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Thread: Possible bonding problem

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    jamin35008's Avatar
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    Possible bonding problem

    Hey all!

    I'm having a new deck installed right now and one of the guys installing the deck is also an electrician. When I got home from work today he called me over to one of the points on the pool that has the bonding wire attached to it and said "I hate to show you this but this was installed wrong". He went on to say that the bonding wire which runs from the back of the pump through the wire clip on the front of the pump then underground to a pool post which is around 7 feet away and then continues around the pool to 3 other posts is wrong. He says there should be one continuous "ring" around the pool with 5 "spokes" off of that ring 4 of which go to the metal flashing that's under the top of the posts cover and 1 that goes to the pump. My copper wire is one long wire that doesn't have spokes, it runs around the pool and at 4 points on the pool is bent then connected to the posts then bent back again and continues around back to the pump. Also his biggest concern was that the bonding wire is connected to the post which is aluminum not metal and so its not really bonded at all.

    Hope this makes sense but now I'm wondering who to believe and what I should do. My setup did pass an electrical inspection. Anyone have thoughts especially about it being connected to aluminum and not metal?

    Thanks in advance!

    -Ben

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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    So you had the pool inspected like that after you or a contractor built it? City codes will vary but my particular city sided with your deck installer on the bonding ring


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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Hmmm ... I am not sure what the code is, but the point is that all the metal parts are connected ... not sure why a ring with spokes would be better than what you have now.

    Also aluminum is a metal, so that is an odd comment
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Its all about the path of least resistance. Copper as required and the steel on your pool wall provide a way less resistant path to ground than aluminum.(not as big a deal as if it were bonded to the resin siderails) Somebody somewhere did some math and found that ur way vs the ring had just a smidge more potential for something to happen. However i will say the fact yours is bonded is a step up from the vast majority i have seen. Anything outside of the city (townships, etc) dont usually have such strict codes enforcing this bonding so it usually goes undone. I hope this helped


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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    And on top of the bonding ring you would need someway of then bonding this all to your water. Mine is via a return valve that has a coil that sits inside the return pipe


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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Um, I must be missing something.
    Aluminum has a lower electrical resistance than steel.

    AL is about 2x the resistance of CU
    Steel is over 10x the resistance of CU.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    I assumed ur part about aluminum post meant aluminum ground rod not aluminum sidewall or side rail. I read through that fast. Anyway im now harpin on how urs is done im nore trying to tell you how many different ways its done so expect many answers


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    jamin35008's Avatar
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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    I had the inspection done after the contractor installed it.

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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Then ur good. City inspector would have nailed you if it wasnt up to code


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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Quote Originally Posted by mbreyer View Post
    So you had the pool inspected like that after you or a contractor built it? City codes will vary but my particular city sided with your deck installer on the bonding ring

    Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
    Yes had the pool inspected and the electrical inspected by the town for the pool and a contracted inspector for the electrical.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by mbreyer View Post
    I assumed ur part about aluminum post meant aluminum ground rod not aluminum sidewall or side rail. I read through that fast. Anyway im now harpin on how urs is done im nore trying to tell you how many different ways its done so expect many answers

    Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk
    No worries!!!!! The aluminum post I'm talking about are the 18 or so sidewall support posts that are around the 24' AGP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Um, I must be missing something.
    Aluminum has a lower electrical resistance than steel.

    AL is about 2x the resistance of CU
    Steel is over 10x the resistance of CU.
    After thinking about it your totally right! When the guy today was talking to me I was just getting mad because I was thinking I was getting the shaft. I will have to mention this to him tomorrow and see what he says.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle View Post
    Hmmm ... I am not sure what the code is, but the point is that all the metal parts are connected ... not sure why a ring with spokes would be better than what you have now.

    Also aluminum is a metal, so that is an odd comment
    Point taken....I will run it by the deck/electrical guy tomorrow and see what he says.


    Thanks everyone for the responses!!!!! I have been royally screwed over by my current deck not being up to code (previous owner build it and attorneys/inspectors missed it not having a permit during home purchase) and now have basically start from scratch building 2 new decks when all we wanted to do was put an addition on our old deck to reach the pool.......went from 4.5K to 9.9K over night!!!!!! and then to hear about the possible bonding issue today was why I wanted to hear from you guys before I did anything. Thanks again!!!!!!! You guys are great!

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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Yep roll out get your pool on then. He wants your money. And as you know aluminum is metal LOL


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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Is your deck going all the way around your pool? I think I read in the code for our township if there is no way to be touching ground and pool at the same time (ie. with a fully surrounding deck) you don't need bonding. But I'm not 100% sure if I read that right (our deck doesn't go the full way around, and our pool is bonded).
    28 ft round ABG with ~6ft deep end, approx. 20,000 gal, 2 spd 2 HP pump, sand filter

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    Re: Possible bonding problem

    Either method of providing the loop around the pool is fine. The preferred method is the spoke method as it is easier. as long as the continuous loop somewhat creates the spokes, has at least 4 equally spaced connections and the loop is ~18" out from the edge you are good. This is all done to keep voltage gradients in the same potential. The connection to the pump motor, heater and other structures needing bonding as well as the water bond can either be continuous or split-blot connected. Again this is all to keep the entire pool area at one voltage potential so you do not become the conductor between two voltage gradients. This entire system has nothing to do with grounding and material resistance is not an issue here other than the need for a #8 solid copper wire for the connections.

    Sorry to hear about the deck issue. unfortunately I see a lot of sub standard decks being built all the time and have had to repair a few of them myself. I have bit my tongue several times on this forum alone when I see some of the "awesome" decks being built. I can only hope that someone does not get hurt. There was a recent thread of someone who built a deck attached to the side of the house without removing any of the siding. In fact it looked like the ledger board was simply nailed on with a couple of scabs added to hold it up. The fact that it was nailed over the siding and there was no flashing provided will simply mean that in a few years the framing of the house will start to rot, the connection point of the deck will be compromised and the house will be damaged to the extent that significant repairs will need to be made. The rest of the deck had issues as well with the way the structure was built.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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