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Thread: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

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    Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    I bought a home a couple of years ago and believe the pool to be an early 90's vintage. I noticed the pool pump is not connected via bond wire and there is not anything in sight that resembles one. Is this a safety problem? If so, what do people do in these situations?
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    I have one of experts on their way here to see your post.

    Kim
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Yes a pump without a bond is a safety hazard. Its likely the bond loop is there but somebody didn't know what it was when they changed a pump in the past and got rid of the wire. Its not an easy or cheap fix to install after the fact if there really was never one put in. Check your heater for a bare copper wire running to it or near it. It will likely be greenish brown and blend in very well with the soil color. You may want to scratch at the surface couple inches of soil around your equipment pad to see if you can find a buried piece of the wire.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    I have the same issue. Does the case need to be bonded to the pool loop or can it be grounded to a grounding rod?
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Grounding and Bonding a pool are separate issues. Ground rods have nothing to do with the creation of an equipotential bonding system. Generally ground rods and pools do not get along.

    As CJ states above there are no easy answers. If there is an existing bonding system at the pool, i.e. a water bond which is connected to a shell bond of some type connected to some form of deck bonding then we are way ahead. If not, the situation can be very difficult and expensive to correct and would require a experienced electrical contractor.

    If there is pool bonding you just have to figure away to connect to that pool bonding system. There is a bonding lug (connection) on the outside of the pool pump.

    Unless you are very experienced I would have an experienced electrician come and conduct the test depicted in this video and tell you what the current situation is.

    Swimming Pool Equipotential Bonding [Part 3 of 3, Testing], (28min:39sec) - YouTube
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Thanks for the info. Hope I didnt derail the original poster...
    18x36 inground / 28k gal / Phanton vinyl liner (replaced in 2009) / Hayward Pro Series sand filter / Hayward 1hp pool pump / Hayward 3/4hp booster pump

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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Gigem94:

    Below is how my pool was done:

    1) The ladder cups were bonded to the frame of the pool.
    2) The tri-pod rebar for the base of diving board is bonded to the frame of the pool.
    3) The cups for the hand rail is bonded to the frame of the of the pool.

    At the equipment pad, there is a bonding wire to the pump. This wire is not bonded to the pool frame, but to the plumbing on the suction side (main drain only). Assuming that the pump is bonded to the electricity in the water. This is where I hooked up a sacrificial zinc anode (Thanks Chem Geek) and it resolved my galvanic corrosion problem with the screws at light nice.

    There is one last wire where the electrical connection is. I can not determine if this wire is grounded to a rod in the ground and/or it travels back to the circuit breaker at fuse box. I do not believe the electrical connections are bonded, but more grounded to something, but I could be wrong on this one. I took over 1,500 pictures during the construction of the pool and somehow missed this area.

    Hope this helps! Maybe check to see if there is a bolt or screw where a bonding wire can go to your pump. Maybe the codes were the same back when your pool was built. Thanks!
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    I took a shovel and scraped all around the eqipment pad about 4-6 inches deep looking for a solid copper #8 wire and did not find anything. Both my heater and my pump have the clamps, just no bonding wire attached. I called a company I thought might be the original builder and have them looking for the plans (I bought my house from the orginal homeowner who installed the pool - unfortunately that guy died). This guy told me there should definitely be a wire per code and it's likely underground somewhere in a trench they ran to the equipment pad. I'm still waiting to hear back from the pool builder and keeping fingers crossed they are the ones who did it. I'm not sure what else I could do to find this wire. Would my city have a copy of the pool plans? Or who filed the permits maybe? Any other advice?
    15K gal rectangle with 1K gal spill over round spa | K-2006 Test kit | IG plaster | B2983 1.5HP 2 speed pump| Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair MiniMax 400k BTU heater | Stenner 45MPHP10 w/ 15g tank | Dolphin M400 robot | screened pool cage covers pool entirely to keep it debris free and adds SPF | sun exposure estimate 8hr daily.

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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Has the equipment ever been relocated?

    Is there a light?

    If you have two things that should be bonded (such as a light, ladder, handrail etc.), you can check for continuity between the two. If yes, there's probably a bond wire somewhere. If no, there might not be a bond wire.

