Pool electrical requirements

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  #1  
Old 06-01-15, 07:34 PM
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Pool electrical requirements

I have a pool being installed soon that is permanent... they are going to come in, level out a spot we picked, install it and the pump where I want it, and leave it from there for us to fill up and plug in / arrange electrical.

I have an electrician coming soon to install a 2 slot / 4 circuit 60amp subpanel against the house where the pool will be located. Once they install that, I will trench a 20 amp circuit myself to the pool 5-10 feet away and install a GFCI receptacle on a pole.

Once we get the pool filled and plug pump into the new outlet, we should be good to go.....



Or should we? I'm unfamiliar with pools, I do know that the pump must be GFCI protected and had the subpanel installed outside for future growth for a hot tub, add deck circuits, septic pump, and so on for the future. As far as plug and go, am I missing anything?

I seen one post where a guy ran a heavy grounding wire around the pool and bonded it to each metal post until it came to a complete circle, tied them together where they met at the conduit run and ran them in the trench with the conduit for the circuit back to the subpanel and attached that ground wire to the sub panel grounding bar? Is that necessary?

What am I missing besides just plug the pump in and go? It will not have any lighting, just the pump equipment.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 07:51 PM
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I seen one post where a guy ran a heavy grounding wire around the pool and bonded it to each metal post until it came to a complete circle, tied them together where they met at the conduit run and ran them in the trench with the conduit for the circuit back to the subpanel and attached that ground wire to the sub panel grounding bar? Is that necessary?
Yes, it is. The rules for swimming pools are quite detailed and covered in Article 680 of the National Electrical Code. Article 680 runs for about 14 pages (8-1/2 by 11 inch pages) so you can see it cannot be summarized by just a couple of paragraphs here. I have been doing electrical work for most of my life and I definitely would not attempt to do a pool, at least not without the help of someone thoroughly versed in Article 680 requirements. All the requirements are for making sure that no one gets electrocuted.
 
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Old 06-01-15, 08:06 PM
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had the subpanel installed outside for future growth for a hot tub, add deck circuits, septic pump, and so on for the future.
If this is your plan, then a 2 space/ 4 circuit is not enough. I would plan for about an 8 space sub panel.

As Furd mentioned, the biggest thing with pools, other then GFCI protection, is bonding. EVERYTHING that can conduct electricity needs to be bonded with a ground wire, normally #8 bare copper or larger, this includes having a water bond. That's right, you need to bond the water.

For the safety of everybody, I sure hope this project is being inspected. Is there a reason why your electrician is not doing the pool as well?
 
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Old 06-02-15, 04:30 AM
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Even the depth of the pool can change the requirements. Pools are not a good place for a diy to wire. There is just too much at stake.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 05:22 AM
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Usually pool subpanels have a timer in the box, which the pump motor is hardwired to. Or, a timer next to the panel, but still hardwired. Pumps need to be bonded to the pool structure. Is your pump 120V? Different pumps also vary in current rating. Plugging a pump into an outlet seems odd to me. You have not given many details for us to go on and you should probably contact a pro.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 07:22 AM
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Checking with your local electrical inspector would be good to get an understanding on how (if?) they enforce codes locally. With above ground pools the bonding requirements aren't as clear as they would be for in-ground. Sometimes there isn't anything to bond, sometimes you would need to bond every upright and the water like Tolyn mentioned.

Agree that the panel is too small for the loads you identified. It should be 100A, at least 8 spaces and have an insulated green solid copper ground wire if you intend to install a hot tub in the future.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 08:26 AM
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For the time being, as in the next couple years or so.... it will just be the pool on this subpanel and a deck within the year with some receptacles on that. I went ahead and got what Lowes had in stock which is a 100 amp 2/4 panel, and the electrician is going to install a 60amp breaker and run the appropriate wire and conduit since it is all I need for now, if ever. The hot tub may never happen, but its one of those wishful thinking ideas that we may incorporate into this circuit later... and if thats the case, we can always upgrade.

My thinking and plan is, once he installs the conduit and comes through the wall and everything, all I have to do in a few years (if ever), is buy some larger conduit, a breaker, and 20ft of thicker gauge wire and change the panel over. The drilling, fishing, etc is pretty much already done for me except maybe making the exit hole slightly bigger for the conduit.

Anyways, this is a basic pool that is above ground, if bonding the frame, water, and anything metal is all that is required in addition to the pump being GFCI protected, I can probably handle that. I read the articles stated and most of the stuff was referring to in ground pools and bonding the rebar and heater and light and so on... all this pool will have is a pump.

So if this is the case... I will run a #8 copper wire around the pool, and bond that wire to 4 spots. That wire will join back at where the pump is located and bond to the pump and the water. Once bonded there, I will bring that copper wire to the panel and tap into the ground bar / ground. I will run this by the electrician too, but I'm surprised they didnt say anything when I told them I was installing a pool and needed a pool circuit.

Once bonded and GFCI protected, is there anything else I would be missing or need to add to the list? Bonding is really the only thing I have read across many forums and seen that needs to be done
 
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Old 06-02-15, 08:56 AM
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Your area may also require a bond around the perimeter walk surface.
 
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Old 06-02-15, 09:36 AM
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One of the issues with bonding above ground pools is that the decks usually are not concrete and all of the filter components are double insulated plastic -- you can run a wire, but there's nothing conductive to bond it to other than the pool frame, which is already fairly continuous around the perimeter. Some stickler inspectors will want all of the uprights, the top rail, the walk way, a water bonder, etc. I don't necessarily disagree with them based on the reasons behind bonding, but it can be a deep rabbit hole. The bond wire does not need to go back to the panel.

If you're evening considering a future upgrade of the panel, have your electrician install 1-1/4" PVC conduit. It won't add more than a few dollars in materials cost and would make a future upgrade of the panel very easy.
 
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