This is why you bond your pool and equipment!

gtnos

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2013
534
Newcastle, Oklahoma
wow. so how do you bond it? its there kit to buy? also, if your pump was plugged into a GFCI outlet, and something shorted out that would cause an issue like electrified water, similar to that in the video, i would think it would trip the GFCI shutting power to pump off, and eliminating this issue. So wouldnt a GFCI outlet be enough?
 

JohnT

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wow. so how do you bond it? its there kit to buy? also, if your pump was plugged into a GFCI outlet, and something shorted out that would cause an issue like electrified water, similar to that in the video, i would think it would trip the GFCI shutting power to pump off, and eliminating this issue. So wouldnt a GFCI outlet be enough?

Bonding is primarily an issue with inground and metal AG pools. It consists of connecting all of the metal parts of and near the pool and the water itself together electrically.

A GFCI won't necessarily help because the source of the electricity may be unrelated to the pool or your property. For example, a construction crew using a backhoe that contacts an overhead line could energize the ground and the current might flow through your pool.
 

gtnos

Well-known member
Jun 9, 2013
534
Newcastle, Oklahoma
Bonding is primarily an issue with inground and metal AG pools. It consists of connecting all of the metal parts of and near the pool and the water itself together electrically.

A GFCI won't necessarily help because the source of the electricity may be unrelated to the pool or your property. For example, a construction crew using a backhoe that contacts an overhead line could energize the ground and the current might flow through your pool.

ahh, I see. So I need to bond my new partially buried AGP (Doughboy Desert Spring) that is going in tomorrow? I wont have any metal rails, ladder or steps though. Going with plastic wedding cake style steps and rails are resin.
 

AimeeH

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Apr 2, 2012
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Columbia SC
This news report states that having some non conductive material to touch may be helpful. I'm not sure I buy that. The pool needs to be bonded properly. We could feel the electricity when touching the cement and water at the came time.

http://www.troublefreepool.com/threads/40536-Electric-shock-felt-in-and-around-pool

I now know the pool NEEDS to be bonded properly. We are still struggling with this. It isn't code in our county to bond inground vinyl pool but is for gunite, etc.
 

PoolPete

LifeTime Supporter
Sep 15, 2007
11
Shoreview, MN
What I heard was that it is helpful to have non-conductive safetly equipment, such as a hook, to help get someone out of the pool because you don't know what caused the problem in the first place.

My electrical inspector was much more concerned with what I had done for bonding than he was with the wiring from the breaker panel in the basement. I find it hard to believe bonding isn't part of the NEC (National Electrical Code).
 

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steveg_nh

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Oct 7, 2013
832
Southern NH
They said there were stray electrical wires in the water or something...

- - - Updated - - -

Bonding is absolutely part of the NEC.
 

ssgumby

LifeTime Supporter
Feb 17, 2012
405
Maryland
As the story mentioned, the water was electrified with no issues. Only when she touched the metal, she became the path of least resistance and all the current flowed through her. With bond wire, all the current in the water should follow the path of least resistance, that being the copper #8 wire, and should flow out there.

I would think a situation like this had to be extreme. Like a live wire physically IN the water. Stray voltage in the ground around the pool seems would cause a tingle or jolt but not full paralysis like was shown here. The way the gentlemen had to physically break her from the rail looked like how one would break someone from a live wire.
 

Divin Dave

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Oct 2, 2013
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Longview, Texas
A bond on a pool is required by the National Electric Code. Is a serious safety consideration.

Bonding consists of running a continuous copper wire all the way around the pool and making a connection between every metal part of the pool and equipment to that wire. SOme places even require the water to be bonded.
Look up the code for Bonding for specifics.
If you look at your pump, timer and other metal equipment and you see a bare copper wire connecting them all togehter, then it's bonded.

Almost every single thing, Person, animal, car, trees, plants carpet etc is energized. We and everything else all have electrically charged particles as part of our makeup.

If the electrical potential is equal, then we all are in haromony with each other. WHen the potentials become unequal is where the problem comes in. A perfect example of this is rubbing your feet on the carpet and then touching the door knob. When you scoot your feet on the carpet, your electrical potential changes. The electrical discharge or spark when you tough the doorknob, is the result of the electrical potential difference of you and the door knob being equalized.

