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Thread: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Hey guys,

    I have an electrician who happens to be in Europe until the end of June. I had a questions I'M hoping someone could help me with. (mainly just for my own info)

    In looking at the NEC 680 code I'm a bit confused. I'm guessing it may be spelled out in other places in the code).

    My existing pool location and wiring (inspected / approved) utilized THWN in PVC (Gray) conduit burried 24+" deep. THWN dedicated line for the pump as well as a second "line" for the convienence outlet (also THWN) along with an insulated (Green Jacket) ground.

    I've done some grading for the new pool install and essentially, my 15x33 A/G pool will be "in-deck" now. Just so I know everything is new, I was going to re-trench and re-run all new wiring (I also wanted to slightly change the location of the filter since this current pool is a bit larger than the last one).

    Here is my question:

    Since my pool is now "built into the deck", can I run the THWN in conduit under the bottom of the deck (along the joists) to the pump and convienence outlet?? (which will now be all under the deck) - These would of course be 2 dedicated lines.

    I could easily bury the new conduit, no problem at all, but due to the location, when the wiring comes out of the house, I could either run conduit appx 3 feet down to ground level and then burry 24". But then I'd have to come "up" out of the ground appx 3 feet to the "outlet post" for the pump and for the convienence outlet.). That seems a bit odd to do (at least to me).

    Where.... if I run along the deck joists, I can come straight out of the junction box on the house (under the deck now) and just "drop down" to the outlet boxes. (one twist lock for the pump and the other for the convienence outlet).

    Looking at the code It appears that even though I'm not burrying anything, I should still use conduit with THWN (as opposed to UF-B not in conduit). - (At least where the pump is concerned).

    One electircian told me to use UF-B along the deck for both since I'm not burrying anything but looking a the NEC 680 code, the info he gave me appears to be incorrect information. (That's why I'd rather wait for the other electrician).

    From what I see (at least for the pump dedicated line) it should be THWN etc in conduit with a separate #12 Green Jacketed ground wire).

    Any input would be great.

    Right now, I'm planning to run new conduit and THWN under ground but if I can run along the deck joists, that would make my deck pier installation a bit easier since I won't have anything in the ground.

    Just curious.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Not an electrician, but I would stick with the THWN and conduit. It is just a better install. Sure the UF-B is cheaper but it is completely exposed. The conduit gives you a solid exterior shell protecting the wires.

    Just be sure to use the proper size conduit for the wiring. You can only fill something like 50% of the conduit with wire for cooling of the wires.

    As well depending on the length of the run of the wires and the amount of power you are pulling through, you may want to upsize to 10 guage wire for efficiency. It is like pulling water through a pipe. Try pulling the same amount of water through a straw versus a garden hose.

    If you are mechanical and electrically able, you can figure this out be taking voltage reading while the equipment is running on the wiring at the source and then at the equipment by the pool. Look for a drop. The best setup is none to very little drop. A big drop indicates the wire is too small and you should go with a larger gauge wire.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    I agree, conduit would be best, but give your electrical inspector a call. Most of the inspectors I have worked with are more than willing to explain their interpretation of the code. Just explain to them that you have reviewed article 680 and you would like clarification on what method is allowed.
    Patriot Arcadia 15' round 52". Pentair Clean and Clear 100 sqft Cartridge filter, 1HP Optiflow pump, Goldline Aquatrol SWG. 2 - 4'x20' solar panels roof mounted. All rigid PVC plumbing. Resin Solar reel with 8mil Thermo-tex solar cover. 14 x 12 deck.

    Ovation 15'x24'x52'' AG. Pentair System 3 150 SQ foot cartridge filter, 1 1/2 HP pump.

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Thanks guys,

    I agree.

    Cost isn't an issue (especially when it comes to pool wiring).

    From what I re-read it does kind of appear than I could in fact get "away with" running the UF-B for the accessory outlet but I think 2 "runs" of individual wires in a 3/4" conduit would really be the way to go.

    I just want to clarify if running along the deck joist (THWN in conduit) is within code (as opposed to burying conduit in the ground).

