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My town is making me get a permit to install a Bestway swimming pool, this one: Link

Looking it over, it states not being able to connect this pump through an extension cord. I intially purchased this pool because of the price and I thought it would just be a quick set up. Apparently not the case, but after thinking more into it, it is worth the extra steps for safety.

I initially got a bid of $1300 to install the outlet about 75 ft away and it will be $200 cheaper if I do the trenching. I got another Bid for $600 for hook up if I do the trench and lay the wire.

I have experience with electrical as I have swapped outlets, installed fixtures, changed a breaker out on my breaker box, and installed an accessory receptacle to my dedicated furnace circuit for a humidifier, and I wired up the humidifier no issues. So, with that under my belt I feel confident if I am already running the wire and doing the trenching, maybe I should hook up the wires myself and save the $600. I figured going into it it would be half of that to do this job.

With this guide, Guide and various other research I have been doing here is the conclusion I have come to for installing this line:

Install At 18 in. deep, run THWN-2 conductors inside PVC conduit with a GFCI outlet at end.

OR

use direct-bury UF-B (underground feeder) cable which I would still do at 18 inches, since I will have a trencher, and the have a GFCI circuit breaker at panel.

What I am still fuzzy on. I have all conduit in my home with either method I would need a ground. Would I lead the ground from the circuit breaker box, or feed conduit to the outside of the house, with a junction box, and then transition to the pvc junction connecting the ground to the metal junction box connected to the conduit coming from house?

Also, I'd imagine this run and area it pops up will need to be a minimum of 5ft from the pool? Also, I figure I would run 12 guage or wire rated for 20amp in the event I ever wanted to upgrade.

What should the end terminal have near the pool: Can I have a GFCI duplex outlet with a weather cover and just connect the filter to it? And because this filter seems pretty wimpy, can I still use it as an accessory connection for doing stuff around the yard?

Thank you.

  • Is your AHJ planning to adopt the 2017 NEC in the near future? There were some code changes in 2017 related to swimming pools that simplify things considerably for you. – ThreePhaseEel Apr 8 '17 at 2:12
  • I am not sure honestly. I would have to ask the building department to see, but the lady at the front desk isn't the nicest, so I try not to ask too many questions. – eaglei22 Apr 8 '17 at 2:15
  • Can you tell me if the pool pump is double insulated or not? Also, is this a storable-type pool, or a fixed (permanently installed) pool? – ThreePhaseEel Apr 8 '17 at 2:23
  • It looks like it is double insulated. It is considered a fixed because it is 52 inches tall. At least from research. The manufacturer recommends emptying it once a year before winter for longer life, but I for one will not be emptying and refilling 12,000 gallons of water every year. So for me, it will be permanent until I save up to get one of the more heavier duty ones. – eaglei22 Apr 8 '17 at 2:30
  • Can you get us the manufacturer's setup instructions? (I, for one, am curious as to how they expect equipotential bonding to be provisioned.) – ThreePhaseEel Apr 8 '17 at 2:40
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Pools are more often hard than not -- even for the pros

Article 680 of the NEC covers swimming pools and similar constructions. It's sadly one of the more complex articles of the NEC, and thus easy to get wrong, even for a pro. Attention to detail is critical here as even relatively small shocks in a pool can lead to fatal electric shock drowning.

With that said, it's not an impossible DIY job, especially given the type of pool you have. Your pool is indeed a storable type due to its fabric liner construction even though it exceeds the 42" depth limit otherwise set in the NEC -- this isn't clear due to definition conflicts in 680.2, but to interpret this as a permanently installed pool would cause a mess trying to apply several Code requirements (such as full equipotental bonding of the pool and surrounding ground) to this situation.

Your plan with the conduit is fine

Your plan with the PVC conduit is more than fine, and putting in an amply sized conduit (3/4" at a minimum) will leave room for future expansion should another circuit need to be run to the pool. You will need to provide a switched receptacle fed from the load side of the GFCI you are installing though -- this is to meet the disconnecting requirements in 680.12. However, while-in-use covers and non-metallic weatherproof boxes only go up to 2 gangs, switched GFCI/receptacles can't be wired to switch the receptacle off while the load terminals stay on, weather-resistant switch/receptacle combos aren't a thing to begin with, and modern GFCIs get grumpy when placed on the load side of a switch (you need to reset the GFCI every time you flip the switch on).

Given all that, I'd use a weatherproof double gang (FD) conduit box securely mounted to a post in the ground between 6' and 20' from the pool's edge and provide GFCI protection at the panel with a GFCI breaker -- one gang is a standard wall switch, while the other gang is a standard duplex receptacle wired to be half-switched by the wall switch. This way, one half is disconnectable so that it can be used for the pool pump, while the other half provides power while the pool pump is disconnected (for lighting, maintenance, or uses unrelated to the pool).

The filter pump, then, plugs into this switched receptacle, and the whole double gang assembly is under a double gang while-in-use cover that also weatherproofs the switch. Also, don't forget to drill a 1/8" drain hole in the bottom of the FD box so that what water does get in can get out, and so that pressures inside the box and conduit system can equalize with the ambient barometric pressure, reducing the driving forces for water leakage across the box and cover seals.

Last but not least, don't forget to slap a "GFCI Protected" label on the receptacle!

  • Thank you for the detailed write up! Very helpful. I know my electric company requires my pool to be 5ft away from their burried wire. Is this the same for the buried wire for the new outlet? Does the pool have to stay 5ft from the burried line? Have one more question i will type separately. – eaglei22 Apr 8 '17 at 4:29
  • What is the best way for the feed inside the house.. should I take the conduit to the ceiling from the breaker box and put a metal junction box to transition to pvc? If so, does a pvc junction need to be outside too? Or should I lead the metal conduit outside and bring the metal junction outside? If so, does a pvc junction need to connect to the metal junction while the ground wire connects to the metal junction box and just carry on with pvc conduit as normal... finally for the junction boxes, would I run the electrical wires from outside straight to 20amp circuit breaker or transition – eaglei22 Apr 8 '17 at 4:38
  • from thhc to thhwc in the junction box? – eaglei22 Apr 8 '17 at 4:38
  • @eaglei22 -- modern-day building wire is dual-rated THHN/THWN so just run the conduit to the breaker panel and run wires in it (just keep in mind the pull point rules -- in fact, if you want to stay sane about pulling, you'll want a box or body at every 90deg point. I'd use a metal box for a metal/PVC transition, BTW, unless you can run the Sch80 PVC all the way to the panel. Last but not least, the pool does need to stay 5'+ from the buried line. – ThreePhaseEel Apr 8 '17 at 14:02
  • Okay, and these pull point's are buried at the same depth i assume? Also do you mark these some how for future pulls? – eaglei22 Apr 8 '17 at 16:01

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