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Thread: Feeling a shock when touching ground

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    Feeling a shock when touching ground

    Hi all, I am a newbie here and have my first real issue that's perplexing.

    We bought this house in dec 2011 and the pool really needed a bit of work, new liner, light ring, etc and we added a SWG (pentair IC40). Now since we bought in winter we hadn't swam in the pool until April but we are noticing that when you are in the water and have a cut on your hand and touch either the handrail or the cool deck you feel a small sting of voltage, enough for the kids to say ouch. (not so much if you don't have a cut). This had gone away since April but recently the salt was getting low so I added a bag and we are back to stinging again. I know salt is a conductor but I just don't know what to make of this.

    I had an electrician out and he wasn't able to feel it, though he didn't use any meter or anything (he was going to email me a price quote but didn't get back to me) and I talked to our neighbor and he said the previous owner had reground the pool himself and that he was an electrician. I asked if they had been in there and if they ever felt anything and he said no, it was normal.

    Has anyone had a similar problem? I had my husband recheck the wiring and he Said it looks right, though he is not an electrician. The electrician that did come out said in order to reground the concrete would have to be torn up and re poured after the grounding wires were redone.

    The only other thing that we did was to remove the diving board (u bolt type). The bottoms of the u bolts were left in the ground and covered with concrete, I also wonder if that could have anything to do with it, though we had a pool professional remove the board, but anything is possible I suppose. I just want it to be safe for my family. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    Sounds like a equipotential bonding issue. This document explains what pool bonding is: http://www.dom.com/about/safety/pdf/pool_equi_bond.pdf

    You can also use the google search at the lower left of page with the term "pool bonding" to find many threads on this.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    We just had a fairly significant thread on the same thing in South Carolina... electric-shock-felt-in-and-around-pool-t42042.html
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    If it was ever bonded correctly it may be easy to fix. You'll need to find an electrician that's familiar with bonding. They all aren't.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp 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: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    Ok so I just finished reading the entire other post on this subject and since I have to start somewhere, I called my ex-husband, who happens to be a licensed electrician. He gave me several steps to go through and we are going to start those today and see where we get.

    Just doing a walkthrough of the equipment With him on the phone (he is in CT) we found out the booster pump is not grounded. So he told me how to fix that. If that isn't it then he suggested that we may have a bad GFI breaker and he was concerned about the light fixture as a possible source (wet socket) because I told him that when we bought the house the light ring had about a 1 inch area that was corroded out ~ completely missing. Now the pool company who I hired to do an inspection prior to buying the house had said that was due to improper water balancing. Not sure which at the moment but I was underwater the other day looking at it and it still looks brand new since we just replaced it, and I am very neurotic about keeping the pool chemically balanced.

    One step at a time. I did however love the tile idea in the other post rather than digging up all that concrete as we have quite a bit and I think I would cringe at the cost. I will post an update after going through thte first few steps.
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Navywife
    Just doing a walkthrough of the equipment With him on the phone (he is in CT) we found out the booster pump is not grounded.
    Not grounded or not bonded? The pool pump is grounded through its plug. The pump is bonded through a separate bonding lug that gets attached to the bonding grid with #8 bare copper wire(or larger diameter). If that pump is not bonded, that could easily be your problem.

    The tingling you describe is almost certainly a bonding issue.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    When I go over to my pool pump it is indeed grounded by #8 copper but the booster pump is not at all. There is a copper receptacle where the copper grounding wire should go a small square thing with a screw in it that is attached to one of the screws on the pump, with a large enough hole for the grounding wire) but it's empty. I looked and there is no other apparent spot for that grounding wire to go on that pump.
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    He said that should have been tied to the ground but maybe they put the booster pump in after it was installed. We are the third owners of the house since the pool has been installed.
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

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    linen's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    I am not sure if you are missing my point or if you are just sick of it

    Grounding and BONDING are not the same thing!

    That lug you speak of on the booster pump is just like the lug on the pool pump with the #8 BONDING wire. Bonding is not the same as grounding and not having that booster pump BONDED could be causing the tingle due to equipotential differences (read small dc voltage differences) between the water and the surrounding decking. It likely has nothing to do with grounding.

    Post some pics and model number on that booster pump.
    TFP Expert who uses Pool School and my TF100 test kit along with PoolMath for my: Round 11K gallon AGP with deep end, 20" sand filter, Matrix 1hp 2spd, 6 2ftX20ft solar panels (and solar cover!), Intex SWCG (copper bars disconnected) and a Rubadub hot tub (chlorine). The SLAM process is not finished until: 1. CC < 0.5 ppm, 2. An OCLT < 1.0 ppm and, 3. The water is crystal clear.

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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    The ground wire runs in the electrical conduit along with the power wires and grounds the pump to the household electrical ground. The purpose of grounding is to cause a short to trip the circuit breaker.

    The bonding wire connects everything metal that comes within 3 feet of the water, and is not connected to the rest of the electrical system (except incidentally). The purpose of bonding is to make sure everything a swimmer could touch is at the same electrical potential, and thus no electricity flows through people swimming.

    The two are often mixed up, but they are not the same.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    I am trying to understand bonding, not trying to be ignorant, maybe I don't word things right because I don't completely understand it. I understand what you are saying about the copper wire needing to go around the pool and come back to the pump but I guess I do not know enough to ask the right questions. Right about now I'm fairly upset with this situation and hope these pictures I took of the setup up shed some helpful light on this situation. I did look for any paperwork that came with the house and they left nothing for the pool. The only interesting thing I was able to find was that their inspection found a bad GFCI in the pool panel and it leaves me wondering if it was ever replaced. IF that is bad what would that cause? The one they had indicated was the 3/4 that controls the pump and I pushed the test button and it worked fine. So, again, not sure. I am kinda ****** at the company we had inspect the pool before we bought the house.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    More Pics
    Attached Images Attached Images
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

  13. Back To Top    #13

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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    I do have another question. The wire in the "pump" picture. Is that a bonding wire or a ground wire?
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

  14. Back To Top    #14
    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    The ground wire is inside the gray flexible conduit that attaches to the pump with a plastic 90 degree fitting. The dirty bare wire running from the top of the pump towards the pool and it looks like down into the ground in the photo is the bonding wire.

