Another extension cord question

cfclay

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
233
Lexington,Ky
I'm buying a 30' above ground pool. Until I can get an electrician to come out and run me a line to the pool; I'm going to run an extension cord to the pool. It will likely be 50'-75'- running a Pentair SD-40 1.5 hp system with a Saltron Retro Salt Water Generator.
I have a new outdoor GFCI outlet where some other work was done; I was planning on getting a 12 gauge triple tap extension cord. Does anyone see any issue with this for the short term? I did read that 10 to 12 guage was preferred.
Thanks as always. This is pool number 4. I hope to go slow and make this an oasis. I don't think I'm in my forever home- but I'll be here a while.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
Should you use an extension cord that long for a 1.5hp pump. The short answer is no.

IF you were going to do something like that and are trying to not start fires or damage your brand new pump motor you should use a well made (not harbor freight) extension cord 12 gauge is ok but 10 gauge would be better (and 3 times the cost). The outlet, and circuit powering the outlet, should be wired for 20amps. There should be nothing else plugged into the out let or running off that outlet circuit while the pool pump is running.

If possible measure the voltage at the end of the extension cord with nothing running and then measure the voltage with all the pool equipment running. Ideally you want less than 3% difference in those two readings anything over 5% difference will damage the pump motor.

Hitting the extension cord with a lawn mower or weed whacker is going to lead to a very bad day.


Or you could start digging the trench for the electrical conduit to run a proper circuit out there. Minimum bury for that kind of conduit in my area is 18". Direct burial cable is not acceptable per NEC code for pool equipment service. You should have two independent 20amp circuits run out to your pool.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,465
Northern NJ
What Chuck said ^^^

Is it safe? No.

Will it work? Probably until it doesn’t.

Without knowing all the details of your household, your property, your pool, and how long this hack will remain I can’t judge how much of a risk it really is. The NEC is there to keep people and property safe. Using extension cords for pool pumps is against code and not safe.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
23,625
SouthWest Alabama
Since we're talking temporary and in not long term use.
Some real world experience with that exact pump. It draws about 11 amps running into about 30' of hard plumbed 1½" piping through an SD-60 sand filter with a single 3/4" eyeball in the return.

According to what I can find out the swcg draws 1½ amps, so a 12 ga extension cord should handle it and the pump at that distance. If you want to lower the amp draw a little you could use a ½" eyeball in the return fitting and it'll lower the amp draw of the pump a little.

Too bad that isn't a 2-speed pump. If it was you'd have no issue at all running it on low speed.
 

cfclay

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
233
Lexington,Ky
Thank you team, this was never my intention; so I appreciate the info. This will get resolved quickly I hope. I really need the pool in place before I search for contractors. I have contacted a contractor- but he hasn't even found the time to come take a lok.
People do this all the time though, you'd have to admit. I"m not sure I follow you on the biggest issue- equipment failure; or death?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,465
Northern NJ
You do not give enough information to assess safety of what you propose to do. Is it connected to a GFCI? Where is the run of the cord? Will machinery like mowers pass over it? Where is the placement of the cord plug and pump relative to the water? Can it be reached by someone in the pool? Can the cord be pulled to topple the pump? Etc ...

It works until it doesn’t.

Folks here seem to get all bent out of shape if CL is a few ppm too high then shrug off electrical safety. You have to be the judge of you families safety.
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
You can damage pumps and other equipment on extension cords because of the voltage drop you may get if your wiring isn't up to snuff. As extension cords age the plug ends tend to wear down and can cause hot spots that lead to fires from poor connections. Personally I've seen quite a few melted ends on extension cords.

If the outlet you plug the cord into is being used by other things on the circuit at best you can trip a breaker. At worst you can pull enough current in the circuit not to trip the breaker but lower the voltage in the circuit to the point where it will overheat the windings in the motor. Or more likely damage the electronics in your SWG.

I think the lawn mower and weed whacker warning should be self explanatory.

How are you handling the bonding of your pool? Have you given any thought to doing it while you are doing the leveling when it's a lot easier.

There's no reason to need the pool before the electric work is done. I had my pad ready and conduit run weeks before the pool was set.

