Basic Electric Hookups for AGP

bobnamy

Well-known member
May 3, 2008
45
rock springs, wi
#1
I am looking for info on basic electric hookups for AGP. I will be having an electrician do the work, but I want to be able to do some basic planning before I meet with the electrician. I will have a 2 speed pump. The manual states it needs a 15 amp circuit, but does not state whether the pump needs its own circuit. I will have a Goldline control unit for a valve on the solar panels. I also want to have some outlets around the pool deck and adjacent patio. My initial thought is I would have a 20 amp circuit for the pump (in case I need to upgrade in future) and a separate 15 amp circuit for lights and outlets around the pool and adjacent patio. I need a pump timer also. I believe I need a subpanel at the pool location with power cut-offs, which I assume will be breakers in the subpanel.

Is there any where on this site or any other sources you can point me to that have general info on how a pool and related accessories get wired?

(PS, I like the larger font on the draft message box - easier to read - less typoss)
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#2
It is very nice to get a sub-panel installed and run individual circuits from there, though there are other ways to do it. Intermatic makes some timers that come in an enclosure that includes a sub-panel.
 

Titanium

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 26, 2007
441
SF Bay Area
#4
frustratedpoolmom,

We were told that our 2hp pump needed its own dedicated circuit. And so it does.
A 2 HP inground pump only draws around 10-11 amps at 240 Volts (230 Volts and 220 Volts are the same thing). A typical pool sub-panel is usually fed with a minimum #10 gauge wire which is rated for 30 Amps. This type of system would have absolutely no problem (assuming normal voltage at the main panel and no abnormally long wire runs) running a 2 HP filter pump, in addition to a cleaner booster pump and pool lights.

The only time that a 2 HP pool pump might need a dedicated circuit is if it was being fed at 120 Volts. And a pump this large really should be run at 240 Volts ; not because it is any more efficient at 240 Volts than at 120 Volts, but rather because a pump run at 240 Volts will use less of the limited current capacity (ampacity) of the wire than the same size pump run at 120 Volts.

Titanium
 

frustratedpoolmom

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
May 20, 2007
12,177
SWSuburban Chicago, IL
#5
Titanium said:
frustratedpoolmom,

We were told that our 2hp pump needed its own dedicated circuit. And so it does.
A 2 HP inground pump only draws around 10-11 amps at 240 Volts (230 Volts and 220 Volts are the same thing). A typical pool sub-panel is usually fed with a minimum #10 gauge wire which is rated for 30 Amps. This type of system would have absolutely no problem (assuming normal voltage at the main panel and no abnormally long wire runs) running a 2 HP filter pump, in addition to a cleaner booster pump and pool lights.

The only time that a 2 HP pool pump might need a dedicated circuit is if it was being fed at 120 Volts. And a pump this large really should be run at 240 Volts ; not because it is any more efficient at 240 Volts than at 120 Volts, but rather because a pump run at 240 Volts will use less of the limited current capacity (ampacity) of the wire than the same size pump run at 120 Volts.

Titanium
That's facsinating. I was completely lost after "A 2hp pump only draws".... :oops: Are you an electrician? Can you come over and ground/bond my pool? Just confirmed last night that its not. :oops: :oops:
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
#6
We don't tend to go into any more detail on how to setup electrical stuff than bobnamy already has because the code gets rather convoluted. For example there is no such thing as a "dedicated" circuit in the code, but various rules in the code often result in what you or I would call a dedicated circuit. You almost always need a professional electrician to figure out all the details, which often revolve around critical safety issues and are important to get right.

You nearly always want to place a sub-panel in the general pool area and run a minimum of two breakers/circuits from there, one for the pump and one for a utility outlet. It is very nice to have enough capacity for additional circuits beyond that, as there are always more things that you think of adding later, more lights, more outlets. Underwater lights also need their own breaker. The cost of putting in wire suitable for a 100 amp sub-panel is not much more than the cost of wiring a sub-panel in the first place, and having the extra capacity almost always comes in handy at some point.
 

ssabin

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 12, 2007
48
New Hudson, MI
#7
Check out this site if you want to educate yourself a bit before meeting with the electrician:
http://www.selfhelpandmore.com/home-wiring-usa/

Note that this link applies to the 2002 version of the code. In 2005, the NEC significantly changed its requirements for pool bonding, both above ground and in-ground. Most everything else related to a pool though remained unchanged. You might want to contact your electrical inspector while in the planning stages to get his/her thoughts on how the pool bonding will be inspected. The 2005 NEC has much more stringent bonding requirements than most AG pools have employed. As time goes on, these rules will become both better understood, and therefore enforced more uniformly.

I agree with Jason - after all the rules are applied, you generally are forced into a dedicated circuit for your pump motor. My memory says this is more or less explicit in the pool rules of the NEC. And your electrician may suggest that you oversize your wiring to reduce voltage drop to the pump if you have a long run of wire. Trust him to provide good advice on that, or specifically ask him to calculate your resistance voltage drop for you as a percentage. Keep in mind that this percentage is essentially the percentage of electricity you are paying for that is used for heating your wires rather than powering your pump motor (i.e., it's wasted electrical power).

And while subpanels are nice, going bigger will cost more, so you shouldn't leave yourself too much extra room if you can't afford it.

I would suggest you consider going with only 20A circuits, even for general purpose/outlet circuits. You essentially get another third of a circuit with the cost difference being quite small.

The most cost effective way of wiring a modest AG pool with a 120V pump motor, in my opinion, is to run 2 20A circuits from your main breaker panel into a new box located near the main breaker panel. This box will hold two non-outlet GFI devices which will protect both circuits downstream of that point. Run one of these circuits to your pump motor using 12 or 10 AWG from the GFI output to the motor access point (twist lock receptacle??). Your timer can plug into this receptacle, then your pump motor into that timer. The other circuit provides general purpose service to the pool vicinity, and can in fact go to multiple outlets if you'd like that convenience. Alternatively, you can buy more expensive GFI breakers and eliminate the GFI devices and the stand-alone box near your main breaker panel. GFI breakers are typically pricey, but perhaps they've come down in price over the years???

The link above is good reading, if you're so inclined, and a brief chat with your inspector during the planning stage cannot hurt either.

Good luck!