The most vivid example of electical potential..... is when the hair on your arms stand up and your skin tingles when a thunderstorm is approaching. Its not the potential of you changing such as in the static electricity example above. Insead you are feeling the effect of the atmospheres potential changing that makes the hair stand up on your arm. When atmosphere potential finally gets to a breaking point, an electrostatic discharge takes place. Its called Lightning.

That copper wire all around the pool provides an electrical field that maintains the same electrical potential of everything around the pool so that a electrostatic discharge (getting shocked) does not occur.

And no. This does not mean you can stay in the pool with lightning flashing all around !
 

bmoreswim

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Re: Wow! Improper bond...

Double wow. Nothing to add electrically, but geez, wow.
 

danpik

TFP Guide
Jun 4, 2012
1,762
western NY
Re: Wow! Improper bond...

The comment in the video about the voltage seeking ground in this case was not entirely correct. Electricity, contrary to what we are all taught in school, does not seek ground. It seeks it's source. The earth being a big resistor does not allow for the flow of electricity very well.

The anomaly you saw in the video was two different electrical potentials trying to equalize. To understand electrical potential, you need to watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkFH8lLvKZ0 The man sitting on the helicopter and the helicopter itself are in the air at one electrical potential. when they approach the power line, which is at a different potential, there is a clear danger. The probe the man uses is connected to the chassis of the helicopter and when he reaches out with it equalizes the potential differential and the clamp he puts on the wire ensures it stays the same.

In the pool, when a person reached out to grab the railing, they were acting like the probe. They were completing a path between two different potentials. The amount of current flow was not great enough to kill them but, surly it was enough to cause some discomfort and even slight paralysis.

The interesting study here is the metal railing in the pool water and connected to the deck. Several years ago this was thought to be a good water bond to the bonding grid. This did not seem to be the case here. I would have liked to test that pool right after this happened. I am going to surmise that there was no potential difference between the water and the railing in the direct vicinity of the railing but, there was voltage gradients throughout the pool.

Someone mentioned why a GFCI did not trip or if there was even one present. It is entirely possible there was a GFCI present on the circuit (I doubt it though). If you look at the chart I posted below...


1mA Perception Level
4-6 mA UL 943 Class A GFCI Trip Level
10mA Let-Go Threshold
15mA Muscles “Freeze” in 50% of the Population
30mA IEC RCD Standards Breathing Difficult, Fibrillation in children
50 mA - 4 Amps Fibrillation
4 AMPERES AND OVER Heart Paralysis, Serious Tissue and Organ Burning


You will see that the UL listed current threshold to trip a GFCI is 4-6 mA. If you are subject to that much current you will feel it. I was shocked one time while plugging in an extension cord. It was enough to cause me to get a little weak in the knees and let go of the cord. When I realized what had happened I figured the GFCI must have tripped after the event. It did not. The current I felt must have been below the trip threshold for the GFCI but it was still enough to startle me.

Someone also mentioned that the electricity that is sometimes referred to as stray voltage as coming from, say, a construction site or bad underground wire. While these can be sources, one has to realize that voltage potential gradients are around us everywhere. Most gradients are so slight that when you touch something the equalizing difference is so slight that you don't feel it.

About 5 years ago. I had to fix a bonding issue at a pool. it was an above ground pool and when they were standing on the ground in a certain area of the pool there was a voltage difference measurable between the water and the ground. If you touched the water while standing in your bare feet it would hit you pretty hard. A little harder than a static shock when you touch a door knob (two potentials equalizing) I found that the installer did the 4 connection points wrong and that they were all at one end of the pool. The owners thought that the power line that was running along the back of the property was the culprit. I could not convince them otherwise until an event happened that gave me the opportunity. We had a major power outage. The type which the entire town/county is out. Knowing I had to move fast I went over there and disconnected the bonding grid. I then measured the voltage difference between the water and ground and showed them the reading. It was actually higher than it was before. Knowing that the power line at the rear of the property was the one feeding the neighborhood I was sure there was no power flow at that time. I reconnected the bond and the voltage differential went almost to zero.
 

KrisIL

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Is it possible that they replace a pump and connect ground or neutral to the same plug that the bonding was connected to? And that is why this happened?
 

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