Bonding and Grounding

ajw22

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Bonding can be understood as connecting everything to the same ground wire: the pool, the water, the pump, and anything else that's metal like a heater or any metal parts around the pool like a railing. Bonding is academically different than grounding, but to a laymen it is identical. The ground *ahem* I mean bond wire (don't want the bonding vs grounding police to come get me!) has to be buried in a ring around the pool. If your pool will be inspected for a permit you need to get specific instructions from your building dept about which connectors are ok with them. Some are ok with splices, some require it to all be one single wire.

Ahem...

 

hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
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Ahem...

Weewoo weewoo it's the bonding police.

It's a copper wire that connects everything and connects to the electrical ground. An ungrounded bond is possible but not technically allowed anywhere.
 

ajw22

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Weewoo weewoo it's the bonding police.

It's a copper wire that connects everything and connects to the electrical ground. An ungrounded bond is possible but not technically allowed anywhere.


It's a copper wire that connects everything and connects to the electrical ground. ... at the main electrical panel and only at the main electrical panel.

Your halfway correct statements sow confusion.

THE BONDING WIRE IS NEVER DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO ANY GROUND.
 
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hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
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THE BONDING WIRE IS NEVER DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO ANY GROUND.
Are we going to shout at the entire world for using these interchangeably. Please yell at my washing machine manual too for calling the chassis jumper wire the ground wire.

Also the bare copper buried ring around an AGP is functionally a ground. Not calling it one doesn't make it not one.
 
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ajw22

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Are we going to shout at the entire world for using these interchangeably.

Words have a meaning. We look to teach people the correct concepts using the correct words. Anyone who uses them interchangeably is equally confused.
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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Are we going to shout at the entire world for using these interchangeably.
They are two different things and they are done separately.

Using the terms interchangeably is not correct and it only causes confusion.

We have to look at the NEC that defines what each is and how each is done.

You can discuss that the bonding grid can be functionally equivalent to a grounding electrode, but you have to distinguish between functional equivalents and code compliant terminology.

The NEC spells out exactly how things are to be done and our terminology should be consistent with the NEC description.
 

hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
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This is an interesting and good way for a forum to deal with controversy. Not silencing by deletion or banning, but moving it out to a dedicated space for it. That's great.

If I step off the reductivist language of it then my criticism is this, I think the vehement insistence that bonding is NOT grounding sows just as much confusion as the confusion between bonding and grounding the first place. Newcomers read these hard wrought arguments that bonding is not grounding, then they look a their bonding plan which clearly involves connecting everything to the ground terminal of their NEMA grounding receptacle and it gives the impression that something must be wrong.

If it were instead referred to as bonding AND grounding that would paint a more complete picture of the total apparatus, because grounding is inexorably involved.
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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The main panel is grounded to a grounding electrode.

There is an equipment grounding conductor (green wire) that goes from the main panel to the subpanel.

There is an equipment grounding conductor (green wire) that goes from the subpanel grounding terminal bar to each piece of equipment that needs a ground and the green equipment grounding conductor is connected to the ground terminal on the equipment.

The bond wire is usually also connected to the same metal frame, which effectively connects the bonding grid to the grounding system.

Since the bonding grid has substantial connection to the actual earth, it can be functionally equivalent to adding a grounding electrode to the subpanel.

It's important to distinguish between functional equivalents and technical terminology.
 
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hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
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Northern California
You know what this all reminds me of is like when people insist that planes fly by Bernoulli Principle lift. This is academically insisted to the point that we are explicitly taught in school that our basic assumption that a plane's wing generates lift by deflection is wrong.

When in reality, the Bernouli Principle, Coanda effect, and deflection are all involved.


To me the outright insistance that bonding has NOTHING to do with grounding (I often see it phrased this strongly) strikes me as just as misleading as the insistence that planes fly by Bernoulli principle.
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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then they look a their bonding plan which clearly involves connecting everything to the ground terminal of their NEMA grounding receptacle and it gives the impression that something must be wrong.
The bond wire is not connected to a ground terminal.

Any equipment that gets a bond wire has a separate bonding lug specifically for the bond wire and a separate terminal for the ground wire.

It's definitely confusing and there's no easy way to explain it to people who are not experienced with electricity.

Even experienced electricians get confused by the requirements and the terminology.
 

