Is my pool light properly bonded?

popechild

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2015
47
Atlanta, GA
Our pool has been out of commission all season with no equipment attached due to a renovation project, so excuse the algae infested water!

As part of the renovation, we're replacing the pool deck. I took the opportunity with the old pool deck removed to pressure test the lines and make sure everything else looks good before covering it all up with a new deck. One thing I'm unclear on is how to tell whether the pool light (old 120v Pentair) is properly bonded, or what to do about it if not.

The pics show the inside of the niche, where there's the main electrical line running in conduit to a J-box about 8 feet away. Then there's a separate wire sticking out of some caulk-like substance that I'm guessing is a bonding wire? It appears to be covered in white rubbery insulation rather than being a bare wire, but the white color may just be from fading over time? It's not attached to anything though, unless it was attached to the back of the light and came loose when I pulled the light out. I didn't feel any tension though.

Then outside the pool, on the back side of the light, there's a bare copper wire sticking out from inside the concrete shell next to where the light's conduit enters the concrete. That wire is currently only a few feet long and not attached to anything, but I'm assuming that's because it was cut when the contractor removed all the old concrete pool deck. That's easy enough to tie back in to the bonding grid.

The new pool deck work is starting Monday, so I'm in a bit of a rush to figure out what, if anything, I need to do here before all this stuff gets covered up again, and the light is the thing I'm most unsure about. Does this look appropriate? If not, what are my options for how to deal with it?

Thanks!
IMG_4643.JPGIMG_4644.JPGIMG_4641.JPG
 

Bperry

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Aug 20, 2020
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Knoxville, TN
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Our pool has been out of commission all season with no equipment attached due to a renovation project, so excuse the algae infested water!

As part of the renovation, we're replacing the pool deck. I took the opportunity with the old pool deck removed to pressure test the lines and make sure everything else looks good before covering it all up with a new deck. One thing I'm unclear on is how to tell whether the pool light (old 120v Pentair) is properly bonded, or what to do about it if not.

The pics show the inside of the niche, where there's the main electrical line running in conduit to a J-box about 8 feet away. Then there's a separate wire sticking out of some caulk-like substance that I'm guessing is a bonding wire? It appears to be covered in white rubbery insulation rather than being a bare wire, but the white color may just be from fading over time? It's not attached to anything though, unless it was attached to the back of the light and came loose when I pulled the light out. I didn't feel any tension though.

Then outside the pool, on the back side of the light, there's a bare copper wire sticking out from inside the concrete shell next to where the light's conduit enters the concrete. That wire is currently only a few feet long and not attached to anything, but I'm assuming that's because it was cut when the contractor removed all the old concrete pool deck. That's easy enough to tie back in to the bonding grid.

The new pool deck work is starting Monday, so I'm in a bit of a rush to figure out what, if anything, I need to do here before all this stuff gets covered up again, and the light is the thing I'm most unsure about. Does this look appropriate? If not, what are my options for how to deal with it?

Thanks!
View attachment 461858View attachment 461859View attachment 461860
Where does that wire lead to at the other end? You might do a conductivity test with another known bonding wire to see if it’s connected underground in a place you can’t see (and then curse the person who did that.). 😉
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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That looks like a Pentair Amerilite.

Show us the rear of the light.

Is there a broken bonding lug there?

NEC requires the light bonding lug to be encapsulated in a potting compound. That may be the white stuff you see.



1668112547426.png
 

popechild

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2015
47
Atlanta, GA
It is a Pentair Amerlite (78456300) but I don't see anywhere that a bonding lug would go. Unless it goes on the turn screw that's used to tighten the housing ring?

I get continuity between the bonding wire sticking out of the concrete behind the light and the white wire sticking into the housing (the more I look at it, the more that wire looks to have been cleanly cut at some point). I also get continuity between the wire protruding from the concrete behind the light and the interior of the light niche housing. I do not get continuity between the bonding wire and the light itself.

So that all seems good, aside from my assumption that the light itself needs bonded as well somehow?

IMG_4647.JPGIMG_4648.JPG
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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I read it wrong.

The Amerilite bonding connects at the rear of the niche, not the light.

Your niche is in the wall and we cannot see the rear of it.

I think that bonding wire coming through the rear of the niche and being encapsulated with the white stuff indicates it is bonded.

As discussed above you can confirm it with a continuity check.

Pentair Amerilite Niche.jpg
 

popechild

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2015
47
Atlanta, GA
Thanks. As I noted above, I do get continuity between the light housing and the wire coming out next to the conduit. I don't get continuity with the light itself. But now that I think about it, I guess that's true when I've pulled the light from the niche, but the light would be bonded to the niche by physically touching it when screwed in, so I should be good there, no?

