Inground Pool Rewire without Sparks

Reply

  #1  
Old 04-12-06, 02:18 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Az - USA
Posts: 29
Exclamation Inground Pool Rewire without Sparks

I need to rewire my pool pump and light for my inground pool. I have the following from the house panel -

2 black 14gauge
1 white 14
1 blue 14
1 green 12 gauge

The light has 1 black, white, and green wire.

Originally the pump was wired as 240 with the green as a return. A solid copper bonding wire attached to the pump case. The line wires went through a DPST switch and a timer.

I goofed up and didn't write down how the pool light was connected.

I know it went to a GFI and used the blue wire as line and the white as the return. The problem is the feed from the light has the green wire and I think it went to the metal box, as it has a crimped connector on it. My new boxes are the grey plastic style, so screwing the ground to it would be pointless.

Do I chain the 12 gauge return to the green pool light green? What do I connect to the ground connection on the GFI?

I can send someone a pic if it would help make things more clear. I don't want to have any sparks or floating people in my pool!

Cheers -
Aaron R>
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 04-12-06, 02:59 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You are extremely confused.

The green wire is not a return. The green wire is a ground.

The 240 volt pool pump uses two hot wires and the green ground.

The 120 volt light uses one hot wire, one neutral and the ground.

The two black wires and the blue wire are hot wires. The white wire is the neutral. The green wire (as I stated above) is the ground.

You will need to look at the panel and/or use a tester to determine which two hot wires supply the 240 volts and which hot wire supplies the 120 volts. I know how I would have wired it, but that means nothing. You seem to think that the blue wire is the 120 volt hot wire, but you should verify this.

The green ground wire connects to all ground locations. The ground for the pump, the ground for the GFCI, and the ground for the light.

The 240 volt breaker in your panel needs to be a GFCI breaker. I hope it is.

I don;t know where you are using plastic boxes, but I don't like the sounds of that. You need metal boxes outside.
 
  #3  
Old 04-12-06, 03:36 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Az - USA
Posts: 29
Question

racraft -

Thanks for the reply. You are confused about me being confused. I am not, I'm only ignorant.

The two blacks supply the 240, I already verified this at the panel, as well as the blue supplying the 120. The white and 12 gauge green are hooked to the exact same place in the panel.

The breakers are not GFCI. It is a 4 'pack' breaker with the top going to something in the house, the middle two are tied with a clip for the pump 240 and the bottom is the blue for the pool light. I say pack, as you have to remove the whole thing as one. But its the same size as 4 of the skinny breakers.

The grey boxes and conduit I'm using are schedule 80 pvc and are labeled for inground or above ground use. I made sure to get the WP cover. Are there places where this isn't supposed to be used?

Originally the wiring had 3 boxes. 1 timer for the pump and two single gang boxes. One box had the GFI for the light. The other had the DPST switch for the pump. I want to have 1 timer box and 1 two gang box.

I'm trying to make sure I hook up the GFI properly. If I connect all the green grounds and hook this to the GFI properly, then will my light be GFI protected?

Could you clarify the pump wiring? The pump doesn't have a white line so I called the green the return. I believe the copper wire connected to the pump that goes from the case straight into the ground is called a bonding wire. I'm definately ignorant here. Is the above true? Why isn't a white wire use with the pump? Is it because its 240?

The pump can be run on 120, by moving a jumper inside. Would it then be proper to have a single black and a single white wire connected to it, rather than the green?

Thanks,
Aaron R>
 
  #4  
Old 04-12-06, 03:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You have more problems that you realize.

A ground wire (the green one in this case) is for fault current only.

A return wire is for current that returns to the source. Straight 240 volt loads use the opposite hot wire as the return wire, so they do not need a separate return. 120 volt loads need a return, so they need a separate return wire. Combination 240/120 volt loads (such as an electric dryer or range) need a return path for the items that run on 120 volts (such as the light bulb).

You need to provide GFCI protection for your pump. Your installation is unsafe without it. This means that the quad breaker in your panel needs to go. You need a 240 volt GFCI breaker. You will then need separate breakers (or a tandem breaker) for the light and the other load.

Further, since you are redoing this much of your pool setup, you also need a convenience receptacle located (outside) between 10 and 20 feet from the pool. If you don't have this you will need to add it. Since it is outdoors, it must be GFCI protected.

The GFCI for the light is fed with the blue and white wire on the LINE side. Connect the light to the LOAD side. The green ground wire gets connected to the GFCI and to the ground for the light.

