I just bought a 21'x52" above ground pool. I am going to use a saltwater system with it. Do I need to ground this pool ?

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You need to BOND the pool structure and any equipment (motors, etc) or metal parts associated with the water circulation system. You also need to bond the water itself. Ground rods are NOT required other than for a sub-panel (if installed outside the house).

Pools are quite complicated as far as the electrical requirements go. IMO this is NOT a DIY job and should really be done by a professional electrician experienced in this kind of work.

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A basic installation, would look something like this.

Equipotential Bonding

Equipotential Bonding

You'll bury a continuous loop of 8 AWG solid copper conductor around the pool 680.26(B)(2)(b)(1 & 2). The loop should be 4-6" deep 680.26(B)(2)(b)(5), and between 18-24" from the pool 680.26(B)(2)(b)(4). You'll then bond the frame of the pool to this loop, at 4 uniformly spaced points 680.26(B)(2). Next you'll bond the pool water to the loop, using a special bracket on the filter basket 680.26(C). Finally, the loop is bonded to the filter motor 680.26(B)(6).

Additional items to be bonded

  • Metal ladder 680.26(B)(5).
  • Concrete pads within 3' of the pool 680.26(B)(2).
  • Underwater Lighting 680.26(B)(4).
  • Underwater Audio Equipment 680.27(A).
  • Electrically Operated Pool Covers 680.27(B).
  • Deck Area Heating 680.27(C).

Local codes may vary. Make sure to check with your local government, for applicable rules and regulations.

The information provided here applies to the specific pool mentioned in the question. Installations for other types of pools may vary.

Make sure to have this, and all other projects properly permitted and inspected.

All code references from National Electrical Code 2011

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  • There is no set arrangement to bonding. You just have to make sure everything applicable is connected. The perimeter bond is only required if the pool shell is coated in a non-conductive material (such as this pool probably is). Don't forget, the receptacle for the pump motor, if within 6-10' of the pool wall, must be a single twist-lock type. – Speedy Petey Feb 20 '14 at 3:11
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    There are MANY important codes regarding pool wiring. PLEASE do not go only by a few posts on the internet. If you insist on doing this yourself PLEASE get a copy of the NEC or a good overview with all relevant codes. The Mike Holt© guide I linked is very thorough, but it's based on the 2008 NEC so a few things are left out since most areas are by now under at least the 2011 NEC or equivalent. – Speedy Petey Feb 20 '14 at 3:12
  • @SpeedyPetey I've updated my post to include the locking receptacle requirement, as well as including code references from NEC 2011. – Tester101 Feb 20 '14 at 12:34

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