Installing water bond in filter basket?

monfresh

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May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
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28500
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CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
Hello. I'm getting ready to replace my single-speed pump with the CircuPool SmartFlo 3.0 VS pump. As part of that, I'm also hiring an electrician to upgrade the breaker in the main panel that powers the pool subpanel from 20A to 40A. When I bought this house, it came with only the single-speed pump and the Polaris booster pump, and 20A seemed to be fine for that. But when I added the CircuPool RJ60+ SWCG, the breaker started tripping when all 3 were on at the same time, hence the need to upgrade.

I found an electrician that has experience with pool equipment, and he added this note about bonding the new pump:

"Connect new filter pump motor to common bond wire. It's recommended that the pool water connects to common bond wire. Water bond generally installs in filter basket. Customer to provide and install water bond in filter basket and we will connect #8 common bond wire to ground pool water."

This is what the CircuPool manual says:

"Bond the motor to all metal parts of the pool structure and to all electrical equipment, metal conduit and metal pipping within 5 feet (1.5 M) of the inside walls of the swimming pool, spa or hot tub in accordance with the current National Electrical Code. UL requires use of a solid copper bonding conductor not smaller than 8 AWG. See Figure 3. The bonding lug should be used to bond the motor frame to the equipment pad."

What is the appropriate thing to do here? I've attached a picture of my setup for reference.

I also have a couple more questions about the circuitry that I would appreciate your thoughts on:

1. The electrician is proposing upgrading to a 40 amp Cutler Hammer double pole GFI circuit breaker in the main panel. Does it have to be GFI? Based on a quick search at Lowe's, it looks like GFI breakers are a lot more expensive so I'm wondering if the added cost is justified.

2. Another thing I noticed is that the Polaris booster pump is running on 120V. The manual says it is factory wired for 240V. Can anyone think of a reason why the previous owners switched it to 120? Would it make sense to make it 240V now that I'm updating the panel? One thing that might affect the answer is that I'm thinking of replacing the two separate mechanical Intermatic timers with a single digital one that can control both the SWCG and the Polaris pump independently. Is there a digital timer that can control both if both are running on 240V?

Thanks!
 

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CT-Steven

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May 26, 2020
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I'll leaving the bonding question to someone more knowledgeable.

In regards to the electric portion either the circuit breaker or your outlets need to be GFCI rated. This is a major safety requirement.
With a 40 amp circuit, you are going to need to replace the wire as well with 8 gauge wire. I do not know of ANY reason why you would need 40amps for a residential rated pump.
The install directions for your pump state 12 gauge (page 9) wire which means it requires a 20amp circuit (NEC).
As for 120v vs 240v it requires different wire and hardware. Maybe the person that did it did not have it or the electric was done prior to purchasing the pump?

While I am not an electrician what your saying makes me questioning your electrician.

I have found this to be extremely useful as a reference:
 

monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
28500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
The pump itself will be connected to a 20A breaker in the subpanel. The 40A is for the breaker in the main panel (the one inside the garage that has all the other breakers for the house) that powers the subpanel outside by the pool equipment. The reason for 40A in the main panel is to handle ALL the equipment in the subpanel: the filter pump, the Polaris booster pump, the SWCG, the 2 Intermatic timers, and the light bulb inside the pool.

I've attached two pictures of the subpanel (with and without the cover), and a photo of the main panel.
 

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monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
28500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
I did some more reading on bonding and found this video by Mike Holt:
. I also read the CircuPool manual again, and both the video and the manual say that bonding is required when the equipment is within 5 feet of the pool. In my case, the equipment is a lot further from the pool, so does bonding not apply in my situation? Here's a picture that shows how far the equipment is from the pool.
 

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ferretbone

In The Industry
May 24, 2016
122
tx
Let me throw in a monkey wrench in here. 5ft or 500 feet away from a pool the equipment should be bonded.
 

ajw22

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The water bond is an important part of the bonding grid of a pool.

Your electrician is trying to get your pool circuits up to current code. That is a good thing.

However putting the GFCI breaker in your subpanel feed will make it difficult diagnosing any GFCI trip of the CB. You will not know which device on the subpanel is causing the GFCI trip. Much better to upgrade the breakers in the subpanel to GFCI.

The Circupool manual is not an authority on bonding or meeting electrical codes.

