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Thread: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

  1. #1
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    Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    I have read several of your threads and it seems you know just about all there is to know about pools. I am an owner builder and constructing my pool right now. I was hoping for a little help and guidance if you wouldn’t mind...

    The rebar has just been finished up and I'm getting ready to do the electrical. I have wired my shop on my own so, I am somewhat familiar with electrical. I have read a lot of forums about wiring a pool and just want to make sure I have it correct...

    I have two Pentair 120 volt LED lights. I am going to BOND the niches with the lug on the outside of the niche to the rebar (bonding grid) via #8 solid bare copper. I then will GROUND the niche on the inside via a insulated #8 that will be pulled through the nonmetallic conduit and apply the compound to the lug to prevent corrosion. Each light will have its own conduit up to the Jbox. Both #8 insulated wires will terminate at the approved Pentair junction box on the bonding screw. In this junction box I will run 12GA THWN in a single conduit and connect to a single pole switch that will control the lights. The switch will be fed by a 15 AMP GFCI receptacle and on its own breaker in the panel. The junction box will be 50 feet from the pool and more than one foot above the maximum water level. So far so good??

    I then will need to create a bonding wire for all of the equipment. This will be done by attaching another #8 bare solid copper wire to the rebar of the pool and run inside of a trench to the pool equipment area and attach to my Pentair Intelliflo pump and IC40 salt generator after bonding to my pool fence which will be within 5 feet of the water’s edge. I don’t have any computer box. Should the subpanel be bonded as well via this wire?

    As for the power unit for the IC40, I’ll have a separate 15 amp GFCI breaker with 12GA THWN copper. This will be grounded in the pool sub panel on the grounding bar that is separate from the neutral bar.

    The pool pump will be connected to a 20AMP GFCI via #12 THWN copper and grounded the same way as the IC40 unit.

    The 30 AMP feed for the pool subpanel is all insulated #10 that comes from another subpanel on my shop.

    Also, Do I still need a timer for the IC40? Can the Pentair pump tell the generator when to turn on and off or is there any sort of flow switch?

    Any help would be tremendous! Thank you!

  2. #2
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    Welcome to TFP!

    If you are going to have to pass inspection, you should check with your local inspector. There are often local rules that differ in some respect from the standard rules.

    The bonding wire should not run to the sub-panel. If you have metal ladders it needs to go to the ladder anchors. The bonding wire should connect to the rebar in four equally spaced locations around the pool, and form a complete loop around the pool.

    Putting the light junction box 50 feet from the pool is allowed, but is a little further than usual. You have to be sure to get a light fixture with a wire that is long enough to reach the junction box, make sure you order the correct model. It is common to put the junction box closer to the light.

    If you are getting a variable speed pump with built in timer, and are not also getting an automation system, running the SWG gets a little complicated. You want to have something that insures the SWG never comes on when the pump is off, but the pump does not offer that feature. The best solution is to get a current controlled relay to turn the SWG on only when the pump is drawing current.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  3. #3
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    Thanks Jason!

    So, the bond wire that goes around the circumference of the pool...Where does this start and terminate?? In my pool I have a portion that is "L" shaped and the lights are right next to each other pointing in different directions. Could that bond wire be attached to the external stud beginning at one light, go around the pool, through the next light bonding stud and into the trench, to my gate, etc.? Will that satisfy the need of the two bonds for the niches?

    Or should I have the light niches bonded with a few feet of #8 on the rebar and a separate #8 that goes around the pool and into the trench to the equipment?
    thanks!

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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    I think I've changed my mind and will return the power control unit for the sale cell and go with an automated system. I think the easy touch 4 will suffice; I have a single body of water with a waterfall and robotic cleaning.

    I looked briefly at the Easy Touch and it looks like it has breakers in it... Does this also take place of the subpanel with the pool breakers? Or do I still need the subpanel, maybe a single 30 AMP breaker feeding the Easy Touch and then place my three breakers in that? Will the lights terminate in the automation than too? thanks!

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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    The #8 AWG bare solid bonding conductor needs to follow the perimeter of your pool (18"-24") from the inside wall of the pool. This bonding conductor must attached to the pool rebar at a minimum of (4) points uniformly spaced around the pool. The pool light niche bond needs to make a connection to the bonding conductor.

    The above is from my 2008 code book. Your local may or may not use that version.

    You can run it through both lights then hit the rebar and then go around the pool getting the rebar 3 more times. Make sure you use connections to the rebar that are listed for concrete.

    As Jason stated the bond does not have to run to the panel. However, it is not a violation if you do, the Code just states it is not required.

    "Equipotential bonding is not required to extend to or be attached to any panelboard, service equipment, or grounding electrode"
    22k gal, gunite, Pebblesheen, fountain/waterfall, no spa, Quad 100DE, Easytouch4, Pentair VS3050, Polaris 280, TFP-100 kit, Stenner pump

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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    I have the Easytouch 4. Yes, you can run one feed to it and it is basically another subpanel. The breakers do not come with the Easytouch. I think it takes Siemens breakers. I did not have a pool light junction box. I ran my lights directly to the Easytouch panel. Be careful if you get one of the Pentair variable speed pumps. It renders one of the relays useless for anything else.
    22k gal, gunite, Pebblesheen, fountain/waterfall, no spa, Quad 100DE, Easytouch4, Pentair VS3050, Polaris 280, TFP-100 kit, Stenner pump

  7. #7
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    Thanks Luna! That will save me from buying another subpanel. I already have a Pentair VS pump. How many would I need to just be able to turn my pump on at certain times and turn on and off my water feature. Does the light use a relay as well?

