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Bonding question

Posted by jscozz (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 7, 12 at 17:44

Just making sure I have a clear understanding of this... searched everywhere, but some details seem to be different depending on municipality.

The plan calls for #8 bare cu bonding wire around the perimeter of the pool, attached to pool rebar at 4 equally spaced points around the pool. That same wire (unbroken) runs to the pad and loops through the pump, heater and salt gen bonding lugs.

My questions are:

1) I assume each other pool device that needs to be bonded (LED lights, LED bubblers) require the main #8 wire to be looped continuously through each of their bonding lugs... not allowed to run separate #8 from light to main #8 ring and clamp, right?

2) How are items that are not present at gunite time bonded? Like a slide with metal supports that will not be installed for a few weeks after gunite. Can they be tied to the main bonding loop with a separate piece of #8 or do you need to leave enough slack in the main loop to be able to tie that directly to any objects added after gunite is shot, without break or splice in the bonding wire?

3) Does the decking rebar need to tie directly to the #8 loop? I saw in some photos where the PB leaves a bunch of 3' rebar lengths coming out of the beam and into the decking area around the pool. I will be using a roll of copper mesh under pavers. I am just trying to understand what should be connected to each other and what should not.

4) If I have no ladders, rails or other metal, is the LED light bonding enough to bond the pool water or do I need something else? I am guessing the Pentair IntelliBrite 5g has metal on it and is not entirely plastic.

5) I have seen some posts that say something about the bonding wire running back to the pad in the light conduit... but everything I see in the code says it should NOT be in any conduit... and in fact, from the lug on the light niche there is no way to get the bonding wire into the light conduit.

I appreciate any feedback on how this is normally done.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Bonding question

The bonding wire does not need to be one continuous loop. You can tie into all the items listed above with clamps,split bolts and bonding tails. For example. When your steel for the pool goes in you are required to stub out four bonding tails that are clamped onto the pool steel. Also your light niches also have to be bonded to the pool steel with a clamp. There is a bonding lug on the back of the niche that you put a bonding wire in and then clamp that to the pool steel. Then you run at least one of the light bonding wires back to the equipment to bond your pump, heater etc. then when you Gunite the pool you will have four bonding tails that will be sticking out from the top of the bond beam. You can then clamp those to your deck steel , or to another bonding wire that will go around the perimeter of the pool as in your planter areas etc. If you are using rebar for your concrete then the rebar must be 12" on center within 3 feet of the pool and then it's up to your mason to space his rebar from there. I always put #4 rebar 12" on center throughout the entire deck. Now if you are not putting any concrete in and are doing pavers or grass etc all you need to do is run that bonding wire continuous around the pool hooking it up to the bonding tails with split bolts. There is no reason to buy the copper grid to go under the pavers .The inspector will want you to bury that bonding wire in the ground because that's what helps keep it grounded. The bonding wire in the conduit is the green sheathed bonding wire that runs from the inside of the light niche, where it is potted to the light junction box where it is hooked up to the grounding screw. Hope this helps.


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RE: Bonding question

Thanks for the reply.

So the one easy thing that I am now clear on is that it is the "ground" wire in the conduit from each light to the pad... not the bonding wire. Is that ground wire included in the 100' leads than come with the light or are the light leads hot and neutral only and you need to add green jacketed ground wire? I assume it is only #12 ground wire and does not have to be #8 like bonding wire, correct?

It makes sense that I can use a #8 bonding tail clamped to the pool rebar and then to the continuous bonding loop around the pool... since that will ensure the rebar/clamp/#8 connection is encased in gunite and not in dirt to rust as it would be if the rebar were brought out from the pool into the deck area and pavers were used.

I think I will prefer to connect each light and metal pool object directly to a #8 bonding loop via tail and clamps as opposed to tying each each light/metal object to the pool rebar. I think the continuous #8 bonding loop will provide much better bonding than depending on the pool rebar structure as the bonding interconnect. That allows me to run the bonding loop directly to the equipment also.

I don't think my local inspector will allow a single #8 loop under pavers. They want a 1' grid out 3' from the pool edge. If I do stamped concrete that will be a matter of just clamping the #8 loop to the deck rebar... but if I do pavers I will use the wire mesh clamped to the #8 loop.

I assume there is no problem with what I have described? I am not interested in saving $ or cutting any corners... I want to make sure I have the best bonding possibly that will last as long as the pool does.

Still my question remains about whether the light niche (x3) is enough to bond the water (I will not have any ladder or rails) or whether I need something more.


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RE: Bonding question2

And I am reading a lot about a deck box with lights... and bonding the box with the light, etc... but the installation diagram for Pentair 5g lights says nothing about a deck box. Are they only use din certain cases?

If I use the 12V version of the 5g LED lights, does that make anything easier at the pool side as opposed to the 120V versions?


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RE: Bonding question3

More on this... I am going to use Pentair 5g color LED 12V lights. Pentair makes plastic and stainless steel niche. Which is better?

On the deck box issue... I will have 3 lights. Is standard practice to run each to a deck box, then on to pad, or just take the 1" conduit all the way to the pad?

In either case, the #8 green insulated bond wire that runs in the conduit from the light niche internal bond lug... is it only if you use a metal deck box that needs to be bonded? If you use a plastic deck box, or no deck box (ie. run conduit all the way to the pad), is it needed at all?


