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Thread: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

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    Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    purchased my first pool 3 weeks ago from the great escape. They havent contacted me yet on the install due to weather. I've been reading about electrical codes this whole time and totally understand that the metal parts of the pool, frame, walls, water, and pump must be bonded with #8 bare copper wire attached to 4 equally distant points on the pool at 6" below grade using direct bury lugs and connected by split bolts with a specific db rating. I'm fairly sure I've got a good bead on that. However, my city electrical inspector who retires in 2 weeks thinks I need to use a 3' perimeter of 1'x1' #8 copper bonding grid in addition. Most of what I have read states that this is required under concrete decking or pavers. I have no plan to do either of those within 6+feet and plan to build a small 1/4 deck of composite decking around one end of the round part with 2 steps and a small deck level with the trim. The rest of the pool will be surrounded by decorative grasses, shrubs, etc, and mulch. The million dollar question is do I need a 3' 1'x1' bonding grid by code if I have no concrete anywhere near there other than the footings for my deck? I ordered a custom built grid from aquabond.com 3 weeks ago. Said 5-7 days to ship but has almost been a month and they don't reply to emails. I want my pool to be safe But this grid thing seems excessive since I'm doing the bonding with the single #8 bare copper around the perimeter. Anybody able to "decode" the electrical code? Thanks!!
    15x26 oval semi-inground

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    cowboycasey's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    Welcome to TFP

    your pool is an above ground pool and therefore considered temporary and is not under the same regulation.. with that said, I am in the same thinking as you and bonded everything together even though it is an above ground...

    make him show you in the regulation where a temporary pool is bonded... There are people here that know the regulation much better than me and will help with more detail..

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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    Just the fact that it is being some what buried MAY change their definition of what a "temporary" pool is.

    "who retires in 2 weeks thinks I need to use"----that may be your problem right there! It is either required or NOT!
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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    The current code states that any pool 42" deep and over is considered permanent per sec 680 of the 2014 NEC. The 4"x4" bonding grid applies to traditional in ground concrete/gunite pools. It also applies to the hard deck around the pool. Generally the rebar/remesh is enough to satisfy the requirements of the grid so long as it has bare copper wire attached at the prescribed points. For above ground/preformed pools you still need the continuous loop of wire around the pool attached to the pool frame in 4 points. If there is no metal frame you still need the loop of wire. You aren't putting in a hard deck you are doing a traditional lumber frame/composit deck. The bonded ground under the deck from the continuous loop of wire running around the pool and the electrical insulating properties of the lumber give you sufficient protection.

    So long story short you don't need the grid unless you have concrete or pavers around you pool the loop of wire has you covered. Your deck is also fine.

    ANY electrical outlets or lights you put on the deck MUST be attached to the bonding grid as well as being GFCI protected.

    Don't forget to bond your pool water using an independent corrosion proof bonding plate. The ones that attach to the skimmer seem very user friendly.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I just caught the code inspector part.... unfortunately they can require you to go above and beyond code if they feel it's justified. If the inspector is telling you it's required it doesn't matter what anyone else says you are at his mercy for the most part.
    Chuck-
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    Mod Squad woodyp's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    Code is code------it's either written or it's not. Inspectors are not GOD even though they may have that type of personal complex. I'd venture to say that most are not even engineers---electrical, structural or whatever the case may be. Whatever they may "feel" is justified can cost you a lot of extra expense. Maybe I just love fighting city hall!
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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    Code is code, this is true. The local inspector is within his rights to add things that go beyond minimum code. I hate that and you hate that and it definitely can get expensive quickly. You can try and fight an inspector but if I was going to go that route I'd have a very strong leg to stand on.
    Chuck-
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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    Ok

    From a code point of view there are two factors at play here the first is NEC adoption. Its my understanding that Bloomington has adopted the 2008 version of the NEC. But Bloomington is in Illinois and Illinois is somewhat unique in that the closer one gets to Chicago, the more deviations from the standard code.

    I don't have a 2008 version on of the NEC sitting on my office shelf, only the 2014 version and as noted above this is Illinois, so I can't be exact.

    Based on the 2014 version of the code you have a permanently installed pool. To be a storable pool it mus be constructed at or above the ground and can't be more than 42" deep. All plastic or vinyl pools are always storable.

    So your bonding requirements under the 2014 NEC are governed by NEC 680.26(B)(2) which requires the bonding of all perimeter surfaces out to three feet from the edge of the pool.

    The code is clear -- it requires bonding of perimeter surfaces. It would be different for a storable pool under NEC 680.30. A storable pool is not required to be bonded.

    Now that said its not the usual thing in my experience to require surface bonding with most walled AGPs. But I'm far from an expert on AGPs and most AGPs are neither permitted nor inspected.

    So short answer is I think the surface must be bonded under the current NEC but I'm sure Bloominton is not on that code cycle and its Illinois so who knows what local changes are oou there.

    Finally a small point. Inspectors may interpret ambiguous portions of the code or adopt the code provisions to situations that are not clearly covered by the code. But they can't just willy nilly add requirements beyond the code. I've spent too many afternoons sitting across a conference table from a chief building inspector while our engineers or fire safety experts hash out a logical meaning to the code. When the Chief Building Inspector looks at you and states "we just can't make it up, we are not on that code cycle," you know its not going to go well for the good guys. But most inspectors are reasonable guys with a great deal of practical expedience so its usually possible to work something out. It always helps to have the fire department on your side.
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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    Thanks to all replies...if the grid i ordered online from aquabond arrives i'll just do it, however the pending charge on my card disappeared and they haven't replied to emails. Think i'm going to do the single #8 bare copper wire around the pool and show him the specific documentation i've found. If he has an issue I'll talk to the new guy a few weeks later and see what he says. Like i said, i want to be safe but don't want to go way overboard.
    15x26 oval semi-inground

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    Re: Bonding GRID for semi inground pool?

    Thanks to all replies...if the grid i ordered online from aquabond arrives i'll just do it, however the pending charge on my card disappeared and they haven't replied to emails. Think i'm going to do the single #8 bare copper wire around the pool and show him the specific documentation i've found. If he has an issue I'll talk to the new guy a few weeks later and see what he says. Like i said, i want to be safe but don't want to go way overboard.
    15x26 oval semi-inground

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