Electrical Bonding

anm1227

Member
Feb 24, 2008
16
Hello to All,
First off I am new here But have been lurking long enough to read just about every post. Loads of information from very helpful people without any attitude.......very nice.
I have a 16 x 32 IG vinyl pool w/ polymer(?) walls & aluminum coping. Moved here about 10 years ago & never used the pool ( unusable when we moved in). I've had 4 estimates done & decided to do some of the work myself. I had a lot of questions & some have already been answered through this forum and the rest I'll ask in time.

I want to add a light and ladder on the deep end to the pool (none exist now) & need to replace the concrete on the deep end anyway & I do not see any bonding wire coming out of the ground anywhere around the pool. There is a 8 AWG wire from the chain link fence around the pool to the pump but that is it. I was hoping when I removed the concrete I would see where the coping is bonded & go from there. I've also looked in the NEC book & could only find info on concrete pools w/ rebar & vinyl pools w/ galvanized walls. I estimate the pool is 25 yrs old, is it possible the pool is not bonded because of age or because there is nothing in the pool that is metal except the coping?

Thanks in advance,
Anthony
 

Exchemist

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2007
86
Philadelphia, PA
Welcome to TFP. I'm also fairly new here and have a 25 year old IG vinyl pool. My pool also has no light, but has steel walls. Near as I can tell, there is no bonding to the pool itself. It looks like even the stainless steel ladder is floating. As there's no light, the only electrical connection to the pool is the pump, which is grounded.

I believe this was to code at that time. If you're adding a light, I would definitely ground everything and anything with metal that is near the pool. I also suggest you hire an electrician as a consultant to ensure this is done to code. It would be money well spent.
 

Hotrod30

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Dec 22, 2007
504
Central New York
A lot depends on the code at the time the pool was built and location.

My pool is 25 years old and I bonded every steel panel in a loop. Also each slide post, diving board mount, ladder and each railing is grounded at each mounting bracket.

There are 4 grounding rods; one at each corner of the pool. The loop is solid copper #10 and connects to each grounding rod; also from each corner is a run of #8 solid copper ground to the grounding rod. The 4 foot fence that is around the pool is grounded in many locations. It's over done but that's the way I did mine; also that is the copper that I had onhand at the time.

I don't have any lights in my pool.(wished I had)
 

jay_k

In The Industry
May 23, 2007
28
Batavia, IL
I'm not sure why the wire to the fence if nothing else is bonded. According to 680.26 of the NEC 2005 ALL metalic structural components; underwater lighting; metal fitting greater than 4" in any given dimension; electrical equipment associated with circulation, cover, heater, etc; all fixed metal parts withing 5' horizontally or 12' vertically. The bonding grid shall extend under paved walking surfaces 3' horizontally from the inside wall of the pool and may be one of the following: 1) Structural reinforcing steel bonded together with steel tie wires. 2) the wall of a bolted or welded metal pool.

Here's the rub that I haven't seen inspectors pick up on yet. If you use a poly wall then there is neither a structural grid (rebar for concrete) nor metal walls to act as a grid. According to the NEC 2005 book you need to make/install a grid covering the contour of the pool (contour of the pool appears left to interpretation) and pool deck extending 3' horizontally from the inside wall of the pool. The grid shall be arranged in a 12" x 12" network of conductors in a uniformly spaced perpendicular grid pattern. The below grade grid shall be securing within or under the pool and deck media. It also needs to be made of 8AWG copper wire.

Has anybody priced copper wire lately? Building pools with poly walls could be very expensive if the grid portion of the bonding code is enforced. Does this also mean using brick pavers around a metal wall pool will require a 3' horizontal bonding grid be put down first. I haven't had to put down a horizontal grid when pavers are used, but maybe it's just a matter of time.

What have you all seen?
 

JohnT

Admin
Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Apr 4, 2007
9,629
SW Indiana
jay_k said:
Here's the rub that I haven't seen inspectors pick up on yet. If you use a poly wall then there is neither a structural grid (rebar for concrete) nor metal walls to act as a grid. According to the NEC 2005 book you need to make/install a grid covering the contour of the pool (contour of the pool appears left to interpretation) and pool deck extending 3' horizontally from the inside wall of the pool. The grid shall be arranged in a 12" x 12" network of conductors in a uniformly spaced perpendicular grid pattern. The below grade grid shall be securing within or under the pool and deck media. It also needs to be made of 8AWG copper wire.

Has anybody priced copper wire lately? Building pools with poly walls could be very expensive if the grid portion of the bonding code is enforced. Does this also mean using brick pavers around a metal wall pool will require a 3' horizontal bonding grid be put down first. I haven't had to put down a horizontal grid when pavers are used, but maybe it's just a matter of time.

What have you all seen?
That is a big issue that really hasn't hit the fan yet. IMO, the grid is required when there are pavers according to the language, but how to do it is a mystery. There was a poster here who was having shock issues with a paver deck, and the only suggestion I had was such a grid under the pavers. I think fiberglass pools might also require the grid, and I'm not sure vinyl pools are exempt even if they have metal walls. You probably know that almost every edition of the NEC contains changes and clarifications to this section. One reason you may not see it being enforced (besides inspectors not being aware) is that localities are usually slow to adopt new versions of the NEC and local ordinances often specify pool requirements. This may result in a delay in changes to what the inspectors are looking for.