fixtures have the specialty wiring requirements that we are discussing.

While wiring inside your home serving your pool pump motor you have other choices in wiring styles such as metal clad cable, or EMT, or ENT or flexible metallic conduit or even nonmetallic tubing but each of these wiring styles must contain a green 12 awg insulated grounding conductor in those conduit protected wiring styles. NEC Article 680.21.A.1

While installing your branch circuit to your pool pump motor, and once you have installed your wires from your house panel in 12/2wGrnd nonmetallic sheathed cable to the area leaving the inside to the outside of your home structure, then you must change your wiring style to conduit wiring style. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 You may install a junction box inside your crawl space to convert from nonmetallic sheathed cable to conduit where the wiring leaves the inside of your home. This would allow a dry place to make your conversion from nonmetallic sheathed cable to conduit and still have it accessible. This junction box inside also allows you to keep your conduits underground passing through your house foundation into the crawl with no visible wiring outside your home. To view this junction box while showing outside in this picture would be installed the same way if installed inside the crawl space may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...

You can dig your trench up to the foundation of your home then find the ground level inside your crawl space and step down into the trench, then find the cavity inside the cement block of your foundation most often about 6”from the end of that cement block. Then place a chisel or rigid metal pipe to the cement block where that void channel of the cement block is and crack that chisel or pipe a couple of times with a small sledge hammer. You should pop right through that foundation cement block into the crawl space. Then push your conduit while underground through that cement block into the crawl space and then cement that hole shut to keep critters out of the crawl space. To view the finished product of passing while in the trench through the crawl space may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...

A Note on Panels

If your panel is on the outside wall on the side of the home where the pool is located you may poke through your outside siding or brick into the back of your main service rated panel passing through a knockout in the back of your main service rated panel. Then installing schedule 80 PVC from that knockout in the back of your panel passing through your outside wall of your house then using a PVC LB with cover plate to allow a flat turn on your outside wall then installing a schedule 80 PVC conduit into the earth and your trench you may then go to your pool pump or pumps and underwater light fixture using the same PVC conduit but only if all conductors in the same conduit where the underwater light fixture branch circuit is GFI protected are also GFI protected. This is a common wiring style if your panel is installed on your outside wall where you don't have to fish wires into walls and crawl spaces etc where you would need flexibility such as flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B.

You may direct bury Schedule 40 or Schedule 80 rigid PVC or rigid metal conduit that is threaded. Electrical Metallic Tubing [aka EMT] is not allowed in direct contact with the earth. Flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B conduit, if listed for direct burial and sunlight resistant may be used as a do all wiring design as a building wiring method and also is allowed to contain the pool pump branch circuits and the underwater pool light branch circuit but only if all branch circuits sharing the same conduit is individually GFI protected branch circuits wherever the underwater pool light branch circuit is GFI protected. Flexible nonmetallic sealtite is made in three different versions but only type B is allowed to be used in lengths exceeding 6 feet in length. NEC Article 680.21.A.4 and NEC Article 356.10.5 and NEC Article 680.23.F.exception

This flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B is allowed as a building wiring method. You may install all your branch circuits directly from an inside panel fished down the inside wall through your crawlspace and if approved for direct burial and sunlight resistance as normally listed concerning flexible nonmetallic sealtite conduit. Then you may install this same piece of flexible nonmetallic sealtite through your foundation wall into your trench and directly to the post where your pool light transformer receptacle will be mounted using a PVC weatherproof box with two hole in the end of that box then installing a second flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B from that second hole in your underwater pool light receptacle box then ran back underground to your pool pump. An example of a post mounted with the transformer and underwater light transformer receptacle may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...

Then you may install a second post a minimum of 5 feet away from the water’s edge to install a switch for the pool pump again using a two hole PVC weatherproof box then back out of that box into the trench then direct connected to your pool pump motor. To view this second post and a close up of a pool pump receptacle and post you may click on each of the picture icons bellow...

 

To view a close-up of a twist lock style single plug weather proof receptacle mounted between 5 feet and 10’away from the water’s edge as required you may click on the picture icon to the left.

 

Installing Branch Circuit Wires

To install all branch circuits wires for the pool pump motors and the underwater light low voltage transformer receptacle in the same conduit then you must protect all those branch circuits individually whether 120 volt rated or 220 volt rated branch circuits at there beginning inside the main service rated panel by installing GFI breakers on each branch circuit in that main service rated panel. This wiring style will allow you flexibility like Romex but contained in a single conduit using an approved flexible nonmetallic sealtite conduit type B. A one conduit does all serving the pool with flexibility too. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.23.F To view a couple of pictures that show one box with two holes allowing both the pool light and pool pump branch circuits to be in same conduit yet pass on from post to post may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons below.

A Note on Pool Pump Motors

Remember concerning the following, we are now talking only about the pool pump motor wiring requirements. There is a rule in the NEC that says that you must not install other loads to a motor unless that motor is rated at less than 50% of the ampacity of the branch circuit amp rating serving that motor. NEC Article 210.23.A.2 In the case of your pool pump motor you must install each of these motors on dedicated branch circuits due to the 25% increase in amps rating of the approximate 9 amps of that ½ horse power motor's full load current rating. NEC Article 430.24 If you took the 9 amps and increased it as required to serve other loads with that motor you would find an adjusted amp rating of 11.25 amps which would exceed the limit of 50% of that motor load concerning the ampacity of that branch circuit. You are not allowed to install 30 amp rated branch circuit to serve a convenience receptacle or general lighting such as light fixtures. It would take 30 amps to serve that pool pump motor to install more than the one motor and any other loads, otherwise you would exceed that 50% limit of that 15 or 20 amp rated branch circuit that is limited to serve general lighting. NEC Article 210.21.A

Again, I highly advise you to install each circulating motor on an individual dedicated 12 awg 20 amp rated branch circuit regardless if you install 220 volts or 120 volts to that or those motors rated less than those larger horse power motors required to be a 30 amp branch circuit or larger.

Pool pump motors are normally ½ horse power rated yet I have seen ¾ horse power and larger motors serving as pool pump motors. These larger horse power rated motors would not be allowed to be served with the smaller wires mentioned above. Check your horse power and full load current rating of your motor to find the minimum branch circuit conductor ampacity rating required to serve your motor. You may have a larger than expected horse power rated pool pump motor.

Now if you ran a 12 awg copper 20 amp or preferably a 10 awg 30 amp rated 220 volt feeder to a 4 circuit weather proof sub-panel using a black, red, and 12 awg green wire to serve that sub panel as required by the NEC for pool sub panels NEC Article 680.25.B you may install 2 –½ horse power 220 volt rated motors of two breakers in that non-service rated [aka. Sub-panel] located at the two motors location but this non-service rated panel [aka sub-panel] must be installed beyond 5’from the pool water’s edge. NEC Article 680.10 Then you could use flexible sealtite or metal clad lot wire [rubber coated metal clad cable] from that non-service rated panel [aka sub-panel] to each motor using the breakers as your required form of disconnect and installing the motors direct connected without any receptacles involved. If you installed the sub-panel and no receptacles then GFI protection is not required in a residential setting to protect any motors not even pool pump motors. Remember you may use nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex] while inside your dwelling, or rubber coated metal clad LOT CABLE, or flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B both inside and outside using single insulated conductors inside those type conduits to serve pool pump motors if you need flexibility to get to your service panel. An example of this sub-panel serving two motors such as a filter pump motor and a pool sweep motor you may click on each of the picture icons bellow...

If a receptacle serving a pool pump motor is installed, then you must install GFI protection either in the form of a breaker or a dead front non-receptacle style GFI protective device. NEC Article 680.22.A.5 and NEC Article 210.21.A No duplex GFI receptacles may serve a pool pump motor due to the 50% load of a branch circuit being exceeded after the 125% is added to the motor full load current rating per NEC requirements. NEC Article 210.22.A.5

You may install a pool filter pump motor directly next to an above ground pool, if that motor is direct connected without a receptacle but remember a form of disconnect must be in sight of that motor.

