Anode, bonding wire, what do you connect that wire to?

Pemolis

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2015
139
Dallas
I’ve been googling this for a few hours and can not find an actual explanation of what you connect this bonding wire to.

I am looking to do a swg and want to add a anode to the system to protect my equipment. I understand that you need to bond the anode, and I can see the wire, but I have ZERO clue what exactly to connect that wire to. I don’t see any bonding rod, my water heater is not bonded to anything. All I have in the pool shed is the copper line for the gas water heater, and several steel posts to keep the fence and roof up.

Maybe looking up answers isn’t helping because I cannot find actual photos of what the people connect the anode to. Where is the end of the bond? Is it a spike in the ground? What does the typical pool person connect this bonding wire too?

Thanks.
 

peirek

Silver Supporter
Jun 21, 2017
567
Sachse, TX
I have not added an anode for my pool so I cannot comment on this. My equipment pad has a bonding wire (from the pool/deck) that all of the motors and control systems tie to.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,470
Monmouth County, New Jersey
I’ve been googling this for a few hours and can not find an actual explanation of what you connect this bonding wire to.

I am looking to do a swg and want to add a anode to the system to protect my equipment. I understand that you need to bond the anode, and I can see the wire, but I have ZERO clue what exactly to connect that wire to. I don’t see any bonding rod, my water heater is not bonded to anything. All I have in the pool shed is the copper line for the gas water heater, and several steel posts to keep the fence and roof up.

Maybe looking up answers isn’t helping because I cannot find actual photos of what the people connect the anode to. Where is the end of the bond? Is it a spike in the ground? What does the typical pool person connect this bonding wire too?

Thanks.
Everything should be bonded together. Please read this post in its entirety as it will provide some answers to your question.

Sequence of chemicals and possibly any effects on what happened to screws at light.
 

Pemolis

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2015
139
Dallas
Actually it didn't unfortunately. I understand that everything should be bonded together (aka, you connect it with copper wires). Once everything is connected together, where do you connect the end of that copper wire? Aka, where does it finally end? The linked anode in that post (https://www.poolpartsonline.com/p-96771-inline-zinc-anode-2-in-0173-5.aspx?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=ShoppingFeed&utm_term=ProductListingAds&utm_content=AllProducts&utm_campaign=GoogleShopping&gclid=CjwKEAjwgqWvBRC2kajZjqeOn0oSJADqBi-ln83sxgzQ5unmJm7pYE2-5gTFIfP5EX9tOMiIZzpNPxoC4WDw_wcB), shows the coiled wire.

Where does that wire go?

I will actually make it simpler because the question that seems to be asked is bonding everything.

Nothing is bonded in the pool. I have no idea where the wires are, nor do I care.

Where or what, if the Sacrificial anode was the ONLY thing in my pool that I could bond, what would I connect it to?

I know it is a bizarre question but I do not see any bonding wires in my inground pool.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,470
Monmouth County, New Jersey
What you have there will throw zinc in the water. Needs to be hooked up to a bonding wire. There should be a bonding wire at your pump. Do not confuse with a grounding wire.

How do you know that nothing is bonded in the pool? My pool, is a liner pool with steel walls. The ladder cups, hand rail, and frames are all joined together (bonded), which now attach to the diving board, bonded, and to the light in the pool as well. Everything runs back to the pump and it is actually hooked up to a T in the plumbing, where water reaches the bonding wire. In my pictures, you will see this. Then I hooked up the anode to this wire, which is also hooked up to the pump. Hope this helps.

- - - Updated - - -

Where or what, if the Sacrificial anode was the ONLY thing in my pool that I could bond, what would I connect it to?
I believe you could attach it to the ladder, hand rail, any metal part of the pool, or even the light. How old is your pool that bonding was not required by code? Maybe the bonding wire somehow broke up and never replaced.
 

Pemolis

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2015
139
Dallas
It’s an inground pool. I’ve been looking by the pool pump, heater, etc, and I do not see any bonding wire coming out of it. Built 1975. The 120 volt switch for the lights don’t even have a neutral wire.

