Swimming Pool Wiring

0422Iphone 360Congratulations! You have purchased an in-ground swimming pool! What a fantastic way to cool off in the summer and a fantastic place to host parties with all your friends and families!

It is time to get the electric installed what do you do? Calling Cullen Electric is a good place to start!

Swimming pools can be an excellent source of exercise, fun and entertainment. They can also be potential death traps if the electric is installed improperly. What needs to be done to insure your equipment will perform as required and will be safe to use for many years by your family and friends?

Electrical Safety: Proper Installation of your pool’s electrical system is of paramount importance in maintaining a safe place for your friends and family to play. Article 680 of the National Electric Code governs these installations and must be adhered to strictly to insure your safe enjoyment of your pool. A mistake in this process could result in DEATH or SERIOUS INJURY to your loved ones. There are many instances every summer of people dying in pools needlessly, because of improper wiring. Here is just one link to many an occurrence that has resulted in death or serious injury from pool electrocutions:

These children were lucky they survived.

The Child in this case wasn’t so lucky.

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/06/26/cbs4-investigation-leads-to-potential-pool-safety-law/

Permits: Do not imagine having a pool installed without the proper permits being applied for and issued by your local government. Most jurisdictions require a minimum of a Zoning Permit in addition to an Electrical Permit and many communities may require a Building Permit as well.  There is not a greater nightmare in the world than spending $50,000 on a pool and patio and then having the local government tell you that you have to fill it in because pools are not zoned in your area or the proper inspections weren’t done. Save yourself a giant headache and spend the money to get all of that cleared up ahead of time. Any reputable pool contractor will explain the zoning and permitting process to you ahead of time. If any contractor associated with an in-ground pool installation doesn’t mention permits and inspections…run from them as fast as you can. For safety reasons demand inspections and permits through out the process. Okay, you have your permits how does my electric get installed?

0422Iphone 365Bonding: Article 680.26 of the National Electric Code details the bonding requirements for permanently installed swimming pools in order to “eliminate voltage gradients in the pool area as prescribed.” Bonding the metallic parts in and around the pool area prevents differences of potential from developing in the event of an electrical equipment fault and reduces the possibility of electric shock. The area created by bonding the metallic parts together is known as an equipotential plane.

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Any metallic equipment within 12′ of the inside edge of the pool or is equipment that is used to service the needs of the pool must be bonded. Simply put you are interlocking all of the metal components together that form the pool shell underground to the metal components of the equipment serving the pool. This includes metal fences, diving boards, steps, motors, or any other metal component in that 12′ range. These photos are pictures of the bonding loop between a pump motor and a pool heat pump condensing unit. This plane is absolutely essential to maintain an equipotential electrical plane. NEVER disconnect one of these wires from your equipment. If you have pool equipment that is missing these wires call immediately as this could be a serious risk to people’s lives.

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Electric Equipment: Many times the technician will recommend a panel to be installed in the area around the majority of where your pool equipment is to placed. This potentially saves you money as there are very specific Codes on how wires are to be installed, placement of disconnects in relation to equipment, and many other factors that go into pool wire installations.  Putting this panel near your equipment could save you thousands in additional labor or material costs as opposed to running raceways from the main panel out to the pool equipment.

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Pool Pumps: Pool pumps come in many different types. We typically recommend installing 240v service to your pump. This cuts your electric consumption by half and that is a big deal since this pump will run all summer long. No matter what kind of pump you install it is imperative that it is ground fault protected and has a service disconnect within view to be able to turn it on and off to work on it. We install timers as well to help manage the power usage of your pool pump. Typical pool pumps will give you about 5 years of service before they need to be replaced. We can help you with that facet of service as well. Be it pumps, impellers, or housings we can service them for you whether your pool is indoors or outside!

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Wet Niche Lighting: Everyone loves a night swim under the stars with the water illuminated. We install wet niche lighting wiring or other LED lighting systems for pools. These installations require specialty training as well since this electric device is underwater in your pool with you. If this is improperly installed it can kill you instantly. In the summer of 2014 a young child was killed in Florida due to an improper repair of a wet niche light.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/north-miami/article1963045.html

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Grounding: Wet niche lights require multiple steps in the proper grounding and bonding of them to render them safe. There are multiple layers of protections including: bonding, continuous insulated grounding conductors and ground fault protection. When installed properly these lights are safe and enhance the beauty of your pool. NEVER ATTEMPT TO REPAIR A WET NICHE LIGHT ON YOUR OWN.

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Accessories:  There are many accessories available for your pool installation including heat pump heaters, Natural Gas or LP heaters, pool covers, stereos and an endless array of other items to enhance your enjoyment of your pool. We are here to help you install all of them safely so you may enjoy them for years to come!