Read Electrical Bonding - Further Reading which may answer your other questions on bonding.
 

gb99

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 15, 2013
124
Boston, MA
I am subscribing to this thread to learn what parts are available to bond the water via the pump basket. Thanks
 

Bperry

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Aug 20, 2020
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Knoxville, TN
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I did some more reading on bonding and found this video by Mike Holt:
. I also read the CircuPool manual again, and both the video and the manual say that bonding is required when the equipment is within 5 feet of the pool. In my case, the equipment is a lot further from the pool, so does bonding not apply in my situation? Here's a picture that shows how far the equipment is from the pool.
When was your pool built? What makes you think it’s not already bonded now?
 

cowboycasey

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This is the above ground pool one..

This is the in ground pool one for the skimmer.. this one must be done before the concrete is shot in during the build phase.. The other bonding for in ground pool is the light fixture.. It should have a green ground wire and a bare #8 copper wire running to the bonding grid.. That bonding grid also attached to the 4 corners of the pool onto the rebar and the rebar in the deck.. Then that bonding wire is run to the equipment pad to be connected to all equipment...


There is no way to bond the pool using the pump basket.. You will connect to the pump bonding lug at the back of the pump but that does not bond the water...

There is also this one but it should not be used in an in ground pool... only in above ground pool and really it should never be used...

WHY YOU SAY...

This one uses the water in the pipe to bond the water... what happens when you have no running water in the pipe.. Your pool is no longer bonded... You and your family and the pool are no longer protected.. Bonding is meant to keep everyone safe at all times and this one does not... If and when you winterize, pump broken, pump off, power outage, there are tons of reasons this should never be used...

WHY DO I PUT THIS ONE IN HERE...

Because someone will find it and use it thinking they are good to go and they are not...

All in ground pools should be bonded to the water, the shell, the deck, and the equipment pad and anything within 5 feet of the pool... :)
 

monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
28500
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
When was your pool built? What makes you think it’s not already bonded now?
Those are great questions. My pool was built in the early 80s I believe (I bought it in 2017). I hadn't heard about bonding until I saw the note from the electrician. Last night, I read up some more about bonding, and made a note to go check the equipment pad in the morning for a bonding wire.

And there is one! At least what looks like one. I found a bare wire coming out of the ground and attaching to the bonding lug of the Polaris booster. When I had the SWCG installed in 2019, the person who installed it also attached a separate bare wire from the bonding lug on the SWCG to the clamp that holds the wire coming out of the ground that is attached to the Polaris booster. See pictures below.

However, the single-speed pump (that I'm about to replace) is not bonded for some reason. It looks like the person who installed it thought the bonding lug was the ground lug because there is a thin insulated wire going to the electrical ground. See picture below.

So, based on the info above and my photos, it sounds like all I need for the new CircuPool pump is a new bare wire to go from the bonding lug to that clamp so that all the equipment is bonded, right?
 

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Bperry

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However, the single-speed pump (that I'm about to replace) is not bonded for some reason. It looks like the person who installed it thought the bonding lug was the ground lug because there is a thin insulated wire going to the electrical ground. See picture below.

the electrical tape is a good indication that whomever installed that pump wasn’t having a good day.
 
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HeyEng

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Although not relevant to the OP's question, I did want to mention that you might consider building a protection box of sorts for your SWCG. I know it's "all weather" but some posters here have had issues with that brand and weather. Sheltering it could help with longevity.
 

HeyEng

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And one more (although a little elaborate)...

1631716949592.png
 

monfresh

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May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
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So, I found the original paperwork that the previous owners left for us. The pool was built by Sylvan Pools in 1984 and it says that Electrical Bonding was included. The description is "Sylvan to electrically bond entire steel reinforcing and metal appurtenances for the pool and have inspected."

Whether or not the pool water was bonded as well is not clear.

I'm thinking of hiring an electrician to perform the tests here: https://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/Swimming_Pool_Safety_by_Mike_Holt_rev.pdf

Is that reasonable?
 

ajw22

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What type of pool light do you have?

Typically on pools at that time the pool light housing is metal and used as the water bond. A bond wire runs from the light to the J-Box and then connects to the bonding grid.
 

ajw22

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I'm thinking of hiring an electrician to perform the tests here: https://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/Swimming_Pool_Safety_by_Mike_Holt_rev.pdf

Is that reasonable?

As an alternative for an Electrician...

 
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monfresh

Active member
May 30, 2018
38
Vienna, VA
Pool Size
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SWG Type
CircuPool RJ-60 Plus
What type of pool light do you have?
I'm not sure, but I think you're onto something. Here are pictures of the light and the J-box.
 

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ajw22

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I'm not sure, but I think you're onto something. Here are pictures of the light and the J-box.

My guess the pool lights is ...


Open up the J-Box with the light off and see if there is a bare copper bonding wire connected inside.
 

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