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View Poll Results: Is your pool properly bonded judging by a wire at the pump?

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  • Yes, I have a wire from my pump to a pool bond, not a rod

    38 67.86%
  • No, There is no wire other than the power cord on my pump

    13 23.21%
  • Not sure or don't know what Bonding is

    5 8.93%
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Thread: POOL BONDING

  1. Back To Top    #1
    buddywiser's Avatar
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    POOL BONDING

    Okay, this is driving me bananas. Pool Bonding has got to be one of the most misunderstood concepts that I have ever encountered. I know this has been discussed before, but I just wanted to get a show of hands from people that actually have their pool bonded properly. I figure most of you veterans do, but I would bet that there are many that don't. I also have a couple questions.

    I have yet to find an electrician that even has a clue about 680.26 (Equipotential Pool Bonding) of the NEC. My pump has NO bonding wire attached to it. There is NO wire near the pump pad. I have been told countless time to just just drive a rod into the ground and attach it to the pump motor. I have done enough reading on this subject to know that this serves no purpose whatsoever and that this type of Bonding has nothing to do with Grounding. Also, I have talked to other people with pools and have found them to NOT be properly bonded either.

    I bought the house with a concrete deck around the pool 3 years ago. I would like to know if the rest of the pool is properly bonded, but I can't even find anyone with the knowledge to do this. I called the pool builder, but they say that they have nothing to do with the electrical part of the build (it is 14 years old). I suspect that everything but the pump is bonded, but I would really like to confirm this and then run a wire to the grid if it exists.

    Questions:

    1) What are the odds that nothing is bonded (Ladder, diving board, light, deck)?

    2) Would taking off the diving board and looking for a junction box give me any indication of their being a bonding wire?

    3) Is there any way to see a bonding wire around the ladder other than chipping away at the concrete?

    4} Did I mention that this was driving me bananas?
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  2. Back To Top    #2
    orthofish's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    All of my bonding is under the concrete. The ladder and handrail is bonded via the steel cups they sit in that is in the concrete. The copper goes all the way around my pool and is pulled away from the pool, in the concrete. I can see it attached to both my pumps on my pad.
    Lynn

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  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: POOL BONDING

    Quote Originally Posted by orthofish
    All of my bonding is under the concrete. The ladder and handrail is bonded via the steel cups they sit in that is in the concrete. The copper goes all the way around my pool and is pulled away from the pool, in the concrete. I can see it attached to both my pumps on my pad.
    Same here. copper wire runs all the way around the pool attched in several place by copper lugs. Wire also runs from the pool frame via copper lugs to the pump and heater

  4. Back To Top    #4
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    There is some chance the rest of you pool is bonded, and the wire to the pad got buried or cur off at some point, but the odds aren't very good. The wire, if there is one, is going to be inside the concrete, except next to the pad. There is some chance that digging around near the pad will turn it up, but I wouldn't bother with that unless the meter test, below, shows that things are bonded.

    If you want to find out, you need to get a multi-meter and a long wire and measure the voltage difference/resistance between various things. First measure the voltage, and if there isn't any significant voltage then measure the resistance. If the voltage is higher than about 0.5 volts or the resistance is higher than 3 or 4 ohms then it isn't bonded. Resistance measurements will be wrong/misleading if there is any significant voltage.
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  5. Back To Top    #5
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    Quote Originally Posted by buddywiser
    1) What are the odds that nothing is bonded (Ladder, diving board, light, deck)?

    2) Would taking off the diving board and looking for a junction box give me any indication of their being a bonding wire?

    3) Is there any way to see a bonding wire around the ladder other than chipping away at the concrete?

    4} Did I mention that this was driving me bananas?

    1. Unfortunately, probably pretty good.

    2. No, the diving board stand is grounded via the anchor in the concrete. No junction boxes are used in the bonding system.

    3. No, the ladder and railing sockets are bonded, again, under the concrete.

    4. Yes

    It's true that almost no electricians understand it. If you follow the history of the NEC, it's clear from the revisions that it's a confusing issue. If you don't live in an area that requires inspections, there is almost no chance of having the pool properly bonded. If you do live in such an area, they may have a record of your pool permit process that might have information on what kind of bonding was required at the time of the installation. Remember, the NEC is only a guideline and only becomes a legal requirement if it is adopted by a local government.
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  6. Back To Top    #6
    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    A ground rod driven into the ground and connected to your pump would not be bonding. People confuse bonding with "ground" all the time. (Yes, even some "electricians").

    Bonding ensures that all metal "items" associated with your pool are "connected". The reason behind this is that any small voltage differential between items in and around the pool can cause a shock to you. For example, if a stray voltage has your pool coping at a few volts and your ladder is at a different potential (or none at all), you could be hurt.

    Bonding , pumps, the pool rebar, metal ladders etc ensures that all of those items have the same electrical potential. Same goes for a stray voltage from electrical wires in the ground for example , that could have your metal ladder at a few volts. When getting out of the pool and touching the ladder with your foot in the pool which may have no potential, you can be hurt.