I never said it couldn't be done or that people don't do it. It's just not a great way to do it and you should know what to look out for.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cfclay

cfclay

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
233
Lexington,Ky
You can damage pumps and other equipment on extension cords because of the voltage drop you may get if your wiring isn't up to snuff. As extension cords age the plug ends tend to wear down and can cause hot spots that lead to fires from poor connections. Personally I've seen quite a few melted ends on extension cords.

If the outlet you plug the cord into is being used by other things on the circuit at best you can trip a breaker. At worst you can pull enough current in the circuit not to trip the breaker but lower the voltage in the circuit to the point where it will overheat the windings in the motor. Or more likely damage the electronics in your SWG.

I think the lawn mower and weed whacker warning should be self explanatory.

How are you handling the bonding of your pool? Have you given any thought to doing it while you are doing the leveling when it's a lot easier.

There's no reason to need the pool before the electric work is done. I had my pad ready and conduit run weeks before the pool was set.

I never said it couldn't be done or that people don't do it. It's just not a great way to do it and you should know what to look out for.
What is bonding?
 

cfclay

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
233
Lexington,Ky
I got a quote for this today for about $2100, and this includes bonding. Is this typical? Wow. I notice in the information that bonding is required for pools above 4'. Would one take this to include a 4' pool as well?
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
Bonding is required for pools with a water depth of 42" or greater. The height of the wall is irrelevant.

Depending on a lot of factors including if the electrician has to do the trench 2100 doesn't seem that far off for a brand new install with that long of a wire run.

Always get more than one quote. Make sure each electrician quotes the same work and parts so you can easily compare quotes.
 
Last edited:

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,465
Northern NJ
I got a quote for this today for about $2100, and this includes bonding. Is this typical? Wow. I notice in the information that bonding is required for pools above 4'. Would one take this to include a 4' pool as well?
If your pool meets this definition it does not require bonding.

680.8 definitions:
STORABLE SWIMMING, WADING, OR IMMERSION POOL.
Those that are constructed on or above ground and are capable of holding water to a maximum depth of 42" "OR" a pool with non-metallic, molded polymeric walls or inflatable fabric walls regardless of dimension.
 

cfclay

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
233
Lexington,Ky
I had a contractor come out today, after speaking with the local codes inspector. We took some components off of my Trevi 211 pool to see if the supports were metal- it appears it is all resin. After that he called me this morning and said they'll have to bond the water, the pump, and bury the wire around the pool and drive a ground rod at the end.

Does this sound about right?

My only concern was that the outlet he will install has to be at least 6 feet from the pool. Don't you want the outlet to be near the pool so that you don't have a cord running 6' ? Maybe I'm missing something here....
 

CJadamec

TFP Expert
Apr 29, 2016
2,390
Quaker Hill, CT
The outlet can not be closer than 5 feet to the pool.

The pump is placed next to the outlet and water is taken to and from the pump with pipes.

Even in resin pools where the frame is resin the wall is still made of metal. Personally I would add a bonding connection to where the wall is bolted together. Its easy to do and cost very little. You just need to have the pool building install a bonding lug while they are putting up the pool.

A driven ground rod as part of the bonding system is neither required or forbidden by code. If the inspector requires it you have no choice. Given the choice I would not connect the bonding loop to a driven grounding rod.
 

cfclay

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
233
Lexington,Ky
The outlet can not be closer than 5 feet to the pool.

The pump is placed next to the outlet and water is taken to and from the pump with pipes.

Even in resin pools where the frame is resin the wall is still made of metal. Personally I would add a bonding connection to where the wall is bolted together. Its easy to do and cost very little. You just need to have the pool building install a bonding lug while they are putting up the pool.

A driven ground rod as part of the bonding system is neither required or forbidden by code. If the inspector requires it you have no choice. Given the choice I would not connect the bonding loop to a driven grounding rod.
I can't help but feel like this becoming a complete mess. The pool is already built and in use.
 

cfclay

Well-known member
Apr 24, 2010
233
Lexington,Ky
I did finally find someone to do this and do it right. Thank you for all of your help. My pictures are too large to upload except for this one for some reason. There is a plate inside the skimmer, a line around the pool, and then connected to the pump.
 

Attachments