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Thread: Pool cover bonding question

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Pool cover bonding question

    Had an automatic pool cover installed when renovating pool. Pool cover was installed by a factory approved installer for my area. I watched as the installer connected braided bond wires which are sewn along each long edge of the cover by screwing them to the axle the cover winds onto. I believe the braided wires connect to a metal bar which I'm guessing is embedded in the front edge of the cover.

    Afterwards, an electrician came to do finish wiring, and connected a bond wire of my bonding system to a couple of points on the framework of the cover mechanism.

    After he left, I poked around with an ohmmeter and found there was no bonding to the aluminum track that runs along both sides of the pool. I bonded those no problem but then I came across a really perplexing bonding issue.

    The main metal axle of the cover assembly showed no continuity to the framework. It's supported by plastic bearings on both ends ends and the motor connects to it with a plastic friction clutch. So from what I can tell, there's no way to bond the axle. It's definitely metal, about 15' long and within 5' of the pool edge which means it should be bonded. I can't be the first person to notice this so is it generally ignored, or since the equipment is UL listed, does that negate the need to bond mechanism specific components?

    Seems like there should be a rotating metal contact to bond the axle. I imagine that would be quite expensive so is it ultimately up to the end user to come up with a fix?

    Any comments are appreciated.

    Gregg
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cover bonding question

    If it should be bonded the mfg is required to provide a means to bond it. I'd call the mfg and ask them about it.

    Can it be easily accessed by individuals during normal operation?
    Dave J. TFP Moderator
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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cover bonding question

    The main shaft is not accessible during normal use however I now realize the the front metal bar that is at the leading edge of the cover is accessible to pool occupants - it sits on the water's surface - and since it it's not being bonded due to the shaft not being bonded, there's a problem. I'm calling the manufacturer tomorrow.

    Gregg
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cover bonding question

    If the cover edge actually contacts the water it's bonded by virtue of the water bond. I'd still contact the mfg and see what they have to say.
    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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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cover bonding question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bama Rambler
    If the cover edge actually contacts the water it's bonded by virtue of the water bond. I'd still contact the mfg and see what they have to say.
    I guess I mis-stated things when I said the front bar sits on the water's surface, it's actually held a couple of inches above that surface at normal water level. That could change pretty quickly when one of our NW winter monsoons come through.

    I'm not sure I see anything in the National Electric Code that says metal parts contacting the pool water don't need bonding using a wire connection. A metal ladder, for example, contacts the pool water but it's commonly depicted as being wire bonded in "how to bond" articles. The code seems pretty clear that any metal object larger than 4" in dimension within 5' of the water's edge shall be bonded - unless it's a double insulated.

    Gregg
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cover bonding question

    Correct, anything metal must be connected to the bonding system with #8 copper wire unless it meets one of the few exceptions (quite small, double insulated, behind a barrier wall, etc)
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cover bonding question

    I think I just found the answer to my question.

    When reading through the 2008 National Electric Code.

    In section 680.26(A)(6) which defines bonding requirements, it states:


    680.26(A)(6) Electrical Equipment. Metal parts of electrical equipment associated with the pool water circulating system, including pump motors and metal parts of equipment associated with pool covers, including electric motors shall be bonded.

    Exception: Metal parts of listed equipment incorporating an approved system of double insulation shall not be bonded.


    The exception is the key. The cover is UL listed and it does incorporate a double insulated motor; therefor metal parts shall not be bonded.

    Gregg
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Pool cover bonding question

    ...well, thought I had the answer but now I'm not sure the motor that came with the cover is double insulated. No markings or statement to that effect. Had a conversation with the local distributor which didn't induce confidence. Not sure what to do next.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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