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!