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Is GFCI required by code for submerged fountain pump in stormwater pond

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    Is GFCI required by code for submerged fountain pump in stormwater pond

    Hi – I live in a Texas neighborhood and am on the HOA board. I have a question about code relating to GFCI requirement for a fountain in a large pond.

    Recently we were shopping our pond maintenance contract, to service a 3-acre pond that has two fountains, each a submersible pump powered from control panels on shore. There are lights on the fountain (in the water) This is effectively a stormwater pond with aesthetic value to residents; no swimming or boating but we do have residents fishing in it from shore (and I will be doing weed raking with hip waders soon in the shallow part)

    One vendor reported today that both of our existing fountains lack GFCI connections. In one pump control panel a GFCI unit is there but disconnected, and the other one it is missing altogether. But, there are ground wires in place.

    The vendor says it is a safety risk but they are also trying to quote us upgrading the fountains and the whole system so I would like to know more (and presumably code should have been followed on install, one would hope!) These Motors were most recently replaced in 2015, but fountains have been in neighborhood since early 2000’s. The vendor’s comment: “While both fountains are currently operational, the GFCI controls for both fountains have been removed from the circuit, eliminating any electrical shock protection for human interaction with the water. Fountain control centers have been modified to eliminate or wire around original manufacturer safety devices, and will need repairs to be determined and performed to bring them back to normal safety standards.”

    Are we required by code to have these fountains be GFCI protected at this time? And is it safe for people to be walking in the shallow water to do weed maintenance etc. without a GFCI in place?

    Trying to educate myself on the topic before we reply to this new vendor and also before we talk to our current pond maintenance co, who I think did the pump installation in 2015. I have seen a few older forum posts (e.g. 2011) that indicate that if hard-wired then no GFCI needed, and if no swimming then no GFCI needed, but some of this info is at least 8 years old so maybe code has changed? I don’t want to resurrect an old thread, and apologies if I posted this in the wrong sub-forum.

    We really want to ensure things are safe for our residents. Thanks!


    here is an extract from the report showing the GFCI comments with photos:



    Fountain 2:

    Attached Files

    #2
    Since this is not a "how to" question we will allow your thread for code references. I will go ahead and say you need to call an EC regardless of the disscussion here.

    Roger
    Moderator

    Comment


      #3
      680.51 would require GFCI protection. Not sure if this is an art 680 application or a 682 application though. 682.15 doesn't require GFCI protection if not cord and plug connected equipment, however it appears that 682.14 likely requires this to be cord and plug connected - if so then GFCI protection would be required by 682.15 anyway.
      I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

      Comment


        #4
        This fits here>>>(2017)

        422.5 Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupter (GFCI) Protection for
        Personnel.
        (A) General. Appliances identified in 422.5(A)(1) through
        (5) rated 250 volts or less and 60 amperes or less, single- or
        3-phase, shall be provided with GFCI protection for personnel.
        Multiple GFCI protective devices shall be permitted but shall
        not be required.
        (1) Automotive vacuum machines provided for public use
        (2) Drinking water coolers
        (3) High-pressure spray washing machines — cord-and-plug-
        connected
        (4) Tire inflation machines provided for public use
        (5) Vending machines

        ~RJ~

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by romex jockey View Post
          This fits here>>>(2017)




          ~RJ~
          Which one of the five is it?
          I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

          Comment


            #6
            Is GFCI required by code for submerged fountain pump in stormwater pond

            If the manufacturer of the equipment says that GFCI is required, that trumps everything else.

            Edit - I realize you are being told this by your vendor who may or may not be relaying this requirement from the manufacturer.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by kwired View Post
              Which one of the five is it?
              probably none kwired

              but for perspective's sake , i just showered in 30A240V non-gfci h20

              and lived to post yet again..... ~RJ~

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by retirede View Post
                If the manufacturer of the equipment says that GFCI is required, that trumps everything else.
                Am I the only one seeing a problem with the end all 110.3B here ?

                ~RJ~

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by romex jockey View Post
                  probably none kwired

                  but for perspective's sake , i just showered in 30A240V non-gfci h20

                  and lived to post yet again..... ~RJ~
                  I have done that many times over the years.

                  Personally I don't see too big of a need to GFCI protect any of those five mentioned items, I do see the need to protect a receptacle in certain locations being necessary regardless of what may be plugged in.

                  Typical electric water heater supplying water you use in a tub or shower isn't exactly the same thing as having a tub full of water with an immersion heater within it either, which is sort of similar to placing a submersible pump into some body of water that you may come in contact with also.

                  Another thing that doesn't make sense - it says 60 amp or less 250 volt or less single or three phase. Apparently ground faults can't happen over 60 amp or over 250 volts
                  I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks all for your replies. Hope the topic discussion was of some use now and for people who land on this thread in future.

                    We had an electrician out, and they hooked up GFCI units ('LineGard') to both fountains as shown below.




                    Comment


                      #11
                      What is the "dead front" GFCI for, some other aux equipment like maybe some lights or something?
                      I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by kwired View Post
                        What is the "dead front" GFCI for, some other aux equipment like maybe some lights or something?
                        Yes - I believe the white GFCI panels are tied to the submerged up-lighting that is in the pond to illuminate the fountains.

                        Comment

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