Example of Direct Connected Pool Pump

An example of a direct connected pool pump using sealtite not subject to physical damage may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

A 15 or 20 amp rated general use switch may be installed to meet the required form of disconnect, but that switch must be installed at least 5 feet away from the pool water’s edge. This switch may be desired in order to control the motor while back flushing your pool filter. NEC Article 680.22.C That 15 or 20 amp general use switch must be weather proof rated and may serve as the form of disconnect for that pool pump motor NEC Article 430.109.C.1 but only if that switch is installed at least 5 feet away from the pool water’s edge. NEC Article 680.10 You may install the conduit from the house underground to a 4x4 treated wood post installed 5 or more feet from the pool. On the post you could install a PVC weather proof device box with dual holes in the end of that PVC box. Then bury a conduit from the house to that post into one of those two holes then bury a conduit from the second hole of that device box underground to the edge of the pool. Then come out of the ground with ½”sealtite from that conduit to the motor allowing for flexibility. Problem with this design is you would have to unwire that motor in the fall and rewire it in the spring to take the motor into the house if you plan to place you motors in storage over the winter.

Receptacle Installation

Often times people want a receptacle to use as a form of disconnect at a pool pump motor. Two rules jump in when a receptacle is added to the wiring design serving a motor. If a receptacle is used serving a pool pump motor then that motor must be GFI protected. NEC Article 680.22.A.5 This can be in the form of a dead front GFI device with no built in receptacle in that GFI device then a single 20 amp rated receptacle single outlet style (not duplex style). This single outlet receptacle and not a duplex outlet receptacle style is required by the NEC because if you installed a duplex outlet style receptacle then you would have a convenience receptacle available for other loads that would not be used by that motor. This extra outlet of that duplex receptacle would be allowing other loads to use that second plug of that duplex receptacle. This would violate the 50% max rule applying to motors and other loads. NEC Article 210.21.A Again the pump motor would be rated at 120 volts and would be in excess of amps allowed above that 50% rule thus no other loads are allowed on that pump motor circuit. If you installed a duplex receptacle with an extra plug not used by that motor, whether GFI protected or not, you would have a convenience outlet in violation of the other load 50% limit rule concerning a utilization equipment on a branch circuit. NEC Article 210.21.A. You may install a single 15 amp rated receptacle NEC Article 210.21.B.1 if your breaker protecting that motor branch circuit is 15 amp rated or a 20 amp rated single receptacle if your breaker is rated at 20 amps. NEC Article 210.21.B.1 This "either or" confusion is in question due to not knowing what size breaker you are installing on that motor branch circuit because of the 12 awg insulated equipment grounding conductor minimum size required NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4 This would be confusing and unknowing as to whether your branch circuit is going to be 12 awg or 14 awg hot and grounded leg (aka neutral conductor) installed with that 12 awg insulated equipment grounding conductor.

You may install a single outlet [not duplex] receptacle to serve as your required form of disconnect within sight controlling that pool pump motor, This receptacle installation is allowed only if this receptacle is a minimum of 10 feet away from the pool water’s edge if a normal weatherproof single outlet style receptacle and the single receptacle must be rated equal in amps to the amp rating of the branch circuit installed [breaker size]. NEC Article 680.22.A.1 and Article 406.7 If you want your pool pump motor installed next to your pool’s side then you can’t use the normal single receptacle device required to be 10 feet away from the pool’s water’s edge because of another rule in the NEC that says the maximum length cord on that cord and plug equipped motor is 3 feet in length. NEC Article 680.21.A.5 Now you have a single receptacle required to be 10 feet away from the pool and a motor with a limited cord length of 3 feet of cord. Kind of like you can do it but it won’t work that way.

Receptacle Rules

Then the NEC has another rule allowing you to place your receptacle closer than 10 feet but not closer than 5 feet from the waters edge, but with more limitations. Again you must use a single receptacle device equal in amp rating to the amp rating of the branch circuit, but if that receptacle is placed in the excepted allowed distance between 5 feet to 10 feet from the water's edge that receptacle now must be a twist lock style weatherproof receptacle and GFI protected by a breaker or dead front style GFI protective device installed elsewhere on the branch circuit. NEC Article 680.22.A.1 Your motor comes with a cord on that motor. You need to clarify with your manufacturer to confirm that you are allowed to cut off that normal 120 volt or 220 volt plug and install a twist lock plug on the end of the motor cord and not violate your warranty rules thus voiding the warranty of that motor. Again we have a rule in the NEC that says you must follow the installation instructions recommended by the manufacturer. NEC Article 110.3.B To view a close-up of a twist lock style single plug weather proof receptacle mounted between 5 feet and 10' away from the water's edge as required you may click on the picture icon to the left.

To view a close-up of a twist lock style single plug weather proof receptacle mounted between 5 feet and 10’away from the water’s edge as required you may click on the picture icon to the left.

Getting complicated yet? Don’t panic. Just take your time and read the options and all the ties to those options concerning the rules of the NEC pertaining to pools. You can do it, just be patient and do your homework.

Remember that a 120 volt pool pump motor will need a copper 12 or 14 awg conductor that is a black [hot] and a white [grounded leg {aka neutral}] conductor to serve that 120 volt rated motor NEC Table 430.148 included also with that branch circuit a green 12 awg insulated equipment grounding conductor is required to serve a pool pump motor. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4

A 220 volt pool pump motor will need a copper 12 or 14 awg conductor that is a black hot conductor and a red hot conductor to serve that 220 volt rated motor included also in that branch circuit a green 12 awg insulated equipment grounding conductor is required. NEC Table 430.148 and NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4 A 220 volt pool pump motor does not use a white grounded conductor [aka neutral conductor]. Only two insulated hot conductors and a 12 awg green insulated equipment grounding conductor is required to serve a pool pump motor that is 220 volt rated.

If you install a 220 volt branch circuit you may use an insulated black, and an insulated white and bare grounding conductor contained in a 12/2wGrnd nonmetallic sheathed cable while inside your home, but this nonmetallic sheathed cable may only be used while installed inside the home [not outside the home] then switched to single conductors protected in a conduit while outside your home. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4 The white conductor in this nonmetallic sheathed cable, when used as a hot conductor must be re-identified with a black identification ring of tape while outside the sheathing of the nonmetallic sheathed cable [inside a panel or junction box] to show this white wire is now being used as a hot wire. NEC Article 200.7.C.1 This nonmetallic sheathed cable may only be used serving a pool pump motor while that part of the branch circuit is inside the dwelling structure NEC Article 680.21.A.4, then at the point of exit of the dwelling structure you must then convert that nonmetallic sheathed cable to be single conductors protected within a conduit using a black insulated and red insulated 14 or 12 awg THWN hot conductors and included in that conduit you must have a green THWN 12 awg [not 14 awg] equipment grounding conductor in that same required conduit. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4 NEC Table 430.148 The hot conductors may be 14 or 12 awg copper conductors but the minimum sized equipment grounding conductor must be at least 12 awg and insulated and green in color. NEC Table 430.148 and NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4

The NEC says while inside a dwelling structure using a nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex], you may use the white wire re-identified with a black marker tape to depict the white wire is being used as a hot wire and not a grounded leg [aka neutral] conductor. NEC Article 200.7.C.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4 This rule allowing the white wire to be re-identified to be used as a hot conductor does not apply the same while in a conduit. A white conductor must not be used as a hot conductor if this white conductor is not contained within a nonmetallic sheathed cable. NEC Article 680.21.C This is why you should switch when entering the conduit to black, red and green wires. The NEC requires that the pool pump branch circuit be protected by a conduit with a green 12 awg insulated equipment grounding conductor in that conduit when installed outside. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4 Remember inside the house using nonmetallic sheathed cable you can use a covered equipment grounding conductor. NEC Article 680.21.A.4 Once you go outside then that pool pump branch circuit must be with wiring that is with individual conductors contained within a conduit and with a green insulated 12 awg equipment grounding conductor while in that conduit while outside the dwelling structure. NEC Article 680.21.A.1 and NEC Article 680.21.A.4 To view this junction box while showing outside in this picture would be installed the same way if installed inside the crawl space may be viewed at the following link;

At this point I know you must be frustrated. The following are the three most common pool pump motor installations that I have seen in the field that should meet your code requirements.