I'm still not clear on what the purpose of the white-insulated wire sticking randomly into the niche is, but maybe it doesn't matter if the components themselves are showing continuity with the bonding wire that will be tied in to the rest of the bonding grid?
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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but the light would be bonded to the niche by physically touching it when screwed in, so I should be good there, no?

That is correct. The light screw electrically connects the light with the niche and the bonding.

I'm still not clear on what the purpose of the white-insulated wire sticking randomly into the niche is, but maybe it doesn't matter if the components themselves are showing continuity with the bonding wire that will be tied in to the rest of the bonding grid?

The bonded light niche provides the required water bond and light bond. It maintains everything electrical in and around your pool at equipotential.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
I'm still not clear on what the purpose of the white-insulated wire sticking randomly into the niche is
The back of the niche gets a bare copper #8 bond wire.

The inside lug gets a green insulated #8 grounding "Bonding Jumper".

Someone cut your wire and it needs to be connected to meet code.

Can you show the wires in the junction box?
 

popechild

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2015
47
Atlanta, GA
The inside lug gets a green insulated #8 grounding "Bonding Jumper".

Someone cut your wire and it needs to be connected to meet code.
So the "white" wire is presumably the green insulated wire that's faded over time.

The j-box is being replaced because we just added new brick where the box lives, so currently it just has the cut end of the pool light wire.IMG_4649.JPG
 

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popechild

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2015
47
Atlanta, GA
Correct.

For a 120 volt light, you need the green ground wire.

For a low voltage light, you do not need the ground wire.
Thanks. I'm still a bit unclear about whether I'm missing any connections here then. (Sorry for being slow!) Here's what I've got:

- Inside the niche, the insulated wire (presumably the originally green ground wire), but it's not connected to anything. I'm unclear on what this is supposed to be connected to? (And on the attached diagram for the light, it seems to show that the "Ground Connector bonding is located at the rear of the niche" but I don't see any sort of lug or anything inside the niche.

- Outside the pool, on the backside of the concrete that encases the light, I have:
- non-metallic conduit containing the pool light wires, which run to the j-box.
- a bare copper #8 that has conductivity with both the insulated wire in the niche and the inside walls of the niche itself.

So do I just need to:
1) connect the green ground wire in the light's insulated 3-wire bundle to the j-box ground
2) connect the bare #8 wire coming out next to the conduit to the bonding grid around the pool?

1668112547426.png
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
The bond wire is connected to the outside of the niche.

The purpose of the wire from the niche to the junction box is to provide a supplemental ground in addition to the ground wire in the light cord.

The wire is called a bonding jumper, but it's purpose is grounding.


1668124160528.png
If non-metallic conduit is used, a No. 8 AWG bonding/grounding wire must be installed through the conduit from the Junction Box to the bonding/grounding lug inside the niche. Seal the wire/lug connection with a listed sealant to protect the connection from possible pool water corrosion. See Figure 3 on page 9.

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1668124623544.png
 

popechild

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2015
47
Atlanta, GA
Okay, so I think maybe I figured out what's been confusing me. Does the bonding jumper run from where it's putty'd at the back of the niche into the same conduit that the light wire runs through to the j-box? In my head I was assuming that wire was coming in from the back side of the niche and sticking into the light through where it'd putty'd, and I'd need to dig up outside the pool shell to figure out where the rest of it is, but now I think I had it backwards and the putty isn't over a hole in the niche it enters through, it's just where the end of the wire connects. Is that right? So I could scrape off that putty and remove the short stretch of wire and attach a new insulated #8, re-apply the putty, and run it through the conduit back to the j-box?

Assuming I'm getting that right now, does it just connect to the same ground in the j-box as the ground from the light's wire?

Thanks!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
Does the bonding jumper run from where it's putty'd at the back of the niche into the same conduit that the light wire runs through to the j-box?
Yes.
it's just where the end of the wire connects. Is that right?
Yes.
So I could scrape off that putty and remove the short stretch of wire and attach a new insulated #8, re-apply the putty, and run it through the conduit back to the j-box?
Yes.
Assuming I'm getting that right now, does it just connect to the same ground in the j-box as the ground from the light's wire?
Yes.
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
33,846
Be careful as the bonding jumper connection can sometimes break off and it's not easy to fix.

 

popechild

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2015
47
Atlanta, GA
Be careful as the bonding jumper connection can sometimes break off and it's not easy to fix.

Good to know. Thanks so much for all the assistance.
 
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Bill1974

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Jun 18, 2014
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I believe all bonding wires are to be solid 8 awg or larger. Check to make sure you are not connecting the bonded equipment to any electrical grounds. Ground circuits and bonding should not connect. Check to make sure there is not continuity between grounds and bonded equipment. Also check that all bonded equipment has continuity and should have zero voltage difference between any two points.
 

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