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Old 07-10-2008, 04:50 PM   #1
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


I am running wire through conduit for a pool pump and light. The PVC conduit will be 18" underground. I am using #12 THHN/THWN through the conduit coming from the junction box. My question is do I just need the hot (black), neutral (white), and ground (green), or do I need a 4th wire in there as well?

Also from the subpanel that will be installed, I am running #10 THHN back to the main panel on a 240V 30Amp GFCI. I assume I run 2 Hots, 1 ground, and 1 neutral? Is this correct. I will have 2 120V/15 amp breakers in the sub supplying the light and the pool pump. The bonding cable will be a seperate bare #8 already coming from the pool.

Once that is run I am having a licensed electrician hook everything up. I just want to be sure I have everything correct. Am I missing anything?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 07-10-2008, 07:20 PM   #2
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


You are only running 30A to the sub-panel? Is the pump and light all that you ever feed from there?

Also, DO NOT confuse the external bond (equipotential bonding grid) with any grounds associated with the pool equipment. This has NOTHING to do with that.

ALL pool equipment must have an appropriately sized insulated ground run with the circuit conductors.
The pool equipment must also be bonded to the bonding grid.
One does not ever take the place of the other.

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Old 07-10-2008, 08:50 PM   #3
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


Thanks for the reply speedy. I don't plan to run anything else from that feed. If I decide to later, its only about a 20' run to the main panel.

Anyhow, the bonding grid is going to be connected to the pump's bonding lug. My questions is here, I have the #8 coming out from under the concrete deck. Do I bury that 18" in conduit as well?

Also, I have the light which hasn't been installed. Speedy, I ran across one of your posts questioning the polymer light niches. Mine is polymer with a polymer light lens holder. The way I read the code, it should be bonded, but I can't understand why I would bond polymer??? It is a polymer pool shell as well and vinyl, maybe I am missing something. Maybe their hasn't been enough complaints to amend the code since most still use steel niches? Anyhow, the water is already in the pool, and the only way to properly bond it would mean to drain the pool and put the #8 insulated wire through the conduit using potting compound to seal it to the bonding lug on the polymer niche. The other end terminates in the junction box. Just seems like a wire to nowhere. Should I skip this and see if it passes without it?

Last edited by Nod; 07-10-2008 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 07-10-2008, 09:50 PM   #4
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


IF there is a bonding lug inside the niche, and you are using PVC from the niche to the deck box (which I assume you are) you really DO need to bond it. I can only assume this is connected to something metal somehwere.
If there is no lug INSIDE the niche then no bond should be necessary.
Thing is, this is NOT to bond the niche. It is simply a bond for the pipe between the light and deck box, so the forming shell is really irrelevant. Although, the intent of the bond is to maintain continuity between the shell and deck box.
If the shell is non-metallic then what???
This particular bond is not part of the equipotential bonding grid. Overkill, I know, but it IS code.

I don't think the NEC took into account non-metallic forming shells with regard to this!
Anyone have quick access to the text in the 2008 NEC for 680.23(B)(2)?


There is NO minimum burial depth for the bonding grid wire.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:40 AM   #5
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


Speedy,

I read the 2008 NEC code online, and it did not change that portion accept the addition of needing to have enough slack in the light cord to be able to pull it up out of the water to change the bulb. So I guess I will doublecheck to see if there is a bonding log inside the niche and if so drain the pool to that point and run the #8 insulated wire through the conduit.



Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:48 AM   #6
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


If it does have a lug, be sure to use a listed potting compound for the lug inside the niche (3M #2135)
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


Hello

Speedy has said it well. For clarification though let me give my input from experience and how I interpret article 680. I see no reference specifically to poly or plastic wet niches (forming shells). I do interpret 680.26 B 2 to say all METAL forming shells are to be bonded to the equipotential grid. This would be speaking about the bonding lug on the outside (non-flooding side) of the forming shell. No lug exists then no bond.

Now a word of caution some poly forming shells require bonding but again there is a lug present to bond to. An example is the Hayward Duralite polymer forming shell. I've drawn a picture (below) to show these type forming shells. If you look closely the housing is poly (plastic). However there is a lug. That lug is connected to a metal strap that connects the lug to a metal face ring. In my experience if the entire wet niche assembly is plastic (including nuts, bolts, screws etc.) then no bonding lugs will be present.

As for the #8 copper installed in PVC conduit to the forming shell. As Speedy said this has nothing to do with the bonding grid of the pool even though on metal forming shells it connects to the same lug as the solid #8 for equipotential bonding purposes. It has to do with maintaining a additional equipment grounding connection (continuity) with the pool deck junction box in the event of a egc failure or event causing high impedance with the egc of the luminaire power cord.

