what is the definition of fresh water ?

carolina pool

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#1
We just had a light niche inspection fail because the inspector read on 3ms data sheet that the compound is for fresh pools and fountains only. I have spoken to the head inspector and he stands by his field inspectors opinion that the 3m product is not suitable. SCP distributors cannot find an approved salt water potting compound and have gone up the ladder in 3m with no one that can answer the question.

I noticed in another thread that Jason Lion said the level of salt 3000 ppm in swimming pools is still considered fresh water but according to Wikipedia fresh water is considered to be less than 500 ppm. Some other sources say its 1000 ppm.

So my question is, where do i find a definition of fresh water from an authority that i could quote to the inspection department?
 

jblizzle

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#2
Well, this is interesting. I would consider a SWG pool a fresh water pool. The ocean has 10x more salt in it. Too bad my opinion does not matter :D
 

JVTrain

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Feb 3, 2014
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#3
Even Underwriter Laboratories only recognizes potting compounds as tested in freshwater pools and fountains. There is no mention of salt water installation. If so, no one in the country should be able to have a light niche in a salt water pool. I wonder how so many do. ;)

Fresh water < 500 ppm
Brackish water 500 - 35000 ppm
Saline (salt) water 35000 - 50000 ppm
Brine water 50000+ ppm

Tell them the water is brackish, not salt water... but I doubt they will care.
 

Patrick_B

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#4
I would contact 3M myself and get some documentation from them stating it will be suitable. I don't know how hard the distributor if working it, but I would pursue it on my own to be sure. I know you shouldn't have to take care of this, but it may drag on if you don't. It sounds like your inspectors are rediculously picking nits and IMO, unreasonable beyond all logic. As a final option, maybe you can "change your mind" for now, and go non salt. :mrgreen:
 

carolina pool

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#5
the problem is in the language 3m uses " fresh pools and fountains only" . We have been using this same compound for 12 years in 17 different counties and this is the first time an inspector has turned it down. 3m lobbied for the code change so they could monopolize the market and they have successfully done that but no one there will answer my inquiry about what i should do.

I had the pool scheduled for plaster Monday and now am in the middle of a snafu with no apparent solution.

- - - Updated - - -

i have talked to the customer about a marginally fraudulent solution such as removing the swcg cell and salt from the site but they want to be legit and i understand them feeling that way.

- - - Updated - - -

3m is saying it was tested for salt but never listed.
 

jblizzle

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#6
I am not sure how "fraudulent" that would be. For at least the first 30 days you can not add salt anyway, so it is a freshwater pool. I am not sure what they want to be "legit" about ... I am not sure this would even be a code violation.

The whole situation is just dumb. I guess the 10,000s of us with SWG pools with pool lights are in "violation" :hammer:
 

carolina pool

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#7
3m is saying they have never had this problem come up before. Now there are 3 pools that have been turned down the last 3 days in this county. I find it very hard to believe that this has never been an issue before now.

- - - Updated - - -

as a contractor, i cant knowingly install a product that doesn't meet code, nor can the electrician.
 

JVTrain

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Feb 3, 2014
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Central Minnesota
#9
So your local inspectors are banning salt water chlorine generators from pools in your area, in an indirect manner. Shouldn't these inspectors who are handing down judgement have enough knowledge of codes and the products associated with the code to recommend another material? My hunch is that they cannot as one does not exist. If one did exist and this were indeed a widespread problem for inspection approval, certainly the manufacturer would be shouting it from the rooftops based on the popularity and prevalence of SWCG systems.
 

Killer95Stang

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Aug 18, 2012
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Sunny SoCal
#10
A salt water pool is not a salt water pool until you add salt. Take off the generator until you come up with a solution, then install it at a later date. Add that into the contract that you will fix the issue at a later date and they should be satisfied. You aren't the only person building pools in NC, so its not like other people won't have the same issue. Also, that inspector is a douchebag... does he have a brother that works as an inspector in San Dimas, CA?
 

prs

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#11
I recommend you go talk to one of the engineers in the County Building Dept that issued the pool permit. With any luck they'll understand the problem and refer it up to the Head of the Bldg Dept. Usually the Inspectors report to him/her.

If that doesn't work call, or preferably have the homeowner(s) call their local County representative or Mayor. A call from the Mayor to the Bldg Dept should sort it out in no time.
 

gtemkin

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Jun 7, 2008
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Seattle, WA
#12
The data sheet for 3M 2135 states it is meant to protect from corrosion of "fresh swimming pool water". I take that to mean water which is not yet balanced and therefor potentially more corrosive. It does not say fresh water. It's a technicality, but it's a technicality that may make a difference.


[edit] I just read UL's general information page on potting compounds and there it does say "salt-free" water.
 

gtemkin

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Seattle, WA
#13
Since there's salt in EVERY pool, there is not a single pool in the US that is "salt-free". "Salt-free" are the exact words used in UL's Online Certifications Directory for WCRY.GuideInfo Potting Compounds, which is the header classification for the E130394 listing. Suggest you get an copy of UL676A, which is the UL standards document for the compound and find out exactly what that document defines as "salt-free". If they create a water sample starting from distilled water, I'd suggest there are thousands of pool owners who would fill out their online comment form telling them how un-representative their test is of real life conditions and demand they change their documents. This is clearly a UL problem.
 

gtemkin

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#14
One more interpretation. The SCOPE of UL676A states:

POTTING COMPOUNDS FOR SWIMMING POOL, FOUNTAIN, AND SPA EQUIPMENT

1 Scope
1.1 This outline covers compounds intended to be used to encapsulate grounding and bonding conductor splices or terminations in swimming pool, spa, or fountain equipment such as fixtures, fixture housings, and junction boxes where the splices or terminations may be exposed to salt-free swimming pool or fountain water and sunlight for varying lengths of time, including continuous exposure. This outline also covers potting compounds used to fill underwater junction boxes.

I read it as saying the potting material MAY be used for salt-free applications, however it does not exclude it's use in for salt applications. If the Scope wanted to prevent people from using it in salt water pools, it would have stated "shall not be used in salt water swimming pools".