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Thread: Another bonding issue

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    Another bonding issue

    I. recently purchased a home in Alabama with a in ground vinyl pool.It has a 3 foot wide concrete deck all around pool.I was not told by the seller their was a tingle in the pool.I can turn off main breaker to all of the system,put a volt meter probe in the water,the other probe on concrete deck and get a 0 reading,but splash some water on the concrete and now get a reading of .08 volts.I can not find evidence of the pool being bonded.Any suggestions?
    Thank you,
    Tom

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    Re: Another bonding issue

    So when you turn off the main at the subpanel there is a difference of .08 volts between the water and the deck? What happens when you turn off the power at the service entrance? If the difference goes away then there may be something in your house leaking current. If it continues then you may have a power company issue.

    Look at your pump is there a bare copper wire attached to a lug on the pump motor?

    Frankly there is no easy way to bond a pool to a concrete deck after construction other than ripping up the deck.

    If there is a wire to the pump see if you can trace it back to the pool. Then you can insert a plate in the pool and attach the plate to the bonding wire. See if that works. I know easier said than done.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    I have this .08 volts with the pump running and it is also there when I turn off the main breaker even before the sub panel.There is a from 8 gauge wire from the salt generator to the pump and also from the Polaris pump to the pump lug. That's it for 8 gauge wires.So I'm sure it's not bonded.
    tom

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    Re: Another bonding issue

    OK

    Hummmmm

    So just to be sure when the house main is off the differential still exists?

    If that is correct I would call your power company. Describe the problem to them. Any transformers nearby? Neighbors house close?

    You might want to call around to electricians and find one familiar with stray voltage and him come look at it. But that just locates the source (and those can be hard to find). Bonding the pool water, deck and structure may also be difficult without ripping up concrete.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    Ok,I put down a rubber mat put water on the mat and measured no voltage,so I'm thinking of coating all the concrete with a rubberized pool deck coating and that should stop the tingling,but I suppose the real culprit is still there.You don't get any voltage from the ladder and the pool light is disconnected.What are your thoughts on this?
    Tom

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    Re: Another bonding issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Ltmoeller View Post
    Ok,I put down a rubber mat put water on the mat and measured no voltage,so I'm thinking of coating all the concrete with a rubberized pool deck coating and that should stop the tingling,but I suppose the real culprit is still there.You don't get any voltage from the ladder and the pool light is disconnected.What are your thoughts on this?
    Tom
    Chances are the builders didn't bond the rebar in the deck. That is problem number one, and there is really not much you can do about it.

    As far as locating the source of the current, that is equal parts persistence, experience, electrical knowledge and magic. Could be phone lines, neighbor's well pump, general stray voltage from power company feeds or a host of other things.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    I don't have any great solutions. Though I have my doubts the rubberized coating will be that effective. Other than ripping up the deck which I admit is not a great solution. I would call your power company. While no one will die from that leak, kids will feel it and it could be a more serious leak. But as John says these things can be maddeningly difficult to find.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    I concur that the concrete decking isn't tied to the bonding loop. Buried in this forum somewhere is my thread with same problem. We can read one volt between the water and concrete even with the power at the main breaker off. We haven't drilled into the concrete to attempt to correct but did experiment with laying a copper wire in the stress joint of the concrete and submerging the other end in pool (obviously just an experiment not a fix) and we were not able to read any voltage at that point.

    We haven't finagled a fix yet. We do warn guests. Some notice......others don't.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    Not all voltage potential issues around pools are caused by "leaking electricity". Voltage gradients exist all around us. large masses are good at developing and holding voltage potentials. This is why the NEC developed the protocol for pool bonding.