One method to serve a 120 volt pool pump motor is to run 12/2wGrnd nonmetallic sheathed cable from your main house panel using a 20 amp single pole breaker in that panel. NEC Article 680.21.A.4 Run the 12/2wGrnd to the outside using a weather proof junction box just on the outside of the wall of the house.

Example of a Junction Box

To view this junction box while showing outside in this picture would be installed the same way if installed inside the crawl space may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

 

NEC Article 680.21.A.4 Then convert to ½”schedule 40 PVC NEC Article 680.21.A.1 going 24 inches underground as minimum burial depth allowed for PVC not GFI protected.

To view this underground trench with conduit a picture may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

NEC Table 300.5 Then running the PVC with black, white and green conductors in the PVC underground to the point at least 5 feet away from the pool water’s edge. NEC Article 680.22.C Then up a 4x4 treated wood post to a two hole PVC weather proof device box screwed to the post about knee high. NEC Article 314.23.E and NEC Article 314.15.A Then install PVC back out of the second hole of that two hole junction box into the ground again minimum of 24 inches deep again still not GFI protected then to the area of the motor next to the side of the pool. Then in order to create some flexibility, using a PVC terminal adapter with female threads glued on the end of your conduit where it leaves the ground next to the motor install a ½”seal tight connector in that PVC female terminal adapter converting to weatherproof flexible seal tight allowing for the flexibility connecting to the motor with a second weather proof seal tight connector direct connecting to the motor. Then at the two hole device box on the treated 4x4 post located the minimum of 5 feet from the water’s edge install a single pole switch connecting only the two black wires to the two screws of the switch and using a wire nut connect the whites together under one wire nut and the bares together under a second wire nut with a pigtail of green 12 awg wire to ground the switch to the green grounding screw of the switch. Then install a weather proof cover plate over the switch as a finished switch plate. NEC Article 680.15.A This wiring style allows your pool pump motor to be adjacent to the sides of your pool and allows for a method of turning the pump on and off by the weatherproof switch approximately 5 feet away NEC Article 680.22.C, while back washing your pool filter, and also allowing that switch to serve as the required form of disconnect for the motor. NEC Article 680.12 and NEC Article 430.102.A

Example of Switch Box Direct Connected to Pump

To view this switch box direct connected to pump may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

You have a choice of installing this switch as far away as 50 feet from the motor as long as you can see that switch from the motor to act as a form of disconnect in sight of that motor. NEC Article 680.12 and NEC Article 430.102.A This 50 feet distance choice would most often allow you to install a weather proof device box on the side or your home instead of the weather proof junction box placing your switch on the side of the house and eliminating the post in your yard. Two things to consider is first you would have to walk the 50 feet to turn off your pump motor to back wash then walk the 50 feet back to the switch to turn your pump motor back on during the back wash then repeat the 50 feet walk again to switch back to filtering cycle and back on to start running as a pool pump filter again. Just remember the 50 foot maximum to be considered insight of the motor as required NEC Article 680.12 and NEC Article 430.102.A and 5 foot minimum distance required between the form of disconnect [insight of ] and the minimum distance required from the water’s edge for a switch location. NEC Article 680.22.C This choice is up to your desires in design. The good part of that choice is it allows you to eliminate that post in your yard. Bad part of this choice is that to move the motor in for the winter you will have to open the cover plate and unwire the motor connections inside the motor to move the motor inside for the winter. You have no quick disconnect form in this wiring design of direct connect motor with no GFI protection. I advise that if you use the above wiring choice of direct connect that you consider GFI breaker in your panel as an added safety measure although the GFI protection would not be required for a motor circuit design that has no receptacle. NEC Article 680.22.A.1.4

Using a 220 Volt Pool Pump Motor

If you wish to use 220 volt pool pump motor instead of 120 volt pool pump motor, then in order to serve your 220 volt pool motor you may do so by installing a double pole breaker in the house panel and re-identify the white wire of that nonmetallic sheathed cable to be used as a hot conductor by installing a black ring of identification tape on that white conductor to be a hot conductor. Article 200.7.C Then connecting that re-identified white wire, with a black marker tape in that nonmetallic sheathed cable, to the second lug of that double pole 220 volt breaker, making that pool pump motor branch circuit now to be a 220 volt pool pump motor branch circuit to serve that 220 volt pool pump motor. You must only do this 220 volt from 120 volt conversion after you have confirmed that your motor is dual voltage rated for 120 volts or 220 volts and have changed the required wires inside the motor plate to create that voltage conversion converting that pool pump motor to be 220 volt rated. You may look on the inside of your motor cover plate to find the wiring schematic to perform this 120 to 220 volt conversion, if your motor will accept either voltage ratings as a dual voltage rated motor. Again even if 220 volt rated double pole breaker you are not required GFI protection, if this motor is direct connect without a receptacle serving that pool pump. NEC MUTE

I highly advise the installation of a GFI rated double pole breaker instead of the normal 220 volt double pole breaker in your panel for added protection, but this GFI protection is not required by the NEC in a dwelling setting, if no receptacle is used in the pool pump branch circuit wiring design NEC MUTE with a switch instead of a receptacle GFI protected NEC Article 680.22.A.1.5 as the required form of motor disconnect. NEC Article 680.12 and NEC Article 430.102.A You may also use a non-fused weatherproof air conditioner disconnect instead of the switch NEC Article 430.109.C that will also meet the required form of motor disconnect installed within sight of the motor. [can see the disconnect but not more than 50 feet away from the motor] but you must still keep that disconnect form at least 5 feet away from the water’s edge measured around a deck and not through a deck if with a deck on your pool. NEC Article 430.102.A

If you wish to install a receptacle whether it be 120 volt rated or 220 volt rated in the place of the switch or disconnect mentioned above, then you must move your pool pump motor so that pool pump motor cord required to have maximum length no more than 3 feet long motor cord NEC Article 680.21.A.5 will reach a minimum of 10 feet away from that pool water’s edge to use a normal GFI protected NEC Article 680.22.A.5 single 15 or 20 amp rated weatherproof receptacle matching the receptacle in amp and voltage rating to the ampacity and voltage rating of that pool pump branch circuit. NEC Article 210.21.B.1 and NEC Article 406.7 An example of a cord connected pump located at least 10 feet away measured around a deck may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...

If you wish to move the receptacle closer than the 10 feet away from the pool water’s edge, then you may do so but only using a twist lock receptacle, but never install the pool pump motor receptacle closer than 5 feet from the pool water’s edge. NEC Article 680.22.A.1 You may move the pool pump motor receptacle closer than 10 feet away from the water’s edge NEC Article 680.22.A.1 only if you exchange the normal GFI protected NEC Article 680.22.A.1.4single outlet 15 or 20 amp rated receptacle equal in amp and voltage rating of the single outlet receptacle to the voltage rating and ampacity of the branch circuit to a twist lock single NEC Article 680.22.A.1.2 15 or 20 amp rated receptacle with this receptacle’s ratings equal in ampacity and voltage to the ampacity and voltage of that branch circuit serving that pool pump motor. NEC Article 406.7 NEC Table 210.21.B.1

Example of Twist Lock Style Receptacle

To view the twist lock style receptacle you may click on the picture icon to the left.

