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Thread: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

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    Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    As I have mentioned in some previous posts, we have had a terrible time with our pool builder - not so much in the quality of the work building the pool, but with everything else, mostly stemming from the fact that the owner is a crotchety old jerk, and by all accounts is just getting worse.

    They were originally supposed to do the brick patio deck around the pool, but due to these numerous issues, we told them to forget it, and just finish their work and close out the permit. Well they were pontificating about all sorts of things with the brick patio, so we decided to wait on that, told them we weren't doing that for now, weren't doing a hard scape for now. But apparently to get the final final and close out the permit, pool has to be filled and equipment running, so we're just waiting for that to wash our hands of these folks.

    So we are supposed to be getting plaster in tomorrow (fingers crossed!) and PB comes by today thinking water's in (even though I told them yesterday it was not and I would let them know as soon as it is). We have a gravel and sand base in, cause he told me I need to have it level with the pool three feet out for the inspection, which makes sense, and he starts yelling at me about, "now you can't go back and put brick in, it's not grounded for that (his words, even though it's bonding we're talking about, not grounding), it has to be done a whole different way if you're putting brick, has to have an electrical inspection. If you put brick in, I'm gonna have to report you." I mean, totally belligerent jerk.

    So my question is, could there be any truth to that?? I mean, obviously I know it will specifically depend on codes and whatnot here, but just generally, does that sound like there could be any truth to it? Spoke to a couple people, including electrician, who thought it sounded pretty bogus.

    Only thing I can think of is that maybe there is an issue because they only did a single copper wire around the pool to bond it, not a grid. Could that have anything to do with it? That's the only thing I can think of that could possibly have some merit to it.

    Anyway, everybody's telling me not to stress about it, but of course I'm stressed about it, as we are likely going to end up doing bricks, but in a gravel and sand base as originally planned, rather than concrete.

    Any thoughts would be most appreciated. Thanks!

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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    I'm curious why he didn't do a grid....maybe something to do with your design? can you post some photos?

    I'm no expert but know something of bonding and I find it hard to believe brick would be a problem (but of course check with your local codes)

    Funny how he has the gall to get mad at you when it sounds like he may not have even installed the bonding properly in the first place.

    so sorry you have to deal with this.
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Thank you for your quick response and sympathies. There are worse things, but it's certainly annoying.

    My guess is he didn't do a grid because he knew he wasn't getting any more money out of us and obviously the single wire meets code for some things.

    Yeah, you'd be surprised. He's got a lot of gall. Nothing is ever his fault. If you dare to challenge him or correct him about anything, he throws a fit.

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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Any hard scape elements require bonding within 3' of the edge of the pool, depending on which code cycle your area is on. For a concrete deck, the wire reinforcing mesh mesh or rebar can be connected to the equipotential bonding system and meet the most current code, for other hardscape options a copper wire grid has to be installed in the base material just under the pavers. If it looks like you are going to install hardscape then the inspector could hold the permit until everything is done. Also if the original permit application showed hardscape, and it's not installed that could potentially hold up the final inspection as well.
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    It depends on what code cycle you are on. Louisiana is on the 2011 version of the NEC. I don't have a 2011 code to double check but under the 2011 as I recall its unclear if you are required to have a grid under bricks or pavers. Under the 2014 it is required, sort of. As a concession to the industry where rebar is not available or its encapsulated, a single strand of #8 between 18 and 24 inches and 4 to 6 inches below grade is allowed. Where I live, California, the inspectors usually require the grid.

    I much prefer the grid directly under the pavers.

    Its all in NEC 680.26(B)(2). or watch this Mike Holt Video Swimming Pool Equipotential Bonding 2 of 3, NEC 2014 - 680.26, (19min:50sec) - YouTube It starts talking deck bonding at about 1:50 in. Its using the 2014 code.
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Thank y'all for the responses, much appreciated.

    So if I'm understanding correctly, there could be a difference as to what's required underneath a hard scape vs not? So the PB could have just cheaper out and not done what's needed under hard scape?

    Sounds like the single wire might be enough though? I'm a little confused, sorry.

    Someone had mentioned that about if the permit called for hard scape and now we don't have it, but I think the PB wants to be done with us as much as we want to be done with him, and he didn't say anything about that being an issue (maybe you don't even have to specify here? I don't know.).

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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    And I did read the NEC, I just still couldn't make sense of it, kinda seemed like it was saying the single wire would be enough, but also kinda seemed it was saying a grid is needed.

    Argh, it's all so confusing. My GC, who's trying to help me sort through this mess says not to lose any sleep over it, he doesn't have a grid out around his pool, but how can I not?!