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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    This is the way I set mine up.

    Pentair VS pump - Connects to communication bus for control and renders relay #1 useless.
    Polaris pump - Relay #2
    Intellibrite lights - Relay #3
    Water feature light - Relay #4

    I have (2) Intellibrite lights and both are connect to the same circuit and to relay #3. My lights are always in synch. If you want the lights to have some of the additional feature you will have to wire to separate relays. My water feature light is a different type thus it ended up on relay #4. You don't have to use the relays, you can use a separate light switch. I wanted to be able to control everything via the remote. My pool equipment is mounted outside my pumphouse and is not close to my backdoor.

    I could never figure out how to run my water feature from relay #4. I ended up using a Feature Circuit. I do not have a separate pump for my water feature. I use the VS at a different speed and some valves.
    22k gal, gunite, Pebblesheen, fountain/waterfall, no spa, Quad 100DE, Easytouch4, Pentair VS3050, Polaris 280, TFP-100 kit, Stenner pump

  9. #9
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    Quote Originally Posted by luna31d
    As Jason stated the bond does not have to run to the panel. However, it is not a violation if you do, the Code just states it is not required.
    Some of the older versions of the code prohibit connecting bonding to the panel. When in doubt about which version of the code applies don't connect it.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    I agree that the EasyTouch would be the way to go. It handles a variety of breakers, including Murray/Siemens that you can get at your local HD. You may have to order the 220V 2P 20A GFCI breaker for your pump. These breakers will fit in your EasyTouch panel. Again, you are going to keep ground and neutral unbonded, but you may need to drive an extra ground rod. This depends on your local code. If the panel will be mounted on a sub-structure (e.g. pool house or shed), it will need its own ground rod, per the NEC. This also ties in to the ground terminal strip along with the one fed to it from the other sub-panel. 10 ga copper should be sufficient for the 30A line from the garage sub-panel. I agree with Jason... you can run a 50 foot conduit from the light niche to the light junction box, but it might be kind of a pain to run wire through it. Our are no more than about 20 feet, and it was a breeze to get wire through it when I swapped out the lights for IntelliBrites. I ended up going with 12V IntelliBrites for safety, but so long as the circuit is properly grounded, bonded and GFCI protected, all should be good.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    Hey Luna. I was looking at your previous post regarding the 18-24" around the parameter of the pool... So the bonding wire doesn't attach to the rebar and run along the rebar all the way around the pool, it is actually barried 18-24 inches away from the edge and attaches in 4 spots to the rebar, correct? And the two light niches will attach to the rebar. Please let me know. I was under the impression it runs with the rebar.

    Also, how deep should the bonding wire be barried?

    Thx!

  12. #12
    Administrator JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    If you have concrete with rebar within 3' of the pool all around then the bonding wire must be connected to the rebar in four different places spread equally around the pool and it's exact location/depth is not specified.

    If you do not have rebar then the bonding wire must be between 18 to 24 in. outside the water and buried 4 to 6 in. below the sub-grade.

    The exterior lug on high voltage underwater light niches must connect to the bonding wire, not the rebar.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    The easy way to look at it is that every conductive item within 5' of the pool, or that touches the water, has to connect to the bond wire. Connecting to something that's connected to the bond loop isn't acceptable (i.e. the rebar). It seems picky but it's done that way to ensure that the bond stays intact if a piece of equipment is removed or disconnected.
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    And all pool equipment needs to be attached to the bonding wire as well regardless of how far?

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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    Sorry Jason. So, I guess I'm still a little confused.
    The pool is made of rebar and concrete so, I could put the wire 18-24 inches around the pool and bury it 4-6 inches, run a line back to my pool equipment and be good, correct?

  16. #16
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    All pool equipment that is conductive (metal).

    This includes: Rebar for shell , deck rebar, light niches, heaters, pumps, ladders, handrails, metal portions of permanent pool cover mechanisms.
    22k gal, gunite, Pebblesheen, fountain/waterfall, no spa, Quad 100DE, Easytouch4, Pentair VS3050, Polaris 280, TFP-100 kit, Stenner pump

  17. #17
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    You have rebar, so you need a loop of #8 bare copper all the way around the pool which is connected to the rebar in four equally spaced locations around the pool, and connected to whatever else you have that needs to be bonded (ladder, light niches, etc). Because you have rebar, burial depth and distance from the water don't matter. Most people put the bonding wire inside the concrete.

    Pool filters are not normally bonded, because they don't usually have enough metal in them to count. The rule is bond everything metal that is 3" or larger and either touching the water or within 3' of the edge of the pool. That generally means the rebar, metal ladders, light niches, pump, heater, SWG, hand rails, and so on. There are also a few other things that get bonded in special ways, like the underwater light junction boxes.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  18. #18
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    Re: Making certain I have the electrical plan correct

    I just talked to my building inspector today and the bonding wire must be attached to the my walls which are metal in 4 places as well as 18 to 24 inches from pool wall and bonded to all rebar in pool deck. He said best to use 6x6 mats as this would be much less bonding.

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