You may install the GFI protected single twist lock weatherproof 15 or 20 amp rated receptacle equal in amps and volts to the ampacity and voltage rating of the pool motor’s branch circuit that is located between 5 feet and 10 feet from the pool water’s edge, NEC Article 680.22.A.1.4 and NEC Article 680.22.A.1.2and NEC Article 406.7 and NEC Table 210.21.B.1 or install a normal weatherproof single 15 or 20 amp rated receptacle equal in amp and voltage rating of the pool motors branch circuit ampacity and voltage ratings, located at least 10 feet away from the pool water’s edge regardless. NEC Article 680.22.A.5 and NEC Article 406.7 and NEC Article 210.21.B.1 This is true regardless if you are using 120 volt or 220 volt power to your motor or 15 amp or 20 amp rated pool pump motor branch circuit. Regardless whether your motor circuit is 120 volt rated or 220 volt rated the distances still apply the same. Both 120 volt and 220 volt motor circuit with a receptacle must be GFI protected NEC Article 680.22.A.1.4 by a GFI rated breaker in the panel or is 120 volt rated by a dead front non-receptacle style GFI protective device. NEC Article 430.22.A The dead front non-receptacle requirement is because the NEC forbids any motor pulling more than 50% of the ampacity of your motor circuit to share other loads on that same branch circuit NEC Article 210.23.A.2and a 120 volt rated motor for a pool pump is normally rated at full load current at 9.8 amps NEC Table 430.148 and is required to be increased in amps to 125% increase above the full load current rating making the ampacity of the circuit required to equal or exceed 12.25 amps NEC Article 430.22.A which would exceed 50% of a 15 or 20 amp rated circuit. NEC Article 210.23.A.2 and NEC Article 406.7 and NEC Article 210.21.B.1 Most commonly this GFI protective device is in the form of the GFI breaker in the house panel whether GFI single pole 120 volt 20 amp rated breaker or GFI double pole 220 volt 20 amp rated breaker in that panel. Both 120 volt or 220 volt motors if with a receptacle must be with GFI protective device weather a dead front or breaker style GFI protective device.

Hard Wired Motor Branch Circuits

Hard wired [with no receptacle using a switch or disconnect] NEC Article 430.109.Cmotor branch circuits for pool pump motors are not required to be with GFI protective device no matter if 120 volt rated or 220 volt rated. NEC CODE MUTE The presence of the receptacle on that pool pump motor branch circuit is the key to when that GFI protective device is required to serve that pool pump motor circuit. NEC Article 680.22.A.1.4

A pool pump motor branch circuit without a receptacle does not require GFI protection, NEC Article CODE MUTE but a pool pump motor branch circuit with a receptacle that branch circuit then does require GFI protection. NEC Article 680.22.A.1.4

The above rules for motors apply whether you are installing a pool filter pump motor or a pool sweep motor it does not matter which both have the same rules that apply. NEC Article 680.22.A.1.4

Panel on the Outside Wall

If you have a panel on the outside wall you may install one ½ PVC conduit out the back of your panel through the outside wall and install both your pool pump motors and your underwater light fixture branch circuits in that same ½ PVC conduit wired as described above using two 4x4 treated posts one 10 feet away from the water’s edge for you pool light transformer receptacle as described before in this article and then back down into the trench to your second 4x4 treated post 5 feet away from the water’s edge for your motor or motors disconnect form or forms then to your motor or motors. This is an all wiring in one ½”PVC conduit in one trench using two posts simplified wiring style. Remember if you are use this wiring style then each branch circuit in that conduit must be GFI protected wherever the underwater light branch circuit if GFI protected.

You have one more option to consider. You are allowed to install a longer hose from the pool water’s edge to your pool pump filter system and bury that hose if the right type of hose approved for the purpose to a location remote from the pool. If you install long underground hose lines from your pool to your pump filter system, then you also may install your pool pump remote from the pool and next to your house or garage or even inside the garage, in a corner, or outside the house by you’re a/c unit or corner of a wood deck. NEC 110.3.B MANUFACTURER’S INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONSThis is not a bad idea in my opinion. This would leave only your pool out there to mow around and also allow your pool wiring to be on the house or even inside your accessory building allowing nonmetallic sheathed cable if inside the accessory building NEC Article 680.21.A.4 or with short sections of PVC at the electrical boxes and the seal tight from the wall mounted weather proof switch box to the motor if installed next to the outside of your house. NEC Article 680.22.A.1 The hose should be inexpensive. Just check to make sure you have this remote filter option concerning your pool pump filter system, most do have that remote filter installation option. The hose making the pump and filter to be remote from the pool would be much cheaper than the outside wiring with the pool pump and filter installed next to the pool. The underground pools are commonly done with the remote pumping system, why not the above ground pools. Why not check that option out. May give you a more pleasing installation much less expensive too. Water line is rather inexpensive and you are playing in the pool without yelling over the motor sound at the pool. Just remember to remove you hoses and let them drain to winterize our plumbing same as people do with in-ground pools.

Example of Remote Pool Pump Installation

An example of a remote pool pump installation on the side of a home may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

 

Above Ground Pool Underwater Light Installation

Most above ground pools, if with an underwater pool light installed in the side of the pool, are installed with a low voltage sealed underwater pool light fixture using a manufactured underwater light kit that has about a 10 foot long low voltage secondary wire connected to the light fixture coming from a pool approved low voltage transformer for use with underwater pool lights. This low voltage underwater light transformer is normally designed with a cord and plug connection on the primary of that low voltage transformer designed to plug into a normal single plug-in type weatherproof receptacle installed as a dedicated branch circuit to serve that low voltage underwater pool light transformer.

To view the long cord and underwater light and the remote post with receptacle and transformer you may click on the picture icon to the left.

 

This receptacle must be GFI protected.

You may refer to the following link showing an example of a weatherproof bubble shield receptacle required to be used to serve this pool approved low voltage transformer cord and plug connection design; click on the picture icon to the left.

Above ground swimming pools with underwater pool lights must be served by a dedicated branch circuit directly from the main panel in the house, or approved sub panel in an accessory building fed by an insulated equipment grounding conductor [with a 12 awg or larger green insulated equipment grounding conductor sized for the size sub-panel used] in that branch circuit or accessory building sub-panel feeder directly from the house main service rated panel. NEC Article 680.23.F.2

Underwater Pool Light Branch Circuit

That underwater pool light transformer may also be served by a specially wired pool type sub-panel in an new accessory building fed from the main service rated panel as a common service from the main house to this new pool type sub panel containing four insulated feeder wires serving that new pool type sub-panel including an insulated equipment grounding conductor ran with the feeder to serve that new pool type sub-panel. NEC Article 680.25.BThe options concerning feeders to non-service rated panels [aka sub-panels] will be discussed later in this article.

To view a the insides of a pool approved sub-panel you may click on the picture icon to the left.

The underwater pool light branch circuit must be with an unbroken 12 awg green insulated equipment grounding conductor or largerNEC Article 680.23.F.2 again being unbroken from that panel supplying that underwater pool light fixture’s power to the underwater pool light fixture itself. NEC Article 680.23.F.2 This underwater light branch circuit may have a broken equipment grounding conductor only at the point where installing a GFI dead front protective device or a switch or approved pool light junction box approved specifically for use in a pool light branch circuit is installed. NEC Article 680.23.F.2.A & B [a GFI duplex receptacle device is not allowed to have more than one plug-in as a part of the GFI protective receptacle device]. NEC Article 680.23.F.2.B No other breaks in that equipment grounding conductor are allowed in that underwater light branch circuit unless a junction box approved for the purpose is used.