    I think conduit is the way to go either way.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Oh gosh never would i run UF exposed near a pool.. I ran conduit under my deck to some receptacles and switches in PVC boxes and PVC Switch covers.. Look at it this way.. What if somehow the hot side got exposed, a nick in the wire that hit the Hot side. Water seeps down and there you go.. No GFCI would protect you on that one.
    17000 Gallons (16x32) Vinyl In Ground Pool
    Sand Filter
    Install "Finish Date" July 30 2014"
    Propane heater installed.. Used for 1 day.
    City Water.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Conduit, THWN. Why do you want to run all new wiring?

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Brad,

    The only "real" reason I'm running new lines is pretty much due to the fact that I've regraded the area where the old pool was and increased from a 24x12 or whatever that odd size was to a 33x15. Since the pool is now larger, I needed to un-earth the conduit other wise the new pool would go directly over it.

    To maintain the required distance(s), I was just going to re-trench and run new line and conduit (only about 25 feet or so) from the junction box on the house to the new location of the filter and accessory outlet.

    Even though the existing conduit appears fine, who really knows how it was done in the past. Since I have to disturb it anyway (and extend it), I figured that I may as well just play it safe and know that everything is new.

    Sparkmaster,

    I agree. From what I heard today from another electrician, and then looking again at the specs, It DOES appear that I could infact use UF-B under the deck. (Unless I, another electrician and the inspector are all interpreting it wrong).

    It does state the UF-B shall not be run through Burried Conduit OR be used / burried for the dedicated pump line. However it does appear (according to the inspector) that running it along the deck joists would be fine.

    That seems odd to me. As stated by you and others (and me), I feel that conduit (Either burried or along the deck joists) and THWN is really the "only" way to go.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Remember those codes can reflect a "balance" between absolute safest and real life cost concerns.

    Someone is always coming out with new products, trying to do it more economically and the code are a compromise sometimes.

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by pool4me
    <snip>
    It does state the UF-B shall not be run through Burried Conduit OR be used / burried for the dedicated pump line. However it does appear (according to the inspector) that running it along the deck joists would be fine.<snip>
    Amazing - my electricans used UF-B direct buried for my dedicated pump outlet, and the inspector passed it with flying colors.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Quote Originally Posted by pool4me
    <snip>
    It does state the UF-B shall not be run through Burried Conduit OR be used / burried for the dedicated pump line. However it does appear (according to the inspector) that running it along the deck joists would be fine.<snip>
    Amazing - my electricans used UF-B direct buried for my dedicated pump outlet, and the inspector passed it with flying colors.

    That's because UF-B is made to be direct buried and not to be put in a conduit.

    I'm not an electrician either but I spoke with several who agreed that UF-B direct buried is the way to go. Conduit can hold water and I'd much rather have something MADE to be buried than to have wire inside a plastic pipe that if it ever got filled with water would hold that water almost indefinitely with current running through wires through that water. UF-B direct buried will not ever stay 'completely submerged in water'.

    The jacket on UF-B is extremely tough. It can withstand hits from a typical shovel without cutting through the entire outer layer. It will outlast an average pool.

    But like most things, there's always more than one way to do it.
    24' x 52" AGP = 13.5k gallons
    Dynamo 2.0 HP pump,Sand Dollar sand filter
    Polaris 65 vacuum (good when there are a ton of leaves on bottom), Pool Rover Jr. (LOVE it, but power box dead right now), AquaCritter (an excellent suction side cleaner)

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    You can use UF to a pump if its to an outlet that the pump plugs into. Direct wired pumps need an insulated ground wire, so THWN in conduit is needed for that kind of application.

    Yes, most conduit will get water in it at sometime or another. But, the THWN wire is made for the application. Romex should never be run in conduit, according to code. The UF can be run under a deck. I would use conduit, but that would be more than what the code calls for. The code is a minimum, and some code is just silly and can be done several different was. Other parts of the NEC are strictly adhered to. A lot of what can be "gotten away with" is kind of up to the inspector and how close the want to follow it.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    I am an electrician. First thing is check with your local building inspector and tell him/her what your plans are.
    Then do what gives you the most peace of mind while staying within code and local requirements.
    If money were no object, I would do it all in conduit and THWN/ THHN stranded wire.
    As for upsizing the wire to #10: if your voltage drop exceeds 5% , go ahead and spend the extra money for the larger wire.

