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Thread: IG pump plugged into outlet

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    loomer's Avatar
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    Question IG pump plugged into outlet

    Hello. Glad to be here on TFP, and to finally be putting up my first post. As a first time pool owner, I have done a lot of reading on your forum and already consider it my go-to online resource.

    I inherited a pool when we purchased a house about 4 months ago. I have had it open for about two months now, and things have been going well. Levels have been good, clear water..etc. However, back in February during our initial home inspection, we had the pool inspected and found out that the pump that is currently being used for the pool is an above ground rated pump. It has been in the back of my mind that when I had the chance, I was going to purchase a new in-ground rated pump.

    The current pump seems to be moving the water fairly slow, and it gets really hot if left on for a few hours. Especially during the day in the hot sun. I have been running it overnight for that reason alone.
    The current pump is setup where it is plugged in with a twist plug to an outlet at the pump/filter platform. It has an on off switch tied in with the outlet. From there, it is wired to its own dedicated GFCI breaker on the house breaker box. I was hoping for now I could just use the plug that is currently being used for the old pump, with the new 1HP Pentair Superflo replacement pump that I just got. Of course most in-ground pool setups are shown being hardwired in, and sometime in the near future when I get a timer I may just do that. But for now, Id like to keep it as simple as possible and keep things the way they are with the plug if possible.

    My question, is it OK to use the plug/outlet setup for an in ground pump?
    19000 gal rectangle 16x32 IG vinyl pool - 1.5" pvc - Niagra Sand filter -
    1 skim/1 return -120v 1HP Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    loomer's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    wow.. thought Id get a response.. was it something that I said?

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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Sorry, sometimes posts get overlooked by the folks that are experts in that particular aspect of pool ops. I can't help you personally, but keep an eye here and give the thread a bump whenever it drops off the first page. Someone will help you out.
    8,500gal plaster in-ground with attached spa, two floor drains, one skimmer. Chlorine, City Water.
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Welcome to TFP!

    I do not know if it is safe to install and operate that pump with that plug. There are likely few people here who will make electrical recommendations that are or seem to be outside of the norm. I'm guessing the installation manual does not offer that as an option. Electrical safety is very important with a pool. It is critical that the pump be wired according to the instructions and local building codes to include proper grounding and bonding.
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    loomer's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Hello, and thank you for the responses.

    This is directly from the manual: "The pump should be permanently connected to either a circuit breaker, 2-pole timer or 2-pole relay. If AC power is supplied by a GFCI circuit breaker, use a dedicated circuit breaker that has no other electrical loads."

    The outlet that the pump is twist lock plugged into is on a dedicated GFCI breaker. Nothing else but the pump is on it. I feel like my setup should satisfy all of this, with the only difference being that it is using a plug into an outlet instead of being hardwired. After reading further in the manual, I am also somewhat unclear as to what I need to do to bond the motor to the pool?
    19000 gal rectangle 16x32 IG vinyl pool - 1.5" pvc - Niagra Sand filter -
    1 skim/1 return -120v 1HP Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    What voltage is the existing pump?
    What voltage is the new pump?
    What is the twist-lock receptacle and plug NEMA rating (L6-15, etc.)?

    If the voltage (and somewhat amperage) of the new pump matches the old pump, you will be fine to use the twist-lock setup. If it doesn't there will be some rewiring and replacing of the twist-lock plug & receptacle required.

    So, yes the twist-lock is acceptable as long as it's properly wired and sized.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    More here on bonding, Pool School - Bonding vs Grounding
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    To add to what others have said, yes, if properly sized and wired correctly it will work. But, I'll ask the question, why?

    It will take the same amount of work to remove the cord from the old pump and reinstall on the new pump as it would to just wire the new pump correctly. With a length of "liquid tite" and properly sized wires the existing box with the twist loc receptacle would just become a junction box with a flat waterproof cover. I would bet it would be less than $50 in parts from one of the big box stores.

    As to bonding, the new pump should have a lug that you will attach a piece of #8 solid wire to the existing bond wires.
    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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    loomer's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    What voltage is the existing pump?
    What voltage is the new pump?
    What is the twist-lock receptacle and plug NEMA rating (L6-15, etc.)?

    If the voltage (and somewhat amperage) of the new pump matches the old pump, you will be fine to use the twist-lock setup. If it doesn't there will be some rewiring and replacing of the twist-lock plug & receptacle required.

    So, yes the twist-lock is acceptable as long as it's properly wired and sized.
    The OLD pump is: 115v / 12 amps
    The NEW pump is: 115v / 13.2 amps

    Twist lock is rated at L5-20 / 20amps / 125v

    Sounds like this will work?

    Would you happen to know what the deal is with the bonding, and what needs to be done (if anything) with that?

    Thanks!
    19000 gal rectangle 16x32 IG vinyl pool - 1.5" pvc - Niagra Sand filter -
    1 skim/1 return -120v 1HP Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Sounds to me like the pump is the wrong size for the impeller. I don't see how any outlet would cause this. Pump needs to run on 120v if it's plugged into a 120v outlet, obviously.