Unless with a transformer and a low voltage underwater light with the junction box installed prior to the placement of the transformer in the underwater pool light branch circuit, a junction box specifically approved for the purpose for use on an underwater pool light branch circuit must be with green grounding screws in that junction box equal in number plus one more grounding screw in excess of the number of conduit entries manufactured in that underwater pool light junction box. NEC Article 680.24.D This underwater pool light branch circuit must not be shared with any other loads, other than multiply underwater pool light fixtures on that same branch circuit. NEC Article 680.23.F.2.A & B

This underwater pool light is not allowed to be wired in the same manner and design as the pool associated motor is allowed to be wired. Concerning a pool motor, allowed by the NEC, while the wiring is inside the house concerning a pool motor, you may use a nonmetallic sheathed cableNEC Article 680.21.A.4.

The underwater light branch circuit is much different in rules applied concerning the branch circuit installation. The underwater light branch circuit must be installed in a conduit with an unbroken 12 awg green insulated equipment grounding conductor. [unbroken except where mentioned above {switch or receptacle devices}] NEC Article 680.23.F.2 This conduit protecting the underwater light fixture or fixtures must protect that branch circuit all the way from the panel that is providing power to the underwater light fixture branch circuit if 120 volt rated NEC Article 680.23.F.1 and NEC Article 680.7, or to the underwater pool light fixture’s low voltage transformer. Again the branch circuit conductors must be protected by conduit all the way from the panel NEC Article 680.23.F.1 to where a single plug style weatherproof receptacle is installedNEC Article 680.23.F.2.A & B with weatherproof in-use bubble shield cover. NEC Article 406.8.B Remember this receptacle must be installed at least 10 feet from the water’s edge.

Underwater Light Fixture

Most commonly the pool underwater light fixture serving an above ground pool is a low voltage underwater pool light with a low voltage rubber cord manufactured as a part of the underwater pool light fixture with the other end of that low voltage rubber cord connected to the low voltage secondary side of the low voltage transformer. NEC Article 680.23.B.1 The low voltage cord is normally about 10 feet long or longer and may be with or without an equipment grounding conductor. Often times this low voltage cord may just be a two wire low voltage rubber cord supplied by the manufacturer and attached to the underwater light fixture, NEC Article 680.23.B.1with the other end of that two wire low voltage rubber cord connected by the manufacturer into an approved underwater light low voltage transformer, NEC Article 680.23.A.3on that low voltage transformer’s low voltage secondary side. Then on the primary side [line side] of the underwater light low voltage transformer you will normally find a cord and plug assembly designed for that cord and plug assembly to be plugged into a weatherproof NEC Article 406.8.BGFI protected NEC Article 680.5120 volt single plug-in receptacle. NEC Article 680.23.F.2.BThis 120 volt weatherproof receptacle must be a single plug style 15 or 20 amp rated receptacle depending on the branch circuit amp rating you are using. This single outlet receptacle must be rated in amps equal to that branch circuit’s amp rating. NEC Article 210.21.B.1

To view the long cord and underwater light and the remote post with receptacle and transformer you may click on the picture icon to the left.

Duplex Receptacle

A duplex receptacle is not allowed to serve as a receptacle for a dedicated underwater pool light receptacle because it would have an extra unused plug-in and according to the rules in the NEC, nothing else is allowed to be plugged into this dedicated underwater pool light branch circuit due to the equipment grounding conductor required to be unbroken except for switches, receptacles, etc. NEC Article 680.23.F.2

If you start your dedicated underwater pool light branch circuit inside the house panel you may install a 20 amp 120 volt GFI protective type breaker in that panel serving that pool light branch circuit. This 20 amp 120 volt GFI breaker must be listed and approved for use in your brand and model of house electrical panel serving your house. NEC Article 110.3.B

You must not install nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex] to serve an underwater pool light branch circuit anywhere in that branch circuit. NEC Article 680.23.F.1. and exception This underwater pool light fixture branch circuit must be protected inside a conduit NEC Article 680.23.F.1using single insulated wires the entire length of that branch circuit with a 12 awg or larger green insulated equipment grounding conductor inside that conduit. NEC Article 100 definition “covered {in nonmetallic sheathed cable (Romex) not insulated”} and NEC Article 250.134.B Remember that nonmetallic sheathed cable [aka Romex or multi-conductor UF cable] only has a bare covered equipment grounding conductor in that cable’s sheathing NEC Article 100 “covered” and this type nonmetallic sheathed cable must not be used for an underwater pool light fixture. NEC Article 680.23.F.1 Most commonly the conduit used is schedule 40 PVC conduit NEC Article 680.23.F.1with schedule 80 PVC conduit where that PVC conduit is subject to physical damage, NEC Article 352.12.C

A Note on Conduit

The conduit may be schedule 40 PVC if that conduit is kept underground passing through the dwellings foundation wall while exiting the house. You may also use flexible nonmetallic conduit type “B”using flexible type “B”nonmetallic sealtite conduit the entire length of the branch circuit installed in the same manner as the PVC conduit but having the advantage of flexibility to this type “B”flexible nonmetallic conduit. NEC Article 356.10.5 and NEC Article 680.23.F.1.Exception

Again the branch circuit equipment grounding conductor serving an underwater pool light fixture or fixtures must not be broken except for installation of a GFI protection device, switch, approved junction box, or a weatherproof while in-use single outlet style receptacle.

Simplified Wiring Method of an Underwater Pool Light Fixture branch circuit with a low voltage transformer

This branch circuit contained in its own conduit and with no other circuits in conduit. One of the easier wiring method of wiring a branch circuit for the underwater pool light is to install a 15 amp GFI breaker using single conductor 14 awg copper for the black / hot and 14 awg white grounded leg [aka neutral] conductor, then a 12 awg green insulated equipment grounding conductor with those two 14 awg black and white conductors that is protected by a 15 amp GFI breaker protected to serve this underwater light branch circuit. A second option is that you may instead install a branch circuit with all three single insulated conductors being a black, white, and green insulated grounding conductor, all conductors, being 12 awg copper for use with the 20 amp GFI breaker. Again the breaker must be listed for use in your brand and model of panel that you have. These conductors must be installed all the way from the panel to the weatherproof single plug-in style receptacle sized in amps equal to the amp rating of that branch circuit. This single plug-in style receptacle must be with a weatherproof in-use bubble shield where the underwater light fixture’s approved transformer is plugged in located a minimum of 10 feet from the water’s edge on a secure structure such as a under an accessible wood deck or on a single 4 x 4 treated post. Remember the 10’away is measured around any wood deck not through the deck. This under a wood deck measured around the deck instead of through the deck may allow the pool light receptacle to be installed next to the wall of the pool, but when measured not through but around a wood deck you might be able to measure the 10 feet required distance round that deck to the receptacle from the water’s edge.

The nonmetallic conduit must be buried a minimum of 12”deep if 120 volt GFI protected from the start of the branch circuit. All nonmetallic conduit must be at least 18”deep, if not GFI protected or over 120 volt or a feeder. An overview of the entire job described may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...

 


Simplified wiring method of a pool pump motor branch circuit with a snap switch used as a form of disconnect then the motor direct connected without any receptacle in this pool pump motor branch circuit.

One of the easier wiring method of wiring a branch circuit for the pool pump motor that is 120 volt ½ horse power rated is to install a 15 amp single pole breaker using 14 awg copper for the black / hot and 14 awg white grounded leg [aka neutral] conductor, then a 12 awg green insulated equipment grounding conductor with those two 14 awg black and white conductors that is protected by a 15 amp single pole breaker protected to serve this pool pump motor branch circuit.

A second option to serve a 120 volt ½ horse power rated pool pump motor is that you may instead install a branch circuit with all three conductors being a black, white, and green insulated grounding conductor, all conductors, being 12 awg copper for use with the 20 amp single pole breaker. This style branch circuit wiring would need to be protected in a PVC conduit or flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B conduit all the way from the panel while using THWN insulated conductors all the way from the panel to the pump motor’s switch then the conduit direct connected to the pool pump motor without the use of a receptacle. Again the breaker must be listed for use in your brand and model of panel that you have.

