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Thread: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top rail

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    Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top rail

    The code says you have to bond your pool if its over 42 inches (non storable). What do I bond it to? the top rails are vinyl, the side post are vinyl, the only exposed metal on the outside is the wall. The pump is double-insulated.


    On a side note, has a pool that wasn't bonded every hurt anyone?

    thank you in advance for your help.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    Quote Originally Posted by amaskedman

    On a side note, has a pool that wasn't bonded every hurt anyone?
    The incident that inspired bonding requirements was when an excavator operator raised the boom and touched a power line and killed a lifegaurd at a nearby pool as current flowed through the pool structure and deck.
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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    First off, I would like to congratulate you on being the only person who has had provided a reason or incident to explain this part of the code.

    Having said that, if that is the only incident, or even if there were a few more, it would not justify an expansion of codes that the majority of pools are not following anyway. The number of things that had to go wrong in the event you cited is a concern in a minority of pool installations. Not minority really, more like minuscule.

    Less codes more focused on core concerns reduce cost and complexity and there raise compliance. in my opinion, this another case of rule making without quantitatively analyzing the risk.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    The safety improvement from bonding is tremendous. Electrical appliances in the pool, power lines falling nearby such as in an auto accident, failure of electrical equipment at a neighbor's, a neighbor hitting a power line with a metal ladder or any other situation that could put current through the soil and the pool that happens to be there.

    Bonding has been part of the code for more than 50 years.
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    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    All the things you mentioned, the ones not addressed with GFI, are so remote and only applicable to a small percentage of pool installations. Most pools are in back yards, and how many have power lines over-head carrying the voltage capable of going through the ground and into the water?

    As I said, its a solution without a problem. Simpler codes, more public information, and increased compliance will save far more lives than bonding. Not that you can save many, 60 electrical deaths in 13 years is a pretty good safety record (most easily preventable if people were not idiots)

    Keep in mind, most pools in American are above ground and are NOT compliant. Out of the 7 or so people I know who have an AGP, none of them got a permit for the pool or electrical and I can guarantee none are bonded.

    I like to follow rules and so I will probably bond my pool and water regardless of how pointless it is in my installation. I think Doughboy is building pools better and smarter which makes a lot of it unnecessary. I have a double insulated pump and the rails are all vinyl.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    Saving one life across millions of pools is considered important these days. Thus the increase in code regulations. A power line short to the earth doesn't need to be at all close to the pool to cause problems. Something 100 or 200 feet away could kill you in the right situation. Power lines are almost always within 200 feet of the pool (unless you are rural and have the pool some distance from the house).

    Technically, you are supposed to use a special metal fitting in the plumbing to bond the water, and run a #8 bare copper wire all the way around the pool that is 18-24 inches from the inside of the pool wall, and 4 to 6 inches below the sub-grade. The bonding system also needs to connect to anything metal within 3 feet horizontally of the water. And you need to provide a bonding wire for the motor, even though it does not need to be connected to a double insulated pump motor.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    "Saving one life across millions of pools is considered important these days"

    It shouldn't be. Seriously, you cant regulate utopia. The majority of pools in America are not inspected and don't follow code. You can buy a 500 pool at Wall-Mart and it doesn't follow code. Yet, despite the vast number of non-compliant pools we don't have deaths that could have been prevented by bonding the water and all metal parts within 3 feet. Instead of wasting money trying to mitigate for what is an almost ludicrously unlikely scenario, spend the money on enforcing and educating the public on mitigation for likely scenarios.

    "A power line short to the earth doesn't need to be at all close to the pool to cause problems. Something 100 or 200 feet away could kill you in the right situation. Power lines are almost always within 200 feet of the pool (unless you are rural and have the pool some distance from the house)."

    A power line 200 feet would not be able to induce an electrical charge in a pool lined by vinyl, with vinyl rails, and a plastic ladder. The environment to produce a result like that is one in millions. It would take a MASSIVE amount of power and IDEAL soil conditions. Its simply NOT going to happen and HASNT happened. I can perhaps see more stringent codes on in-ground pools, after all, they all get inspected and once they are in, they cant be changed. I think all the data backs my opinion that is overkill on an Above Ground Pool.

    I still have to figure out how to bond my pool. I guess Ill drill a hole in the side or weld on a metal tab. LOL. I'm sorry, but its rather silly. The pool manufacturer rendered bonding meaningless.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    Here is a link to a realy good discussion on this from last summer. electrical-shock-from-my-pool-water-t48616.html This usually comes up every summer. I can't explain the logic behind why the NEC does what it does in regards to pools and size. I have fixed shock scenarios on portable/temporary pools just as often as I have on permanant pools. My own 18' above ground pool has a very minimal bonding system on it. The pump, heater, two points on the frame and a ground rod is all I have. If I unhook the wire to the rod my wife can feel a slight tingle when she stands on the ground bare footed and puts her hand in the water. I can't feel a thing. We joke that it is because she is a more sensitive person than me.


    About a year ago, we had a power outage in our area. I had recently repaired a pool bonding grid for an above ground pool where the voltage potential between the water and the concrete pad near the pool was about 4-5 volts. A simple bond wire buried in the ground around the small pad and tied to the water bond was enough to equal them out. The pool owner, who I could not get to understand the whole voltage potential thing, was insistent that there had to be some sort of electrical problem with his house or a neighbors house. I had to move quickly and went over there to try something. I unhooked the bond I had installed and measured 3 volts of current between the water and the pad. Now, keep in mind that all power in the area was out and I still had a voltage difference. Shortly after that the power came back on and the voltage reading was the same. I hooked the bond back up and the difference went away.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Bonding a 16 foot doughboy pool with vinyl post and top

    I completely understand people may have a situation where they feel a shock. However, that is not a safety issue. That shock wont injure or kill you. In my opinion if its not a safety issue, it should be part of the code. Electricians can definitely go out and bond the pool and charge extra for it.

    As I said, I cannot speak to in ground pools as I do not have one and know very little about how they are made. As far as above ground goes, not bonding it isn't going to hurt anyone, unless you are a victim of a horrible chain of unfortunate events which is so unlikely its not worth mitigating.

    To be compliant I will have to drain my entire pool, break up and re-pour some concrete mow strips in order to get the 18inch clearance necessary between the pool wall and the grounding wire. That is not going to happen anytime soon, not if I can help it.

    Therefore, no bonding for me. I would bond the water, but if I am not bonding other parts there is nothing to connect it to. I guess I am not compliance to electrical code, in regards to bonding.
    Thank you,

    Doughboy 16' Above Ground Pool, 1HP Pump, Sand Filter, Hard Plumbed

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