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RE: Bonding question

The pool lights come with three wires. A neutral (white) a hot (black) and ground (green). The other grounding wire that is connected to the to the niche which is potted inside the niche is a separate #8 ground wire. I use the plastic niches. That would be the best to use so you do not have to use red brass that you will have to use with the metal niches.


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RE: Bonding question

Thanks for the reply...

I think part of my confusion is the incorrect use of grounding vs bonding on most every pool plan I have seen... including the one I got from my PB. They are two different things.

Grounding is connectivity to the house ground and ground rod. Binding is simply tying a number of metal parts together to keep then at the same electrical potential.

The light has a 3-wire cord coming from it (and water tight sealed to the light head I assume), hot, neutral, ground (or +, -, ground if 12V light). That "ground" wire ends up back at the pad and is tied to the load center grounding bus which in turn is tied to the main house panel grounding bus, and in turn to the house ground rod. I believe that is the only GROUND associated with a light.

The outer terminal on a niche is for BONDING to the pool rebar and #8 ground loop, that goes on to connect to the bonding lugs on pumps, heater, etc. With a plastic niche, what is this bonding connection actually doing? Does it conduct to some part of the light frame and contact the pool water?

And as for the internal lug in the niche that gets #8 insulated green wire and potting compound... where does that wire go? What is it for? If no deck box is used, or plastic deck box, what is the purpose of this?

And, in the end, I am still questioning if my water is bonded in ANY WAY with a plastic niche... and even if it is, is it enough contact?


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RE: Bonding question

O.k. I'll try to be more clear. The grounding wire that is in the pool light cord gets hooked up to the junction box for the lights or "deck box". The grounding wire that gets potted also gets connected to the junction box. The junction box has the power and ground wires running from the timer box or remote box. That's what gives power to the lights. The plastic niches have a metal skeleton that the bonding wire lug connects to along with the screw hole that holds the light into the niche. That's how the the circuit is completed for the light. Some inspectors will want to see the light screwed into the nicheand connected at the light j- box to test the circuit. I hope this helps.


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RE: Bonding question

O.k. I'll try to be more clear. The grounding wire that is in the pool light cord gets hooked up to the junction box for the lights or "deck box". The grounding wire that gets potted also gets connected to the junction box. The junction box has the power and ground wires running from the timer box or remote box. That's what gives power to the lights. The plastic niches have a metal skeleton that the bonding wire lug connects to along with the screw hole that holds the light into the niche. That's how the the circuit is completed for the light. Some inspectors will want to see the light screwed into the nicheand connected at the light j- box to test the circuit. I hope this helps.


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RE: Bonding question

Ahhh... Ok. So the external bonding lug is electrically connected to the frame of the light fixture once installed and fastened with the brass hex screw at 12 o'clock on the Pentair light.

And then I also assume the internal "ground" wire that is potted is NOT connected to the bonded part of the fixture, but is really a ground lead that gets tied to the ground wire from the light in the Jbox. Correct?

That is now more clear. Thanks you.

So, in that case, is three bonded LED lights enough to bond the pool water or do I need something further?

Also, do I need a JBox at the deck or can I run it directly to the pad? If there is a JBox at the deck, and it has metal parts, is that bonded or grounded? :)


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RE: Bonding question

Generally no but a sacrificial anode, aka a zinc, can be hooked at the pad and tie it to the bond. The zinc is immersed in the flow and threaded in a PVC three port fitting. This ties the bond to the water.

All deck boxes have a 100' limit due to the length of the cord of a fixture. 12V lights are limited to 50' if I remember correctly.

Scott


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RE: Bonding question

So it sounds like the standard set-up is to run the light attached cable in a conduit directly to a deck box, not the pad. Is this for convenience and because the conduit is actually open to water from the niche and you want to take it vertical to box at least 8" above deck right away instead of having a long horizontal run filled with water and possible leaks?

Does the deck box usually go in the deck or can it go in a planting area behind the deck? I assume all 3 LED pool lights can go to ONE deck box, then spliced into one run back to the pad?

One thing i am still questioning... is the potted wire that requires green jacket:
1) Electrically part of the bonded part of the niche and run through the conduit to bond the deck box?
OR
2) Not electrically tied to the bonded part of the niche, and instead meant to bring a GROUND connection from the deck box/pad GROUND line into the niche?


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RE: Bonding question

OK. I think I have this figured out.

For gunite pools, it sounds like PB use the rebar structure as the bonding grid and tie everything to it. It also appears that at least 4 tails are tied to the pool rebar before gunite for future tie in of the decking. If concrete deck is used, then the rebar must be tied together at 12" oc both directions and bonded by tying to the 4 tails from the pool rebar. If pavers are used, sounds like code will allow a single #8 buried at 4-6" around the pool, but that a copper #8 mesh out 3' is a better way to go... placed between compacted substrate and sand base. If any of this is wrong or not customarily how you see it done, please let me know.

As for the lights... the green wire that goes from inside niche (in potting compound) through the conduit to the junction box is a BONDING wire, not equipment ground. I assume there is a separate connection point in an Intermatic junction box for the internal bond, since the bonding system is NOT supposed to be tied to equipment ground.

As for the lights, do most pool builders just put the junction box at the pad or do they put it in a flower bed somewhere near the pool? ie. is it OK to run 75 feet of 1" conduit with water in it all the way to the pad? Seems like you just ask for trouble with all the possible leak points along the way. Or is the pool light gasket supposed to seal any additional water from getting behind the light once it is installed?


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