Sub-panel, Automation panel bonding/grounding question

joshua5438

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2016
420
Easley, SC
#1
I am finishing up my equipment pad renovation and have a question about my panel boxes. I have three panels mounted to my house directly above my pool equipment pad. The sub panel is connected to my main panel (6 feet apart) with (4) #6 THWN and the neutral bar is isolated in the sub panel. My automation is connected to my sub panel (4 inches apart with 2" PVC). The hots go from the breakers in the sub panel to the relays in the automation panel. Then they pass back thru the sub panel on to the item they are controlling. I said all this to give you the full picture so you can hopefully answer these questions...

Does the sub panel need to be connected to the pool bonding grid?
Does the automation panel need to be connected to the pool bonding grid?
Does the automation panel need to be connected to the sub panel ground bar?
 

pooldv

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#2
Does the sub panel need to be connected to the pool bonding grid? No
Does the automation panel need to be connected to the pool bonding grid? Yes
Does the automation panel need to be connected to the sub panel ground bar? Yes

There should be ground lugs and bond lugs on the automation panel. More here, Pool School - Bonding vs Grounding
 

joshua5438

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2016
420
Easley, SC
#3
Thanks for the link. I am still unsure of the automation panel bonding. I can understand the automation panel needing to be grounded to the sub panel, just like the sub panel is grounded to the main panel. If I connect the pool bonding wire to the automation panel, then essentially I am connecting the ground in the sub panel and the main panel to the bonding grid.... That doesn't seem right, but I am not an expert either.
 

pooldv

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#4
There should be a bond lugs and a ground lugs in the automation panel. It is ok for the bonding to be attached to the grounding on various pieces of equipment, heaters often are. As long as all designated ground lugs are connected to ground and all designated bond lugs are connected to the bond grid then you are OK. Here is what my Solartouch manual says about it.

Grounding and Bonding to the SolarTouch® Controller
Connect a ground wire from the primary electrical panel to the SolarTouch Controller
ground bus bar. Also ground each piece of high voltage (120 VAC or 240 VAC) equipment
that is connected to the Controller relays. The SolarTouch controller must also be
connected to the pool bonding system using an 8 AWG (minimum) wire. An earth terminal
for bonding is provided on the grounding bus bar inside the SolarTouch controller.
 

joshua5438

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2016
420
Easley, SC
#5
Do you happen to have a picture of the inside of you automation panel? Do you have hots and grounds entering the panel? Is this an all in one panel, meaning its your automation and sub panel?
 

pooldv

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#6

joshua5438

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2016
420
Easley, SC
#7
hmm. My setup is a little different... My relays are connected directly from the breaker. I do not have a ground or neutral bar in the sub panel. It is technically operating like an on / off switch for the relays (hot wires only). If the case is grounded to the sub panel what would the bonding wire be needed for? The sub panel is not bonded..... Not saying your wrong, just want to fully understand.
 

pooldv

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#8
You are reaching the outer limits of my knowledge. The electric breaker subpanel does not need to be bonded. Most pool automation panels that I've seen have provisions for grounding and bonding. Yes, these sometimes cross paths and that is fine. What is important is that everything that should be bonded is attached to the bonding grid. If your automation panel doesn't have any info about bonding or a bonding lug then I think it is fine for it not to be bonded.
 

joshua5438

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2016
420
Easley, SC
#9
I know the feeling about being at your outer limits.. haha. I am good with all the other bonding and grounding but this is out of my realm. It has a grounding post inside the box but that is all. I guess it would be considered an extension of the sub panel the way its all wired up. I feel comfortable not having a bonding wire since the sub panel does not require one. I will install a #8 ground wire from the automation panel to the sub panel. I cannot see it needing more than that. Just needed someone to talk it thru with me. Thanks!
 

joshua5438

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2016
420
Easley, SC
#11
Another quick question about bonding... I know code requires #8 solid copper but does it state that it has to be insulated or bare? I have seen both used but wasnt sure if code dictated what to use. Also, I have about 6 inches of wire coming out of the ground at my pad. Is it best to connect one wire and run it thru one motor bonding lug and then to the next motor or install two separate wires, one for each pump. I will connect to the original bonding lug using a split bolt connector.
 

joshua5438

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2016
420
Easley, SC
#13
I had seen that and something from Mikeholt that seem to both state "shall be bonded together using solid copper conductors,insulated covered, or bare, not smaller than 8 AWG ". Guess thats my answer.
 

pooldv

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#14
Bonding wire should be bare and ground wire should be insulated green. It is fine to run it through and on to the next pump. Either is fine.