    Maybe a metal detector would help find the wire.

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Yes, the city should be able to look at the permit records to see who the PB was. The bonding wire is probably in the plumbing trench that goes toward the pool. Assuming there was one to begin with. A metal detector is a good idea.
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Gigem94:

    I can tell you from my experience with the PB, electrician and township that they only inspect the bonding and do not take any notes where the wires were placed. The township looks to make sure all the bonding is accurate, then provides the homeowner a sticker (Passed)! Next, the back fill is done and everything is literally buried. As I mentioned, I missed this one with the pictures. You have to have something, somewhere.
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    I echo others here - a metal detector would help, especially if the equipment pad has been moved.
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    I do not believe the equipment/pad was ever moved, and I am basing that on the electrical run from the subpanel to the pad, and the pad appears to be poured concrete. But I guess it may have been located elsewhere, but typically equipment is out of sight, which would leave only the easement behind the garage (it's current location) as the only potential option.

    I do have lights (one in pool and one in spa) and metal handrails for both pool and spa entry but access would mean chopping up my pool deck.

    I've got an email out to the city to see if they can tell me who the PB was via permit. I've only got a 10' easement between the garage and the property line which all plumbing and this elusive bond wire must travel to get to the pad, so my guess is that I could use a metal detector targeting this space to see. Here's a pic of the access point to the pad: https://flic.kr/p/N5BUCj. For context, the pool/spa is to my left.

    This past weekend I carefully dug down about 6-8 inches b/w the walkway and the garage (left side of walkway) and discovered some abandoned sprinkler wires. I stopped digging b/c of the large tree roots from that big oak are in my way. I suspect the plumbing is on the right side of the walkway as that large tree has been there forever and I think the PB had to route down that side. My hope is the bonding wire is also down this side (and not under the walkway. That walkway curves around to the pool pad, stops 6" short of it, just before the supply/return lines are at the dirt line: https://flic.kr/p/LFffTB

    I'm hoping once I determine the PB and/or get the plans that I might be able to determine some better detail on the pathing used.
    15K gal rectangle with 1K gal spill over round spa | K-2006 Test kit | IG plaster | B2983 1.5HP 2 speed pump| Triton TR100 sand filter | Pentair MiniMax 400k BTU heater | Stenner 45MPHP10 w/ 15g tank | Dolphin M400 robot | screened pool cage covers pool entirely to keep it debris free and adds SPF | sun exposure estimate 8hr daily.

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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Try to find out the name of the electrician who wired everything.

    If you can post some pictures of everything, we might be able to see something.

    Ask the people who did the enclosure if they know anything.

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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    There is a fix! Connect a #8 bare copper bonding wire to the bonding lug on your pool light junction box. Run the continuous wire to the heater, pumps, chlorine generator control panel.... Done!

    Heres the rub..... is your pool light junction box near the pool equipment? ��

    Your pool light is be bonded to the grid, behind the light in the pool.
    IMG_0163.jpg

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    Quote Originally Posted by Poolinspector View Post
    There is a fix! Connect a #8 bare copper bonding wire to the bonding lug on your pool light junction box. Run the continuous wire to the heater, pumps, chlorine generator control panel.... Done!

    Heres the rub..... is your pool light junction box near the pool equipment? ��

    Your pool light is be bonded to the grid, behind the light in the pool.
    Welcome to TFP!

    While that is certainly better than the status quo, and probably the path I'd take if it was my pool, there is almost certainly no bonding grid in a pool from the 1990s. That leaves the shell, light, dive stands, slides, ladders, rails and water probably not part of the bonding system. The 2005 NEC was the only version that required the grid with no option, and the 2008 version provided an alternate. The lack of an available approved product to create such a grid meant that very few pools had a grid at all until much later.
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    Re: Pool Pump no bonding wire available

    I certainly like the work around. But in addition to John's comments above it relies on there being what the code calls a "bonding jumper" running from the pool light j box to the light niche and connected to the shell. Now while this is required by the code it is often omitted, even in recently built pools. It was not a requirement in the 90s.
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