I am in the midst of a new gunite in-ground pool install. I have the electrical background to tackle this job but I want to know I have it right, particularly around the bonding and grounding. I got the homeowners one time electrical permit.

I successfully obtained the initial bond permit after the rebar was laid out. I ran #8 bare copper around and left my 4 tails above the pool. I also ran a #8 bare copper from the bonding lugs on the 3 pool lights I have installed and left them tailed out. I have now laid out the 3ft wide copper grid to go under my pavers. I will connect my tails(4 rebar bonds and 3 lights) to the grid and then run a solid bare #8 from the grid back to my equipment pad. Does this #8 go to one or all pumps I have at the pad and their ground lugs? Ill have a sub panel outside. Will I still need another grounding stick for this subpanel?

I have also read I need to run a solid, insulted #8 from each light, in addition to the ground wire that comes with the light. Is that right? Do I need to bond the inside of the light too? This is where I am confused.

2 Answers 2


All your pumps should have the #8 connected to them (bonding), as they can become energized and you don't want that using your pool for a ground. This is not a substitute for grounding the pump through the electrical wiring. You need both, per NEC 680.26

(a) Double-Insulated Water Pump Motors. Where a double-insulated water-pump motor is installed, a solid 8 AWG copper conductor from the bonding grid shall be provided for a replacement motor.

The lights must also be bonded if they are in a metal enclosure.

(4) Underwater Metal Forming Shells. Metal forming shells and mounting brackets for luminaires and speakers shall be bonded to the equipotential grid.

  • Thank you Machavity. Ill be sure to bond through the pumps. Does it end there or continue elsewhere? My niches are plastic(looking back prob should have used metal ones, but the gunite is done) and ll have them bonded to the bonding patio grid, along with the other 4 tails.
    – Jack
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:03
  • In my own setup at home, I just have the two pumps bonded into the pad they sit on. I don't have any lights to bond, tho.
    – Machavity
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:05
  • So, when say say bonded to the pad they sit on, is there a grounding rod in the pad or something or ?
    – Jack
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:06
  • @Jack Correct. They want the pumps bonded as close to the spot they operate on as possible. So I have #8 running into the side of the concrete pad they sit on (I'm not sure if there's a rod under the pad or not)
    – Machavity
    Jan 7, 2019 at 19:07

A much better plan on the lights is to use LED technology to go to low-voltage lighting. There is no reason to run 120V mains to pool lighting anymore, since LED can give the same light on the same wires at 12-24V. That simply takes a whole range of risks right off the table.

You don't need safety ground on low-voltage lighting because it is incapable of electrocuting anyone.

  • I like that idea, can I still use the same niches that are already installed? These are the niches I have installed. Do you have any recommendations to use with this niche? Thank you.
    – Jack
    Jan 8, 2019 at 13:40

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