    New Orleans, 15,000 gallon IG free form Wet Edge Primera Stone Riviera Coast, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (011018), Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge Filter (160340), Rainbow R171096 Automatic Chlorine Feeder, TF-100 Test Kit, build March-June 2016, filled June 19

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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    I would not worry to much about this guy. When the inspector shows up talk to him about what you want to do and have him tell you what he will want to see. If you are doing concrete you will bond to the reinforcing wire/mesh/bars in the concrete. If you are doing brick pavers most likely you will only need a wire under the pavers in the sand bed 18" out and ~6" deep, 4 connection points to the shell, etc. Some areas want more than that and the newer codes are more specific. Again, ask the inspector. They are not bad people and want you to have a safe pool. They also do not want to make extra trips out there.
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Thanks! Well the thing is, I don't want to talk to the inspector if the PB is there, as I suspect he will be, just don't want to give him any opportunity to hassle me. And then we'll have the pool permit closed out, and my understanding is don't need a permit here for doing a patio. So hopefully won't have to deal with inspector at all after that. I just want to make sure I'm good if he tries to cause any problems.

    But have learned a few things since I last wrote. We are on the 2011 NEC here, so it seems pretty clear that a single wire is all that is needed. And I actually have been speaking to another pool person, who just had this to say, so I think we should be good to go.

    "Yes as long as there is four connections around the pool hooked to the pump you are good."

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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Hate to revive an old thread, but this issue is unfortunately STILL unresolved

    So we are still trying to get our final inspections, get everything closed out with the PB so that we can wipe our hands of these people, be totally done with them, and nothing has proved more frustrating ever. Pool was filled weekend before last, PB came out on Monday the 20th, turned everything on, said everything looked good and said he was calling for inspection that day. All last week I'm talking to the woman who really runs the business (his stepdaughter) and she's telling me, yes, they called, they're backed up, blah blah blah. So then she tells me they said they're going to send the inspector on Thursday, and let her know on Friday. Friday comes and goes, nothing. Monday comes and goes, nothing. Finally yesterday she calls and says that the inspection company (they use a third party inspection company, more on that in a second) said the inspector came out and couldn't do the inspection because someone told him they wouldn't let him on the property because he didn't have a badge. That is a bald-faced lie if I've ever heard one, I certainly didn't see or talk to anyone, neither did my wife, and I'm sure no one else would have told him that. So that's just total nonsense. So she says they're gonna come ASAP, blah blah.

    So on this third party inspection thing - apparently that's a big thing here, these third party inspection companies, PB says they get it done much quicker (but that's not seeming to be the case here), but I think they're questionable.

    So I get home early from work yesterday, and a little after 4 I happen to be in the yard and here comes this guy with some sort of inspector shirt on it, says he's there for the electrical inspection. He, on his own, says basically what the PB had been yelling about a couple weeks ago - "now you can't just go and put pavers on here, it's not grounded for that." So I try to ask him what would need to be done, and he kinda hems and haws, says a couple of things that don't seem to make sense - first says it would need a second wire, and I'm like, you mean, just a second one like the one that's there, and he doesn't really answer. Then says something about it would need six connections, which I kind of thought it has, but which I've also heard is not correct, it only needs four. Then he kinda skedaddles out of there. BUT, he also says, "well I'm not worried about it, I did my inspection, I have pictures," something to that effect, very clearly implying that he had done the grounding/bonding inspection previously, as the PB had told me had been done. (Side note, because I have the gate open, he happens to see that the gate is not self-closing, it doesn't have a spring, which he says won't pass the building inspection, but he says he's not there to do that, says "I can do it if they wanna pay me for it, but I"m just doing the electrical" - which was odd, b/c even though it's through this third party company, I swear PB had said that the final final has to be done by the City, so I'm not sure what's up with that.)

    So of course, now I'm freaking out again, call one of the guys who might be doing the bricks, who does pools, and he says that sounds ridiculous, never heard of such a thing, there's not a different kind of bonding, etc., etc. But says he'll have his electrician check to see if it passed that, and a little while later tells me that his electrician checked, and it didn't have a grounding inspection, and it will have to be exposed and he'll have to file for the inspection, etc., etc. So now I'm really livid, I'm like what the heck is going on. I ask him if it's possible that they're just filing it all together at the end, and he seems to think that's not, says they would file it right when it's done. So I go back and look at my messages, and unequivocally the PB told me at the end of May that "the pool was grounded" and "passed inspection." So really very strange!

    Then today, PB tells me that it's passed the final electrical, that's been filed. So I go online and check, we have this online permit system where you can look up permits, and last night there was an open electrical, but today it's closed, said it passed, so then I talk to my general contractor, who's been helping me out with this nonsense, and he is of the opinion that if the electrical is closed, we're good to go, don't need to worry about it. He thinks that it had to have a grounding/bonding inspection, how else could it have been closed, which seems to make sense to me. I mean, every pool has to have some sort of bonding, right, even if it's just grass around it? The only thing I could think was maybe the electrician had access to some other database or something where he could see specific inspections (because the one I can see online doesn't break it down into that much detail), but he didn't think so.

    Anyway, I'm not sure really what my question is, I guess just if anyone has ever heard of such a thing, that a pool would be bonded for grass/softscape, but not pavers, what the heck that could be about, or if anyone has any idea about this inspection nonsense (I'm sure not, I know this is very specific and local, etc.).

