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Bond wire - Fiberglass pool

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    Bond wire - Fiberglass pool

    Electrical novice here but, as a homeowner, I'm stuck between my electrician and town electrical inspector while installing an inground fiberglass pool in your backyard. I came here hoping for an expert view to sort through the disagreement.

    In short, we failed our bond wire inspection yesterday as the town said the bond wire has to be 4-6" below grade per code. Per our contractor, we are going to pour 3" or so of concrete on top of the wire (as a bond beam to secure the pool) and then above that, paver stones will sit on the top level that are 2.25" thick (and in between there will be a paver base) so the bond wire will clearly be at least 4-6 inches below the final grade once the final grade is set. However, the town inspector still insists we have to bury the bond wire 4-6" below the dirt before pouring concrete. Our contractor insists this is less safe as the bond wire will be too far below the final grade once we go 4-6" below dirt then add concrete, then paver base, then paver. So he is pushing back but in the meantime our project is held up while they fight over what is code. Again, I'm a novice and I see the 4" to 6" is measured from "subgrade" per the code. I'm not sure what is meant by "subgrade."

    Any thoughts are much appreciated.

    #2
    No one seems to know what sub grade is but IMO, the subgrade is the dirt below the concrete. I have to agree with the inspector. BTW, it doesn't matter what the electricians state-- unless they can show that it is not safe 4-6" down then they don't have a prayer to stand on.

    IMO, you want the wire into the top not ontop as the wire is trying to make contact with any voltage gradient that may exist. It seems it would be better below the dirt-- just my opinion.
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky

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      #3
      Run 2 bond wires... make everyone happy!

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the quick replies. I like the idea of 2 bond wires. Heck, I'll tell the contractor that I will buy the wire and that way we're covered both ways.

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          #5
          Just my opinion but it doesn't really matter which way you do it.

          You can always reach out to the State and see if they'll give you a determination as to whom is correct.
          https://nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/o...ssistance.html
          Rob

          Moderator

          All responses based on the 2017 NEC unless otherwise noted

          Comment


            #6
            I thought it was clearly stated that if concrete was poured with reinforcing steel (rebar or mesh) that is your Equipotential bonding grid. If there was a lack thereof then a Equipotential bond wire needs installed 4”-6” below grade (soil).

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              #7
              Inspectors here differ on the requirement. Some will allow the bond wire to lay on top of the gravel base under pavers or concrete. Others want it 4-6" below the gravel base (and dirt if the gravel isn't 4-6" deep enough). I have to agree that subgrade is what is below the final grade, kind of like a subfloor is below finished floor. So, IMO, the wire should be 4-6" below the subgrade.
              [COLOR=navy]If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time![/COLOR]

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                #8
                Originally posted by McLovitz View Post
                I'm not sure what is meant by "subgrade."

                Any thoughts are much appreciated.
                Generally speaking sub-grade is a construction term, the earth or fill that is compacted to support a load such as a slab, pavers or most commonly a road

                Most pools have a perimeter surface such as grass a slab or pavers

                Without constructing something you do not have sub-grade but in the case of the perimeter surface needing bonded when the surface is soil and grass the only thing that makes sense is to place the bond 4 to 6 inches below “grade”

                With the term sub grade and a surface being constructed your inspector would be correct

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                  #9
                  So here's the latest on our dilemma. We had another electrician come out today who agreed with the inspector and is willing to bury the wire below the soil 4"-6" and finish the job.

                  While the other electrician was at our house, our contractor got in touch with the state DCA. He tells me the guy he spoke with said it would be best to pour the 3" of concrete around the pool and place the copper wire in the paver base, under the paver stone. I'm not sure how that gets us 4"-6" below the paver grade, but we're now trying to get our contractor, the town electrical inspector and DCA on the phone to coordinate.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I think the advice to do both is probably the best since one is in and the inspector wants another. That should cover you.
                    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
                    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
                    I can't help it if I'm lucky

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                      #11
                      I think that makes the most sense to me. Contractor expressed a concern that two copper wires could be too much. Is that a real concern?

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                        #12
                        Contractor said 2 wires is too much? Too much what? Cost? Too much 'bonding?' Too much work to install?? If he's worried about different potential on each wire, drop connections between them every 20 feet or so! That's going to be one well-bonded pool!

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                          #13
                          On a new build about 8 years ago, an inspector requested the 4"-6" requirement, which was fine, but he made us use garden stakes to secure the wire to keep it within the 18"-24" distance. THAT was a new one.This was a gunite pool BTW.

                          On a different job, same inspector, he questioned the GFCI requirement. I had a different interpretation of the code. He told me to call the state and see what they had to say. I did, and I relayed the information to the inspector, which was in my favor, and it passed. He was a fair gentlemen. Sadly he passed away.

                          So, yes, it was good idea to contact the state and get your definitive answer.
                          Running 2 wires is not really costly, but is certainly ok.

                          A poster mentioned the steel rebar or the steel wire mesh is sufficient for the EBG. I've had inspectors tell me no and others tell me yes. It's all about the way they interpret the code. I never know what to expect unless I've dealt with the same inspector on previous jobs.

                          Don't forget the water bond!!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            So we are told concrete in contact with the Earth is one of the better ground electrodes available, then why isn't a concrete walkway around a pool with steel mesh a better way to achieve the end goal than a #8 AWG CU conductor?
                            Brian John
                            Leesburg, VA

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by brian john View Post
                              So we are told concrete in contact with the Earth is one of the better ground electrodes available, then why isn't a concrete walkway around a pool with steel mesh a better way to achieve the end goal than a #8 AWG CU conductor?
                              Because it isn't down deep enough where there tends to be more moisture. That would be my guess. BTW, good to hear from you again. It's been awhile
                              They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
                              She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
                              I can't help it if I'm lucky

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