Bonding a Fiberglass Pool (Ontario) - Opinion From My Electrician

iTomHD

Member
Sep 9, 2018
16
Ajax
Hey all,

I've been inching towards having a fiberglass pool installed in Southern Ontario. I've found one PB who I like and who has good references. He didn't feel that the pool would need to be bonded as there are no rails/metal parts/etc. But he also said bonding is more of an electrician function and gave me the phone number of the electrician who he works with on his pool installs.

I sent snippets of articles i found online regarding bonding of fiberglass pools, and his response is posted below. Given that I know nothing about pools, bonding and electricity, I'm sharing the electricians response back, and hoping you guys can provide your thoughts/feedback? TIA!
_____________
I’ve read through them all (referring to the links I sent him). I think the point they’re trying to make is that the water could carry a charge that differs from earth. I just disagree with how they try to explain that

For the water to be charged and not ground out you would have to have zero connection to ground. The link from Seabreeze explains that. But we do ground out the pump, salter, heater, rebar and anything metal. Water is in direct contact with the pump and heater. So unless you had all plastic parts I’m certain the water couldn’t carry a charge

I guess if you look at it like that, we are essentially grounding a fiber pool. Just not the same way as a metal. With a metal pool we physically ground the pool wall. Not because the water could be charged, but because the pool wall could be charged. But that’s impossible with a fiber pool. It’s non-conductive. Either way, the water is already at a potential equal to the equipment and earth, ideally 0 volts

That’s my take on it anyways. As I mentioned, I think if it would make you feel better, maybe adding the skimmer bonding lug is something we should consider for your application. I don’t think it would cost very much for the peace of mind

_____________
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
23,396
SouthWest Alabama
Agree with Allen that a water bond needs to be installed.

Since most pumps have non-metallic (read that non-conductive) wet ends, they won't "bond" the water.

I actually like the Perma-Cast Water Bond instead of the skimmer bond device, but either will work.
 
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Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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For what it's worth, you can see how they did my pool below. A ground was routed all around the pool in contact with the rebar that was anchored to the pool. The rebar anchoring concept was to help add stability to the concrete decking, coping, and the edge of the pool. In addition I have a ground screw at the base of my pump.

 
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iTomHD

Member
Sep 9, 2018
16
Ajax
Thanks all for the feedback.

Is bonding something that is 'testable'? I'm quite comfortable with the PB and electrician, but bonding fiberglass pools isnt something they do. They will do it, but given that they don't have experience doing so, I was wondering if it is something that the electrical inspector can check, or if its something that i can check/test afterwards (eg. use a meter to test water voltage periodically).

Thoughts?
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,081
Bedford, TX
Tom,

Does your pool have a light? If so, I was under the impression that is what bonded the water to the bonding loop in the deck? :scratch:

Jim R.
 

iTomHD

Member
Sep 9, 2018
16
Ajax
Hey Jim,
Yes! We will have lights, but apparently the lights we are going with (Treo LED Pool Light - Official S.R. Smith Products) is in a plastic housing and therefore does not requisite bonding).

This whole ‘bonding’ uncertainty is the only thing holding me back from signing a contract and going with it all:/

As such, any additional thoughts/feedbacks and definitely appreciated.

Thanks!

Tom
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,081
Bedford, TX
My light is in a plastic housing yet it still has a bonding lug... But it is a full size non-LED bulb...

I can see where your light do not... sigh!!

Jim R.
 
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PoolguyinCT

In The Industry
Jul 21, 2014
3,084
Connecticut
Your electrical contractor is on the right path. His bonding/grounding nomenclature is a tad off, semantics.

Im surprised he would put this “opinion” in writing.
Maybe I’m just a hardened New Englander.

Get the water bonded & everything else your jurisdiction requires.
 
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PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,359
Damascus, MD
Is this up to your electrician? If so, I am very surprised especially in Canada. Bonding here is not an option. Also it is not the same as a grounding. Incorrect bonding is the #1 reason for pool inspection failures. My inspector told me a few years ago in my area a 12 year old girl was electrocuted when lightening struck in the area and she was standing on the deck of an improperly bonded pool near a piece of floating rebar.
 

iTomHD

Member
Sep 9, 2018
16
Ajax
Is this up to your electrician? If so, I am very surprised especially in Canada. Bonding here is not an option. Also it is not the same as a grounding. Incorrect bonding is the #1 reason for pool inspection failures. My inspector told me a few years ago in my area a 12 year old girl was electrocuted when lightening struck in the area and she was standing on the deck of an improperly bonded pool near a piece of floating rebar.
Wow.

Ya bonding can be optional up here in Canada. In my case we are installing a fiberglass pool with no stair, metals, etc; so there is no requirement to bond my particular pool setup.

I'm getting the electrician to bond it anyways.

I was wondering, if i test with a voltmeter(?) after he bonds, and it reads zero - is it safe to assume it is properly bonded? Or should I constantly test?
 

Costas > DownUnder

Bronze Supporter
Dec 17, 2017
603
Adelaide | Australia
I was wondering, if i test with a voltmeter(?) after he bonds, and it reads zero - is it safe to assume it is properly bonded? Or should I constantly test?
Not necessarily, as if there is no fault as such then a voltmeter will read zero anyway.

It is not until a fault presents itself where correct bonding then prevents a voltage differential from occurring.

The correct way to test bonding is with a proper earth/insulation type tester where it can measure low and high resistance paths accurately. Measuring low resistance can be a bit hit and miss with cheap mutimeters.

Bonding requirements vary - here in one of our states (QLD - Australia) electrical bonding is not required for fibreglass pools unless there are metal objects within 2m or so of the pool or metal objects that make contact with the water eg: steps/rails etc.

From a purely electrical perspective - bonding of rebar is not much use for a fibreglass pool (which has no metal components) as it is effectively insulated from the water, in a gunite pool it is a different matter. IMO - Bonding of the water itself in a FG pool is of much more importance.

These days, carefully selected pool components such as low voltage LED lighting, double insulated pumps etc reduce the risk of electric shock.

Many people have been killed simply due to faulty/corroded light fixtures over the years - Thankfully some (most?) LED lights these days run off low voltage DC which reduce the risk substantially.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
6,802
Northern NJ
Wow.

Ya bonding can be optional up here in Canada. In my case we are installing a fiberglass pool with no stair, metals, etc; so there is no requirement to bond my particular pool setup.

I'm getting the electrician to bond it anyways.

I was wondering, if i test with a voltmeter(?) after he bonds, and it reads zero - is it safe to assume it is properly bonded? Or should I constantly test?
How to Test a Swimming Pool Bonding Grid | Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa | Creating water as Art | Infinity Pool Design, Construction, Luxury Pools, Custom Color Lighted Spas, Animated Fountains, Aquatic Art, Expert Witness | Located in Morgan Hill, CA Serving Internationally
 

uxbridgechris

Bronze Supporter
Jan 25, 2018
633
uxbridge, Ontario Canada
I did all the research for my Ontario Canada build a year ago. Anything metal must be bonded. Stainless steel hand rail or ladder, Aluminim coping etc. If there is positively no metal that can be touched from inside the pool, bonding is not required but just because it is not required doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. If nothing else, bond the water with something like the bondsafe 680. If you use steel in your concrete, it should be bonded.

Here is a vid showing my bonding including the bondsafe 680

 
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