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I'm installing a 24 foot by 52 inch Intex pool. I read that pools over 42 inches deep need to be bonded. Also people are saying because of that Intex pools need to be bonded.

Two things,

  1. the original filter is double insulated.
  1. I just purchased an Intex sand filter with GFCI built in and it doesn't have a bonding port nor does it say anything about bonding.

The Intex pool frame has plastic on each tube where it inserts into the other, and a plastic pin to hold in place. So the frame to my knowledge is not a complete conductor of electricity, so in my perspective, bonding the frame at 4 points seems improper.

Does the frame still need to be bonded given the setup?

Also if the frame doesn't need it, does the water and ladder need to be? If so, do I still need to create a halo of copper wire around the pool?

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  • Did you ultimately bond the pool?
    – bvj
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 4:10
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    @bvj no, i ended up just leaving it for now with the double insulated filter. But i did put a gfi circuit breaker, and gfci receptacle. Passed inspection fine.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 5:06
  • 1
    @eaglei22 -- if you're still about, post that as an answer and I'll give you a +1 for it Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 23:13
  • @ThreePhaseEel, posted. Thanks!
    – eaglei22
    Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 18:39

6 Answers 6

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I ended up just leaving it for now with the double insulated filter. But I did put a GFCI circuit breaker, and GFCI receptacle. Passed inspection fine.

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Code defines a storable pool as one 42” or less because evaluations showed the deeper pools were not removed or put in storage.

Next we have to follow manufacturers instructions and since a plastic framework there is no place to bond the pool, pool pumps require a bond but the all plastic intex pumps come with a 25’ cord that has a GFCI, note the long cord is a code mandate for storable pools.

So there can be confusion but with no exterior conductive surfaces there is no place to bond to.

If a inspection is required (many cities require inspections) they usually check the fencing, receptacles not two close being the major things in my state for soft sided pools in my jurisdiction.

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Not as of NEC 2023

The issue that was at the root of this confusion, namely that storable pools had gotten too large for the NEC's old depth-dependent definition of a storable pool, has been corrected with the 2023 NEC:

Pool, Permanently Installed Swimming, Wading, Immersion, and Therapeutic. (Permanently Installed Swimming, Wading, Immersion, and Therapeutic Pools) Those that are constructed or installed in the ground or partially in the ground, and all pools installed inside of a building, whether or not served by electrical circuits of any nature. (680) (CMP—17)

Pool, Storable; used for Swimming, Wading, or Immersion (Storable Immersion Pool). (Storable Pool) Pools installed entirely on or above the ground that are intended to be stored when not in use and are designed for ease of relocation, regardless of water depth. (680) (CMP—17)

As a result, the equipotential bonding provisions in 680.26 no longer apply to storable pools of any size as Part II of Article 680 (where 680.26 lives) is only applicable to permanently installed pools. Instead, storable pools are required to have a GFCI as part of the pool pump cord assembly, as per NEC 680.31 and 680.32 (which live in Part III of Article 680).

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"Pop up" type pools do NOT need to be bonded as they are NOT permanent pools. I know there are some Code Enforcement people out there who insist you need to pull a permit and bond these pools, but the fact is, NATIONWIDE, this pool does NOT need a permit to put up and it does NOT need to be bonded. They are just looking for a way to fine you because they KNOW these pools don't have bonding plates. Don't let them fool you. They also know they can't legally require you to bond or pull a permit for a temporary pool. If you're worried about an off chance little buzz, unplug the pool while in use. The instructions for these pools specifically state not to run the filters while in use anyway, and permanent pool owners are typically advised not to chlorinate and run the filters during the day anyway, because chlorine works better when not battling the sun.

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  • 3
    There seems to be something of a conflict between the "Permanently Installed Pool" and "Storable Pool" definitions in the 2017 NEC itself -- this is going to take a few more Code cycles to hash out, I reckon. Until then, I would probably lay off taking an adversarial tone here; keep in mind that most electrical inspectors aren't out to get you, they simply don't want you to get zapped or burned. Commented Mar 28, 2019 at 4:43
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    There are still a lot of things to be worked out as mentioned. But, just because it is a storeable pool doesn't make it less dangerous. Many towns still want to see the proper precautions are taken for a pool over a specific height (It doesn't specify storable pools are excluded when I pooled my permit). Like is your yard gated (foldable ladder and fence around pool otherwise). You still can't run an extension cord, you need a dedicated circuit, gfci receptacle etc. Bonding is just a slice of the big picture.
    – eaglei22
    Commented Mar 29, 2019 at 18:00
  • Update -- the definition issue at the root of the problem was indeed fixed in the 2023 NEC Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 3:31
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I agree that safety is first for all types of pools. However, some manufacturers of "flexible assembly" pools insert disclaimers in their pool manual regarding incompatibility with equipotential bonding and the filter pump does not facilitate attaching copper wire for bonding. While some pools may have vertical steel supports, the pool wall material is usually made of polyester mesh-core between laminated PVC and do not provide stability for attaching a metal skimmer like other sturdy above ground pools. I also do not understand why 42" of pool water depth is safer than 42.5" since an accident can happen in both circumstances. I believe the authorities need to refine their requirement standard to meet the absolute need for safety, given the level of risk posed by the specific pool structure. It is challenging to meet some of these requirements.

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I'm an electrician. I'm putting in a halo and bonding it at one point at least. Just don't want to take any chances.

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