220 Volt Rated Pool Pump Motor

If your pool pump motor is 220 volt rated you may wire same as above only using two single black wires instead of the black and white wire in that conduit with the 12 awg green insulated equipment grounding conductor using a double pole breaker instead of the single pole breaker.

If you wish to install the above with GFI protection then you may install GFI breakers instead of the regular breakers mentioned above for added protection.

If you wish to use a receptacle instead of the switch then that receptacle serving that pool pump must be GFI protected due to the receptacle in the branch circuit. The receptacle must be a single plug-in style receptacle, weather proof, with a bubble shield weatherproof in-use receptacle plate. This receptacle must be at least 10 feet away from the water’s edge.

If you wish the pool pump receptacle to be between 5 feet and 10 feet away from the water’s edge, then that single plug-in style receptacle must be a single plug-in and twist lock style receptacle. Remember that when you measure the 5 feet or 10 feet away, as you are required, you are allowed to measure around a structure for that distance measured and not through that structure, such as a wood deck. NEC Article 680.22.A.6This may allow that receptacle to be beside the wall of the pool, but separated the required distance by the wood deck or other structure. This receptacle must be GFI protected rule to serve a pool pump motor applies both to 120 volt and 220 volt motors, but only if with a receptacle is installed in that branch circuit serving that pool pump motor.

If you require flexibility you may install nonmetallic sheathed cable with only a COVERED 12 awg equipment grounding conductor, but only while that part of that pool motor branch circuit is installed inside a dwelling, and only to serve the motors, NOT the underwater light branch circuit.

Whenever these motor branch circuits leave the inside of the dwelling, then the conductors must change to single insulated conductor style with a green insulated 12 awg equipment grounding conductor contained within a conduit.

Remember the underwater light branch circuit must be contained in a conduit with single insulated conductor and a 12 awg insulated equipment grounding conductor all the way from the panel to the underwater light transformer’s single plug-in style receptacle with the 12 awg green insulated grounding conductor required to be unbroken except for a switch or receptacle device all the way from the panel to the underwater light transformer single plug-in style weather proof receptacle. An overview of the entire job described may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...


SIMPLIFIED WIRING METHOD OF AN UNDERWATER
POOL LIGHT FIXTURE BRANCH CIRCUIT WITH A
TRANSFORMER IN A CONDUIT
AND SHARING THAT CONDUIT WITH ONE OR TWO POOL MOTOR BRANCH CIRCUITS

You may install both the 14 or 12 awg single insulated black, 14 or 12 awg white, and 12 awg or larger green insulated equipment grounding conductors serving the underwater pool light fixture branch circuit, and the 14 or 12 awg single insulated black, 14 or 12 awg white, and 12 awg or larger green insulated equipment grounding conductors serving the 120 volt pool pump branch circuit or even having two pool pump branch circuits, if with two motors all in the same conduit. Each branch circuit including the light, and motors must be protected by a 15 or 20 amp GFI breaker protecting each individual branch circuit with each branch circuit having a green 12 awg equipment grounding conductor serving each pool motor or underwater light, with ALL GFI protected branch circuits contained in the same conduit.

All conductors of the underwater light and the pool pump motors all may be contained within the same conduit, but only if all branch circuits have their own GFI protection wherever the underwater light branch circuit becomes GFI protected as required.

An Important Reminder

You must NOT install any branch circuits that are NOT GFI protected in the same conduit as any GFI protected pool underwater light branch circuit.

Again this conduit protecting the GFI protected underwater light branch circuit and / or any other GFI protected branch circuit serving that pool contained in that same conduit, may be installed in a type B nonmetallic sealtite conduit or a rigid PVC conduit, it is your choice, but the underwater light branch circuit must be in a conduit all the way from the panel. If this type B nonmetallic sealtite is installed indoors and outdoors and underground then this type B nonmetallic sealtite must be approved for sunlight resistance, direct burial, and must be type B flexible nonmetallic sealtite.

Nonmetallic Sealtite

Any other type of nonmetallic sealtite other than type B nonmetallic sealtite is not allowed to be installed as a building wiring method in lengths longer than 6 feet long. Type B nonmetallic sealtite is allowed from the panel through the house into the ground direct buried, then above ground along the post that must be located at least 10 feet from the pool water’s edge on say a treated 4x4 post, as long as the above ground part of this conduit run is not subject to physical damage. Then using that underwater pool light single plug-in style receptacle with a weatherproof box, you may split to a second conduit coming out of that receptacle box with a flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B running back into the trench to the motor being direct connected but with a switch on the post by the pool pump or on the post 10’away for the pool light serving the pool pump motor installed in a separate switch box using the snap switch for your motor disconnect form. This single nonmetallic type B flexible sealtite protecting the conductors may be installed to contain all GFI protected branch circuits serving your pool only if that flexible nonmetallic conduit is listed for that use for the conditions that sealtite is to be installed, whether, in house, underground, or exposed to sunlight.

This single flexible nonmetallic sealtite type B conduit is all you would need to serve your pool, using one single type B nonmetallic sealtite flexible conduit containing the branch circuits serving the pool pump or pumps and the pool underwater light fixture or fixtures, as long as all branch circuits are GFI protected inside the conduit wherever the underwater pool light branch circuit is GFI protected installed within that same conduit.

Type B nonmetallic flexible sealtite is a type sealtite that is constructed with an inner layer of rubber sandwiching a nylon reinforcement web between that inner rubber layer and the outer rubber layer of that type B flexible nonmetallic sealtite. There are three types of nonmetallic sealtite yet only the type B nonmetallic sealtite is allowed to be used as a building wiring method as you are doing in this pool wiring design.

You can install a ½”type B flexible nonmetallic sealtite conduit connected to a ½”knockout hole using a nonmetallic sealtite connector in the panel, then running that nonmetallic sealtite type B through your stud wall into the crawl space supported to the floor joist along the floor joist through a hole knocked through your cement block foundation straight into the trench keeping below ground to the location at least 10 feet from the pool water’s edge then up the side of a treated 4x4 post approximately 2 feet tall above finished grade. Then install a PVC weatherproof receptacle box with two holes in the end of that PVC weatherproof box installing your single plug-in style GFI protected receptacle. Remember this receptacle must be rated equal in amps to the amp rating of your breaker because it must be a single plug-in style receptacle and must not be a duplex receptacle.

Duplex Receptacle

A duplex receptacle used on a normal branch circuit is allowed to be 15 or 20 amp rated even on a 20 amp branch circuit, but a single plug-in style receptacle that is required when used for a underwater pool light branch circuit must be rated in amps equal to the ampacity rating of the branch circuit. The breaker declares the amp rating of a branch circuit yet the branch circuit conductors dictate the maximum amp rating of that breaker.

Style Bubble Shield Receptacle

Again, remember that you must install a weatherproof in-use style bubble shield receptacle cover plate over this receptacle. Then you may hang your underwater pool light transformer, if approved for outside use on that 4x4 treated post by that receptacle and just plug your underwater pool light transformer into the weather proof single plug-in style receptacle with a weatherproof in-use type receptacle cover plate. Then out of the bottom of that PVC receptacle, with two holes out the bottom of that box install a second run of type B flexible nonmetallic sealtite into the second hole of that PVC box running back into the ground, through your trench, to the pool pump motor connecting your type B nonmetallic sealtite directly to the ½”knockout of your pool pump motor. You may install a PVC switch box with a hole in the top and bottom ends of the PVC switch box allowing your type B nonmetallic sealtite to pass the two hole PVC box then through that second lower box using that second lower box to install a weatherproof switch to serve as the required form of disconnect for your pool pump motor that is 10 feet or more away from that switch. This weatherproof pool pump motor switch mounted 10 feet or more away allows you to mount your pool pump against the side of your pool and also allows you a reasonably close location to shut off your motor to switch the motor on and off to backwash then back to filter using the switch to turn on and off your pool pump motor during your backwash activities. Remember the switch must be at least 5 feet away from the pool water’s edge and this switch is required to serve as an insight form of disconnect for the motor and is allowed to be used as a local control to turn your motor on and off while back washing.

