Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    728

    GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    I know this is an old thread, but it does seem to be a general discussion of the safety and code issues, so hopefully OK to tack on my question.

    My parents are having an ornamental pond installed in their back yard. Although described as a pond, the intention at the moment is to maintain the water to pool standards, and to expect people to go into the water from time to time. The builder clearly described it as a body of water that people can play in, float in with a drink, etc.

    So, a couple of questions, I guess --
    1) Would code require GFCI for the 220 V pool pump that provides circulation for this body of water? Or maybe not, since the permit was pulled for a 'pond' rather than a 'swimming pool'?
    2) Even if not required by code, should we put in a GFCI breaker for improved safety?
    3) For safety, should we really add bonding for pump and water (there is nothing metallic anywhere else in the installation)?
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: 220 Volt GFI ??

    I've asked the Mods to make this a new thread.

    You pond is covered by NEC 680, the same part of the code that covers swimming pools.

    680.1 states it applies to "decorative pools and fountains" which in my mind is an ornamental pool. If the primary purpose was fish it would be covered by NEC 682.

    1) Generally you need a 220 volt GFCI for your pool pump. Make sure you get a GFCI that will work with your pump. Many VSP pumps trip incompatible GFCIs.

    2) Generally you want a GFCI for all outdoor and pool applications. There are exceptions but this is not one of them.

    3) Because its covered by NEC 680 then NEC 680.29 requires the pond be bonded. It should probably be bonded anyway, Who wants the three year old reaching in the water to get shocked?

    Bonding and exactly what is required varies by type of construction. Have a good pool electrician over before you start work to review your plan and do the bonding. If you want to do it yourself, I strongly advise against it but here is a reference desiged to train electricians. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...YkJh8yPTMoiIzg
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    728

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Thank you for the information!

    After I posted the questions above, my husband unearthed our 2005 copy of the NEC (light reading in every household, of course ), and we soon reached the conclusion that the pond almost certainly would have the same GFCI and bonding requirements as a regular pool.

    Thank you for outlining the requirements, and for providing that very useful link. Changing the pump breaker (just installed a week ago) to GFCI should be the simplest aspect, albeit not inexpensive, since it is a 20 A 240 V breaker. Then we have to figure out what to recommend to my parents regarding bonding. Unfortunately, construction is almost complete, rather than in the planning stages. This would have been simpler earlier on.

    It will be interesting to see what the local inspector has to say (I assume there will be an inspection step, since a permit was obtained). Aside from that, since the grandkids who are most likely to be splashing around in the pond are my own children, we're motivated to double check on safety issues.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    So I'd like to hear what the inspector says. I would suggest that most ponds are not bonded and many have stray voltage issues that go undetected.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    728

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Yes, I'd be very surprised to hear anyone mention bonding w.r.to a typical backyard pond. This is a bit different, though, as it was represented to my parents as something suitable for kids to play in (and it's being built by someone coming out of a pool building background, so you'd think he would be up to speed on these issues).
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    728

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Still waiting for word on potential inspection.

    I mentioned the GFCI issue to my mom (I double checked the installed breaker, and it definitely is not GFCI), and she will ask the builder about that point.

    In a typical inspection, wouldn't the inspector want to see the trenches with the below-ground electrical conduit, and plumbing as well? Those have already been filled in, so I wondered. (I should mention that my parents are life-long DIY people, but generally without benefit of permit - so, now that they are older and hiring other people to do work for them, they are unfamiliar with that aspect of the process).
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    2,769

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Inspection practices and the knowledge of local inspectors varies so much across the US its impossible to predict. I've been to more than one inspection where everybody brought both their consulting engineers and lawyers.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    728

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Well, interesting turn of events... my mom found out from the builder that he went to town hall before starting the project, and was told that no permit was actually required. Therefore, no inspection by the town upon completion. I sure didn't expect that. However, it is a fairly rural community, so maybe they are thinking in terms of farmers digging ponds for their cows, or something.

    I guess that leaves us on our own as far as pursuing the safety angle.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  9. Back To Top    #9

    In the Industry
    PoolguyinCT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    253

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    A manmade vessel deemed suitable for bathers (as builder indicated) is to be permitted as a swimming pool, barrier compliance & influent piping codes apply. This is for all 50 states. & the above poster is correct ornamental vessels fall under NEC 680.




  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    728

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Quote Originally Posted by PoolguyinCT View Post
    A manmade vessel deemed suitable for bathers (as builder indicated) is to be permitted as a swimming pool, barrier compliance & influent piping codes apply. This is for all 50 states. & the above poster is correct ornamental vessels fall under NEC 680.
    I don't doubt it.

    The difference is probably in how the project was described to the town officials, versus how it was described to the customer. I believe it was described to the town as a pond with circulation and filtration, but the angle of people in the water was probably not part of the description. Even if people stay out of it, and if it possibly falls under 682, it still appears to have inadequate electrical safety under that standard.

    Trying to decide what to recommend to my parents here.

    Barrier rules don't come into play (I think, anyway) since water depth is only 20".
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    728

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Interesting article, particularly the section about halfway down titled "A Shocking Possibility" --

    Pond or Pool: The fierce and divisive swim pond debate - POND Trade Magazine

    I didn't realize we had wandered into what is apparently a much larger area of controversy.

    Looking at more code stuff, it seems UBC defines anything deeper than 24" as a pool, so it may be that the less-than-24" depth of this particular body of water has something to do with the disinterest on the part of the town's building department. I realize that less-than-24" depth doesn't magically protect us from electrical safety issues; but it may help explain how such a project slips into the regulatory cracks on the local level.
    18' x 48" ring top pool (Summer Escapes); 5500 gallons; set up June - October, stored during winter; Intex 2500 gph pump (B size cartridge filter) Hayward 21" sand filter + 1.5 hp single speed Powerflo Matrix pump (upgrade October 2016) *** K-2006 test kit, refills from tftestkits

  12. Back To Top    #12


    TFP Guide

    bmoreswim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Central MD
    Posts
    2,877

    Re: GFCI Code for Swimming Pond

    Best of luck in your particular decision making process. That's a tough one. Below it's a little easier, the pool was built to full public pool standards, except for not being required to use chemicals.

    On the NSP topic and in the article you posted, here is the summary of the process to build Webber Natural Swimming Pool in Minneapolis, NA's first public natural swimming pool (i.e. the first public pool NOT required to have chemical sanitation to provide a free residual in the water). They obtained a legislative exemption from the State of MN on that topic. It's been open for two summers now.

    https://www.minneapolisparks.org/_as...ol-Article.pdf

    And here's the website for the pool itself...

    https://www.minneapolisparks.org/act...group_0_151627
    18'x38' Rectangle (3'-8 1/2' deep w/ diving board) - 27K gal. Saltwater w/ gray plaster
    Hayward equipment (cartridge filter, 2-speed pump, salt cell, automation) View Our Build
    Coverstar automatic pool cover | StoneMakers concrete retaining wall and decking
    Spring 2013 Build | Dolphin Active 20 robot cleaner | Support TFP!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •