Electrical bonding, grounding and oh my

Cioffi

Member
Jul 24, 2014
9
Wakefield/MA
Hello,
I have a pool that was built in the early 70s in Massachusetts. I'm the second owner of the house and pool since it was built. The first owners are no longer in the area and no way to contact them. The original builder of the pool has passed and can no longer be found. So all that leads me to the questions I have.

We are getting the liner replaced and replaced the old Raypak millivolt heather with a Raypak digital heater. One thing that has come up is the bonding/grounding of the equipment. One suggestion was an 8 foot copper rod driven into the ground and the heater connected to that via copper wire. Seemed easy enough, we purchased the rod and drove it into the ground and connected the wire. Now the heater has been connected to the gas and needs to be plumbed and plugged into the power. Reading other posts it seems this may not be the proper way to handle this. The pump has nothing connected to the external wire clamp. We do have a pool light but it is on the other side of the pool about 45 feet away.

Is there any value in connecting the heater to the rod, connecting the pump to the rod? Is there something else we should have or could have done? Is this a major risk, jump into the pool and fry? So far we have had no issues like that in the pool, but I want to make sure we are not introducing issues. What are the real risks of this? Can someone die, or is it just a nuisance issue or risk of something breaking down too soon? I would like to make sure there are no issues as we are looking to sell the house in a few years, maybe 4 or 5 years. I would not want this to become a major problem derailing the sale.

Thanks everyone, if you have additional questions and I would bet you do, I will do my best to answer them.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 22, 2009
24,074
SouthWest Alabama
While the NEC doesn't require the bond loop to be tied to ground, it doesn't prohibit it either, so what you did wasn't really an issue, though it really didn't do anything.

Since you've already drove the rod and connected the heater to it, it would be a good idea to connect all the electrical equipment together in as complete a bond loop as you can. I would even go as far as getting a water bonder and bonding the water at the pad. It won't be a complete bond grid because you can't bond the shell or decking, but it'll be better than nothing.

Also since the pool was built in the 70's they may have used copper pipes and a bonding clamp around one of the pipes will bond the water. Even if they used plastic pipes adding a fitting at the pad for a water bonder isn't much work.
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
3,237
Pacific NW
My first home had a pool built early 70's. The bond wire was disconnected, so I tied everything together on the bond lugs.

I take it youve looked for a bare copper wire coming out of your pad and found nothing?
 

dianedebuda

Gold Supporter
Jan 2, 2018
264
Austin TX
I would even go as far as getting a water bonder and bonding the water at the pad. It won't be a complete bond grid because you can't bond the shell or decking, but it'll be better than nothing.

Also since the pool was built in the 70's they may have used copper pipes and a bonding clamp around one of the pipes will bond the water. Even if they used plastic pipes adding a fitting at the pad for a water bonder isn't much work.
Are there any threads about water bonding? Looked but couldn't find any. Like the OP, I have a pool from the 70s w/o bonding (although mine's fiberglass) and would like to do as much as I can without tearing up the concrete deck...
 

dianedebuda

Gold Supporter
Jan 2, 2018
264
Austin TX
I was replying to the OP more for the information. As far as older pools there is not much information about repairs or fixes.
My reply was intended to caution the OP that Mike's stuff is great background, but since the OP's pool is nearly the same vintage as mine, that there may not be much help there for his current situation. :)