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Thread: GFCI Required?

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    GFCI Required?

    I'm having an EasyTouch8 installed. It will control 5 low voltage pentair lights, an intelliflo pump, hayward pump, pentair heater, and IC40. Electrician is telling me that I don't need any GFCI breakers in the main breaker panel or in the easytouch panel. Sounds like BS to me. Can ya'll tell me code requirements for GFCI?

    They also said that I did not need to run the extra ground wire (or maybe it's called a bond wire) through the conduit for each light because I went with low voltage lights. The may have a point on this because the led bubblers have a plastic housing/niche and no lugs for attaching to the steel grid or for attaching a ground. I made them pull the extra green wire for the spa and pool lights anyway, but I'm wondering if they are right on the low voltage claim. Any thoughts?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Required?

    Keep in mind that code requirements vary from place to place. There is a uniform national electrical code, but different areas adopt the updates at significantly different rates. So I could be on the 2012 version, while you might be using the 2004 version. GFCI requirements have been changing in recent years.

    The most recent version of the code requires a GFCI on the pump, on any utility outlets, and on high voltage underwater lights. The pump requirement is fairly new. The utility outlet and high voltage underwater lights requirements have been around for some time. Low voltage light rules are the most variable, and have changed a little in every revision. The most recent rules on low voltage lights (15 volts or less) are than bonding is not required and GFCI is not required. GFCI was required not so long ago.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: GFCI Required?

    Thanks Jason, Great info. I'll talk to him about the GFCI on the pump. I think I'll just pay for a GFCI breaker on my own for the lights since it's not a code req.

    Guess I was wrong on the extra copper in the conduit. Live and learn.

    A couple other questions if you don't mind.

    What should the easytouch panel housing be grounded to (back to the pool grid or to the main power panel ground)?

    Now that I have incorrectly insisted that an extra green copper wire run through the light conduits, what should it be attached to back at the pad?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Required?

    If the EasyTouch does not contain any circuit breakers then you connect the chassis to a ground wire going back to the electrical panel feeding the EasyTouch.
    If the EasyTouch is mounted on the side of the house then you connect the chassis to a ground wire going back to the main electrical panel for the house.
    If the EasyTouch is mounted on a detached structure and contains circuit breakers then it gets it's own ground rod(s) and they are used for all local ground connections, but that ground is not connected back to the main panel.
    If the EasyTouch is mounted on a post outside then the rules get variable and it might be grounded to the house or to it's own ground depending on distance and other factors.

    The extra green wire in the light conduits might as well be connected to the bonding system.

    Note that bonding and grounding are separate systems. They may in fact be connected together at some point (typically the pump chassis) but otherwise remain separate.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: GFCI Required?

    It's mounted on the side of the house and the main feed runs in conduit underground to a small panel with 4 large breakers. That small panel is about 30 feet away on the same wall. Sounds like it needs to be grounded back to that small outside panel.

    I will make sure extra green is tied into the bonding.

    thanks again,
    scot

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: GFCI Required?

    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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