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Great tips guys.

    Much appreciated.

    I've done quite a bit of outside wiring and have always used buried UF-B. I've been told that UF-B should never be put into conduit so I've never done that.

    It's just recently with the new work for the pool that I've had the chance to speak to several electricians as well as the township inspector regarding pool wiring.

    I guess (as stated above) that it kind of depends on how the local inspector interprets the code (along with any additional additional "things" that they may require).

    After speaking to them, I see that (at least here) on the sheet they provide:

    1. The accessory GFCI outlet CAN be UF-B direct buried. Location 10' minimum to 20 foot maximum distance from the pool. Weatherproof cover required (cover must be able to remain closed when cord it plugged in.

    2. The wiring to the twist lock outlet for the pump CAN NOT be Buried UF-B. It states THHN, XHHN, THWN etc #12 minimum in Conduit - in brackets it then reads: {No UF cable in Conduit or UF cable buried}. Location 5' minimum distance from pool. 20amp GFCI Breaker, dedicated line to pump. In Brackets: {Can not use UF Cable for pool pump receptacle IF the wire is buried}.

    * Wire used in conduit must be single strand wire (ex THHN, XHHN, etc) No UF Cable

    3. # 8 solid copper (no jacket ok) bonding with non corrosive clamps, (no zinc plated clamps). Recommended bonding (2) two spots on pool (appx 1/2 way around), pump, All metal, etc

    There are other items but the above mostly related to my original question. I can see that apparently the local requirements are a little different that the NEC 680 code( or maybe they just appear that way to me).

    Since cost is not a concern (especially when it comes to safety), I'll most likely re-do the THWN in Conduit in the ground.

    UNLESS. . .

    I can verify with with "the locals" that the UF-B along the deck joists (no Conduit) is accepable / safe etc.

    Even though my electrician is going to be here with me, I always like to do homework so I know for myself. I realize the even electricians seem to have opinions that vary when it comes to pools so I figure you can't ask too many questions ... right??
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    "Minimum distance 5' from pool..." is for twist lock receptacles only (I think?). If it is non twist lock, then it has to be 10' away. Maybe it does vary from individual inspectors, but I think NEC states the above.

    There is also a variation if the pump is directly connected, with no receptacle.

    I'm sure you can run the UF under the deck, then change it over to something else at or near the connection location. Personally, IMO, I see nothing wrong with UF under the deck. Stapled up of course.

    Pipe will give you options for later, in case you need to change/add something.
    18' x 54" Round AG 7500 gallon w/small prefab 2-piece fandeck
    Waterways 200sf Cartridge Filter, 1.5 hp 2-speed pump. 2" pvc piping
    Pool Pilot Total Control swg w/acid tank feeder
    Pool Rover Jr., BBB, TF 100 test kit

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Code is constantly being upgraded for pools, especially when it comes to grounding. An existing installation should be ok as long as no violations were present at the date it was installed. When you get into renovations it can open up a whole new can of worms in respect to what has to be upgraded. Kind of like a home owner that just bought a new house(100 tear old) and wants to upgrade the electrical service.He thinks that all he needs is a new breaker panel to replace an undersized fuse box, when in reality , the whole house would need rewiring to bring it up to code.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    I hear you. It's the updates that "get ya'". But I realize that they are there for a reason so I figure as long as I'm "updating" I may as well have everything safe and up to code.

    The original install here originally appears to have been done , inspected, passed, back in the late 80's early 90's so quite a bit in the code has been changed since then.

    Currently there is a twist lock receptacle and my pump uses a twist lock cord. Which I'm going to continue to use (with a new cover).

    It's funny though....

    I think from what I read, It seems that quite a number of people have direct buried UF-B but...

    Looking at the code and paperwork from my inspector it looks like the "requirement" of an insulated ground wire (for the pump) would prevent me from doing that here. (The UF-B that is).