    Oh, and the building inspection is still open, because apparently there is some issue with the gates. I'm having my GC call PB, because I just cannot deal with her today.
    New Orleans, 15,000 gallon IG free form Wet Edge Primera Stone Riviera Coast, Intelliflo Variable Speed Pump (011018), Clean and Clear Plus Cartridge Filter (160340), Rainbow R171096 Automatic Chlorine Feeder, TF-100 Test Kit, build March-June 2016, filled June 19

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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    So if the county says you have passed you have passed.

    If you just have the 8 gauge wire round the pool that almost certainly meets the Code. On the other hand before you put in your pavers I would drop down another wire round the pool and tie it in. Two would be better. The idea is not to comply with the code, the idea is to make the pool safer.

    I've (or the construction company I worked with at the time) built buildings with independent inspections all the time. Both the independents and the government inspectors miss things. Unless you are in California or Texas where pools are big business the inspectors don't see a lot of pools and don't have the training that pool electrical requires.
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Your future goals have no bearing on the ability of the current work to pass an inspection. Leave them out of any conversations with this crazy PB and any of his subs.

    Once the permit is closed and they're out of your life, look into your other projects. If you have to change something later, it will probably still be cheaper and easier than continuing with this circus.
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Thank you for the responses! You all always make me feel at ease (rightly so or not ). Yes, that's exactly what we have, the 8 gauge wire around the pool connected to everything.

    Oh definitely, just trying to do whatever is necessary to get done with these crazy characters. Just don't want something coming back to bite me later. Because my understanding is that we don't need a permit or inspection or anything to lay down the pavers, that's not required for that here.

    So we're all ready to pull the trigger on getting the pavers down, just waiting for everything to be closed out with them (I will say though, the one silver lining with these people, aside from the fact that they actually did a fine job on the pool in terms of the work, despite being pains and jerks and all that, is that their electrician is great - we've been looking for a good electrician, 'cause the one who did our interior renovation for us was the WORST, so that was a real plus of using them). Just want to make sure he's not going to be sneaking around, see that we're doing pavers and somehow cause us problems, that's my main concern.

    Oh hmm, so you're saying there actually is some benefit to the second wire? I had never heard of such a thing and one guy thought it sounded crazy, but maybe not? Like I was saying, we're planning to put pavers in ASAP as soon as everything's closed out, and we already have the gravel and sand base all around the pool, three feet out, as PB said that was what we needed to pass inspection, so it would be somewhat of a pain to clear all that away to add a second wire. But you think that's worth doing? We are adding a ladder, which of course we're planning to bond. Oh, which brings to mind another quick question - we're going to install umbrella/volleyball net holders on either side of the pool - if we have a concrete base for them (planning to just use PVC), does that need to be bonded, or that's not necessary??

    Thanks again!
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    More bonding will only be a good thing especially under pavers. The wire can be laid right on top of the sand bed the pavers are going on so no digging will be needed. Te more bond wire around the pool the better
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    As danpik stated the more under deck bond wire the better.

    While the NEC technically permits the single wire that is not the preferred method and generally won't work in the western US. The inspectors will just say no. They all require some form of Grid.

    Why because the most dangerous area is the transition from water to deck. The more that the deck and the water can be bonded the the safer the swimmers.

    Understand we don't push bonding on here because we get a commission from copper wire sales, we push adequate bonding because it is a serious safety problem we see with regularity that is difficult or impossible to solve once the pool is compete.
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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Ah, I see. OK, very good, appreciate the explanation.

    So seems it would be beneficial to add a second wire. And that's great if we can just lay it on top of the sand, not have to dig it all up. So I assume as long as it's connected to one of the connections to the other, that'll be good enough? Doesn't need to connect to each of them, right?

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    Re: Urgent Patio Deck Bonding Question

    Just bumping this...

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    Second Bonding Wire

    For those who have heard about any of our saga, we finally got our final inspection and had our permit closed yesterday - hallelujah! So now we are done with the clowns who built our pool, so don't have to worry about any of the craziness they were giving us about the bonding and the patio.

    Brick guy is coming tomorrow to finish laying the gravel and sand base, and hopefully we'll be bricking by the end of the week!

    To recap, we have a single bonding wire around our pool, which I know meets the NEC code that we are under (I forget if it's 2008 or 2011), but the PB and then the inspector (private inspector, not from City) were carrying on that it wasn't bonded for a paver base, blah blah blah. But from everything I can tell, that's just total nonsense.

    Anyway, in posting about it here, a couple people suggested adding a second bonding wire around the pool, just for extra safety. They said we could just add it right on top of the sand, right under the bricks, but just wanted to make sure I understand that correctly.

    So we just connect it to one of the existing connections (which we have to access anyway as we are adding a ladder which we need to bond - rest are covered, as we've already done the base right around the pool so that we could pass the inspection), and that's it? That's all there is to it?

    Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

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    Re: Second Bonding Wire

    Yes just add a second 8 gauge bare copper wires 6 to 8 inches out from the original one and make sure it is clamps to the existing one with copper split bolt clamps. The most common bonding failure we see on here is the water to deck bond so reinforcing the deck bond will only help there. Make sure your water is bonded.
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    Re: Second Bonding Wire

    Cool - thanks!

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