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Thread: Another bonding question

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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Another bonding question

    As I sit here awaiting my liner for my EW pool project (Just bought a used Esther Williams 15x30 Carousel) I learned (or became re-acquainted with) a new term. Bonding. My previous pool was an 18' Intex and although reccomended was not required to be bonded. Where my 15' x 30' EW pool is there is no indepth inspection or else since it was a removable pool was not scrutinized that heavily. Regardless, I want to do it right and make sure I'm doing everything to keep it safe. After hours and hours over a couple of days here on TFP reading many bonding threads plus reading Mike Holt’s Illustrated Guide to article 680- Swimming pools, Spas, hot tubs, etc. I think I have an understanding of what to do. My Esther Williams pool is aluminum sided with aluminum bracing on the long sides. There will be aluminum coping around the pool with EW aluminum fencing outside of the coping. On one end there is an aluminum deck fastened to the coping and supports. The pool is out in the middle of the back yard with no other metal or concrete around it. There is an equipment pad about 5' from the water just past the patio portion. The only item ran electrically is the pump. No heater or SWG at this time. The single outlet out by the pool is a single branch fed off of a GFCI breaker in the garage sub panel about 40' away.




    This is it in the previous owners yard. Not mine.

    I understand the difference between grounding and bonding. So bonding is pretty much tying all metal items together in a specific manner to equalize the voltage potential. Pool water with chemicals plus some metals is the basis of a crude battery. Plus the fact that you have electrical equipment in close proximity to the pool. So in my case I run a 8 AWG ring around the pool 18"-24" from the wall buried 4"-6" deep. It is tied to the pool in a minimum of 4 spots plus tied to the pump lug. And the water needs at least 9 sq. in. of area bonded too. I plan on using 4 legs spaced equidistant around the pool on the framing and supports. I plan on tying the patio in it in at least 2 places also. Since my coping and perimeter fencing are all screwed together with the frame they don't require their own tie in correct? I added a ground rod last year for my pump lug. There is no harm in including it in the bond correct? Since the ring is a copper conductor buried in the ground it is not much different from my grounding rod correct? It has no ties to the electrical service anywhere. Since I have it and did such a fine job of driving it in I'd like to use it. But I can live without it too.
    I know about using the split lugs to do the branching out to the pool and patio and water. I see the lugs people use to tie to the pool with bolts. A question I had after looking at the bolt on lugs at HD and Lowes is this. Since I know copper and aluminum are not the best of buddies and when used in a breaker panel you use the paste made for this. I saw aluminum lugs just like the copper lugs people make their attachment with and thought I might use them. My thinking is this. All of my metal is aluminum and aluminum bolted to it will be fine. The copper wire connection at the lug would have the paste applied. If the copper/aluminum connection was ever an issue when checked than just a lug replacement would be required. If enough service loop was left with the wire it would be no problem to just cut the end off of the wire and have good copper again. This vs having a copper lug bolted to the aluminum pool and moving the potential dissimilar metal point to the framework. Am I OK doing this?
    I will probably use a SS, copper, or brass section of pipe or nipple along with a meter ground connection to bond the water. I'm not ready to drill my skimmer or spend $175 on a bonding nipple. 2" or more of 1 1/2" pipe or 1 1/2" of 2" pipe will get 9 sq. in. of surface. I haven't decided what I can get where yet. Of course i just started looking recently.
    Am I good with all this? I'm not missing anything am I? I sure appreciate all of the knowledge on here so freely given. Reading elsewhere the topic exposes how clueless some professionals are to such an important safe guard. Will it cost $130-$150? Sure. Is it worth it? To me it is. And it's not that hard to do when 1st installing the pool. Thanks TFP!
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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    Re: Another bonding question

    thats sounds like you have a great understanding of it

    I used the in skimmer bundy part and it was really really easy and it's out of the way

    Amazon.com: Burndy Waterbug Pool Water Bonding Kit Ul: Kitchen Dining

    I used 3m 5200 on the bolt, inside, outside and used a lot of it.. It has been submerged for over a year and no issues whatsoever, no leaks
    Amazon.com: 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200 Fast Cure White, 06535, 1 oz tube (Pack of 1): Industrial Scientific

    now some have said you do not need an anode but with different metals like you have it may be a good thing, I buried it below my pump pad where it would receive water whenever I changed the gunk out of the pump and wet the soil..

