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Thread: Bonding a pool light switch

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    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Bonding a pool light switch

    Hi I am about to move a pool light switch from one location to another on my outside wall. I noticed that my electrical contractor had bounded the switch, the box and the breaker box with a 8 gauge cooper wire coming from the Pentair Junction Box out in the yard. I ran a continuity test with my multimeter and everything is bonded together, the light, switch, ladder, diving board, the pump, the heater and the main breaker box. The hot and neutral wires on the switch are GFCI protected.

    I guess my question is that I have never seen any pictures showing the Main Breaker being bonded with the pool. It sort of scares me that I am giving electricity (a short anywhere inside the house) a way around the GFCI protected devices (everything that is near the pool).

    I am feeling a little better because I opened up my heater and noticed that electricity could follow the bonding lug to the grounding wire (and that is how it was designed). So even if I did remove the bonding from the switch, the breaker would still be in the bonded.

    Thoughts and thanks for your help -
    Roger

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    chiefwej's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding a pool light switch

    A GFCI trips if there is any imbalance between the two sides of a circuit. Current flowing out on the hot side and not returning on the neutral would trip it. So I don't see how it's providing a "way around GFCI protected devices".
    chiefwej
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    Re: Bonding a pool light switch

    The NEC specifically exempts panels from bonding. It nowhere mentions switches. NEC 680.26(B). It says "remote panelboards" which I take to mean any panelboard more than 10 feet from the pool. Where is the main panel? What acts as the disconnect for the pool pump? Most electricians run the pool from a subpanel which I wouldn't bond and have never seen bonded.

    I would not bond a panel or a switch unless it was within 10 feet of the pool and there was a compelling reason to do so. But then I would not put a panel within ten feet of a pool.

    As the OP points out bonding and grounding do different things and generally you should not mix them together. That is why all pool ground wires must be insulated, so current flowing through the ground don't inadvertently energize the bonding system. An extremely low probably event but a risk.

    Yes a GFCI will trip, but a main panel board or even the vast, vast majority of subpanels are not protected by GFCI so that argument doesn't fly.

    Post some pictures.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    May 2014
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    Wayne, PA
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    Re: Bonding a pool light switch

    We have one main panel and not a sub panel. Should I have one? Not worried about the GFCI as I know that is correctly hooked up. I am thinking of removing the bond wire from the switch that is connected to the ground bar of the panel. Though I really don't think it makes a difference. If I do that, the bonding wire will be isolated to all the external pool components and we will still have a equipotential bonding.

    However, the panel is part of this equipotential bonding even without the bonding that my electrician did in the switch. The reason is that both the heater and pump are taking the ground and the bond and as you say "mixing them together". I am attaching a picture of my Hayward Heater with the bonding nut and the grounding screw on the same piece of metal. The bonding nut is on the outside and the grounding screw is inside. I put my multimeter on the both and have .2 OHMS resistance between them (definitely a circuit) and my bonding circuit is now part of my ground circuit.

    If that is correct, then haven't we open the possibility of something happening in the house to cause my bonding circuit to energize. I guess as long as everything is bonded correctly it will not be a problem, but wow....

    Not an electrician, but I sure would like to understand this.

    Roger
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