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Electrical Requirements Concerning In-ground Pools (NEC 2002)

By Warren Goodrich
Electrical Requirements Concerning In-ground Pools (NEC 2002)

Procedures to install in-ground swimming pools. Pool requirements based on the 1999 national electrical code. Click on the picture to open a larger - easier to read picture in a new window. Illustrations for typical bonding methods please refer to: NEC article 680/22

ILLUSTRATIONS FOR TYPICAL BONDING METHODS

Illustration # 1

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It is a metal perimeter pool, with bolted sections. The metal perimeter serves as the common bonding grid source, to which, the metal ladder, the metal diving board the wet niche underwater light fixture shell, the underwater light fixture itself through the light fixture j-box found by the patio's edge, and the pump motor frame are connected, together, with a # 8 copper used as a minimum size conductor

Note that the pump motor may be connected to a receptacle within 5’ of the pool, if, with a locking type receptacle, with a weather shield, and protected by a gfci control.

Special Notes: The dwelling electrical grounding system must not be connected to the bonding grid. There is incidental connection found in the pool's pump motor green grounding screw, and the underwater light fixture's remote j-box's grounding screw.

Illustration # 2

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A poured concrete pool, or liner style pool. The structural re-enforcing steel serves as the common bonding grid, to which all metal parts, associated with the pool are connected.

Special Notes: It should be understood that the bonding of these parts, does not mean, that they are required to be bonded to each other but only to the bonding grid source. The bonding grid source would be the metal shell (steel sides ), or the re-enforcing steel rods found underground [concrete, or fiberglass forming shells].


BOND/ELECT. GROUNDING | LIGHTS/PANEL | MOTOR/PANEL
680 / 22 680 / 25 680 / 25 / C

Bonding Ground and Bonding Grid

The bonding ground, and the bonding grid shall be two different entities. The bonding grid shall not terminate [ become connected to ] an electrical grounding system protecting the dwelling. The bonding ground shall terminate at the panel, and shall be a part of the dwelling grounding system, and shall be continuous through-out the dwelling system, bonding ground to the motor shall be insulated, and shall be no smaller than a # 12 ga. Copper conductor. The bonding ground to the underwater light fixture, shall be insulated, and shall not be smaller than a # l2 ga copper conductor.

Both the pump motor, and the underwater light fixture shall be a separate power run {one power run each }, and shall be directly connected, from the panel to the light fixture, and directly from the panel to the pump motor each as two dedicated circuits . These power runs shall be without any electrical joints, unless, more than one underwater light is installed {form light to light type of junction }. An exception to this no junction allowed rule is a joint, as allowed, for a gfi, or a switch controlling the pump motor, or a switch or gfi as allowed controlling the underwater light, on the dedicated electrical circuit coming from the panel. All of these conductors shall be insulated, including the grounding wire.

LOCAL ORDINANCES THAT SHOULD BE CONFIRMED

During construction, state or local inspections may be require of all trenches, bonding grids, and conduits, or wiring, or any other electrical procedure, before any underground electrical installations are covered, or made to be unseen, before all equired inspection procedures have been completed and approved by the inspectors. During construction, an inspection shall be made as a final inspection, before pool use may begin.

680 / 4

Definition of permanently installed swimming, wading, and therapeutic pool: those that are constructed in the ground, on the ground, or in a building, in such a manner that the pool capable of holding water in a depth greater than 42', whether, or not, served by, electrical circuits, for any reason.

680/22

BONDED PARTS.

The following parts shall be bonded together. It is the intention, that these parts become one, and this bonding grid does not use an electrical grounding source. The bonding grid is intended to make all metal parts as one entity , to avoid a difference of potentiality between the water, and other parts of the pool. A bonding grid consists of a # 8 bare copper, or larger. Any metal part shall be a part of this bonding ring. Such as: metal of diving boards - metal of step system s - metal of light fixture enclosures - pool shell - all metal parts that are 4 square or larger, metal coping stones, if metal - any decking, if metal - any observation stands, if metal, - any fencing, if metal - metal parts of slides - pool drains, if metal - all metal fittings {4 square or larger} within, or attached to, the pool structure - electrical equipment that are associated with the pool water circulating system, including the pump, if metal - metal parts of the pool cover, if used - all motors attached, or operating the pool, if metal - all fixed parts within 5' of the inside wall of the pool, and wi thin 12' above the pool water level.

EXCEPTION:

Any metal part is not required to be a part of the bonding grid, if the dimension of that metal is less than 4", and if that 4” square metal part does not enter into the pool, at least 1".

680/22/B

Structural re-enforcing steel, or the walls of bolted, or welded metal pool structures shall be permitted, as a common bonding grid, where connections can be made with a cadweld, approved lug, or other {ul} approved connector.

680/8

Pool shall not be placed under overhead conductors, nor shall overhead conductors be installed, over pools, and the area extending 10' horizontally, or 25', vertically, from the inside wall of the pool, or normal equipment pertaining to the pool.

680/10

Underground wiring shall not be within 5' horizontally, from the inside wall of the pool.

680/6/1

Wiring, necessary to supply pool equipment, such as, circulating motors, or unless space is limited, and wiring is installed, within conduit at least 18", below ground.

680/20

Underwater light fixtures shall be approved for the purpose. The underwater light fixture (wet niche) shall be installed at least 18" below the water’s surface from the top of the fixture. The conduit coming from the underwater light fixture shall be of brass (which will support itself and it's box) or pvc, if approved, (which will require a bracket imbedded below the concrete to support itself, and it's box). If pvc is used, a # 8 insulated solid copper grounding conductor shall be installed with the connections encapsulated in an approved potting compound. 680-20-b if you use a pvc conduit it shall be large enough to accept the rubber cord of the fixture, and the # 8 insulated copper conductor to facilitate easy with-drawl, and insertion of the conductor, and cord.

680/21

Junction boxes for light fixtures shall have threaded bosses, or non-metallic hub listed for the purpose, and corrosion resistant, designed for the purposes. [ pvc boxes, in order to be approved for the purpose, must have a green grounding screw designed to accept the # 8 bond to it molded into the box ].

680/4: Storable Pool Limitations

Storable pools cannot be deeper than 42". Storable pools must be easily storable. If a storable pool is deeper than 42", then it must be treated, and wired the same as an in-ground pool, and meet the requirements of a permanent in-ground pool installation.

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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