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My boss has to put in about 20 Handicap lifts with seats, so people with handicaps can enjoy the pool too. There will be one for each pool, they are 12 volt DC battery powered lifts. To recharge the battery for the lifts they must be recharged on a special charger and there is no way for a 120 AC to get near the lift chair. There is one #10 bare continuous ground wire run from the chair base all the way to the Square D breaker panel ground terminal, about 70 feet. My question is, wouldn't it be better to have a ground rod as close as possible to the chair base and run the ground to that and not the breaker panel. As it is you have a path from the breaker panel to the pool chair via the ground wire and anything can happen to make that ground wire hot. If the ground is not in the breaker panel then there is no chance for the ground wire to pick up any voltage. So to me this seems to be a lot safer way.
Hey Paul thanks for your question. Electrically powered pool lifts must be listed, labeled and identified for swimming pool and spa use as stated in 680.81. The instructions included with them must be followed as stated in 110.3(B). Also electrically powered pool lifts must be bonded using the rules in 680.26(B)(5) and (B)(7) as stated in 680.83. Notice that an 8AWG or larger bonding conductor does not have to be run to remote panelboards, service equipment or electrodes as stated in the last sentence of 680.26(B). But equipment grounding conductors, if required must provide an effective ground fault current path to the electrical supply source.
Equipotential bonding is installed to reduce voltage gradients in the pool area, not to provide a "ground". The wording in 250.4 might help explain the performance requirements of grounding and bonding.
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