Pool equipment wiring - hardwire vs plug in

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  #1  
Old 03-04-02, 10:50 AM
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Edwardo
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Pool equipment wiring - hardwire vs plug in

We recently purchased a new home with a pool. ( We are not using the pool now as it is too cold ). Recently, I was looking around where the pump and the associated electrical panel are located. The electrical panel is attached to the side of the house and has a conduit going down, underground to go under a short brick wall, and then over to the concrete pad where the pump, filter, and booster pump ( for pool vac ) are located. The electrical panel also has what appears to be a grounding wiring coming out of a small hole in the bottom of the box and then down into the ground under a gutter downspout. There are two J-boxes ( or whatever boxes with the oval covers are called ) on the conduit. One is attached to a conduit that continues to the other side of the pool for the light. The other contains the wires that go to the two pumps. From the second J-box are two pieces of flexible conduit. These pieces of conduit are no longer attached to the pump or the J-box. The wiring is visible. Also, the cover is missing from each of the two J-boxes. Obviously, this situation needs some work!

I am in the process of arranging to have an electrician out to fix everything and make the wiring safe. At a minimum I would imagine that he would want to replace the old flexible conduit from the J-Boxes to the pumps, but may also have to install new Conduit. Here is my question ( which I will also take up with the electrician, but thought I would get some opinions here as well ):

What are the advantages and disadvantages of having the pool equipment hardwired vs plugged in. I don't even know if these pumps are available with a cord or if they can have a cord attached. I don't have the pump specs in front of me, but the pool is about 30+ feet by 15+ feet by 3 feet ( shallow end ) to 7-8 feet ( deep end ). Assuming that it is possible to use a cord with this type of pump, it seems to me that using a cord would have certain advantages. If the pump needs to be replaced, it would be a simple matter ( electrically ), to just unplug it and plug in a new one ( possibly attaching a cord to the new pump ). Granted, the plumbing still needs to be done. Also, having a plug would mean less wear and tear on the permanent wiring. How often is pool equipment like this hardwired vs plugged in? Is it like garbage disposals and dishwashers in that it varies from area to area? Is there a compelling reason to do it one way vs the other way?

Thanks for taking the time to read my question.
 
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  #2  
Old 03-04-02, 09:00 PM
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Wgoodrich
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YOu may hardwire the pump or install a receptacle and plug. If you install a receptacle and a plug for that moter and if this receptacle and plug is within 10' of that pool then that plug must be a twist lock style plug. Any receptacle serving a pump motor must be GFI protected. A hardwired pool pump is not required to be GFI protected except on commercial pools, however seems to me like a good thing to do. There is a requirement to install a means of flexibility between the structural wiring and the motor. There also must be a form of disconnect within sight of that pool pump. Insight is if you can see it and it is within 50'. A receptacle is allowed to be used as a form of disconnect. IF a receptacle is used then you must use a bubble shield to ensure that receptacle is rain proof even while plugged in.

Good Luck

Wg
 
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Old 03-05-02, 06:09 AM
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Edwardo
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Thanks for the info!
 
  #4  
Old 05-13-02, 07:14 AM
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Edwardo
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Sorry for replying to my own old message, but we finally had the work done. Had an electrician come out and rewire the pool pumps ( main pump and polaris pump ). He used flexible conduit. He also added switches to control the pumps and the pool light ( the previous owners used the circuit breakers in the pool equipment subpanel to control them ). Polaris pump is interlocked with the main pump because it is not supposed to be turned on unless the main pump is running.

All in all, I thought he did a very good job ( he also did some other work on this trip ) and worked hard the whole time he was here ( 12 hours! ).

Thanks for all the help on this board ( to my posts and to the replies that I read from other posts ).
 
  #5  
Old 05-13-02, 01:44 PM
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Wgoodrich
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Thank you for posting your results. Gives us a sense of satisfaction knowing you were successful in your project.

Wg
 
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