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Old 07-10-2010, 03:25 PM   #1
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


Hello all,
This is a cry out for serious help. We have an inground pool in Ohio and it was placed in 2007. After the first year it was open for only 2 months the next year we opened it and for some odd reason have about 1.7 volts of stray electricity in the water itself to wet concrete. We have had the electric company out and they put a blocker in the main property electrical box that brought down the voltage to .74. I am at my wits end. Even with our house completely disconnected from the electric company service we still have .74 volts in the water. We have a salt water generator. The pool company that installed the pool (Rainbow in Lancaster) has been out and they were told that there are serious code violations but wont return my phone calls. They placed all the wiring just in the ground not in conduit. Does anyone believe in the inline water bonding system and do you think it would be helpful for me to try this???
Helpless in Ohio....btw I know that electricity and water dont mix and the only thing I understand about electricity is that I use it to "shock" people back into a normal heart rhythm in the ER....

Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


So let me get this straight they ran the wires for your pool just running in the ground not in conduit? And your kids are getting shocked? You need to stop using your pool and have it wired the correct way! The last thing you need is to have someone seriously hurt or killed. I would go to your town hall and tell the electrical inspector about what has happened and what your next course of action should be taken.. This is a serious situation your in

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Old 07-10-2010, 05:34 PM   #3
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


If I was called to task, I would check all exposed bonding connections.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:42 PM   #4
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


With your main breaker at the house turned off, does the problem persist?

If so, then you may be experiencing outside stray voltages. These could originate from a neighbor's poorly wired premises, a leaking underground feeder cable, bad connections on a utility pole, etc.

Proper equipotential bonding is essential to prevent such occurrences. This is installed before the concrete is poured.

You should have had electrical inspections done while the pool was originally installed. Are there records of these inspections available?

I'd also be willing to bet that the problem gets worse during periods of dry weather. Rain usually dampens the effect of such stray voltages.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:18 PM   #5
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


Thank you for all the advice....
Yes the pool still has the voltage when we are completely and I mean completely removed from the electric company main source.
There are no required electrical inspections in the township I live in so there are no records...
and yes...we have pictures of the electric wires and they are just UF no conduit.

How do I find the source of stray voltage if the electric comapny cant find it? They spen t 6 hours here one day, placed two more grounding rods from my pump and placed a blocker in the main box...

My neighbor built his house the year after we had the pool installed..is it a possibility that something is feeding from his house? How would I find this out??

Thank you so much for everyone's repsones I am just really at my wits end.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:24 PM   #6
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


We checked every possible exposed bonding there was...nothing undone. Another thing that I don't understand is that the GFCI they installed for my pool cover (it's automatic)...they installed it wrong with the load side on the opposite side so when you wire it right it automatically pops...Does this mean that maybe I have a broken wire somewhere under the concrete since they didn't use conduit...it works if the GFCI is hooked up backwards.....This doesn't explain to me why the voltage is still there when we are completely removed from the electric company though???
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


A properly installed gfci will not trip if you have a problem with the incoming wire.
Gfci's only sense the current leaving the device.
Modern gfci's do not work if connected back wards.

You need to find an electrician that knows the code on wiring pools and him check things out.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:05 PM   #8
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yes, ground the water.
you are dealing with ions up the ying-yang with a saltwater chlorine generator. (all that crap should be bonded too if it has electricity going to it) My heat exchanger company wont honor thier warantee if its not bonded with a second bonding wire in addition to the regular neutral ground wire.

I believebonding the watert is a new part of the code to prevent exactly what you have going on. (but I wouldn't call that a major code violation. its a new part of the code, so you'd probably be grandfathered in with reguard to that if for some reason an inspector came out.

to ground my water, I used a piece of glavanized in the plumbing below the water level and attached a big grounding clamp, and tied it in with the rest of the grounding/bonding system. I think you have to have a minimum of 8 sq-inches in contact with the water. that doesnt take a very long section of pipe to do that. pi x Diameter x length.

I believe someone sells a small coper pannel to go inside the skimmer with a bolt protruding to the outside for this purpose too.

ps. Why aren't you swiming?