This wiring method using the type B flexible nonmetallic sealtite that is approved as a building wiring method, for sunlight resistance, for direct burial to only run one conduit directly from the house panel entirely underground to the post 10 feet away from the pool water’s edge serving both the pool pump switch and the underwater light containing both GFI protected branch circuits each for the pool underwater light fixture and the pool pump motor. Kind of a one for all wiring design. Remember if direct connected even with a switch the pool motor is not required to be GFI protected but if this branch circuit is installed in the same conduit as the underwater pool light branch circuit then both or all branch circuits must be GFI protected wherever the underwater pool light branch circuit is GFI protected. An overview of the entire job described may be viewed by clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...


A Note on Feeder Options

Feeder options concerning installing a sub-panel in the main building or a panel in a detached accessory building installed using a feeder to serve that panel with branch circuit breakers in that sub-panel in the main building or panel installed in a detached accessory building (NEC article 680.25).

A feeder serving a non-service rated panel containing fuses or breakers [aka sub-panel] installed in your main building or on a post outside 5’away from your pool designed to serve an above ground swimming pool must have both an insulated neutral conductor and an insulated equipment grounding conductor with that insulated equipment grounding conductor ran with that feeder to that non-service rated panel must be sized at least 12 awg or larger NEC Article 680.25.Aand this equipment grounding conductor installed with the feeder must be sized to serve that certain sized non-service rated panel [aka sub-panel] required by NEC Table 250.122.

Example of Non-Service Rated Panel

An example of a non-service rated panel installed in say a pool shed or accessory building serving electricity to a pool [aka sub-panel] can be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

This picture has been revised showing a green insulated grounding electrode conductor coming from the ground rod and also a green insulated equipment grounding conductor installed with the feeder from the main dwelling that is serving as a common service supplying power to this accessory building serving power to a pool;

An Exception

There is an exception found concerning existing detached accessory buildings fed by a common service with the main building while using an existing feeder to serve that existing panel in that existing detached accessory building that is only a three wire feeder and this existing feeder from the house to the accessory building is without an equipment grounding conductor ran with that existing feeder. NEC Article 680.25.A.ExceptionThis exception to the rule recognizes an existing installation in an existing accessory building that is fed by only a three wire feeder [two insulated hot wires and an insulated neutral conductor in that feeder but no equipment grounding conductor in that feeder] This panel in that existing detached structure must be served at that detached accessory structure with its own grounding electrode system [most commonly a ground rod at that accessory building serving that accessory building’s electrical panel. NEC Article 680.25.A.Exception

Example of Three Wire Feeder

An example of an existing three wire feeder serving a sub panel in an accessory building that is without the insulated equipment grounding conductor ran with the feeder but is with an existing grounding electrode system [most commonly a ground rod] may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left, remember this is an existing three wire feeder to an existing panel in an existing accessory building fed by that existing feeder ran between the main building as a common service supplying power to this existing sub-panel in the existing accessory building;

Installing a New Panel in an Accessory Building

There is a second part of NEC Article 680.25 that allows a new panel to be installed in an accessory building fed by a common service from the main building to also be a 3 wire feeder in a new installation if this new installation installing a new feeder from a main structure to an accessory building meets the requirements of NEC Article 250.32.B.2 concerning two buildings served by a common service. If you install a new installation using NEC Article 250.32.B.2to install a feeder serving that accessory building that is with only two insulated hot conductors and one insulated neutral conductor you must then install a grounding electrode system according to NEC Article 250.50[most commonly a ground rod] This three wire feeder installing a grounding electrode system in this accessory building is only allowed to be done if there is no non-current carrying metallic paths connecting the two buildings such as a metal water pipe. This wiring design is allowed for swimming pool accessory buildings according to NEC Article 680.25.B.2which refers you to NEC Article 250.32.B.2concerning two buildings being served by a common service with the second building being without a non-current carrying metallic path connecting the two buildings and fed by a three wire feeder that is without an equipment grounding conductor as allowed in NEC Article 250.32.B.2However NEC Article 680.25.B.2does require the grounding electrode conductor ran from your grounding electrode [most commonly the wire between the ground rod and the accessory building’s panel] must be an insulated grounding electrode conductor sized by NEC Table 250.66for grounding electrode conductors. Normal size would be an 8 awg copper green insulated grounding electrode conductor if with a 100 amp rated panel or a 6 awg copper green insulated grounding electrode conductor if with a 200 amp rated panel in that accessory building.

To view a new installation using NEC Article 250.32.B.2to install a feeder serving that accessory building that is with only two insulated hot conductors and one insulated neutral conductor and an insulated grounding electrode conductor connected to a grounding electrode system such as a ground rod you may click on picture icon to the left.

A Reminder About Installing Insulated Conductors

Remember that if you install only two insulated hot conductors and one insulated neutral conductor and absolutely no non-current carrying metallic conductive path connection from that main building to the accessory building’s panel, then you still must install your grounding electrode [most commonly a ground rod] and you must install that green insulated grounding electrode conductor from that grounding electrode to that accessory building’s panel.

Then inside that accessory building’s panel that is fed by a three wire feeder from the main building and is without an equipment grounding conductor installed with that feeder from the main building, then you must ensure that both the grounding bar and the neutral bar are married together as one entity with a bonding jumper same as if this was a separately derived system or main service rated panel.

Remember:

Any non-service rated panel [aka sub-panel] that is fed by a four wire feeder that is with an equipment grounding conductor installed with that feeder connected between the two buildings must have the neutral bar isolated from the equipment grounding bar and the metal casing of the panel whether this non-service rated panel [aka sub-panel] is installed in the same building or in a detached building but fed by a feeder that contains the equipment grounding conductor ran with that feeder connecting the two building’s equipment grounding systems together as required in NEC Article 680.25.Aand this fourth wire, being an equipment grounding conductor, is required to be a part of that feeder contained in the same cable or conduit

If a non-service rated panel [aka sub-panel] in an accessory building fed by a common service with the main building is fed by a feeder using a three wire feeder as allowed using NEC Article 250.32.B.2and with a grounding electrode system [normally a ground rod] installed at that second building, then the neutral bar and the equipment grounding bar and the metal case of the panel must be made as one entity connected together same as if it were a separately derived system. This is only true if there is no grounding path connecting the two buildings together either being a non-current carrying metallic path [such as a metal water pipe] or an equipment grounding conductor ran with the feeder connecting the two equipment grounding systems together.

The rules as applied in NEC Article 680.25refers to the word building. A “building”is differently defined in NEC Article 100 than a structure is defined. In this case a building is expected to have a roof etc. where a structure may not have a roof. The wording in NEC Article 680.25 uses the word building and not the word structure. This leads me to believe that it is not the intent to include a disconnect with a breaker or fuse installed on a 4 x 4 treated post and the like to be able to use the rules found in NEC Article 250.32.B.2 concerning an accessory building. I would interpret that this 4 x 4 treated post would be considered to require the green insulated equipment grounding conductor to be ran with the feeder to this 4 x 4 structure that in my opinion does not meet the definition or intent of being a building. Check with you local AHJ for a final ruling on this subject before you proceed if you think you are in a questionable definition of a building or structure. Talking to your AHJ [electrical inspector] may save you some heartache in rewiring what you just wired if in a questionable situation concerning the NEC rules.

