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Thread: Above ground pool bonding

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    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Long Island, NY

    Above ground pool bonding

    I see that the code for bonding an above ground pool is to bury an 8 guage bare copper wire, 6 inches deep, at a distance of 18 inches from the base of the pool. Then connect this "halo" to 4 the pool with an 18 inch copper wire, in 4 places. what is the reason for burying the wire 18 inches from the pool. is it ok to simply run the wire around the base of the pool, and connect it at the base of each post?
    15'x30'x52" Above Ground- 12,200 gal; Hydromax Black Diamond Cartridge Filter-120 sq ft; Speck SS A91 1.5 hp pump;

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Above ground pool bonding

    Welcome to TFP!

    With electrical code it is much better to simply follow the instructions and not ask why. There is always a reason, though it is quite possible you might not think of it. I follow some of the discussions that accompany proposed code revisions and even so I can't keep track of all the lines of reasoning that came up on an item discussed a few months ago, let alone years ago. Plus, if you are going to be inspected, you must do what it says, regardless of how much sense it makes.

    In this particular case, one of the things they are trying to do is catch any stray currents flowing in the ground in the area where someone could stand and still have their hand in the water. The average distance from the water of someone in that position is about 18" out from the pool. The wire needs to be buried to have the best chances of catching stray currents.
    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: Above ground pool bonding

    I was advised by my electrician that the pool had to be grounded at 4 places. I had the pool installer add a stainless steel bolt/ nut to where the pool sides connected and used that as one. Then I used 3 of these (LINK: ... dTbTt_LL3w) for the other three points. What the electrical inspector didn't know or refused to acknowledge was that the support posts sat on poly pads and were isolated from the pool... making the three lugs useless.
    21' AG (~11,000 gallons)
    Hayward S180T sand filter (35 gpm)
    Hayward Power-Flow SP1510 pump

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    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    western NY

    Re: Above ground pool bonding

    Pool bonding or any bonding for that matter is not just about stray current. Everything in the universe has some level of electrical potential. Most things don't have enough potential to cause problems. Unfortunately things around pools do have enough potential to cause problems with shocking. Electrical potential is the inherent voltage in each object. If there are two objects, of different potential, near each other and you come in contact with both of them at the same time the voltage potential in each of them will try to equalize with you being the conductor. Several past posts on this forum describe a tingle feeling when a person standing on the ground or on a concrete deck sticks their hand in the water. If the parts of the pool, including the water, are properly bonded then all components will be in the same potential. In this case, since there is no difference, there will be no shock. The wire buried around the pool helps pull the ground around the pool into the same potential as the rest of the pool parts it is bonded to.

    We had a real good discussion on this last year on this thread... electrical-shock-from-my-pool-water-t48616.html
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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