Adding extra electricity around pool

ckinchen

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Mar 1, 2019
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Orlando, FL
Hi! So one question I have is if I want to add electricity around the pool without asking the pool builder to do it, have others just done it themselves? If the trenches are already dug, can I just go ahead and put some extra pipes for low and high voltage electricity? My brother in law is an electrician and I can have him do that for me, I am just not sure if that would affect the pool inspection. If the trenches are already dug I would love to take advantage of that. Have others done that and what was your experience? I don't want to hire the pool builder to do as we are at the max of our budget but would like to have the electricity for future landscaping or lighting needs etc. Thanks!
 

Heavenlytunes

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I ran the pipes & wires. Speakers, CCTV, Outlets but I left them buried at point A and B when everything is done I just have to dig out that end pipe and bring it up.
I used burial wiring but still used the pvc pipe.
 
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Stoopalini

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Yes, absolutely take advantage of the opportunity.

I put conduit in all the places I wanted to run wires. In the trenches, in the forms for the concrete decking, in stone work, etc ... I even handed my landscape transformer to the electric sub-contractor, and asked if he could mount it for me at the same time he was mounting the transformer for the pool lights. He had no problem at all doing it, and even wired it up to my controller with additional conduit he supplied. I tipped him $20 for his troubles.
 
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PoolGate

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I ran it for mine myself using the open trenches already there. I left the wires sticking out of the ground at the panel the electrician installed and wired them in myself after he was done. Electrician did give me the go-ahead to do this though. He said it wasn't up to him but he thought $500/outlet was a huge ripoff. Just make sure to use the correct outdoor weather rated (WR) GFIs in a proper box.
 

Aquaman7

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Sep 15, 2019
332
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I did the same thing. Ran gray pvc for future hot tub and outlets around the pool. Ran sprinkler poly pipe for speakers, low voltage lighting, water spigot and sprinklers. Just make sure you map everything out so you know where it is when it’s time to use them.
 
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Dirk

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You can play it safe by calling your local building dept, ideally get an inspector on the phone, and ask him this question. Some underground pipes cannot be run together in the same ditch, others are just fine.

Also, there are specific types of wire that you can run inside buried conduit, but not others. I don't know what is meant by "burial wiring" but be sure to follow code. For example, it might seem logical to run Romex through PVC conduit, just another layer of protection, right? Nope, not to code. I'm all for DIY, especially when it comes to negating typical PBs' exorbitant add-on price policies. Just be sure it's also DIR (Do It Right)!

If you do pull wire yourself, throw in a few extra wires, for extra circuits. I have six circuits running around my yard, so that I can have independent control of things, most of which I didn't originally plan for. My partial list: garden lights, bistro lights, bug zapper, citrus tree heater and a fountain. And one extra, to grow on!
 

PoolGate

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You can play it safe by calling your local building dept, ideally get an inspector on the phone, and ask him this question. Some underground pipes cannot be run together in the same ditch, others are just fine.

Also, there are specific types of wire that you can run inside buried conduit, but not others. I don't know what is meant by "burial wiring" but be sure to follow code. For example, it might seem logical to run Romex through PVC conduit, just another layer of protection, right? Nope, not to code. I'm all for DIY, especially when it comes to negating typical PBs' exorbitant add-on price policies. Just be sure it's also DIR (Do It Right)!

If you do pull wire yourself, throw in a few extra wires, for extra circuits. I have six circuits running around my yard, so that I can have independent control of things, most of which I didn't originally plan for. My partial list: garden lights, bistro lights, bug zapper, citrus tree heater and a fountain. And one extra, to grow on!
I think he means "direct burial" cable which doesn't need to be in conduit.
 

Dirk

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I think he means "direct burial" cable which doesn't need to be in conduit.
That's what I figured. I'm wondering if running direct burial cable inside a conduit violates code. It sounds like a good idea, but it might not be...
 

PoolGate

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That's what I figured. I'm wondering if running direct burial cable inside a conduit violates code. It sounds like a good idea, but it might not be...
When I did mine I used direct burial cable not in conduit except where it rises up to the breaker box and outlet box. The electrician said just put it as far to the edges of the trench as I can get it. It passed county inspection.
 
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Dirk

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It passed county inspection.
Full circle to my first point: involve an inspector beforehand and possibly save yourself from doing it twice. When I was replumbing a fourplex, I was working with some stuff I never had before. I called for a "pre-inspection" and went over my plan with the inspector. He told me what to do and what he wanted to see come "final time." It all worked out great.
 

Heavenlytunes

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Oh great idea!!
Definitely don't follow my instructions 😁 I'm just a shoemaker trying to save a buck. I got a bunch of electrician friends that tell me what to do. The pipe(more money) is just extra for me down the line if I need to run something else.
They're right you don't need it.
I used Direct burial 12/2. BW😁
 
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ckinchen

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Mar 1, 2019
166
Orlando, FL
Great info all! I am lucky my brother in law is an electrician and can do it for me. I just was not sure if will cause issues. Sounds like most did on own and was ok. I will also double check he has the latest code, I think he told me it recently was updated.
 

jseyfert3

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Definitely don't follow my instructions 😁 I'm just a shoemaker trying to save a buck. I got a bunch of electrician friends that tell me what to do. The pipe(more money) is just extra for me down the line if I need to run something else.
They're right you don't need it.
I used Direct burial 12/2. BW😁
FYI for next time if you’ve already installing conduit, THHN is a better choice. I’m not a code expert on NM cable in conduit, I think it can be done in some circumstances but there’s a few good reasons not to do so. First it eats up a LOT of “area”, severely limiting how many other wires you can run alongside it per code. Second it’s hard to pull through conduit. Finally it’s more expensive than THHN. In short running NM direct bury through conduit basically defeats all advantages of direct bury NM cable, which is low cost and ease of install, and adds a lot of disadvantages.

Basically there’s few to no reasons to ever put NM cable in a conduit. The only one I can think of is if you’re bringing NM cable out of somewhere and it requires protection from damage for a few feet. For example, NM cable run through an unfinished basement ceiling running down the wall to a wall mounted outlet needs to be in a section of conduit from the ceiling to outlet or otherwise protected. Same for NM direct bury cable transitioning upwards from it’s unprotected run in a trench, needs conduit for protection coming up and out of the ground.

If you do pull wire yourself, throw in a few extra wires, for extra circuits. I have six circuits running around my yard, so that I can have independent control of things, most of which I didn't originally plan for. My partial list: garden lights, bistro lights, bug zapper, citrus tree heater and a fountain. And one extra, to grow on!
Yes, more is better. Just look at any old house with overstuffed electrical panels and overloaded circuits. This is why when I had the electrician do the wiring for my outlet on a post for my Intex pool I did NOT do direct bury NM. That would have worked, but that’s just one circuit. I had him do conduit and immediately run two 20 A circuits out there as a multiwire branch circuit. This means not only do I have extra for whatever pool accessories or yard tools I may use out near the pool, but I already have 20 amps of 240 volts too, ready to go with a couple wire changes at the pool junction box. And it’s 3/4” conduit, I can get a lot more circuits pulled out there in no time if I upgrade pools and add a bunch of stuff, with zero digging. Or a lot less digging if I want to add other outlets in that section of the yard.
 
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jimmythegreek

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Fyi you cant use NM/romex in burial conduit only thhn/thxn. You also cannot use gfci circuits mixed with non gfci in the same conduit. Conduit is cheap best to run independent conduits amd stub them up amd cap them. Easy to fish thhn thru them afterwards. If patio or decking runs against house amd blocks yard run am extra 1" or larger under it for future.
 

Dirk

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FYI for next time if you’ve already installing conduit, THHN is a better choice.
That might not be right, either. Electrical code is very tricky. I think you'd want to use THWN, not THHN*. Or one of the other many varieties of wire for use in underground conduit. The "W" stands for water-resistant, which I think is the better choice (and might be code?). More important than our back-seat wiring: stick to the code, get your electrician relative and a local inspector to agree on whats'what and you're golden.

*Some THHN wire is also rated THWN! Like I said... tricky.

@jseyfert3 and @jimmythegreek hit on another good trick. One way to cover your bases is to run oversized conduit, and/or multiple runs of conduit. It you have enough space in one or more, you can always run more wire, different wire, more circuits, speaker wire, ethernet wire, whatever you might need to get from one end to the other (some of those you can't run in the same conduit). I can virtually guarantee that you'll eventually need "just one more wire" out there to add that coolest of cool gizmos to your yard...
 

jseyfert3

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That might not be right, either. Electrical code is very tricky. I think you'd want to use THWN, not THHN*. Or one of the other many varieties of wire for use in underground conduit. The "W" stands for water-resistant, which I think is the better choice (and might be code?). More important than our back-seat wiring: stick to the code, get your electrician relative and a local inspector to agree on whats'what and you're golden.

*Some THHN wire is also rated THWN! Like I said... tricky.
The stuff I've seen has been both, but yeah not always. I suppose a more appropriate answer is if you have conduit end-to-end, you should be pulling the appropriate single strand wires, not using NM cable.

I've seen a lot of non-inspected DIY wiring that's very scary. Like @Dirk I support DIY, but for anything electrical I always strongly recommend to get a permit and an inspection, so you know it's to code and safe.
 
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