*Shallow end, being shocked when grabbing railing*

ParB

Gold Supporter
I'm curious if there is any current present on the ground wire in the pool panel.
Even if you have a perfect bonding grid, you can still get voltage differences if current is flowing.

For example, if you have a 100 foot solid copper wire and you have 10 amps of current, there is a potential difference from one end of the wire to the other end of the wire.

Even though both ends are perfectly bonded, they have a difference in potential.

Theoretically, a bonding grid could eliminate all voltage or potential differences if the grid was perfectly isolated from the environment.

However, in the real world, the grid is connected to the earth and to the grounding system and if voltage is applied anywhere, current will flow and there will be differences in potential from one place to another.

The potential differences are based on factors like the amount of current flowing and the resistance or impedance of the conductive pathways.
I thought about this some more.

Just to be certain, there is not a bonding lug between earth and neutral in the sub panel causing an unbalanced load to travel through the sub panel and into earth via the pool handrail?

Is the sub panel from 2008 or newer and use 4 wires from the main panel?

Did you measure the current in your pool bonding wire or just the voltage?
 
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NowintersinAZ

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2020
87
Mesa, AZ
Pool Size
7560
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
It was brought to my attention that IF there is poor grounding at the poles or boxes on lets say the cable tv coming to the house and voltage is being induced to the cable. Then if it's shield is connected to the Ground bar (as it should be) in the main disconnect. It could be carrying a small voltage on the EGC throughout the house and pool area. This would also account for lifting the EGC at the sub panel and the voltage disappearing. Just more to chew on.

EDIT: After thinking more on this I can blow holes in it. But it is worth a look and is not tough just pull the ground wire coming from the main panel to the block by the utility. You can then voltage test it there.
 
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Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,761
NY
Even less likely would be the water feed from the street, but it’s exactly the freak occurrence thing we are looking for. Anything that can conduct that is tied into the electric ground. Until they are ruled out at this point, anything that could carry stray current to the house is suspect
 

gamerfan2004

Active member
Jul 3, 2013
27
Newark, DE
I would like to give all of you firm handshakes because I've really enjoyed reading all of this. I can fill in a few blanks on some questions that were asked:

  • The meter panel and the home electrical panel are separated by plywood.
  • I found that my water meter in the basement isn't bonded 🤦‍♂️ (how the 🤬 did this happen? Late 1980's home)
  • The pool was built in 2003, the bond runs from the pool pump. It was inspected and approved by the county.
  • At that time, a sub panel was not required. We have a GFCI 30 A 2-pole breaker for the pump running out to a manual timer.
I will attempt to gather some more information over the weekend 🤞
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,761
NY
A sprinkler like line to the pool that fills it when it’s low with a boat bilge or toilet bulb water level sensor thingy
 

Newdude

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 16, 2019
8,761
NY
Your water main not being bonded spurned some other thoughts. Before pex both Telco and CATV routinely grounded to the water spigot at the side of the house or the water meter in the basement if either was closer to their entry point than the electric panel, because the water pipe was ultimately grounded. Pex changed things because the homeowner could add plastic where there was copper and unintentionally break the bond. So for the last bunch of years they have been going to the electric meter or MGN.

If inductive voltage was entering through either the buried phone/TV wires which are thicker with sheaths, and grounded to a water line, the stray current could make it to the pool through an auto fill. You guys swim energized like a bird on the high voltage lines, until you touch the ladder.

Again, this is out there. But we are looking for a multiple failure that should not ever occur. Already stumping both an electrican and the power company, I’m really thinking it’s coming in another way that’s ultimately connected. Something like the TV/phone/water ground that’s realistically only there for a lightning strike or blown transformer is then carrying current to the pool.

Maybe this freak scenario jogs another thought in the collective brain trust. I’d rather be wrong 20 times if it helps somebody else zero in on what it is.
 

NowintersinAZ

Well-known member
Oct 18, 2020
87
Mesa, AZ
Pool Size
7560
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
Thank for the new info.
The meter panel and the home electrical panel are separated by plywood.
Are you comfortable turning off the main breaker in the panel and opening up the panel to access the neutral? (Most important make sure the main breaker is turn off before opening the panel!!) Don't not attempt if you are unsure or do not feel safe doing this. Call a licensed electrician.

If so turn off the main breaker open the panel (do not touch the lines coming in to the main breaker from the meter they are hot) and test for the voltage in the panel to make sure it's off and then at the pool.

If present at the pool and not in the panel, lift the neutral make sure it does not touch anything especially you and use a continuity tester and touch the box of the panel and the box of the meter (make sure to get through the paint) and see if you get a beep or zero ohms. If you get a beep or a ohms reading and not ol close everything up because they are bonded through screws or pipe and the test won't work.

