National Electrical Installation Standards

Standards as High as Your Own

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

Question:

Hello CQD,

I have a code question or advise on existing pools that are adding slides, railings, pumps, saltwater, heaters, etc. etc. I just came from a job that had an old existing inground pool that just added a new cement patio all around the pool and one ladder, and 2 low voltage lights, and a new pump. When we got there everything was done and there isn’t any bonding whips to finish bonding the motor and saltwater control box? This is the first time I’ve come across being the last one to the party. There was no bonding installed so, my question is can I add an 8’ ground rod for our work and make sure we are not responsible for the rest of the installation? I know this isn’t recommended but not sure what else to do? I am going to call the local inspector but I’m afraid he’s going to open up a can of worms with this one. Also, do I need to call the pool company? Before I do, what should my intentions be? I’m located in New England.

Thank you,

Mike O’Neill

A

Answer:

Greetings Mike,

You're on the right track to call the local building/electrical inspector for a ruling on what's required. As for a couple of clarifications for you, based on your question a grounding rod is not a requirement for this scenario. Based on the question, it appears that the concern is about conductive objects being connected to the equipotential bonding system for the pool. Section 680.26 provides clear requirements for this, but is all relates to bonding, not grounding. The purpose of the bonding of conductive parts within 5 feet of the inside walls of the pool is to reduce voltage gradients in the pool area and minimize differences of potential. See all of Section 680.26 and call the inspector. Section 680.4 is new for the 2020 NEC and is titled "Inspections After Installation" and is intended to address this very situation, but the local AHJ needs to provide what they will require. 

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