    Unlike grounding (which definition seems similar), all of your metal when bonded properly should be at the same level. Driving a rod into the ground for your pump or any other item related to your pool will not accomplish bonding as it is intended.

    THe easiest way to check for a proper bond is with a inexpensive digital meter that has a continuity tester that beeps when you touch the leads together.

    Using a long wire, you can attach the wire from each metal point (ladder, pump housing etc) to another metal point Through the meter and you should have continuity. Each metal item should be "connected" to each other in this way creating a bond between them and ensuring that they are at the same electrical potential (which is no potential).

    Should a short or mainly leakage occur in your pump, or from underground wiring, even from power line (underground) wiriing for your home, your pool and it's accessories are all at the same potential. A difference in potential (even less than a volt) depending on current, is enough to cause harm to a person.
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  7. Back To Top    #7
    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    Thanks for all the replies I see that I am not alone. There are no inspections where I live so I think I know what to expect. We have been contemplating redoing the deck so maybe this might give me a little more incentive to do so.

    I found this great document from Mike Holt's website. It explains everything and has great illustrations. It gets into Pools on page 16.

    http://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/Pooldownload.pdf
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  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: POOL BONDING

    This is invaluable information! Thanks for posting the link to http://www.mikeholt.com and Mike's Pool electrical handbook section (which I just read start to finish). WOW. I'm still not a certified electrician but I learned a ton about electrical codes. I now also have an excellent reference for all NEC electrical code details. I think I can now effectively examine and call BS on any electrician work for our pool that clearly violates the 2008 NEC .
    Thanks! ZephanS
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  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    Quote Originally Posted by zephans
    I think I can now effectively examine and call BS on any electrician work for our pool that clearly violates the 2008 NEC .
    Just remember, the NEC carries no weight unless it's adopted by a government as a local code. Many are still with earlier versions or have no code at all.
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  10. Back To Top    #10

    Re: POOL BONDING

    Has bonding been around for a long time or is it in the last 20 years or something? I have a pool that was built in the early 70's. I live in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I don't see any sign of bonding on the pump base or ladder or diving board but was just curious if its a newer code or if anyone knows?

    Thanks
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  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    Quote Originally Posted by turnerj42
    Has bonding been around for a long time or is it in the last 20 years or something? I have a pool that was built in the early 70's. I live in Toronto, Ontario Canada. I don't see any sign of bonding on the pump base or ladder or diving board but was just curious if its a newer code or if anyone knows?

    Thanks
    Bonding really came under scrutiny beginning about the 1999 NEC, and has been redefined dramatically in the last 10 years. There were requirements earlier, but I don't know what they were.

    Remember, Canada uses a different code than the US.
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  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: POOL BONDING

    Thanks for the info. I am aware that the codes definitely will be different on either side of the border but I find often especially with electrical a lot of them are somewhat similar. It seems with the pool stuff though it’s stricter up here.
    Thanks
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  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: POOL BONDING

    Your pump motor should be plugged into a GFI,or a GFI breaker in the distribution panel to protect that circuit. Simply running a ground wire from your motor to a ground rod might protect the motor from a lightning strike,it wont do a thing for you as far as getting shocked or death if the motor has a malfunction.
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  14. Back To Top    #14
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    Quote Originally Posted by pepsi_am
    Your pump motor should be plugged into a GFI,or a GFI breaker in the distribution panel to protect that circuit. Simply running a ground wire from your motor to a ground rod might protect the motor from a lightning strike,it wont do a thing for you as far as getting shocked or death if the motor has a malfunction.
    You are misinformed. A GFCI isn't required or even recommended by the NEC. The bond wire doesn't go to a ground rod, it just connects all conductors in the pool area. Read about equipotential bonding in the NEC article 680.26.
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  15. Back To Top    #15

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    Re: POOL BONDING

    I had no idea what bonding was before this thread, so thanks for that.

    The good news for my pool is that it must be bonded because there is a copper wire sticking out of the ground at my equipment pad. However, the bad news is that it is not connected to anything...where is it supposed to go?
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  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    I had no idea what bonding was before this thread, so thanks for that.

    The good news for my pool is that it must be bonded because there is a copper wire sticking out of the ground at my equipment pad. However, the bad news is that it is not connected to anything...where is it supposed to go?
    To the bonding lug on the pump motor, and maybe to a similar lug on a SWCG or heater if you have either.
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  17. Back To Top    #17
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnT
    You are misinformed. A GFCI isn't required or even recommended by the NEC.
    John, take a look at article 680.22(B) It states that single phase pumps whether by receptacle or direct connection shall be provided with ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel. There are several other places in 680 where GFCI's are required. Pretty much anything electrical within 20' of the pool it's required. This is from the 2008 code book.
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  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: POOL BONDING

    You are correct. I don't have a copy of 2008 yet, and this is a change.
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