Do gas fired pool heaters that are properly grounded, also ground the water?

keithme

New member
Jun 4, 2018
2
Sunset Hills, Missouri
I have enjoyed recently built pool for a few seasons. My pool builder visited and noticed we don't use the ladder in the pool. He mentioned it grounded the water via the bonding grid and ladder lugs. I asked since the Hayward Cupro-Nickle heat exchanger is in direct contact with the water, and its more than 9 inches of direct contact (per code) and the grounding/bonding wire is also on the heater, wouldn't that suffice?

Anybody know?

Thanks,
KM
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,017
It depends if the heat exchanger is considered to be bonded. In some heaters, it's not considered to be bonded. Hayward sells a heat exchanger bonding kit to bond the exchanger (FDXLGND1930 Bonding Kit).

You would probably need to contact Hayward to check whether or not your heat exchanger is considered to be bonded.

Note: This is not something you can call about and get a reliable answer. Anyone answering the phone will not know the answer. You would have to email to get a legitimate answer.
 

kefjens

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2011
70
Michigan
I'm curious about the first part where the builder stated the water had to be grounded through the ladder to the bonding system. Is it true that the water has to have some contact with the bonding? Sounds fishy to me.
 

MinerJason

Bronze Supporter
Jan 29, 2018
269
Tucson, AZ
I'm curious about the first part where the builder stated the water had to be grounded through the ladder to the bonding system. Is it true that the water has to have some contact with the bonding? Sounds fishy to me.
Yes, per the NEC the pool water must be electrically bonded with a minimum of 9 square inches of conductive material in contact with the water 24/7. If the pool was designed such that the only water bonding was a removable ladder, that's a poor design IMO.
 

cwstnsko

Bronze Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
66
Mesa, AZ
How is this commonly accomplished? Pools with fixed ladders that touch the water are not very common around here. The only conductive material I can think of in my entire prior pool installation was the metal ring around the pool light.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
17,017
The light niche will often serve as a water bond.

There are specific products that are made for bonding the water.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,049
Pacific NW
If the pool was designed such that the only water bonding was a removable ladder, that's a poor design IMO.
Not necessarily. I have a vinyl in ground with no light. The metal ladder is the only means to provide bonding
to the water, short of installing one of those plates in the skimmer.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,049
Pacific NW
I'm curious about the first part where the builder stated the water had to be grounded through the ladder to the bonding system. Is it true that the water has to have some contact with the bonding? Sounds fishy to me.
Grounding and Bonding are entirely different things. Although technically, they kind of are grounded....the bonding lug on the pool pump for example, the bond and the ground
are certainly together in the sense they have a connection on the housing. In two different places for each. But nonetheless continuity between them.

But yes, it is true the water needs bonding.
 
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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
504
Corona de Tucson, AZ
Grounding and Bonding are entirely different things.

But yes, it is true the water needs bonding.
For safety, the water, surrounding deck, metal ladders have to be at the same potential. It is considered to be bad practice to drive a ground rod at a pool bonding grid.

It does not matter if the bonding potential is even several volts above a true ground as long as you, the water and the same potential, the net voltage and current going through will always be zero.

The 2017 NEC Mike Holt code explanation book has as the website's sample PDF section the code for pools, spas and inside tubs. Google it if you are more interested in this.
 
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