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Thread: Electrical shock

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    Electrical shock

    I first started getting this problem last summer and thought I had it solved but it returned this year. I have learned a lot from reading old posts on this site and hope I can get the answer to my problem. I get a slight shock sometimes when I grab my hand rails down the steps into my pool. When I grab the ladder or the diving board metal supports, I get no shock. Sometimes I don't even get the shock at the hand rail. It's intermittent now and even more maddening.

    From what I have read, I should see a bonding wire attached to a grounding copper rod but all I see is a wire going from two pumps to the grounding rod and no wire from the pool at all.
    I have a 16' x 32' 25k gallon in-ground salt water pool about 5 years old. Goldline generating cell.

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical shock

    Quote Originally Posted by christieec View Post

    From what I have read, I should see a bonding wire attached to a grounding copper rod but all I see is a wire going from two pumps to the grounding rod and no wire from the pool at all.
    Not exactly. In Canada a ground rod is required, but in the US there should be a wire connecting the pool structure and all of the equipment together with no grounding electrode required. Items connected by this bond wire include the deck of the pool, the sockets for ladders and rails, pumps, lights, dive stands and the SWCG.

    From your description it sounds like your pool was not properly bonded. Though the situation you are experiencing would be classified more as an annoyance than anything else, the bonding system is intended to protect you from dangerous electrical events, and the fact that is incomplete is a pretty serious situation.

    Do you live someplace that required inspections at the time of the installation?
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    Re: Electrical shock

    I don't think so.
    I have a 16' x 32' 25k gallon in-ground salt water pool about 5 years old. Goldline generating cell.

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    Re: Electrical shock

    Where are you located?

    With all deference to our friends to the north, grounding rods, while legal, are not the best idea around pools. In the USA the equipment grounding conductors involved with pools must be insulated and have clear runs back to the service entrance neutral buss bar.

    You are also required to have a bonding system that connects the water, deck surface and all the metal parts associated with the pool. This prevents annoyance shocks like you are receiving but also helps prevent dangerous shocks.

    Since you are feeling small shocks you have a incomplete bonding system.

    So you have two problems:

    First a incomplete bonding system and second a source of annoyance shocks.

    As you have discovered this is maddeningly difficult to figure out because many times the shocking appears random and will disappear for months. It may be as something as crazy as the power pole in front of your house.

    You need to get an electrician out with experience in pool bonding and stray voltage (that's the technical term for what you have).

    We can answer your specific questions and supply you with reference materials. National Electrical Code section 680.26 explains the bonding requirements for pools.
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical shock

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Where are you located?
    Louisiana I believe
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    Re: Electrical shock

    I live in Farmerville, LA 71241. I live in a very rural area.
    I have a 16' x 32' 25k gallon in-ground salt water pool about 5 years old. Goldline generating cell.

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    Re: Electrical shock

    Your pool should generally comply with the 2008 version of the National Electrical Code if its five years old.

    So it should be bonded and have some kind of Bonding grid or at the very least a buried bonding wire around the pool in addition to the shell and water and all the other metal attached.

    I think it would be wise to have an electrician check it out. One who understands pool bonding and stray current.
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    Re: Electrical shock

    The fact that someone installed a ground rod as part of the bonding system explains that the person who did this does not understand, A, bonding and B, electrical behavior. I am going to suspect that the ladder cups are mounted in a concrete deck. If so it will be difficult to fix this problem. You mentioned you thought you had it solved last year...What did you do then?
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    Re: Electrical shock

    we were in the midst of a long drought and the ground was very dry. I soaked the ground where the grounding rod was at the pole where the main circuit breaker was located.
    I have a 16' x 32' 25k gallon in-ground salt water pool about 5 years old. Goldline generating cell.

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    Re: Electrical shock

    Pools should generally not have grounding rods. The bonding system should not connect to the equipment grounding system. Grounding rods are permitted under the NEC but its bad practice (and potentially dangerous) to put them anywhere near a pool.

    The equipment grounding on a pool should be insulated and lead directly to the service entrance main buss bar.

    There is a long explanation for this that I don't have the time to write now. But grounding rods are not good near pools.
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