Need advice on Subpanel install for swimming pool


Old 08-20-05, 02:54 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Need advice on Subpanel install for swimming pool

Hey all, first of all I'd like to say that this forum rocks. I need someone to give me advice on the following. We are having a pool dug in two weeks and I'd like to get all the electrical done beforehand. I have already been certified and worked as an electrician but that was 10 years ago and I have not worked since, or held on to my competence cards. The following work will be done in Montreal.

First off, the sub panel will be installed in a garden shed outside approx. 10 feet or so from pool's water's edge. It is a small 100 amp 4 branch Siemens unit. The wire run from the house will be 75', half of which will run around the house in PVC tube since the service entrance is the opposite side of the trench. Trench depth will be 15" and will contain electrical wire, gas line and backwash tube. I have checked and it is okay to run all three. I will be using NMWU 10/3 wire on a 30AMP Siemens GFCI breaker at the main panel. Once the cable gets to the shed I will install a pull-out 60A disconnect box that will ultimately feed the Siemens sub-panel.

The load on the entire circuit will be the pool motor that will draw a MAX of 15 amps (being very generous), 2 pool lights of 150w each (3 amps total) and maybe a couple of 100w light bulbs in my shed with one or two outlets.

These are my concerns:

- Is 10/3 nmwu acceptable for 75-80 foot run or should I opt for 8/3?
- Since the entire circuit is gfci protected at source do I still need gfci outlets?
- Will 30 amps be enough for everything I plan to use?
- The pool will be grounded for sure by the installers since there are lights, but do I need a ground rod for my sub panel?

Lastly, if I do all the work myself and have a master elec. verify it and bill me for the visit, will I be protected in the unlikely event of a mishap. (insurance wise)?

Thanks for all the input
Sponsored Links
Old 08-20-05, 04:58 PM
ampz's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 536
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I would use 8/3 & a 40 amp brkr this will give you some breathing room. I dont know the CEC {Canadian Electr Code} but you cannot run NM in conduit. You'll have to check to see if you need to drive a rod.I would install the GFCIs at the sub panel not at the main
Old 08-20-05, 05:35 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Regardless of the US/Canadian code issue:

I would NOT run cable in conduit if it were legal or not.
30 amps will be fine if you do not plan to ever add very much.
Once it is GFI protected no more are required. You can protect the feeder alone.

The pool will be grounded for sure by the installers
You better make sure, and make sure it is done right. Pool installers here do not ground or bond anything! That is the electrician's job.

Lastly, if I do all the work myself and have a master elec. verify it and bill me for the visit, will I be protected in the unlikely event of a mishap. (insurance wise)?
If you are capable of doing this work why not just get it inspected yourself?
From an electrician's perspective, I know I would not do as you suggest. This leaves ME open for liability of anything that might have been missed.
I don't put my name on any work I didn't do.
Old 08-20-05, 08:00 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
no conduit

The NMUW will not be run in conduit. It is a direct bury cable. As far as the pool is concerned I will MAKE SURE they ground it. After all they will be working while I am there. So as far as the GFI and cable rating I should be okay with 30?
Old 08-22-05, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Seems like I've read here that for swimming pools the ground wire MUST be insulated, not a bare ground like NM and UF have.

Can someone confirm that? Or is that just for the circuits directly to the pool, but not to a subpanel feeding those circuits?
Old 08-22-05, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NA
Posts: 1,065
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
The problem here is we need someone who is familiar with Canadian code for pool pump circuits. You cannot even think direct burial for pools in the USA. It is conduit only for pool pumps and pool lights. From what little I know the CEC is more safety strict than the NEC.

Yes, in the NEC you are required to have an insulated egc and #12 awg minimum.
Old 08-22-05, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 96
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I am not expert enough about swimming pools to give technical advice. However, here is what I did.

My setup is very similar to your proposal. I installed a small sub-panel in a garden shed, that is outside the pool enclosure, with no access from the pool enclosure. I used 12/3 NMWU directly buried (run from house fully outside of the pool enclosure). The pump is CFI protected. All metal parts (sub-panel, boxes, timer, switches, plugs, etc) are bonded together with 6 awg cooper wire, and connected to the grounding plate (buried 600 cm, again outside of the pool enclosure).

My pool lights of low voltage, plug is CFI protected and are run fully in PVC conduit to the pool. (and are the only wires in the pool area).

I was told (?) that since my sub-panel is some 4 metres away from the pool, I did not need to bond the panel to the pool structure. However, I am not sure about this.

I did the work myself, but got the electrical guy from the company installing the pool to give me advice and look over the work. He changed me $60, money well spent. It take me a few days of work, and I had the re-do a couple of things to pass code, but it was worth it.

I live in Ontario, so it may be different in Montreal. I would strongly recommend getting advice from a friendly pool electrical guy. Someone with some real experience. The code rules are fairly complex, so you must be careful.

Again, I am not an expert, but the above worked for me. For me it was fairly straight forward, I kept all the power far away from the pool enclosure. I believe, if the power is within 3 metres of the pool, code get more picky.

Hope this helps.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: