One very serious pool electrical safety topic and the second leading cause of death around swimming pools is electrocution.  There is a reason that Codes, standards, Guidelines, all exist to provide safety for your pool users. By having a GFCI [Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter]  breaker on all of your pool equipment you’ll be able to ensure pool patron safety. 

What does a GFCI Do?

  • They sense power going to ground and will limit the duration of exposure to an electrical shock.

Why is electrical bonding such an important aspect of swimming pool safety? Electrical bonding ties together the metallic components of a swimming pool and the water itself to the same electrical potential.  Perhaps a short, fault, or other electrical malfunction occurs and puts voltage into your swimming pool, the bonding wire will ensure that all equipment is at the same potential.  This greatly reduces the chances for getting zapped. 

The bonding wire is NEVER connected to the electrical ground.  These are two separate but equally important items to ensure are in place.  Typically a bond wire will connect to your pool pump, heater, lights, and if you have an above ground pool it will run all around the exterior of the pool and connect to a minimum of 4 spots on the pool itself. 

On concrete pools it will connect to the autocover vault, light niches, and the rebar in the concrete decking surrounding the pool.  As components wear, the bond wire is the first item we find missing in many of the safety inspections we do here at Pool Envy.  The bond wire is a bare-copper wire, so it is fairly easy to identify. The code does allow this wire to be insultated as a #8 green wire. 

All pool equipment should be protected with GFCI protected breakers.


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Swimming pool contractor licensed in Wisconsin and Texas. CPO Certified and PHTA Certified instructor.