I am installing a 125 AMP OUTDOOR MAIN LUG LOAD CENTER which will be protected by a 100Amp CB. The panel will support all the equipment for an inground pool. I have installed the pvc conduit underground approx 24"and will be pulling three number two copper conductors and a #6 EGC copper.

I have the 5/8 copper rod for the Grounding Electrode. Since my largest current carrying conductor is #2; the code calls for #8 Grounding Electrode conductor. My question is, does the GEconductor need to insulated or can bare copper conductor be used. I have been all through article 680 and can't find the exact info on this.

  • Depending on how this relates to the pool, "special pool rules" may apply, which (IIRC) may mean an insulated ground is required (perhaps somone can expound upon why that's part of the "special pool rules" if answering?)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 7, 2022 at 14:08
  • Save yourself some money and use #1 aluminum. (Or #2 aluminum if you only need 90A, some people fixate on 100A because it's a nice round number, it ain't so round in wire prices). Nothing wrong with aluminum heavy feeder. If you insist on using #2 copper which is oversized for task, you MUST also oversize the ground, so #6. Commented May 7, 2022 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


Go ahead and use a bare wire

NEC 680.25 on feeders specifically calls out equipment grounding conductors, so you're fine using a bare copper grounding electrode conductor for your pool subpanel. Note that you will need to use direct-burial listed copper or copper-alloy connectors for all connections to this grounding electrode conductor that may be in a wet or corrosive environment, as per NEC 680.7.

Note that you may wish to check with your AHJ or an electrician specializing in pools to determine panelboard and grounding electrode locations, in light of the NEC 680.26(B) verbiage that prohibits AHJs from requiring the pool equipotential bonding conductor to be extended to a remote panelboard.

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