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Old 06-04-2016, 03:29 AM   #1
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Default Dangerous Pool, your opinion please.

I was called to wire a replacement pool heat pump. When I went to measure the materials needed, I noticed these problems.
1. No GFCI on the 240V, 50 amp pool heat pump, 240V, 15 amp pool filter nor 120V underwater pool light
2. 3 wires feeding the pool sub panel

The 100 amp sub panel at the pool house is fed from a 200 amp main breaker panel in the residence. #2 SEU entrance cable on a 100 amp breaker, runs from the main panel across a garage ceiling and is spliced to #2 - 3 wire URD (direct burial cable in PVC conduit) and runs out to the pool house. At the pool house, it is spliced again to #2 SEU and runs to the 100 amp sub panel. In the sub panel, all grounds and neutrals are on the same neutral bar.
It looks like the pool is bonded to the filter pump and heat pump with #6 bare copper. An aluminum fence around the pool is not bonded.

I told the owners to quit using the pool until the sub feed was replaced and and other code violations were corrected and inspected. The pool is seven years old.

In your opinion, how dangerous is this situation?
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:03 AM   #2
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Sounds like a problem just waiting to hurt someone. Are the circuits out to the HP, pump, and light in conduit or UF ?
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:04 AM   #3
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My opinion is all pools ,ponds, baptismal orifices &/or bodies of immersible water should be required by law to have an annual inspection by qualified personnel

~CS~
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:16 AM   #4
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The lack of GFCI protection and the 3-wire feed with the neutral/ground bond would keep awake at night. The only thing keeping this thing from being a death trap is the bonding grid.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by MechanicalDVR View Post
Sounds like a problem just waiting to hurt someone. Are the circuits out to the HP, pump, and light in conduit or UF ?
They are in conduit and Liquid Tight
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:22 AM   #6
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They are in conduit and Liquid Tight
They did one thing right. I've seen UF coming out of the ground to the box for the pump switch with the jacket shredded by weed whackers. Felt a tingle just standing near it.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
The lack of GFCI protection and the 3-wire feed with the neutral/ground bond would keep awake at night. The only thing keeping this thing from being a death trap is the bonding grid.
I didn't catch that this is an in ground pool.(not specified) If it is , I was
thinking that whoever did this ( given the description of violations) more
than likely wouldn't have done (or known to do) equipotential bonding
below the slab and to any metal portions of the pool. IMO.

Agree. Stay out of the pool.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:47 AM   #8
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I didn't catch that this is an in ground pool.(not specified) If it is , I was
thinking that whoever did this ( given the description of violations) more
than likely wouldn't have done (or known to do) equipotential bonding
below the slab and to any metal portions of the pool. IMO.

Agree. Stay out of the pool.
YES, in-ground. I found out the pool company did the bonding, someone else did the wiring.
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:50 AM   #9
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YES, in-ground. I found out the pool company did the bonding, someone else did the wiring.
The problem still remains that the bonding that the pool company did
(and I'm just spit balling here) is probably landed at the sub panel
(located in pool house?) , which is actually the neutral , know what I
mean?
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Old 06-04-2016, 07:53 AM   #10
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The problem still remains that the bonding that the pool company did
(and I'm just spit balling here) is probably landed at the sub panel
(located in pool house?) , which is actually the neutral , know what I
mean?
He said in the OP that the grid connected to the heater and pump motor, as it should be.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:06 AM   #11
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With the microscope that is on pools due to media coverage, you should make this right 100% or not touch it.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:18 AM   #12
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He said in the OP that the grid connected to the heater and pump motor, as it should be.
SEU and #2-3 urd is what's feeding the pool house sub panel . I do not
see a fourth non current carrying conductor mentioned by the OP. So
the bonding (in a fault) is being carried by the neutral. That is not how
it should be.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:21 AM   #13
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SEU and #2-3 urd is what's feeding the pool house sub panel . I do not
see a fourth non current carrying conductor mentioned by the OP. So
the bonding (in a fault) is being carried by the neutral. That is not how
it should be.
The equipotential bonding grid around the pool is what we're talking about here. That grid is tied to the pump and is what has kept this pool from killing so far.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:23 AM   #14
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With the microscope that is on pools due to media coverage, you should make this right 100% or not touch it.
That's what I told the owner. I wouldn't do any work unless they agreed to fix everything and have it inspected.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:31 AM   #15
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& years ago it may have been that the 3 wire to a sub panel at a separate structure was compliant.

The dp 50 for the heat pump doesn't require GFCI however the light does.

Hard to know what exactly is happening there but it appears there are things that need work.

All the neutral and equipment grounding conductor's should be tied together in a sub panel on a separate structure if the panel was install back before the 2008 NEC.
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Old 06-04-2016, 08:56 AM   #16
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& years ago it may have been that the 3 wire to a sub panel at a separate structure was compliant.

The dp 50 for the heat pump doesn't require GFCI however the light does.
The rule we follow at the company I work for is that everything that carries pool water goes on a GFCI. We go above and beyond the NEC in that regard but for the minor cost of a GFCI breaker ($80-120), it's far cheaper than a lawsuit.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:11 AM   #17
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The rule we follow at the company I work for is that everything that carries pool water goes on a GFCI. We go above and beyond the NEC in that regard but for the minor cost of a GFCI breaker ($80-120), it's far cheaper than a lawsuit.
Lawsuits eventually end, but you will live the rest of your days knowing that not spending $120 on a breaker killed someone.
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
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& years ago it may have been that the 3 wire to a sub panel at a separate structure was compliant.

The dp 50 for the heat pump doesn't require GFCI however the light does.

Hard to know what exactly is happening there but it appears there are things that need work.

All the neutral and equipment grounding conductor's should be tied together in a sub panel on a separate structure if the panel was install back before the 2008 NEC.
I'm fairly certain that even under the 2008 nec , the use of SEU was illegal
as a sub feeder (the stranded neutral conductors are unsheathed). This is
for service entrance conductor only.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:43 PM   #19
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I'm fairly certain that even under the 2008 nec , the use of SEU was illegal
as a sub feeder (the stranded neutral conductors are unsheathed). This is
for service entrance conductor only.
I started electrical contracting in 1981, it was illegal then.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTW View Post
The rule we follow at the company I work for is that everything that carries pool water goes on a GFCI. We go above and beyond the NEC in that regard but for the minor cost of a GFCI breaker ($80-120), it's far cheaper than a lawsuit.
Then why not gfci every circuit in a home? I understand being ahead of the code but I assume there is a reason the heater doesn't have to be gfci protected. That may change as the pool pump didn't require gfci either when it was direct wired.
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