    The fix for the booster pump is fairly simple. Attach another piece of #8 bare copper wire to the bonding lug on the booster pump and run it over to the wire that bonds the main pump and connect the two wires together with a suitably rated for bonding split bolt clamp. I have no idea if that will fix the real problem or not.

    If the GFCI trips when you push the test button and turns back on when you reset it, then it is good.

    The inspector should have noted the lack of bonding on the booster pump. That kind of oversight is common enough however. Bonding is often wrong and it usually doesn't matter. Before you notice a problem there have to be two things wrong, first something has to be wrong that creates a current that could cause a shock, and then something else has to be wrong with the bonding system that prevents it from protecting you from the shock.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    Ok well my husband went and got more copper wire (larger) to match what they used, #6 I think because he thought the 8 seemed much smaller, he got copper wire connectors and attached it from the pump to the booster pump and then to the Intellichlor IC40 just to be sure it was all bonded. Then we human tested it and yep, still stings.

    Tomorrow we are gonna look at the IC40 to see if my husband can tell (he is no electrician but has basic knowledge and might spot something, ya never know). That is the only electrical item we personally had installed and the installer was a younger guy, though they came recommended you never can be sure. I only say this because my neighbor had been in it last year and he said he didn't feel that at all.

    Do you think the salt exacerbates the problem being the conductor it is? Oh and I will take a picture of the bonding tomorrow and post it. Thank you so much for your help.
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    The salt will exacerbate the problem, but it won't create one that doesn't already exist.

    If the swcg (IC40) isn't bonded, it needs to be.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp 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: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    We bonded the booster pump and the swcg yesterday. The other thought I have is this. Since we had the diving board removed right after we bought the house (the type with two large U's holding it in place) could the way they removed the board have possibly broken the bonding? I am imagining this to be a loop of sorts so I have to wonder. On that note I took a chisel and hammered away at the concrete where the mounts were and there is rebar sticking up in each of the 4 holes, anything you can make out of that?
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    Removing the board wouldn't mess it up.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
    24' x 52" Round AGP. 2hp/¼hp SPL Power-Flo 2-speed pump. 200sqft Waterway Cartridge Filter. 45MHP2(3GPD) Stenner Peristaltic Pump
    Pool School ----- Pool Math ----- TF-Test Kit

  19. Back To Top    #19

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    Re: Electric shock felt in and around pool

    [Moved from other thread - Mod.]
    Oh yeah, my poor daughter, I sent out invites for a pool party for next Saturday where no one will be able to swim. The water is perfect chemically, shockingly beautiful as you say!
    18x36 in ground (24,000 gal) vinyl liner
    Hayward super pump 1.4hp, Pentair IC40 salt generator
    Hayward sand filter, Polaris 380 (3/4hp Hayward booster pump), Pentair Intellibrite Color

  20. Back To Top    #20
    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling a shock when touching ground

    Deb,
    You posted this in another thread, but I can't comment there without confusing the two. I don't want to just move your post here, but I am copying it to reply to it.

    Hi Aimee,

    That wasn't rambling at all. We're pretty much in the same boat, though we bought this house with the pool already installed. I've tried putting the voltage meter in the pool and turning off he breakers one by one and nothing. No change. Today our power went out on our street and we could still feel the stinging where we had cuts. My daughter had just shaved her legs and then sat her wet butt on the concrete and quickly got up because it made her legs tingle.

    If the deck is wet and you touch both the water and deck it happens, but if you are just wet on the concrete deck, nothing. I too, like you have a ton of concrete poured around my pool, probably over 20 ft by the shallow end and at least 6 ft on all sides but the far side (about 3 there) and am not sure what to do next. I guess call the power company or a PB (though not the one I had do the pool inspection!). Though as someone mentioned somewhere the pump may have a short so maybe I'll replace that first. I talked to a couple electricians and (friend of the family and ex-husband) they told me things to check but nothing they can do over the phone from CT.

    I don't have a grounding rod over at the pump area and the booster pump and the SWCG weren't bonded so we did that yesterday (didn't change anything). I am going to look and see who we have in the area for PB's and see what they say. I had one electrician out that quoted me a price to look at the setup, that didn't include fixing a thing and my electrician people said stay away from him. The local pool store didn't have a reference to give me for an electrician that specializes in pools. Did you have a regular electrician do the grounding?

    Deb
    One thing to note about your situation - if the power went out and you still felt the shock, then your problem is NOT from your home electrical system. It is not from your pump, and replacing it will not fix the problem. It is extremely doubtful that a ground rod will help either.

    The fix for your issue will be with the bonding of your pool, and this is not the same, nor associated with, grounding.
    Bonding means to have all the conducting parts connected together. That means that the water, the pool frame, the light, the ladder, the handrail, the deck, the pump, the heater, etc., [ALL wettable parts], are connected to each other by a #8 or larger copper conductor. It does NOT mean connecting them to ground.

    Your best bet would be to get the local power company out and tell them that you have a stray voltage issue.
    [center:1kpalu48]Helpful Links: Pool School | CYA/Chlorine Chart | Pool Calculator[/center:1kpalu48]

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