    I have read this forum quite a bit and most of these issues have to do with the pump being the wrong size for the impeller.
    25,000 Gallons Inground, Gunite
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    To add to what others have said, yes, if properly sized and wired correctly it will work. But, I'll ask the question, why?

    It will take the same amount of work to remove the cord from the old pump and reinstall on the new pump as it would to just wire the new pump correctly. With a length of "liquid tite" and properly sized wires the existing box with the twist loc receptacle would just become a junction box with a flat waterproof cover. I would bet it would be less than $50 in parts from one of the big box stores.

    As to bonding, the new pump should have a lug that you will attach a piece of #8 solid wire to the existing bond wires.
    Hrm.. That is certainly something I will consider. I hadn't considered wiring it that way, but it certainly makes sense. I just thought it would be much easier to remove the plug from the old pump, and install into the new pump if it was possible, since the outlet is already there. Plus, I live in a cold weather climate where temps go well below freezing in Fall and Winter, so I wanted to try and have a setup that would allow me to bring the pump inside during the winter months with ease to help preserve its life.
    19000 gal rectangle 16x32 IG vinyl pool - 1.5" pvc - Niagra Sand filter -
    1 skim/1 return -120v 1HP Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    As others have said, there is a lug on the pump motor where you connect the bonding grid to. You should currently have a bare wire connected to the existing pump that you'll just hook to the new pump.

    I wouldn't worry about the motor being the wrong size for the impeller. I doubt that anyone has changed the impeller on that pump. Contrary to weird_tolkienish I don't remember very many issues of incorrectly sized impellers on pumps.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    loomer's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Nope. Existing pump does not have any bonding connection. As I mentioned in the original post, it may be because the pump is intended for an above ground pool? Or the previous home owner was negligent? Either way, no bare copper wiring.
    19000 gal rectangle 16x32 IG vinyl pool - 1.5" pvc - Niagra Sand filter -
    1 skim/1 return -120v 1HP Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Can you post a picture of your setup? If the pool was installed properly there should be a bonding wire in the vicinity. May have to do a little light digging to find it as it sounds like previous owners may have buried it or removed it not knowing better.
    40x20 in ground, 33,000 gal, vinyl liner, Hayward 300lb pro series sand filter, Hayward 1.5hp super pump, aquabot xtreme, chlorine

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    As Mike said. There should be one. Even above ground pools and equipment are required to be bonded.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
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    loomer's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    sure.. I'll look around. I mean I'll tell you this. the pump that I am using (the old pump that came with the house)... for one, it was not hooked up to anything when we moved in. it was being stored in the garage for the winter months. We had to bring it out to the concrete filter platform to hook it up in May. Another thing, part of our closing agreement on the house was that the previous home owner run power out to the pool platform. So, before us there was never even power setup at the pump and filter platform. The previous home owner apparently ran an extension cord from outlets by the house to the pump during the summer months. So, I'm not sure there is any of this bonding work. If it does exist, where would it be? by the pool somewhere? or by the filter and pump?
    19000 gal rectangle 16x32 IG vinyl pool - 1.5" pvc - Niagra Sand filter -
    1 skim/1 return -120v 1HP Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    It should be close to the filter and pump. Is there any other electrical equipment close to the equipment pad?

    About when was the pool constructed?

    Can you post a pic of the pool and equipment pad?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    Personally, I would consider upgrading to 220v for efficiency, especially if it's some distance from the panel to the pump which sounds likely. You can use your existing wiring, you just need a 220v breaker in your panel. Your motor is probably switchable between 120/220.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
    there is a lug on the pump motor where you connect the bonding grid to. You should currently have a bare wire connected to the existing pump that you'll just hook to the new pump
    It looks a bit like what's pictured. All the metal touching your water needs to be bonded TOGETHER so they are at the same electrical potential. Please note that BONDING is not the same as GROUNDING

    My Pool: 18'x36' Grecian. Vinyl Liner, 500# sand filter, SWG.

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    loomer's Avatar
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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    here is a pic of my setup. I looked around the pump deck real quick before work and didn't see any wire around there. So one end is attached to the pump, what is the other end of the bonding wire attached to?

    19000 gal rectangle 16x32 IG vinyl pool - 1.5" pvc - Niagra Sand filter -
    1 skim/1 return -120v 1HP Pentair SuperFlo pump

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    Re: IG pump plugged into outlet

    When we moved into oour house 20 years ago the 220v SuperPump was wired via a plug into a waterproof 220v outlet box(snap down cover like yours) when I upgraded to a VS pump the electrician wired it the same way. I’m assuming it’s meets our local code.


    This type of install makes it simple to bring the pump indoors for the winter. If the pump needs to be repaired I can swap out the old pump in minuites.
    IG Tear Drop, Dark Gray Gunite , 27,000 gallons -Age 50+-years, very old Hayward Split Egg Sand Filter with side mount Multi-port- Hayward SP2600VSP Pump- Hayward chlorine feed (not used since finding TFP) - Laars 315K BTU Oil heater- LoopLoc Safety cover- AquaBot RAPIDS 4WD- TF-100 Test Kit w/ Speedstir- 390 Gal Hot Springs Spa Envoy installed May 2017

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