Pool Bonding during pool equipment replacement

g5marek

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2014
52
Markham/Ontario
#1
I am in the process of planning and starting to replace the AquaRite SWCG and the 1HP Single Speed Jacuzzi Magnum Force pump on my pool.

I have bought the Hayward OmniLogic and Hayward SP2303VSP MaxFlo Variable Speed Pump.

I decided to replace the AquaRite because it has had problems with the Thermistor on the PCB and I have had to unsolder and replace it twice over the last two summers. The 1HP pump is just an energy hog and our electricity rates have been going up quickly over the last 5 years.

My pool was built before pool equipment bonding to the pool shell was required by regulations in Canada and I do not have a bonding wire that runs from the pool to the pool pad. The pad is in a permanent shed that is framed to the side of the house.

The current regulations do not require a bonding wire to be installed during pool equipment replacement as long as:
1) The pad is more than 3m (9.8 ft) away from the pool edge
or
2) Separated from the pool by a fence, wall or other permanent barrier

So, my AquaRite to OmniLogic and pump replacement is compliant to the regulation as they would be in the shed which has permanent walls.

All the current equipment is properly grounded and the new equipment would also be properly grounded.

However, I am curious as to whether it is worth the effort to bond the equipment to the pool shell. It would required breaking up the interlock patio that runs around the pool and is something that I would rather not do.

What do you folks think?
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,677
Pacific NW
#2
Do you have a metal ladder?

I was in the same situation when I bought my current house...no bonding wire put in when the pool was installed in the mid 70's.

The previous owners made no mention of anyone feeling a tingling when getting out, but it's not worth the risk to have no bonding.

I have a metal ladder, so what I did was, chip out a minimal sized (just enough to make a bond wire flush with the concrete deck)
channel from the ladder mounts to the decking expansion joint (the joints i have are hollow plastic) then ran the proper sized
copper bond wire from the ladder bolt (using a bronze washer to prevent corrosion) through the chipped out channel (which I later smoothed over with grout), through the expansion joint to my house foundation, then
ran it down the foundation so it was out of everyone's way to the pump equipment shed which like yours is also on the side
of the house.

This provides me with piece of mind that at the very least I have the water in the pool bonded to all the equipment.
It leaves out the bonding wire that would be under the pool perimeter, but I just can't afford to have my entire deck
demolished and redone, but I am confident enough in knowing the water is bonded to the equipment.

I would strongly recommend you do the same.
 
OP
OP
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g5marek

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2014
52
Markham/Ontario
#3
Do you have a metal ladder?

I was in the same situation when I bought my current house...no bonding wire put in when the pool was installed in the mid 70's.

The previous owners made no mention of anyone feeling a tingling when getting out, but it's not worth the risk to have no bonding.

I have a metal ladder, so what I did was, chip out a minimal sized (just enough to make a bond wire flush with the concrete deck)
channel from the ladder mounts to the decking expansion joint (the joints i have are hollow plastic) then ran the proper sized
copper bond wire from the ladder bolt (using a bronze washer to prevent corrosion) through the chipped out channel (which I later smoothed over with grout), through the expansion joint to my house foundation, then
ran it down the foundation so it was out of everyone's way to the pump equipment shed which like yours is also on the side
of the house.

This provides me with piece of mind that at the very least I have the water in the pool bonded to all the equipment.
It leaves out the bonding wire that would be under the pool perimeter, but I just can't afford to have my entire deck
demolished and redone, but I am confident enough in knowing the water is bonded to the equipment.

I would strongly recommend you do the same.
I don't have a metal ladder. We just have fiberglass steps into the shallow end. We have never felt anything in terms of tingling or anything like that.

The only metal that's exposed is the niche for the pool lights underwater. I don't think that it's viable to run a bonding wire from the niche to the surface and then hide it on it's path to the pool equipment shed.

The only way I could add a bonding wire is to dig up part of the interlocking brick patio. I could then run it to the pool equipment shed.

The question is really around whether the risks associated with the lack of bonding wire are significant enough to warrant digging up the patio.

I haven't really found anything online that explains what are the risks of no bonding when there is no chance of touching pool equipment and the water of the pool at the same time. Any insight would be appreciated.

I am also considering the idea of not bonding the pool shell, but just bonding all of the equipment on the pad. Any thoughts on whether this is worth it?
 

borjis

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 19, 2014
2,677
Pacific NW
#4
The question is really around whether the risks associated with the lack of bonding wire are significant enough to warrant digging up the patio.

I haven't really found anything online that explains what are the risks of no bonding when there is no chance of touching pool equipment and the water of the pool at the same time. Any insight would be appreciated.

I am also considering the idea of not bonding the pool shell, but just bonding all of the equipment on the pad. Any thoughts on whether this is worth it?
I have heard it's rare to have a lethal stray voltage spike, but it can happen. Anytime. I would never take such a risk personally.

You really should figure out a way to do something. From your setup it sounds like the most feasible though not easy would be to bond the light niche.
The amount of metal coverage for that might be just enough to bond the water if I'm not mistaken. I don't have a light but if I did I would
most definitely make sure that was bonded.

I am no expert so I encourage you to do further reading so you understand why it is so important.

If you search this forum for Bonding you will find many explanations (some easy to understand, others not). You just need to realize that it is very risky
if you do nothing.
 

swimcmp

In The Industry
Nov 8, 2011
1,043
Moberly,MO
#5
Permacast makes part # PER-PB-2008 1' npt water bonding fitting. You plumb it inline, attach your bond wire , bond to all the equipment and then attach in your breaker box and you should have a water bond.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
#9
Ok folks lets start with a bit of education.

Bonding is the joining together of non conductors that have the potential to conduct in a pool environment. It equalizes the electrical potential of surfaces so that a person touching one surface does not act as a conductor to the other surface.

In a pool there are basically four surfaces that may harbor electrical potential: The water, the pool shell, the deck and metal elements making up the pool or surrounding the pool.

If you do not bond all of those surfaces you have done nothing except make your pool more dangerous.

Why you ask? Is't this like poker with the TFP moderators , close is good enough?

No. It's not. Its not like grounding where additional grounds generally add to safety.

Bonding spreads out an electrical current and equalizes the electrical potential of all the bonded surfaces. If there is a fault (or stray voltage), bonding energizes all the bonded surfaces so that current cannot flow between them.

What this means in practice is that if you bond only your water or only your water and ladder, if a person in the pool touches the deck they could be zapped because they would act as a conductor from the bonded water to the unbonded deck.

Therefore if you have an old pool that is not bonded you should consult a electrician who understands Article 680 of the NEC. They can best advise you on how to bond your pool. All pools are different and the vast majority of unbonded pools can be bonded without ripping up decks or other major destruction.

But the bonding must be done correctly so that the water, shell deck and metal parts are all bonded together. They pose the major danger to bathers from stray or faulted electrical current. Just bonding part does not help and it may hurt.
 

Foosman

Bronze Supporter
Jul 21, 2016
358
Austin, TX
#10
Permacast makes part # PER-PB-2008 1' npt water bonding fitting. You plumb it inline, attach your bond wire , bond to all the equipment and then attach in your breaker box and you should have a water bond.
My pool is under construction and they are not planning to bond the water. Since we are using nichless LED lights, there is nothing to bond to. I would like to have one of these installed and was told over time they will corrode and need to be replaced. I'm thinking of installing it at the skimmer line pipe at the pad and wondering if this is a good spot that will always have water in order to have a conductive path to the pool? I have in ground gunite pool.