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Electrical Requirements Concerning Storable Pools (NEC 2002)

By Warren Goodrich
Electrical Requirements Concerning Storable Pools (NEC 2002)

Any pool that has metallic sides or is capable of containing water in excess of 42" and if that above ground pool is not the inflatable type, or if that pool is not on the surface of the earth rather this pool is either buried or partially buried, of if this pool is surrounded by a permanently built wood deck then the above ground pool must be wired as a permanently installed swimming pool and considered as such concerning it wiring design requirements.

If your pool is with metal sides, is buried below the surface, or is capable of containing water 42” or deeper or if that pool is surrounded by a permanently built structure then you must go to the following link for "above ground pools" permanently installed found by clicking on above ground pools NEC Article 680.2

If your above ground pool is an above ground storable pool that is 41” deep or less with the sides of the storable pool made of nonmetallic materials and if that pool is not surrounded by a permanent structure and if that pool is with a double insulated pool pump motor then your above ground pool is considered a storable pool and you may apply this storable pool article. NEC Article 680.2

If you have a pool that is inflatable then there is no maximum depth or size limit applying to an inflatable pool and this inflatable pool will still be considered as a storable pool nec article 680.2

Examples of Design Requirements

To view examples of the above described conditions making a pool to be considered as and wired as a permanently installed pool try the following linked pictures, click on the picture icon to view a full size picture:


Metal sides permanent pool

 


Wood deck can not be a storable pool

 


Pool partially buried permanent pool

 

 

Using Approved UL Equipment

To make a long story short if your pool meets the above statements making it a storable pool then you must us UL approved equipment listed and labeled for storable pools being double insulated equipment with a green insulated equipment grounding conductor in your power source and this pool may be ran from a long cord to any convenient outside weatherproof GFI protected receptacle.

To view a close up of a GFI type receptacle click on the picture icon to the left.

 

 

To view a few examples of an above ground storable pool click on the picture icon to the left.

 

 

The long story of the above paragraph may be of help but don’t let the following scare you. A storable pool that meets the above statements as a storable pool will normally just plug into any convenience receptacle that is weatherproof using a long cord.

If you want more detail concerning storable pools then you may read the following

Any pool pump must be of the double insulated type with an equipment grounding conductor in the cord of this double insulated pool pump motor that bonds only the internal non-current carrying metallic parts located within that pool pump motor. A pool pump that is not double insulated and listed and labeled for use with storable pools must not be used with storable pools. NEC Article 680.31 In order to identify a non-double insulated pool pump you can look at the listing and labeling to confirm its listing or you can look on the casing of the pool motor to confirm if it has bonding lug to connect a bonding grid wire to that is mounted on the metal surface of the pool motor. If you find that electrical lug for connecting a bonding wire on the casing of the motor that motor is not a listed motor approved for use with storable pools.

If you would like to view an example of the bonding lug on a motor - click on the picture icon to the left.

 

 

Storable Pool Pump

The storable pool pump may contain a cord as long as 25 feet long if the pool pump is listed and labeled and allowed to be used with storable pools with it so stated on that equipment to be used as with a storable pool. NEC Article 680.21.B All pool pumps approved for use with storable pools may be plugged into an outside general use weather proof GFI protected receptacle mounted on the house as long as the cord is not in excess of 25 feet long. NEC Article 680.21.B

To view a weatherproof receptacle designed to have a plug left plugged in unattended try clicking on the picture icon to the left.

 

Any electrical equipment associated to the storable pool must be GFI protected. NEC Article 680.32

Underwater Luminaire

Any underwater luminaire [approved fixture only not the transformer or plug] installed with a storable pool must be installed in or on the wall of the storable pool NEC Article 680.33. Any underwater luminaire being used with a storable pool must be a self contained cord connected unit listed and labeled for use with storable pools. NEC Article 680.33.A and B You may install a low voltage underwater luminaire that is with a voltage no higher than 15 volts NEC Article 680.33.A.2 and be of the type that is with no exposed metal parts, NEC Article 680.33.A.1 with an impact resistant lens on the luminaire, NEC Article 680.33.A.3 with an impact resistant transformer. NEC Article 680.33.A.3 The low voltage transformer for an underwater luminaire used with a storable pool must be listed for both indoor and outdoor use as it is installed. NEC Article 680.33.A The underwater luminaire transformer primary voltage must not exceed 150 volts with a secondary voltage of not over 15 volts. NEC Article 680.23.A.4 The transformer secondary and primary windings must be separated by a grounded metal divider separating the two windings and this transformer must be listed and labeled for use with a storable pool. NEC Article 680.23.A.2 The underwater light must be installed in the storable pool to maintain a minimum of 18”of water over the top part of this underwater luminaire. NEC Article 680.23.A.5 There are a few underwater luminaire listed for use less than 18”but they must be so marked and listed and labeled for use less than 18”deep and must not be less than 4”deep if listed for less than the 18”minimum requirement. NEC Article 680.23.A.5 The primary windings of the transformer for low voltage luminaire must be GFI protected. NEC Article 680.32 Any approved listed and labeled underwater luminaire rated above 15 volts but below the maximum 150 volt limit NEC Article 680.33.B required for underwater luminaire must be GFI protected. NEC Article 680.32

Example of Low Voltage Underwater Light

To view a low voltage underwater light with its cord buried to a post where the transformer is mounted and plugged into a GFI receptacle with a bubble shield at least 10’away as required for a storable pool you may click on the picture icon to the left.

No bonding grid system that is required to be installed on permanently installed pools is required to serve an above ground storable pool that meets the storable pool definition of: NEC Article 680.2 definition and NEC Article 680.31

Note that if the pool is surrounded by any type of deck making it a permanent setting the rules that apply must be for a permanently installed pool and must not be wired as a storable pool. NEC Article 680.2 definition of a permanently installed pool.

NEC Article 680.2: Definition of a Permanently Installed Pool

To view a permanent structure that makes a pool a permanently installed pool even if inflatable you may view one type of permanent structure surrounding the pool by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

Note that no receptacle is allowed within 10 feet of that pool NEC Article 680.22.A.2 with the exception of a receptacle that serves a pool pump motor. If a receptacle serves a pool pump motor that receptacle must be beyond 5’from the pool’s water’s edge and must be with a twist lock single receptacle if within 10’of the pool’s water’s edge. NEC Article 680.22.A.1

To view a twist lock plug close up you may click on the picture icon to the left

Note that any receptacle installed outside must be with a weather shield protecting both the receptacle and the plug while plugged into the receptacle. NEC Article 406.8

 

To view a bubble shield cover that protects both the receptacle and the installed plug by clicking on the picture icon to the left.

 

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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