    Here is the cheapest one I found and will last a 2 or 3 lifetime's
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Another bonding question

    The only thing that jumps out at me is no, you do not,include the ground rod in the bonding system. The pump should already be grounded through the plug or cable. The lug on the end of the pump is for,the bonding.

    I'm sure Gordon will be around,to,clean up an misinformation....
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: Another bonding question

    You can take or leave the ground rod your choice. I also wouldn't be to concerned with corrosion. Be sure the lugs you use have an CU stamp on them and your good. No need for anti corrosion goo. Also I know here in mass the bonding conductor is one solid piece not tapping off.

    Hope that helps a little.
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    Re: Another bonding question

    Sounds like you hit the nail on the head. I also have an aluminum frame I simply used a self tapping screw to secure the bonding lug to the up rites in a spot I can easily get to to inspect for corosion down the road. An alternative to the water bug for bonding is the perma-cast water bonding fitting you can get it on Amazon for 25 bucks. All you need is a threaded tee fitting to install it.
    The ground rod is fin so long as it isn't connected to the electrical panel and only to the bond wire but i think you said that's how it was.
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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Another bonding question

    Also I know here in mass the bonding conductor is one solid piece not tapping off.
    If you are talking about the halo around the pool I agree. 1 piece. (Ends joined). Yes they are CU pieces.

    - - - Updated - - -

    CJ. I'll look into that fitting. I can get a 4" long 1 1/2" piece of pipe nipple for around $25 and then I'll use a meter connection ground clamp on it. But the PVC fitting option my make my plumbing a bit easier even yet!
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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    Re: Another bonding question

    I like your strong desire to do the bonding right,

    As mentioned above use copper bonding lugs attracted to the aluminum frame with self tapping machine screws That's NEC 250.8.

    You raise the dissimilar metals issue. Thats a real issue. But its not as much of an issue here because while this is a conductor its not intended to be used as a conductor. So the code doesn't address it. The big issue the code is concerned about is that the connection between conducting elements of a splice will deteriorate over time, heat up, and arc ending in a fire. That's not really an issue here because metals will not as a general rule be carrying current. And if arching becomes a problem something else is big time wrong.
    You want Good tight connections.

    Ground rods. The code allows extra ground rods anywhere. But they can be an issue around a pool. A ground rod is usually connected to the equipment grounding conductor. When so connected it provides an alternate low resistant path back to the source (the utilities transformer). However, in doing so it also introduces voltage (a voltage gradient) into the earth which may harm persons nearby or in a nearby swimming pool. Simply put, a ground rod on a faulted system may (some will say will here) introduce voltage into the earth and create a voltage gradient around the ground rod that could be harmful to humans.

    This is also why the pool bonding system is not connected to the Main Intersystem Bonding Termination because it is also connected (indirectly) to the equipment grounding conductor.

    So long (too long) response -- no ground rods. And no connections between the bonding system and the equipment grounding conductor (the ground wire.)

    Rather than McGyiver a water bond I really like the waterbug or perma cast water bonds. They work and are UL listed. A water bond is critical to a safe system.
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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Another bonding question

    I'm a little confused on this.
    A ground rod is usually connected to the equipment grounding conductor. When so connected it provides an alternate low resistant path back to the source (the utilities transformer).
    because as stated above
    It has no ties to the electrical service anywhere.
    I'm fine leaving it out of the loop. Just confused why this piece of copper over here can be in the ground and this piece over there in the ground can't be in the loop. Copper in ground is copper in ground right? Not being difficult just trying to understand for future tasks.
    Rather than McGyiver a water bond I really like the waterbug or perma cast water bonds.
    The brass and meter connection was suggested by one of the TFP regulars who was describing how to properly bond the system.
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Another bonding question

    Quote Originally Posted by Wichita Chief View Post
    The brass and meter connection was suggested by one of the TFP regulars who was describing how to properly bond the system.
    When Gordon (gwegan) and generally I make recommendations it is based on the code. Home made devices "may" work, but they are not listed for that use under the NEC. Listed devices have undergone testing to assure that they work for the listed use. They cost more money be because someone has to pay for the testing and assume part of the liability if something goes wrong.

    Is there a high probability that something will go wrong, probably not. But, when you make homemade devices you then assume the liability for any issues that arise.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Wichita Chief's Avatar
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    Re: Another bonding question

    I understand completely.
    AGP: Esther Williams 15' x 30' - 10,500 gal city water filled, S210S Hayward sand filter, SP1592 Hayward PowerFlo Matrix pump.

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