Swimming pool electrical work requires a unique perspective and some special considerations. Pool Electrician specializing in this field are well-versed in the local electrical codes and safety regulations for pool owners.
Your pool sub-panel, pump, lighting, and GFCI outlets require specific placement only a professional can make. There are also regional code variations that only an experienced inspector can be familiar with.
If you have a pool, there are electrical requirements to ensure your swimmers are safe. One of these is bonding, which is done by a licensed electrician. Bonding is different from grounding and requires a higher level of safety standards due to the large area of potential contact with electricity and water. The process involves running #8 solid copper wire to all electrical elements inside and outside the pool.
Bonding is an essential part of a safe swimming environment as it helps to reduce voltage gradients, which can cause shocks. It also helps to prevent electrical currents from jumping between metallic parts of the pool structure and equipment, which can cause injuries or even death. A professional electrician will create a grid of bonded points around your pool with bare copper conductors that connect everything in and around the pool to equalize the voltage.
This includes the metal reinforcing of the pool shell, coping stones, and deck; all metal parts of electric equipment associated with the recirculating system of the pool; and all metal fittings within or attached to a permanently installed pool or its auxiliary equipment. All of these items must be bonded to each other and the pool structure, according to National Electric Code (NEC) requirements.
All bonded parts must be connected to the same electrical source, which is the pool pump’s circuit breaker. This is called an equipotential bonding grid. The grid is typically a minimum of four points spaced around the pool, but can include more depending on your pool’s specific needs.
The bonding system must also be connected to a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) breaker. This will ensure that if there is ever an issue with the power network and electricity passes through a component, it will rush toward the ground and not into people who are using the pool.
The GFCI will trip and immediately shut off the flow of electricity, helping to prevent injuries or deaths. It is important to have this and other components inspected regularly by a licensed electrician to ensure the safety of those who use your pool.
If you are installing a pool, your licensed electrician will need to install a sub-panel which branches off of your house’s main breaker box. This will supply power to your lighting, pump and any heating you have for your swimming pool. It is important to note that when the sub-panel is installed it must be a minimum of 100 amps and located close to your pool equipment to ensure safety. Your licensed swimming pool electrician is knowledgeable about the specific requirements of NEC Article 680 and will be able to situate your breaker box properly to meet these needs.
When a sub-panel is installed it can also be used to provide additional breaker space when your home’s main breaker is at capacity. This is often a cost-effective solution and allows for easy access to individual circuit breakers in different areas of your home or building.
A sub-panel can be used in sheds, garages and workshops as well as in the basement of your house or a finished attic. Adding a sub-panel in these areas can allow for powering equipment like leaf blowers, power tools and other household appliances. Sub-panels can be configured to power up to 60 amps of equipment, but the typical install for a shed, workshop or detached garage will be in the 50 to 100 amp range which powers higher demand machinery such as compressors, welders and other heavy duty equipment.
A sub-panel can also be useful for people who work from home and have multiple business ventures that require different types of electrical usage. These situations can easily overpower the main breaker and cause damage or even fires. By having a sub-panel, it is easier to manage these different types of electrical usage and keep them separate from your home’s power consumption. The electrician will be able to help you decide what type of sub-panel is best for your needs.
For pool-related equipment, such as pools and hot tubs, to function correctly and safely, they must be connected to electrical outlets. This includes powering lights, running pumps, and more. All of this wiring needs to meet local and state requirements to ensure the safety of your family and guests. In most cases, the only way to have this type of electrical wiring installed properly is to hire a licensed electrician.
Electrical codes for pool environments typically require GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) protection. This is a special electrical outlet that helps to prevent electrocution by shutting off the current when a ground fault is detected. GFCIs constantly monitor the amount of current entering and leaving a circuit, looking for an imbalance that could indicate a ground fault. If there is one, the GFCI automatically cuts off power in less than 1/30 of a second, preventing anyone from being shocked.
In addition to reducing the risk of electrical shocks, GFCIs help protect your electrical devices from damage. They can be damaged by sudden surges and faults that can occur when electricity flows through water or people. Because of this, GFCIs can significantly reduce the chances of electrical fires and other dangerous incidents.
GFCIs also reduce the risk of serious injury by making it much easier to turn off the power to your swimming pool-related equipment. This is done by requiring the installation of a disconnect switch located visible to swimmers and within sight of the pool or spa. In addition, it is usually required that all electrical connections to pool-related equipment be made through a maintenance disconnect.
This makes it easy to shut off the power to your equipment while keeping it safe and clean for your family and guests. If you are interested in ensuring the proper electrical wiring of your pool environment, contact Yoder Electric today to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed electricians. Our experienced team will work with you to meet all the required electrical codes for your home and your pool or hot tub. We can also provide a complete inspection to make sure everything is up to code before the summer heat sets in.
Lighting adds a great deal to the ambiance of your pool and helps you see the bottom of the pool or other hazards. Your licensed electrician can help you create a lighting plan that meets your needs and stays within local electrical codes. They will also know how to run the wiring for the lights in a way that prevents water from getting into the light niche or J-Box, where the wires connect to power the lights.
Electrical codes require that a sub-panel be installed to handle your pool’s electrical needs. This is a small box that usually holds a 100-amp breaker. Your electrician will be able to determine whether your home’s main panel has enough room to handle this additional load, as well as where to put the sub-panel. The location is important, as it must be located at a distance from both the home and the pool, which is a calculation only an experienced electrician can make.
It’s common for pool lights to stop working, but that isn’t always due to a burned out bulb. Sometimes it’s due to a wire that has been corroded by water or the pool chemicals. This is why it’s best to leave electrical work for professionals, and even more so with something as important as your swimming pool.
A faulty light could spell disaster for you or your guests, especially if someone goes in the water while the light is on! Having the right licensed electrician ensure your pool lighting is safe can save you money and keep you and your family swimming safely.
Many people attempt to DIY pool wiring, but that can actually end up costing you more in the long run. You’re better off hiring a professional and spending a little more up front to get things done correctly the first time around. They’ll be able to install the lighting and other equipment faster than you could, and they can help you avoid costly mistakes that might otherwise cost you a lot more in repairs.