IF you get OL they are isolated and now you can check the voltage at the pool.

If it was voltage was present when the main breaker was off and the neutral still hooked up, and then gone when you lifted the neutral it's riding in on the neutral.

If it's still present after lifting the neutral it's being generated inside the house or coming in another path walk around the house find the utilites and where they are bonded and remove the bonds one at time and test each time a bond is removed until all the bonds have been removed or until the voltage goes away. This will insure it's not coming from an outside source.
I found that my water meter in the basement isn't bonded 🤦‍♂️ (how the 🤬 did this happen? Late 1980's home)
The bond is only for when the meter needs replacing, to keep the path complete. The meter will complete the path. Although I would add it asap.
At that time, a sub panel was not required. We have a GFCI 30 A 2-pole breaker for the pump running out to a manual timer.
Estimated length of runs? 50' 100' 1000' and size of wire IF the runs are long lets say over 250' because that makes a 500' run there and back and volt drop comes into play if the wire are not over sized for the circuit.

The temporary bond on the railing should be applied for safe reasons. It then can be removed under supervision while testing.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
3,269
Atlanta Ga
Thank for the new info.

Are you comfortable turning off the main breaker in the panel and opening up the panel to access the neutral? (Most important make sure the main breaker is turn off before opening the panel!!) Don't not attempt if you are unsure or do not feel safe doing this. Call a licensed electrician.

If so turn off the main breaker open the panel (do not touch the lines coming in to the main breaker from the meter they are hot) and test for the voltage in the panel to make sure it's off and then at the pool.

If present at the pool and not in the panel, lift the neutral make sure it does not touch anything especially you and use a continuity tester and touch the box of the panel and the box of the meter (make sure to get through the paint) and see if you get a beep or zero ohms. If you get a beep or a ohms reading and not ol close everything up because they are bonded through screws or pipe and the test won't work.

IF you get OL they are isolated and now you can check the voltage at the pool.

If it was voltage was present when the main breaker was off and the neutral still hooked up, and then gone when you lifted the neutral it's riding in on the neutral.

If it's still present after lifting the neutral it's being generated inside the house or coming in another path walk around the house find the utilites and where they are bonded and remove the bonds one at time and test each time a bond is removed until all the bonds have been removed or until the voltage goes away. This will insure it's not coming from an outside source.

The bond is only for when the meter needs replacing, to keep the path complete. The meter will complete the path. Although I would add it asap.

Estimated length of runs? 50' 100' 1000' and size of wire IF the runs are long lets say over 250' because that makes a 500' run there and back and volt drop comes into play if the wire are not over sized for the circuit.

The temporary bond on the railing should be applied for safe reasons. It then can be removed under supervision while testing.
Great idea!
 

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ParB

Gold Supporter
Thank for the new info.

Are you comfortable turning off the main breaker in the panel and opening up the panel to access the neutral? (Most important make sure the main breaker is turn off before opening the panel!!) Don't not attempt if you are unsure or do not feel safe doing this. Call a licensed electrician.

If so turn off the main breaker open the panel (do not touch the lines coming in to the main breaker from the meter they are hot) and test for the voltage in the panel to make sure it's off and then at the pool.

If present at the pool and not in the panel, lift the neutral make sure it does not touch anything especially you and use a continuity tester and touch the box of the panel and the box of the meter (make sure to get through the paint) and see if you get a beep or zero ohms. If you get a beep or a ohms reading and not ol close everything up because they are bonded through screws or pipe and the test won't work.

IF you get OL they are isolated and now you can check the voltage at the pool.

If it was voltage was present when the main breaker was off and the neutral still hooked up, and then gone when you lifted the neutral it's riding in on the neutral.

If it's still present after lifting the neutral it's being generated inside the house or coming in another path walk around the house find the utilites and where they are bonded and remove the bonds one at time and test each time a bond is removed until all the bonds have been removed or until the voltage goes away. This will insure it's not coming from an outside source.

The bond is only for when the meter needs replacing, to keep the path complete. The meter will complete the path. Although I would add it asap.

Estimated length of runs? 50' 100' 1000' and size of wire IF the runs are long lets say over 250' because that makes a 500' run there and back and volt drop comes into play if the wire are not over sized for the circuit.

The temporary bond on the railing should be applied for safe reasons. It then can be removed under supervision while testing.
This is a good idea. Try to figure out if this is a voltage carried on neutral or ground, or if it is an induced stray voltage. It could very well be something from a phone line or a cable company.