If the GFCI you are talking about is a GFCI receptacle then it can count as your convenience receptacle. However, to count, it must be at the proper spacing from the pool, between ten and twenty feet. If it is closer than ten feet, then it cannot be a receptacle, it can only be a faceless GFCI.

Any and all metal surrounding or touching the pool must be bonded to the pump. This is what the copper wiring going into the ground is for. It should connect to the rebar of the concrete for the pool, and to any metal items, such as ladders or lights close to the pool.

To use your pump at 120 volts would require twice as much current, since the voltage would only be half. This would require replacing the two black wires with larger wires, one white and one black (or some other appropriate color for a hot wire). You would probably also need to replace the ground wire with a larger one also.

I strongly suggest that you bring in an electrician to finish this. Your family's safety is far too great to risk on you getting this correct. Codes for pools are very restrictive. At the very least, pay for an inspection when you are done.
 
  #5  
Old 04-12-06, 03:56 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,539
Originally Posted by DrAnonymous
The breakers are not GFCI. It is a 4 'pack' breaker with the top going to something in the house, the middle two are tied with a clip for the pump 240 and the bottom is the blue for the pool light. I say pack, as you have to remove the whole thing as one. But its the same size as 4 of the skinny breakers.
It is a double tandem (sometimes called "quad") breaker and it is not safe to use with a pool pump. Your pump should have a double pole GFCI breaker just to itself.

The grey boxes and conduit I'm using are schedule 80 pvc and are labeled for inground or above ground use.
It's okay.

I'm trying to make sure I hook up the GFI properly. If I connect all the green grounds and hook this to the GFI properly, then will my light be GFI protected?
Not necessarily. The green ground wire has nothing to do with GFCI protection. To ensure GFCI protection, the hot and neutral (blue and white) need to be landed on the LINE side of the GFCI device as per the manufacturer's instructions. The hot and neutral to the light fixture need to be landed on the LOAD side of the GFCI device.

Could you clarify the pump wiring? The pump doesn't have a white line so I called the green the return.
The green is the ground. A 240V motor does not have a neutral (a.k.a. "common", "return"); technically each hot leg is the return for the other.

I believe the copper wire connected to the pump that goes from the case straight into the ground is called a bonding wire. I'm definately ignorant here. Is the above true?
True. It should be solid copper, at least #8 gauge and bond all of the metal parts of the pool, filter, pump, deck, etc.

The pump can be run on 120, by moving a jumper inside. Would it then be proper to have a single black and a single white wire connected to it, rather than the green?
Leave the pump wired for 240V; it will operate more efficiently.
 
  #6  
Old 04-12-06, 04:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Az - USA
Posts: 29
Smile

ibpooks / racraft -

Thanks so much for the input! I'm sure my presentation looks like redneck electrical wiring. I really am plenty safety conscious and feel I have enough experience to wire this up properly.

Just to clarify, so you all aren't terribly worried -

- The pool was installed in 1972, so I'm sure the code was a bit different then. I was just trying to put things back the way I found them.

- I have a convenience plug already outside, which is a GFCI. It meets the specs mentioned for location.

- The pump did not have a GFI, but I had wondered if I should upgrade the circuit to having one. I will replace the quad with a 240 GFI and get a regular breaker for the pool light and the other house circuit.

- Since I already have the faceless GFI, I won't bother replacing it with a ckt breaker GFI.

- The GFI I'm trying to wire in is faceless. I have installed them before, so I know to pay careful attention to the labeling for line and load. I'll only be wiring in the light to it. Thanks for reminding me to pay attention.

- The 12 gauge ground wire will be attached to the ground on the GFI and the green wire for the pool light. It will also be attached to the pump.

- I don't think the bonding wire is 8 gauge. Its pretty thin. I'd guess its 12, maybe 10. I can put some calipers on it to find out exactly. Since it was installed with the original pool would the code have been different?

Am I missing anything?

? - Why is the ground wire shielded, when its normally just bare wire?

? - If I wanted to put in another metal handrail near the steps, then it would need to be bonded as well?


Best regards,
Aaron R>
 
  #7  
Old 04-12-06, 09:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
I do not know what pool codes were in 1972. I will not speculate. Yes, codes were different. I don't know what was different in regards to pools.

Ciode does not allow a bare ground wire for a pool installation. I do not know the reasoning behind it. It ust isn't allowed.