    I had to dig back a bit to find this posting from last year as I did not feel like re-writing it.
    Several years ago I had to fix a bonding problem on a pool. The owner was getting some pretty severe shocks and was sure it was a problem with something on the POCO lines. I fixed the bonding grid around the pool and eliminated the shocking problem. He was happy but still was convinced it was something on the POCO side. Fast forward about 2 years and we had a large area wide power outage that lasted several hours and covered a large portion of the northeast. With nothing to do I decided to test a theory. I went to his house, unhooked the bonding grid from the water and tested again. With an area wide power outage there should have been no "stray" voltage in the area. When I put one meter probe in the ground and the other in the water I measure a voltage differential of almost 3 volts.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    Danpik , this question may or may not help the OP but........even with power out is it still not possible to get stray voltage from a power company ground wire? We have one within 100 yards or less of our pool which is why assumed we had the stray voltage. Nonetheless, the fact that it can be measured between water and concrete deck is due to improper bonding for sure.

    I'm just adding (I guess) that the power company is not responsible for the shock felt when stepping in pool. I called my electric co-op when we discovered our problem. I came home for lunch fo find six power company trucks with at least one engineer on our property. They admit stray voltage but claim no responsibility as everything is grounded per code. We also had the phone company out to check their lines.

    Fact is. There IS stray voltage. Our pools need to be properly bonded with concrete deck. Which seems to get neglected by either inspections or codes as mine was a new build with both permit and bonding inspection.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    In the case I described, there was absolutely no power anywhere. The entire northeast was out. The voltage I measured was, for want of a better term, static buildup. I did this experiment at work one day also. i took a large steel plate and a smaller aluminum plate and set them on some glass rods. I was able to measure a voltage differential between the two of them.

    Realistically, there should be no voltage dropping back on the ground wire at the pole. The true purpose of that wire is for high voltage events such as lightning strikes. If someone in the are has a bad neutral connection to their house, the voltage in their circuit may try to get back to the PoCo source via their ground rod, the earth and the PoCo ground rod. In this sense, there would be 'stray" voltage in the area.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    I just want to run this by everyone who responded.My pool is 18X36 with fiberglass steps.A hand rail attached to steps and concrete deck.I splash water in concrete at that location and no voltage.Also no voltage at handrail and pool.At right side of pool no voltage on concrete until I splash water on concrete.Volts is .08.I go to deep end and no voltage from ladder to pool.But splash water at deep end on concrete and voltage is lower at .03.Sorry for being long winded.
    Thanks,Tom

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    Re: Another bonding issue

    How close is your pool to any easement or right of way for undergrd utilities? Do you have such a set-up?

    When you bought your home, were there any seller disclosures? I'm sure the prior owner knew of this issue, but for an inspection comp to catch this, pretty remote chance. You might want to get a list of all the elec companies around you and call them by starting out, "hey, I'm the new owner at XXXX Lane. did you every find the source of the issue when Mr "prior owner" called you? If you get a hit, then the entire issue can be put back on the seller to fix if they did not disclose it to you. The more recent the purchase, the greater probability you'd win. I'd also have your real-estate agent ck too, but make sure you know them well...they do not want to eat any commissions if this does go S.

    Electricity conductivity can be a strange bird to pin down. If you achieve no results on the above, might be jack-hammer time. You could always take out the portion of the pool that gets the charge, ground the rebar in that area, and replace it w decorative pavers...at least some portion of the pool properly ground might do the trick. You could also run your wiring all above ground back to the equip pad to see if it works. If it does, then you can get a plan and bury it.

    good luck and let us know what you ultimately do/find/achieve - tstex
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    Watching this thread close...I too have an unbonded situation in ground vinyl and underground utilities though I have not tested anything
    with a multimeter yet.

    I thought I read someone say that .8 volt or less shouldn't even register (tingle) but that could be wrong.

    And better to be safe then get shocked of course.

    edit: nevermind he said ohms not volts. and it was about measuring resistance between metal items nearby.
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    Re: Another bonding issue

    Tstex,I bought the home in Alabama and there is a non disclosure law.I learned of the tingling issue from two family members after the sale.I'll work on this til I figure it out.
    Tom

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