    Unless I just understand that wrong or unless I'm just reading too much into it, it appears that since the ground wire in UF-B is bare, that would prohibit me from using it.

    It seems that the "majority opinion" of the electricians I've spoken to and (I think) the inspector is, that the ground wire needs to be insulated.

    Obviously since it's in the UF-B jacket, a novice like me would guess that it was insulated but . . . is it really considered insulated since it's bare inside the jacket??

    I think that seems to be the difference between running THWN where you have individual conductors including a jacketed ground wire and the UF-B where the ground wire is "bare". (Or... as mentioned, I'm just confused about the wording of the requirement).

    Again, just curious. It seems like even electricians have opinions that vary, but as mentioned, I guess it comes down to how an individual interprets certain wording in the code.

    Thanks again for all of the tips.
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Nope, it's not considered insulated unless it has it's own insulation.

    Question - why does the pump require an insulated ground wire?
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Nope, it's not considered insulated unless it has it's own insulation.

    Question - why does the pump require an insulated ground wire?

    I'm not an electrician, but I'll guess that they want it to be protected more than the typical bare wire which normal romex and uf provides.

    I'm almost positive you cannot run uf to the pump receptacle. Whether you can run it to the pump directly connected, I don't know. That's a new one I've heard. I'd guess 'No' to both.


    I've only worked with an electrician years ago. We've done numerous service changes in homes and only changed out the panel while installing a gfi receptacle next to it. I can't fathom changing out all the wiring in the house just for that. Again, this was yearas ago, and things do change, but I find that rule hard to believe. It is simply illogical.

    Anyway, I don't want to steer the thread in the wrong direction. This can be a good, informative thread. Good luck pool4me. Keep asking questions.
    18' x 54" Round AG 7500 gallon w/small prefab 2-piece fandeck
    Waterways 200sf Cartridge Filter, 1.5 hp 2-speed pump. 2" pvc piping
    Pool Pilot Total Control swg w/acid tank feeder
    Pool Rover Jr., BBB, TF 100 test kit

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    pool4me's Avatar
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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    MikeInTN,

    I'm not exactly sure why but according to the electrician and the inspector, the pump circuit must have an insulated ground according to NEC 680 code. It's for this reason that UF-B can not be used for the pump circuit.

    But you may have a point... In the township "diagram" it does show a twist lock receptacle for the pump (and then the text states no UF-B in Conduit or burried). Perhaps UF-B may be suitable for a direct wired pump?? (However it appears that "locally", my town prohibits that).

    The wiring specs for the accessory outlet from my town does state that UF-B is ok though.

    I'm guessing (where the pump circuit is concerned) it all comes down to the insulated ground wire.

    Lazyman, I'm thinking you are correct based on the above.

    I'll have to pull out the code again, but if I'm not mistaken I think the 2008 NEC 680 required the insulated ground too. I may be mistaken. I'll have to read through that again.

    Wow! This turned out to be a pretty good post. I love this board. (Wish it was around many years ago when we had our very first pool!)
    33'x15' x 52" Aqualeader
    Gallons ? - (I use appx 13,500 to calculate "stuff")
    33 x 15 x 4.3 x 5.9 = 12,558. or . . The Pool Calculator = 14,400
    Hayward S-166T 100Lb Sand Filter - Hayward Power-Flo LX 1HP Pump
    Intex S.W.G.

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    Re: Electrical Question - Any electricians on the board?

    My point on running the uf under the deck was to make a junction at the ned of the deck and go from there to the pool with conduit or whatever is necessary by code. If the deck was very long, this option may be sound.

    BUT, I still don't know if that could be done. You certainly can run ROMEX inside the house until you reach the end wall, then go to conduit, etc.., so I figured you 'may' be able to run the uf (to the junction box). Not sure. Good luck.
    18' x 54" Round AG 7500 gallon w/small prefab 2-piece fandeck
    Waterways 200sf Cartridge Filter, 1.5 hp 2-speed pump. 2" pvc piping
    Pool Pilot Total Control swg w/acid tank feeder
    Pool Rover Jr., BBB, TF 100 test kit

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