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Thread: Pool electrical help

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    63

    Pool electrical help

    So I just got a used 15k gallon above ground pool, put it up, and am slowly filling it from a natural spring (long story). Its time to do the electrical wiring for the pump and pool lights. So I have a 1.5hp 120v hayward pump rated at 15amps. (I know it might be a little overkill, but thats what came with it so thats what I plan to use for now). I also have 2 halogen pool lights on either side of the pool. They're 50-watt lights, ran from a transformer - i assume making them lower voltage. I calculated all of that to be about 16 amps with everything running, but maybe I am off in assuming the transformers for the lights only uses about 1amp combined?

    I'm trying to figure out:
    1) What all I need to buy
    2) What will make it up to code

    I was thinking for the wiring, get either a 10 gauge or 12 gauge UF-B and bury it (the pump will be maybe 75 feet from the breaker box). And either a 20amp or 30amp breaker on the main panel. I've read that you never want to have a load more than 80% of the breakers rated value. In my case, 16 amps would be exactly 80%, so would I be fine with a 20amp breaker or should I step up to a 30 to be safe? I shouldnt really need to plug anything else into it..(unless i get a SWG)..and in the future if I ever got another pump i would probably go smaller.

    Should i get a small breaker box to install on a 4x4 post near the pool, with 2 breakers in it, 1 for the pump and 1 for the lights? And maybe a 10-15 amp breaker for the lights and a 20amp for the pump? The other idea i had was to just avoid a breaker box at the pool and have a junction box on a 4x4 post, and from there run a 14 gauge to a lightswitch and from there to the lights, and another section run out of the junction box of 12 or 10 gauge wire to a waterproof gfi outlet where the pump would plug in.

    Also - the lights. So the previous owner had waterproof gfi outlets screwed to one of the plastic pool support posts on either side of the pool near where the lights are. And then he had the large transformers for the lights also screwed to the same posts. The lights themselves have a fairly long cord on them (maybe 10 ft or so), and the manual for the lights says to put the transformer away from the pool. I guess maybe this is to keep the 120v line away from the pool? Is that really necessary? Or should I just hook it back up like he had it? The outlet boxes on the posts still have conduit attached to them, and 14 guage UF-B wire going between the outlet boxes on either side of the pool.

    Is there anything I should be aware of code-wise? I definitely want everything up to code. Once I get the electrical setup, I'll be bonding the pump/pool.
    15x33 AGP (somewhere around 11-12k gallons)
    1.5 HP Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pump
    150 pound hayward sand filter

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    SW Indiana
    Posts
    9,089

    Re: Pool electrical help

    Get the outlets off of the pool for starters. That is just a bad idea in every possible way. Run a dedicated wire for the lights from the breaker panel to a switch for the lights. I would actually run two separate switches so you can choose only one light if you want. Per code, you need a convenience outlet in the pool area as well for things like entertainment equipment etc. that people tend to use there.

    Code requires a disconnect device for the pump in the pool area and GFCI breakers for both the lights and the pump. The usual disconnect for an AG pool is a Twist-Lock plug. Go ahead and install a timer, because you are going to want one.

    Everything electrical except pool equipment should be 5ft horizontally from the pool water, and anything metallic within 5ft needs to be bonded together with a copper wire.

    I'd run 220 to the panel to allow for flexibility in a replacement pump. I would go with 4 individual wires in conduit rather than the UF-P cable.

    Google NEC 680 for more information.
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    63

    Re: Pool electrical help

    So heres my thought. I'll be putting up a small deck too later. So I'll put a new breaker box at least 5 ft from the pool. From there, run a line to the deck, which will first go through a convenience outlet, then to the switch for the lights. So that way both the convenience outlet and the lights are on the same breaker.

    The main panel box on the house only has 1 single pole (120v) spot left. So I'm kinda stuck with only being able to run 120v unless i did some changing of the setup. Are most pumps 220v or are both voltages common? If its gonna be worth it in the long run to run 220 then I can look into seeing what I would need to do...but it looks like 120 is the only thing obvious and practical with my current setup. So given that, should i run 10 gauge or 12? And a 30amp or 20amp breaker.

    Also, if I run a dedicated line to the lights, I guess I'll need to get a gfci breaker, rather than having a gfci outlet to plug the lights into, like its currently setup?

    Do I really need a twist-lock plug for the pump? It has a standard 3-prong plug on it now. So I was thinking I would just wire up a standard outdoor gfci-outlet for it.

    EDIT: soo..its kinda confusing, but it looks to me like the NEC 680 document is saying that the pump needs a 3 ft max cord, w/ its outlet at least 5 feet from pool. I dont see a requirement for twist-lock in that section. I do however see one in section 680.22 where it says if you're powering other-equipment (lights, circulation system, etc) 6 to 10 ft away from the pool, then it needs a twist lock plug. But thanks for pointing me to the document. Looks like it will be really helpful. I found this, which some might find useful:
    http://www.erbinspections.com/Forms%...tallations.pdf
    15x33 AGP (somewhere around 11-12k gallons)
    1.5 HP Hayward PowerFlo Matrix Pump
    150 pound hayward sand filter

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