Running Electric to a Pool (Or a Solar Option?)

ElChupacabra

Member
May 28, 2020
5
Chicago
Hello, after many years of the family begging, we finally got a pool (above ground pool). Due to all the COVID stuff, they can't install until July so I am trying to learn all I can right now. One thing I am having a hard time figuring out is, what does it typically cost to run electric to the pool site? I live in a small town so there are not many electricians and I only got one "over the phone" estimate so far and I almost choked on the price he gave me. I have no idea if it's fair, cheap or way expensive. The pool is going to be about 40 - 50 feet from the house. Our electric breaker is in the basement. I know they will have to trench electric out. Anybody have any ideas what a "ball park" range is? I don't know if something like this is a $1,000 job or a $10,000 job. I just want to know what you all think I should expect the price range to be.

Also, is there a good Solar option instead? I've looked at a few but to be honest I am not very handy with anything electrical (and I know NOTHING about pool pumps, etc.) so a lot of what I am reading goes over my head and not sure if what I am looking at are complete kits or if they still require other things, etc.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,477
Northern NJ
Does you pool need to be installed to local codes and pass an inspection?

A small solar panel cannot consistently give the 3,000 watts to run a pool pump.
 

ElChupacabra

Member
May 28, 2020
5
Chicago
Does you pool need to be installed to local codes and pass an inspection?

A small solar panel cannot consistently give the 3,000 watts to run a pool pump.
Yes, we need to adhere to local codes (must be run 18" down and electric has to be 5' minimum from pool edge is the gist of it for electric). I don't know if solar is an option. Just a thought I had. I was more hoping if anybody knows a ballpark of what running the electric typically costs. I know it all varys by project, but is it typically a $500 job? A $5,000 job?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,477
Northern NJ
Shop around. It depends how busy or hungry the electricians are in your area. The basic materials are not much for renting a trencher, conduit, wire, circuit breakers, a sub panel, constructing a mounting wall, pulling permits and getting inspection. Maybe 2 days of work.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,604
NY
Also, the best price doesn't mean a thing if you have a miserable experience to save $350. My 'should be good enough' electrician was nothing but a headache and the pool went green waiting for him. I passed over 2 known/reliable/local companies to save a few bucks. Never again.
 

ElChupacabra

Member
May 28, 2020
5
Chicago
Also, the best price doesn't mean a thing if you have a miserable experience to save $350. My 'should be good enough' electrician was nothing but a headache and the pool went green waiting for him. I passed over 2 known/reliable/local companies to save a few bucks. Never again.
Yes, but how much did it cost? What were your quotes?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,604
NY
It was 8 years ago but I want to say i went with the $1500 guy for my IG including the Light hookup and bonding the shell. Included was up to 50 or 75 ft of trenching and it was extra if I wanted the equipment further away.

Labor rates and materials fluctuate pretty wildly but even so, your high # would probably be $1000 and you could possibly even find a $500.
 

ElChupacabra

Member
May 28, 2020
5
Chicago
Shop around. It depends how busy or hungry the electricians are in your area. The basic materials are not much for renting a trencher, conduit, wire, circuit breakers, a sub panel, constructing a mounting wall, pulling permits and getting inspection. Maybe 2 days of work.
Do you have an idea of what all that might run, on average? I already paid for my permit. I figure they have to trench maybe 40 feet. Our pool is an above ground 21' diameter pool, if it makes a difference. The one guy I got a hold of didn't sound too interested and said, "Yeah, I can do it, but you'd be looking at $7,000" and that just seems way off base?
 

ElChupacabra

Member
May 28, 2020
5
Chicago
So as a side note to everybody, I just had another electrician come out. This guy is supposedly a Union electrician, licensed, etc. and he quoted me $500. I was kind of shocked because the first electrician quoted me $7,000. So I asked him if he is trenching the wire, bonding the pool, etc. And he says, "Nah, I just use Romex (not sure if that's the right spelling or what Romex even is) and a shovel and put it down a couple inches. I don't know what bonding a pool is." So obiously this guy scares me as his work doesn't even sound safe or to code! So now I have a quote spread of $500 which seems WAY too low, and $7,000 which seems WAY to high?! Am I out of my mind? What does everybody think a reasonable cost is to have the job done right??
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,604
NY
My guess was $500 to $1000. And you already found the $500. Romex is your standard issue inside the house wiring. It works outside too but is highly advised against using. The middle of the road wiring is designed to be buried (UF - underground feeder) and *may* even be up to code for an ABG pool in your area. If not, pvc with individual wires pulled through it is the best way, and only way for ‘permanent’ pools.
 
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tillmac62

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2019
73
Gaffney, SC, United States
Electricians here charge 80 - 125/hr. You can go on Lowes / HD and get an estimate on materials. Breakers, wires, conduit, terminal box. Ask your pool installer and see if they can recommend someone and /or price range.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
20,477
Northern NJ
So as a side note to everybody, I just had another electrician come out. This guy is supposedly a Union electrician, licensed, etc. and he quoted me $500. I was kind of shocked because the first electrician quoted me $7,000. So I asked him if he is trenching the wire, bonding the pool, etc. And he says, "Nah, I just use Romex (not sure if that's the right spelling or what Romex even is) and a shovel and put it down a couple inches. I don't know what bonding a pool is." So obiously this guy scares me as his work doesn't even sound safe or to code! So now I have a quote spread of $500 which seems WAY too low, and $7,000 which seems WAY to high?! Am I out of my mind? What does everybody think a reasonable cost is to have the job done right??
The $500 guy is a hack and not doing to NEC. Romex is not made to be buried. Wire has to be THWN wire in conduit.
 

stringer77

Well-known member
Mar 27, 2020
184
Gateway Pundit, FL
you can get all the materials yourself for around $125. just have the trench to worry about, maybe rent a trencher.

honestly didn't think the sun shined in chicago to worry about solar. Always pictured it black and white. mostly black.