I do not know what a bonding wire looks like, nor what a bonding end terminal looks like. Can I create something to attach the anodes bonding wire to? Can I attach the bonding wire to one of the metal posts in the pool hut? Do I dig a 20 foot deep hole and shove a rod down it, then attach the anodes bonding wire to it?

I cannot dig up around the pool looking for this bonding wire as it’s been covered up by 3 feet of concrete for the past 30 years. I’ll see if I can snap a few photos to clarify the issue
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,470
Monmouth County, New Jersey
I am not an electrician, but I do not believe this will work. Please read the post about my anode. The whole idea is to take corrosion out of the pool with the anode. It is the weakest link. You would be better off with an anode that attaches to the ladder. The zinc released in the water will not cause any type of staining until you reach a certain level. This was discussed in detail by Chem Geek.

Is your purpose to prevent corrosion in the pool? Has anything rusted out, etc? Thanks!
 

dfahrion

Bronze Supporter
Oct 18, 2013
89
Iowa
I'm curious why the interest in a anode? I don't believe it is typical to add an anode just because you are adding a SWG. What are you trying to protect from corrosion?

A sacrificial anode has to be connected to whatever equipment you want to protect. The pool bonding is extremely handy for this as it connects everything metal in contact with the water and surrounding the pool, thus connecting to it would protect everything. If nothing is bonded before adding more electrical equipment (SWG) I would consider having the pool bonded. Or at least bonding all of the equipment and throwing a bonding grid around the pool as best you can without doing too much digging/cutting/etc. A bonding wire is just a bare metal heavy gauge wire that is connected to each piece of equipment to make sure any metal around the pool or in contact with the water is at the same voltage.

You do not need a rod in the ground. If you only care about the anode, whatever you want protected from corrosion should be connected to the anode. You might as well use a heavy gauge solid bare copper wire to do that and connect your equipment all together, maybe someday you will want to add a bonding grid and that could be the start of it.

For the light I don't quite understand how a 120v anything wouldn't have a neutral wire. Do you mean it doesn't have a ground wire? Electricity requires 2 wires to make a circuit, with 120V AC that is usually a hot and neutral. If you just have a single wire you would be flowing a lot of power through either the water or ground to make the circuit, which could be very bad. If the light is bonded, the bond wire does not go through the conduit, and wouldn't go to the switch so it wouldn't be easy to find. The easiest place to find a bond wire is probably at your pump. For a modern pool you would have 2 wires for power and a ground wire running through a conduit, then an extra bare wire connected to the outside of the pump. That extra wire would be the bond wire. That bare bond wire would also connect to your other equipment at the pad then probably disappear into the ground to connect to the light/pool structure/etc. If you just have 2 or 3 wires in a conduit, your pump is not bonded, and if the pump is not bonded it is either because the bond was not connected when the pump was replaced or you never had a bond wire in the first place.
 

Catanzaro

Platinum Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 30, 2014
3,470
Monmouth County, New Jersey
I'm curious why the interest in a anode? I don't believe it is typical to add an anode just because you are adding a SWG. What are you trying to protect from corrosion?
I can just tell you that the zinc anode, and how how it was recommended to be installed by Chem Geek stopped the rust on the light screws. I had removed the old ones and placed new ones from the Hayward factory at the same time. This definitely was a classic case of galvanic corrosion. I added an SWG this year and still not corrosion on any of the screws.

Your post has a lot of useful information in it. Thanks!
 

Pemolis

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2015
139
Dallas
I am looking to protect 4 items.

1) The pool pump from general corrosion.
2) The water heater (it ain't a cheap piece of equipment)
3) The booster Pump
4) The two pool lights

If you just have 2 or 3 wires in a conduit, your pump is not bonded, and if the pump is not bonded it is either because the bond was not connected when the pump was replaced or you never had a bond wire in the first place.
The pump was replaced last year, along with the booster pump. I do not see any connection between the lot.

