Above Ground Pool+Deck Electrical Install (Ontario, Canada)
I'm in the process of installing an above ground pool partially surrounded by a deck, and would greatly appreciate comments and/or advice on the installation of the electrical service.
The pool pump (1.5HP) draws 12A @ 120V, and the associated salt chloronator draws 4A @ 120V. Both the pump and chloronator have standard 3 prong plugs. I would also like to install about 4 convenience outlets on the deck. The pool+deck is located about 190' from the main breaker panel.
The plan is to run a 20A circuit for the pump+chloronator, and a separate 15A circuit for the deck outlets. GFCI breakers will be installed in the main breaker panel for both circuits, and GFCI receptacles will be used throughout.
The GFCI receptacle for the pump+chloronator will be mounted on a 4"x4" pressure treated post located 5' away from the pool. The salt chloronator control pack will be mounted on the post and plugged into the GFCI receptacle. The pump will be plugged into an outlet provided by the salt chloronator control pack.
Given the significant distance from main breaker panel, I've calculated that #6 AWG conductors are required for the pump+chloronator circuit, and #8 AWG conductors for the deck outlets circuit to keep the voltage drop below 3% under full load. Is this too conservative, i.e. would I be okay with #8 and #10 conductors?
In order to minimize the depth of the trench in the backyard, I want to use 1" schedule 40 PVC conduit (as opposed to direct burial of NMWU cables) and pull a total of 5 stranded conductors: 2 x #6 for the 20A circuit, 2 x #8 for the 15A circuit, and a #6 for a ground for both circuits. What is the minimum burial depth of the PVC conduit given that it's residential, and that I'm using a GFCI breaker at the main panel?
Given that standard GFCI receptacles don't accept #6 nor #8 wires, I assume that a short piece of #12 wire can be connected to the #6/#8 supply wires with a wire nut, and the other end then connected to the receptacle terminal.
I'm not clear on the bonding requirements in Ontario. I believe a #6 AWG bare copper wire needs to connect the following components: pool wall, salt chloronator control pack, and pool pump. However, the pool pump has no bonding lug (it's a double insulated pump). Are they are any other items/parts that need to be connected to the bond wire, e.g. does a grid of wire need to be placed all around the pool on the ground?
Thanks in advance.
p.s. I will be pulling a permit with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA).
Unfortunately Canadian swimming pool code varies considerably from that here in the USA. Information on the code requirements is not easy to locate on the internet....so I can't even give you a link. You are correct though that a #6 awg copper is required for bonding the equi-potential grid with all metal around the pool. In the USA a double insultated pump must have the bonding wire brought to a location near the pump with enough extra wire to connect to another pump for replacement purposes in the event the replacement pump requires bonding.
Your voltage drop calculations seem reasonable for 190 feet one way to the pool equipment. Yes you would just convert to 12 awg pigtails at the termination point, just as long as you do not exceed 20 amp circuit breaker.
As for bonding....you will need to connect all metal within the distance required by canadian code to the waters edge with a #6. this means, pool side if metal, drain outlets, metal light niches, ladders, fences, etc...
I did find the code on the Ottawa official web site...they want $165.00 dollars for a copy... in the USA it is free.....whew that is a chunk for a few sheets of paper....:)
I was under the impression that with GFCI's you should either do this at the breaker OR the outlet, not both. From what I understand there is something screwy about using both types in the same circuit that they can cause nuisance tripping. One thing you might consider to cut down on some of the wiring from the main panel is to install a small sub panel near the pool/deck instead. This would only require 4 conductors from the main panel and would allow for future expansion (like in the event a replacement pump requires 220 volts). Just something to think about, sub panels don't cost that much, and single pole breakers are only about 5 or 6 bucks.
Here, the bonding wire can be #8AWG copper, but no smaller. The bonding wire should create continuity between all the equipment you mentioned, as well as metal parts for diving boards, wet niche lights, metal frame of pool walls, ladders, pole sockets, etc. If you have a concrete deck around the pool, you must connect the bonding wire to the reinforcement. If there's just a wood deck, there's no need to lay a grid of wire on the ground like you mentioned.
The GFCI receptacle can't be any closer than 5' to the water's edge.
Isolating transformers (like the one in the shaver socket) are good way to protect outlets in such places
Each outlet (if it is a dual then each one in it is an outlet on its own) should be connected through its own transformer. The outlet does not have to be grounded (leave the ground connection disconnected)
When a socket is connected through a transformer there is no live or neutral there. Just 2 equal contacts. Touching any of them and ground will not lead to electrocution. Only touching both will electrocute. This is a very good protection for a socket near a pool
Put the transformers somewhere nearby in a well protected and dry place. Be sure that in no way the output of the transformer can contact ground - it will not short or anything and will not be noticed but it disables the protection the transformer gives and an RCD will not protect you in this case. Basically use really well insulated wires and keep the runs from the transformers to the outlets as short as possible
Note : the transformers waste energy. Switch them off from inside the house when not in use
Ash, I am assuming you must be located in the UK... Ive never seen a transformer used at an outlet to isolate it from the circuit. The GFCI protection would be good enough for this circuit, but I think the op needs to put in a standard breaker at the panel (verses the GFCI) and put in GFCI outlets instead. I think with the long run the op may have issues with nuisance tripping (and if the op chooses to double GFCI). Not to mention that GFCI outlets are cheaper than the breakers are.
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