Hope this helps some in the understanding on 'in ground' swimming pool lights.
Attached Thumbnails
Pool Pump & Light Wiring-wet-niche-forming-shell.jpg  

Last edited by Stubbie; 07-30-2008 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:35 AM   #8
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


Stubbie,

Thanks for the input. I know the whole thing is plastic (poly), but not sure about the bonding lug on the inside. I was bonded to the grid on the outside of the shell. With that said, I know the internal one terminates to the pool junction box about 10' away, just trying to avoid it if I can without breaking code.

My other questions was for the #8 bare copper that is connected to the grid. How deep does that have to be back to the pool pump? Speedy answered that code doesn't address that.

Also, when pulling the #10 THHN from the main panel, do I use 3 wires (2 hots and a ground) or do I need a 4th neutral as well? From the subpanel to the light, I pull 3 wires (1 Hot/Ground/Neutral). Just wanted to confirm for the 240 feed.

Another question - the electrician, said to just make the 240 the GFCI on the main panel. I thought it would be better to make the 2 - 120 breakers GFCI (and cheaper). What is your thoughts on that?
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:29 PM   #9
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


Nod, you do need a neutral since you have 120v loads.

I agree and also like the GFCI breakers at the sub-panel as well. The whole panel does not require GFI protection, although it is not wrong to do so.
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:32 PM   #10
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stubbie View Post
An example is the Hayward Duralite polymer forming shell. I've drawn a picture (below) to show these type forming shells.
Stubbie, that is awesome! You are the master of these drawings.

Can I save and use that for future reference? I'll send you royalties.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:35 PM   #11
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


Hi Speedy


Hope you are doing well out east in the great state of New York.

You are more than welcome to use my drawings. I would be quite honored.

I made one change to reflect the light is line voltage and the connection to the #8 going to the deck box to be in potting compound. Feel free to transport it to your puter and make any changes you would like. I have no trademarks... my drawings are for all to use and learn by..... Including me.

Last edited by Stubbie; 07-12-2008 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 07-12-2008, 12:51 PM   #12
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


I think I will go the 2 GFCI/120V route Speedy. My brother & I rented the trencher this morning and dug all of the trenches needed for the feeds. We dug approx 2' down for the trench. I plan on installing the conduit tomorrow morning. At work now, so can't do it today.

Hopefully pulling the wire will go as smooth as the trenching did.

I also spoke to the pool guy and he said that the inspectors usually don't say anything about that #8 bond wire inside of the niche when it is all polymer. But then he also try to equate it with the ground wire in the light wire itself... I have had 4 electricians out, and all of them referred to the bond wire as a grounding wire. One even wanted to drive a grounding rod in the ground and connect it to that. If I didn't actively work with this myself and read section 680 5 times, I would be getting a a bum wiring job and most likely the inspector would pass it b/c he passed the bonding and it wasn't even connected to the filter pump!

Thanks for the help guys!
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Old 07-12-2008, 12:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nod View Post

I also spoke to the pool guy and he said that the inspectors usually don't say anything about that #8 bond wire inside of the niche when it is all polymer. But then he also try to equate it with the ground wire in the light wire itself... I have had 4 electricians out, and all of them referred to the bond wire as a grounding wire. One even wanted to drive a grounding rod in the ground and connect it to that. If I didn't actively work with this myself and read section 680 5 times, I would be getting a a bum wiring job and most likely the inspector would pass it b/c he passed the bonding and it wasn't even connected to the filter pump!

Thanks for the help guys!
Unfortunately this is all too common. SO many "qualified" electricians have such little clue how to wire a pool it is pathetic.
A ground rod??? Unbelievable, yet I see it quite often. NO WHERE does it say anything about a ground rod with regard to pool bonding.
And referring to a pool bond as a ground just show the ignorance of some folks to matters they are not familiar with but SHOULD be.
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:04 PM   #14
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Pool Pump & Light Wiring


If the pool light is 120v, you need to bond the wet niche on the inside with #8 insulated wire. This goes to the j-box. You must also bond the wet niche on the outside with #8, this goes to the ladder, re-bar etc.. 680.22(B)
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gusco View Post
If the pool light is 120v, you need to bond the wet niche on the inside with #8 insulated wire.
I suggest you read 680.23(B)(2)(b).
The voltage doesn't matter and the internal #8 bond is only required if nonmetallic pipe is used from the forming shell to the deck box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gusco View Post
You must also bond the wet niche on the outside with #8, this goes to the ladder, re-bar etc.. 680.22(B)
680.22(B) has nothing to do with bonding. You are looking for 680.26(B)(2).

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