Area Lighting not Being Underwater Pool Light Fixtures

Area lighting [normal general use type lighting that is not associated to the underwater pool light branch circuit must be a minimum of 5 feet away from the pool or must be a minimum of 12 feet above the pool’s maximum water level. NEC Article 680.22.B.1If area lighting is installed between 5 feet and 10 feet away from the pool that area lighting must be GFI protected, NEC Article 680.22.B.4and must be a minimum of 12 feet high above the water level of the pool. NEC Article 680.22.B.1If your area lighting is beyond the 10 feet away distance, then GFI protection is not required concerning general use area lighting. NEC Article 680.22.B.4

Any outside receptacle that is not serving the pool pump or pool underwater light must be GFI protected per dwelling rules as outside receptacles NEC Article 210.8.A.3with bubble shield in-use weather proof receptacle covers. NEC Article 406.8.BThe general use area lighting beyond 10 feet from the pool and general use type outdoor receptacles if beyond 20’ NEC Article 680.22 from the water’s edge and not associated with the pool pump or pool underwater light fixture would be controlled by normal dwelling rules as outside wiring allowing UF Cable NEC Article 340.10.1and covered equipment grounding conductors found in UF type branch circuit nonmetallic sheathed cable with 24 inch minimum depth NEC Article 300.5unless GFI protected at the source of that branch circuit then allowing 12 inch minimum burial depth. NEC Article 300.5

Remember that the rules controlling a permanently installed pool requires that a general use GFI protected outdoor receptacle is required to be installed within 20 feet of the pool but must be installed beyond 10 feet from the pool to serve that pool area. NEC Article 680.22.A.5

Remember that any trenching of nonmetallic conduit or sealtite must be at least 18 inches. Remember that any direct buried wire must be a minimum of 24 inches deep. Remember that any branch circuit that is not over 120 volts or over 20 amps and is GFI protected must be installed at least 12 inches deep. NEC Chart 300.5

Motor Horse Power and Full Load Current Rating Must Be Confirmed

Be sure to check your motors. We talked all the way through this article expecting a maximum branch circuit requirement of 20 amps. You may have a motor that is rated more than a 20 amp branch circuit. If you have a motor requiring a branch circuit exceeding 20 amps, then you MAY install that branch circuit in the same conduit as the underwater pool light branch circuit but only if that motor branch circuit is GFI protected. A branch circuit sharing the same conduit as a underwater pool light branch circuit must be GFI protected wherever the under water pool light branch circuit is GFI protected.

Above Ground Pool Bonding Grid System Installation

The bonding grid system of an above ground pool is normally rather simple in installation methods and concerns. The bonding grid system’s source would be the metal shell sides of the pool itself or any metal rebar supporting that above ground pool. NEC Article 680.26.C.1 through 4This bonding grid system must be wired using solid [not stranded] 8 awg copper conductors. NEC Article 680.26.C

Any metals 4 inch square, or larger, and located within 5 feet of that pool, and any equipment associated to the pool such as pool pump motors or pool heaters whether beyond 5 feet or not, must be bonded together and then connected to the metal shell or reinforcing rebar of the pool, or may even be directly to the metal shell of the pool, to create the pool’s bonding grid system. NEC Article 680.26.B.1 through 5While the bonding grid system can make incidental contact between this 8 awg solid copper bonding grid system and the dwelling’s electrical equipment grounding system while inside the pool pump motor, it is not intended that the bonding grid system to be connected to the electrical equipment grounding system in any manner other than incidental contact such as inside the pool pump motor. NEC Article 680.26 and FPN Note

Concerning an above ground pool all that is normally needed to complete the installation of the bonding grid system would be an 8 awg solid copper conductor connected to the lug found on the outside casing of your pool pump motor and ran to a grounding lug bolted to one of the bolts of the pools metal shell when it is bolted together. That is normally it. NEC Article 680.26To view a bonding grid that is normally all that is required for an above ground permanently installed pool try clicking on each of the picture icons bellow...

Double Insulated Pool Pump

If you have a double insulated pool pump this 8 awg copper conductor has nowhere to connect to that pool pump motor casing, there is no lug mounted on the outside casing of the pool pump motor, if that motor is a double insulated motor. Regardless, though, the solid 8 awg copper bonding grid conductor must be bolted to the metal shell of the pool and ran to the area of that double insulated pool pump. This installation of the solid 8 awg copper bonding grid conductor must be installed from the metal shell of the pool to the area of the double insulated pool pump motor in case this double insulated pool pump motor is replaced by a pool pump motor that is not double insulated. Then the solid 8 awg copper bonding grid wire would have to be connected to that non double insulated pool pump motor lug on the outside casing of that replacement motor. NEC Article 680.26.B.4

Concerning NEC defined permanently installed above ground pools, if an accessory permanently installed metal pool slide is installed, or a permanently installed metal pool ladder is installed, these too would have to be connected to the solid 8 awg copper bonding grid conductor. NEC Article 680.26.B.5

No area lighting is allowed to be installed within 5 feet around the pool, so you do not need to be concerned about involving area general lighting with the bonding grid system. NEC Article 680.22.B

Pool ladders for above ground pools that are metal but portable, and not permanently installed, but removable is not required to be connected to the bonding grid system. NEC Article 680.26.B.5

Above Ground Pool Safety Concerns Non-Electrical

I know this section is not pertaining to electrical, but if the time that it takes for you to read this section saves a child’s life, then it is time well spent. Remember that concerning pools an above ground pool is normally high enough to be considered as a fence concerning safety of unauthorized entry into the pool such as children. This is true only if your portable pool ladder is always removed from the pool while the pool is not in use.

Example of Above Ground Pool with Sides

An example of an above ground pool with the sides meeting the fence requirement with a removable ladder may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left

If you leave the portable pool ladder in the pool, then you just made yourself liable and responsible if a child climbs that ladder, and drowns in that pool with that portable ladder still in that pool. I am sure you do not want to have to live with the fact that you left a removable pool ladder in a pool possible allowing a child to be hurt. Please make yourself a rule always to remove that portable ladder from the pool, when the pool is not in use.

Building a Wood Deck or Cement Porch

If you build a wood deck or cement porch making that above ground pool water’s edge even or below the deck adjacent to that wood deck or cement porch, then you removed the above ground pool safety required concerning the high sides of that pool allowed. Now you have a built in set of steps to that concrete porch or wood deck or you have a patio door, so the small children can just walk through that patio door or up those permanent steps and fall into the pool water’s edge that is now even with that wood deck or concrete porch. You can see the example by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

 

An example of a removable ladder close up may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

 

An example of a pool fence that is now not high enough because the pool was partially buried in the ground now the fence only being about hip high can be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

I am not saying don’t build that concrete porch or walkout wood patio etc. I am saying that if you defeat the high sides of that above ground pool by building a deck or patio making the water’s edge even with the deck or patio then you must have railings with slats so designed that a 4”ball can not pass through those railing slats or under the railing or fence and that railing or fence must be high enough to hold out children not authorized to enter the pool from the neighborhood or from inside your home.

Example of Deck

An example of a deck built that is open for children to enter pool straight from the house or yard without any safety fence or removable ladder may be viewed by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

A self closing and self locking gate with the slats built again so that a 4”ball can not pass through that gate is required to close off the stairs to the wood deck or patio. An outside door of your home with a closure that makes that door self closing and self latching should meet the building code rules that apply, if your pool is designed to be a walk out to pool water’s edge type construction. See an example by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

Concerning a dwelling entry door going to the pool, I advise you to install that door knob out of reach of small children for added safety. You will find these rules in this paragraph in the International Residential Code, The CABO Residential Code, or Swimming Pool Building Codes.

I wrote the above paragraph because in my area we have lost three small children with an average age of 3 to 6 years old within the last 5 years or so, just in my County alone. I truly don’t want that experience to happen to you. Be safe in your designs and have fun.

This document is based on the 2002 national electrical code and is designed to give you an option, as a self-help, that should pass minimum code requirements. While extreme care has been implemented in the preparation of this self-help document, the author and/or providers of this document assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, nor is any liability assumed from the use of the information, contained in this document, by the author and / or provider.

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