Yes, if you want to add a another metal handrail then it will have to be bonded. regardless of the previous bonding, this one must be 8 gage (or larger) solid copper wire.

Sounds like you have everything else.
 
  #8  
Old 04-13-06, 02:30 AM
bolide's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 1,909
Originally Posted by DrAnonymous
- The pool was installed in 1972, so I'm sure the code was a bit different then. I was just trying to put things back the way I found them.
I don't agree with this in principle or as a matter of regulation.

In principle, you want to use the best practice, not the miminum requirement from 30+ years ago when there was little experience with such.

As a matter of regulation, your pool has been updated since 1972 and therefore, 1972 Code doesn't apply.
In fact, now that you touched it, I believe that you need to re-do it to current Code at minimum.


> get a regular breaker for the pool light and the other house circuit.

The house circuit really should not share with the pool light circuit. If you need to shut down the pool, it should not shut down anything inside the house.


> I don't think the bonding wire is 8 gauge. It's pretty thin.

Upgrade.


> Since it was installed with the original pool would the code have been different?

Does it really matter? Replacing it gives you a chance to verify that there is no corrosion or deterioration and brings your installation in line with the current minimum.


> Why is the ground wire shielded, when its normally just bare wire?

I don't know. I could give you some guesses. Number 1 is identification. It makes it look like an electric wire rather than some optional junk.


> If I wanted to put in another metal handrail near the steps,
> then it would need to be bonded as well?

Yes - to current Code, not from 1972.
 
  #9  
Old 04-13-06, 05:15 AM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
I must say I agree with bolide. What you do NOW must be done to NOW's codes. You can't simply "put it back the way it was".

From the sound of it I honestly and truly feel you should at least seek the advice of an onsite professional. Pool codes are NO place to mess around and learn as you go. ESPECIALLY for an inground pool. You cannot simply ask "what are the codes?". Since we can't see exactly what you are doing, where the boxes are, how the connections are made, etc, something WILL inevitably get missed.


If you insist on going at this alone at least read this short article and get some comprehensive books on pool wiring.
It is NOT as simple as you think.
In ground pool wiring
 
  #10  
Old 04-13-06, 08:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Az - USA
Posts: 29
I double checked the bonding wire and its not 12 or 14 gauge, but without measuring I can't confirm whether its 8 or not. If its not, how am I supposed to fix that? Surely I can't dig a huge trench in order to connect it to the metal rebar in the pool shell?

I agree with you bolide that I want to put things up to code where possible, even if I don't have to. What I meant by my earlier statement was, given I didn't have any reason to believe things needed to be updated, I would put them back the way they were originally. I was trying to ensure that I didn't downgrade what was correct before.

I went through the link you sent Speedy Petey and wondered if I was goofing up with the pvc. It mentions that if you use pvc for the light wiring it has to have a #8 ground wire with it. (680/20) I don't understand this one. If I want to go from the brass, thats already installed, to pvc do I need to do anything special?

The pump code also doesn't make sense to me. It talks about having the pump 5 to 10 feet from the water and using a plug. Mine is hardwired so how far away does it have to be. It also says you must use a locking receptacle.

I went to HD trying to find a 240 GFI. I didn't. Is it more of a specialty type item? I'm assuming I need to go to an electrical supply for this.

bolide - The quad breaker I have, has the house circuit and the pool circuit seperate. The top is the house circuit, next is the 240, and lastly is the pool light.

Cheers,
Aaron R>
 
  #11  
Old 04-13-06, 09:41 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Near Lansing, Michigan
Posts: 10,539
Originally Posted by DrAnonymous
I went to HD trying to find a 240 GFI. I didn't. Is it more of a specialty type item? I'm assuming I need to go to an electrical supply for this.
Yes, you usually need to go to a supply house or buy online for 2 pole GFCI breakers. What is the brand of your panel? We can probably get you a part number.
 
  #12  
Old 04-13-06, 12:48 PM
Speedy Petey's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2,455
If you already have brass pipe coming from the light and you change to PVC, yes, you have to install the supplemental #8 bond. The connection inside the forming shell MUST be covered in a specific potting compound found only at a supply house. You MUST also use what is know as a deck box. A supply house will know what this is. It is the box detailed in all of 680.24.

The 5'-10' rule is IF the pump is within this range, AND it is cord and plug connected, it must be of the locking type. If the motor is hardwired you only need a means of disconnect at the motor. A simple switch rated to handle the motor load is the most basic.
 
Reply

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