Regarding the electrical, there is no neutral wire in the conduit that powers the lights and some other odds and ends. There is the 240 wires that were in it, and the 120 wire is just two wires (not the typical three (load, ground, neutral)). I asked the electrician if they could pull a up-to-date wire set for the 120v equipment and he looked at me like I just asked him to move heaven and earth (from what he explained, he has no guarantee that he could either remove the old set of wires or pull a new set through 40 year old conduit that runs under concrete 80 feet away).

So lets say I want to protect my heater and my lights. I would have to find the bonding wire for the lights, connect it to my anode, and find the bonding nut for the heater, and connect that to my anode.. and connect the pool pump bonding node to my anode...and that's it? I do not have to connect my anode (as linked above) to something else?

I think I realize how it works now and nothing's actually explained it. Please double check me if I am wrong.

1) The zinc sacrificial anode connects to your pool plumbing.
2) the wire from the anode connects to device #1 you want to protect (the heater)
3) from the heater, that same wire (or another) connects to device #2 you want to protect (Pump)
4) From the pump you use a wire to connect to device #3 (pool lights).
5) From device 3, you run a wire to connect BACK to the sacrificial anode listed above, completing a loop.
6) When the anode wears out, replace it.

Is that all it is?

edit 2: Do I have to bind that to the ground of the house (watching swimming pool steve currently).
 
Last edited:

dfahrion

Bronze Supporter
Oct 18, 2013
89
Iowa
Regarding the electrical, there is no neutral wire in the conduit that powers the lights and some other odds and ends. There is the 240 wires that were in it, and the 120 wire is just two wires (not the typical three (load, ground, neutral)). I asked the electrician if they could pull a up-to-date wire set for the 120v equipment and he looked at me like I just asked him to move heaven and earth (from what he explained, he has no guarantee that he could either remove the old set of wires or pull a new set through 40 year old conduit that runs under concrete 80 feet away).
As I understand it the wires from the light to the first junction above the water line are a sealed wire set that is permanently attached to the light. When you replace the light you would have to pull the new wire through the conduit to that junction. I am not sure if a ground is always included in that wire or not, it sounds like you just have hot and neutral. If you wanted to replace the wire you would have to replace the light too. It sounds like your lights might not be bonded, and maybe not even grounded, which is going to make it tricky at best to protect them with an anode. You might try using a multi-meter to determine if there is an electrical connection between a metal part of your light and ground. If so just having an anode bonded to the pump and heater might protect the lights some. Otherwise you would have to dig (sounds like under concrete) to get to the outside of the light housing to where a bond lug would be, which doesn't sound like fun.

1) The zinc sacrificial anode connects to your pool plumbing.
2) the wire from the anode connects to device #1 you want to protect (the heater)
3) from the heater, that same wire (or another) connects to device #2 you want to protect (Pump)
4) From the pump you use a wire to connect to device #3 (pool lights).
5) From device 3, you run a wire to connect BACK to the sacrificial anode listed above, completing a loop.
6) When the anode wears out, replace it.

Is that all it is?
Pretty much, that is it. 1) The anode Catanzaro used went into the dirt rather that connecting to the plumbing, chem geek explains in his thread that keeps the zinc out of your pool water which seems like a good idea. 5) A loop isn't really needed. This isn't actually a complete electrical circuit, the electrons have to be able to pass from the anode to the metal being protected (or maybe the other way? my chemistry isn't 100%) Either way it is just one direction so it is the anode that corrodes rather than the protected metal, so you don't really need a loop in this case, although it wouldn't hurt to make it a loop to add some redundancy in case the wire breaks at some point.

edit 2: Do I have to bind that to the ground of the house (watching swimming pool steve currently).
No. Ground from the pool pump/heater/etc should be tied there, but the bonding shouldn't be directly connected to it. In effect it ends up getting electrically connected through your pump and heater, but that can't be avoided.
 

Pemolis

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2015
139
Dallas
Great. Thank you everybody. I could not conceptualize how this stuff is connected (could not find a video/photo) of it. Small loop, booster pump, heater, pool pump, and lights if possible.