Last edited by forresth; 07-10-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forresth View Post
I believebonding the watert is a new part of the code to prevent exactly what you have going on. (but I wouldn't call that a major code violation. its a new part of the code, so you'd probably be grandfathered in with reguard to that if for some reason an inspector came out.

to ground my water, I used a piece of glavanized in the plumbing below the water level and attached a big grounding clamp, and tied it in with the rest of the grounding/bonding system. I think you have to have a minimum of 8 sq-inches in contact with the water. that doesnt take a very long section of pipe to do that. pi x Diameter x length.

I believe someone sells a small coper pannel to go inside the skimmer with a bolt protruding to the outside for this purpose too.
?
yes, it is part of the code now. I'm going to have to look bit there are some spec's that must be followed (contact area).

If the water and all other equipotential bonding grid points are in fact bonded, there should be no difference of potential from any two points that you can touch at the same time and as a result, no shock.

Oh, and OP:

do you have any lights in the pool (like in the wall)?


Pool water bond

an intentional bond of a minimum conductive surface area of 5806 mm˛ (9 in.˛) shall be in contact with the pool water. This bond shall be permitted to consist of parts that are required to be bonded in 680.26(B)

Last edited by nap; 07-10-2010 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:05 AM   #10
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


We do have a light in the pool but even with no power possible to the house..we still have voltage....Can stray voltage run back up a ground rod through the light and into the pool???
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:42 AM   #11
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We do have a light in the pool but even with no power possible to the house..we still have voltage....Can stray voltage run back up a ground rod through the light and into the pool???
the neutral is connected to the source even if you turn off your main breaker.

I don't know if I can find it or not but there was a thread recently (actually started quite awhile ago) where the guy was having problems like yours. POCO came and did what they could. Ends up it was his light.
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Old 07-11-2010, 02:17 AM   #12
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


In that case try to isolated the inpool lumiaires first both hot and netural conductors to see if that dropped if that the case then you have to track it more.

I will seriously advise you may end up get the electrician to come out and have this repaired in correct legal code way I know you may not be happy with the price but the main point is that I am condersing about your childrens that is crictal right there.

second thing I know you mention UF cable near the pool how far that UF cable is from if you can able guess if it is under the concrete pad or paver you have super serious issue allready arise.

and please do follow my and other members's advise about the bonding this is very critical to do it properly this is more than just a simple trobleshooting.

I do not know what your local electrician will charge for their time to deal with it but expect at least few hours for sure.

Merci.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:56 AM   #13
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Please Help my pool is shocking the kids


HOLY CRAP. CALL THE POCO BACK and have them find the problem!
You CLEARLY state that you still have the issue after the main is shut off. This is a common occurrence and is NOT on your side of the electrical system.

Second, WHY THE HELL are you using a BRAND NEW pool that has all those serious violations?????? HOW did this mess get inspected and pass????

I would call a reputable electrician in your area to come out and give you an estimate on fixing EVERYTHING. Then call the original company and tell them they are going to pay for it. I can't stand hack companies that do sh*t work and then run away!
After you get blown off by then call the PSC and report them! This company should NOT be doing business!

Who ever sank the ground rods didn't have a clue about how this stuff works. A ground rod is completely worthless in this situation and can even sometimes create a problem if things are not installed right, which is what it sounds like.

I understand that it is Saturday and Sunday and you are looking for answers, but you need to stop using this pool and take care of this immediately, and not over the internet.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:10 AM   #14
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I've run into this problem before with a customer of ours, we ended up finding a leak across the grounding and the grounded conductor. Then we found an improperly installed sub panel that the pool circuits were cut into. maybe for a long shot this is your case as well, if your pool wiring is installed into a main lug sub panel make sure the grounded and the grounding conductors are separated in the sub panel. if they are not, then this will cause a difference in potential to ground from the main service causing electrical shocks. Even with service shut off, voltage can still leak. This would also cause your gfci to trip. This may not be your cause but, it's a step in the right direction as you have a serious grounding problem and should be looked at by a qualified electrician
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:42 AM   #15
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For a less-likely cause, let's say it's stray current in the ground from nearby sources.

You could try probing the ground for voltage using a single conductor in an extension cord as one long test lead and the regular meter lead as the other.
If the current flow is east to west, then you should get a larger reading with the probes along an E-W line than along a N-S line.

The farther the probes are apart, 20' or 40' or farther, the greater the voltage reading.

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