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hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
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The bond wire is not connected to a ground terminal.
And such is the confusion of distinctions without a difference, because you know as well as I do that even if they aren't Connected with a capital C, they are electrically connected. And this generates just as much confusion because people see that they are connected with a lowercase c but they've been told repeatedly they shouldn't be Connected per the terminology.
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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To me the outright insistance that bonding has NOTHING to do with grounding (I often see it phrased this strongly) strikes me as just as misleading
It's two separate things done for separate purposes.

Just because they end up being connected, does not make them the same thing.

In my opinion, it would only create confusion to intermingle the two separate systems as if they were part of a single system.
 
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hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
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Would anyone consider a bonded pool system that is not grounded safe? Would anyone look at that and say that is correct?

An ungrounded bonded system could have 1000v potential to ground, and yes, because it's equipotentially bonded you won't get shocked between the water and railing or railing and rebar, but you've still got a major safety issue at the borders of the bonded system do you not?
 

magiteck

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Would anyone consider a bonded pool system that is not grounded safe? Would anyone look at that and say that is correct?

An ungrounded bonded system could have 1000v potential to ground, and yes, because it's equipotentially bonded you won't get shocked between the water and railing or railing and rebar, but you've still got a major safety issue at the borders of the bonded system do you not?
A system that is bonded but not grounded would not be safe; nor would a pool system that is grounded but not bonded.

One of the issues that I see with mis-referring to the bonding setup as "grounding", is that people then think "All of my pool equipment needs to be grounded" and start doing things like driving ground rods by their pool equipment, which is just all kinds of wrong.

At the end of the day, I get what you're saying, but they are distinctly different things and as a science based forum it makes sense for us to provide the most accurate description.
Bonding - All connected to one another.
Grounding - Connected to earth.

The pump is grounded via the power wire. All of the equipment is bonded together via the bonding ring. That's ultimately what people need to know. :)
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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Would anyone consider a bonded pool system that is not grounded safe? Would anyone look at that and say that is correct?

An ungrounded bonded system could have 1000v potential to ground, and yes, because it's equipotentially bonded you won't get shocked between the water and railing or railing and rebar, but you've still got a major safety issue at the borders of the bonded system do you not?
That's why you need both.

By talking about them as if they are the same thing, it would suggest that you only need one or the other.

That's why you have to keep them separate and distinct.

There's no benefit to discussing them as if they were the same thing.

It's like if someone had a well pump sitting on the same equipment pad as the pool system and they tried to argue that they are "connected" because they both are touching the same slab of concrete and so they must somehow be considered to be working together.

The bonding grid and the grounding system are two separate and distinct things done separately for different reasons. They operate independently.
 
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hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
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A system that is bonded but not grounded would not be safe; nor would a pool system that is grounded but not bonded.

That's why you need both.

I'm glad that we can at least come around to this general agreed conclusion. I think that in an effort to draw the distinction between bonding and grounding it is only expressed to people that a pool must be bonded, and grounded is almost completely omitted simply out of fear that that speaking the forbidden word will generate confusion, when it is equally important. Equi-important you might say...
 

hwy17

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Mar 17, 2021
157
Northern California
By talking about them as if they are the same thing, it would suggest that you only need one or the other.
By talking about them as if they are entirely seperate things, I think there is just as much or more risk of suggesting that only one is required without the other, you're just flipping the confusion around.
 

JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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I think that it has always been clear that the bonding and grounding both have to be done.

I don't think that either have ever been downplayed in any way.

We usually recommend that people have a qualified electrician do the work or at least design the plan and inspect the finished product.

I don't think that we have ever recommended that an inexperienced person do this on their own.
 

magiteck

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I'm glad that we can at least come around to this general agreed conclusion. I think that in an effort to draw the distinction between bonding and grounding it is only expressed to people that a pool must be bonded, and grounded is almost completely omitted simply out of fear that that speaking the forbidden word will generate confusion, when it is equally important. Equi-important you might say...
I think why so much more focus is placed on bonding as opposed to grounding as it relates to a pool, is because you have to do something to bond the pool.

You don't really have to do anything to ground the pool, because unless you're miswiring your pump, the ground is there by default.

So when you tell people they have to "ground the pool" it implies that they have to do something, which is where the confusion like grounding rods comes in. For me at least, focusing on bonding makes it clear that's the action I have to complete.
 
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JamesW

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Mar 2, 2011
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By talking about them as if they are entirely seperate things, I think there is just as much or more risk of suggesting that only one is required without the other, you're just flipping the confusion around.
There are hundreds of separate things that need to be done to install a pool correctly.

The best way to make sure that nothing gets forgotten is to list everything separately.

Otherwise, the list of things to do can be just one item: Install Pool.
 

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