How to prove a pool is bonded and grounded after the fact?

So, my pool was installed and the concrete contractor poured the cement before the electrical inspector came through. The city is now saying that the cement needs to be torn out. Is there a way to demonstrate (reliably) that the pool and its systems and metal surfaces were grounded and bonded properly?
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
I am approving this post, although the poster is not a member of the electrical industry. This is not a DIY question, but rather a question of what can or cannot be done. That said, I am afraid that I do not know the answer to the question. Perhaps there is some type of radiograph or metal detection that might help.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
the short answer is no as grounding and bonding requirements are not performance based.

the long answer might involve things like whether the inspector would accept evidence such as pictures and whether such pictures actually existed, or some of the things charley mentioned.

it seems to me that whomever got the permit is responsible to pay to do whatever it takes to deal with it. you should stay out of it or it will rapidly become your problem.

BTW, what concrete was poured that is in question? It might be possible for whomever is on the hook to cut slots in deck type concrete and install new bonding wires than to screw around a lot.
 
Last edited:

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
eta

since the connections only have to be made in a few spots it might be possible to open up the concrete in those spots, inspect the connections, and then repair the concrete. the inspector might accept that idea as well, especially if it were accompanied by sworn affidavits from all concerned.
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
I know but that is the best you can do. Too bad they didn't take pictures but if they see the correct wire size it may be enough to avoid tearing it up.
no. that is not the best you can do since it does not even remotely show that the pool was done to code. what inspector would accept the idea that because it met some performance standard that is not part of the code that it would meet code requirements? My guess is that many new pools would meet the performance standards of the videos with no bonding at all just due to being damp most of the time.
 

Mystic Pools

Senior Member
Location
Park Ridge, NJ
Occupation
Swimming Pool Contractor
So, my pool was installed and the concrete contractor poured the cement before the electrical inspector came through. The city is now saying that the cement needs to be torn out. Is there a way to demonstrate (reliably) that the pool and its systems and metal surfaces were grounded and bonded properly?
An inspector told me some time ago how he was not called for the bonding inspection prior to patio installation. He was called for the final and saw the patio installed. Required the contractor to tear it up.

In your case, the contractor who's responsible for the patio, is also responsible for the inspections. So if it must be torn up, it's on HIS dime.

I would say you could find a spot in the pour where the wire mesh or rebar is accessible (if they used either one) and perform a bond test to any other metallic items connected to the pool for verification.

Some mason contractor these days are using concrete with fiber mixed in to do away with mesh or rebar.

No matter what, the bare #8 copper must be around the pool's perimeter and be connected to the pool in 4 spots. That's probably the inspectors gripe-understandably.
 

kec

Member
Location
CT
An inspector told me some time ago how he was not called for the bonding inspection prior to patio installation. He was called for the final and saw the patio installed. Required the contractor to tear it up.

In your case, the contractor who's responsible for the patio, is also responsible for the inspections. So if it must be torn up, it's on HIS dime.

I would say you could find a spot in the pour where the wire mesh or rebar is accessible (if they used either one) and perform a bond test to any other metallic items connected to the pool for verification.

Some mason contractor these days are using concrete with fiber mixed in to do away with mesh or rebar.

No matter what, the bare #8 copper must be around the pool's perimeter and be connected to the pool in 4 spots. That's probably the inspectors gripe-understandably.
Had a inspector in town yrs ago who said he didn't see the rebar in the gunite pour of inground pool. He told contractor to chop it up. Contractor then proceeded to punch out the inspector. Hope this doesn't come to this. :eek:

There must be the #8 wire showing back at pool filter if he did it right.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Electrician
Had a inspector in town yrs ago who said he didn't see the rebar in the gunite pour of inground pool. He told contractor to chop it up. Contractor then proceeded to punch out the inspector. Hope this doesn't come to this. :eek:

There must be the #8 wire showing back at pool filter if he did it right.
Has the contractor gotten out of the big house yet?


I was on a job where a concrete slab for 10 ICU rooms was removed because the ornery old GC superintendent didn't have a slab inspection.

Roger
 

petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
Has the contractor gotten out of the big house yet?


I was on a job where a concrete slab for 10 ICU rooms was removed because the ornery old GC superintendent didn't have a slab inspection.

Roger
wow. I can kind of understand it for a hospital but a run of the mill pool?
 

david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
how far from the water edge is the bonding ring, how deep

are the lugs tight

are they installed correctly

was the wire mesh bonded if so did they bond with a split bolt metal wire mesh (steel), or did the use a split bolt with a dividing plate (bi- metal )

was the wet nitch bonded

and so on
 

infinity

Moderator
Staff member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Journeyman Electrician
Here in NJ commercial pools are required to having their bonding systems tested every 5 years. As Bob stated some may pass even without the currently required equipotential bonding systems. If they do pass are they any less safe?

The required bonding and grounding certificate must verify the continuity and integrity of the bonding and grounding system of the pool. The electrical certificate of compliance must verify that all wiring located in or about the pool pump and associated electrical equipment complies with the electrical subcode.
I agree that the OP needs to let the contractor worry about getting the issue resolved which should involve chopping it all up and doing it over.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
wow. I can kind of understand it for a hospital but a run of the mill pool?
A run of the mill pool deck is far more of an electrocution hazard than a ICU slab.

Roger
I was going to say something similar. That ICU slab probably gets insulating floor covering/coating over it, plus care providers that contact the patient likely have additional insulation in their footwear. ICU patient likely doesn't get out of the bed on their own either so their contact with the floor is almost never. The pool concrete has constant contact with water and pool users are immersed in the water as well.
 

blkmagik21

Senior Member
Location
Kennewick
Also just because it passes a continuity test doesn’t mean that they installed the wire to the rebar or grid correctly. Twisting the wire around the rebar it would still test fine. How does the inspector know you used listed and labeled fittings?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Mystic Pools

Senior Member
Location
Park Ridge, NJ
Occupation
Swimming Pool Contractor
wow. I can kind of understand it for a hospital but a run of the mill pool?

No such thing.
We, pool contractors, have a great responsibility in this aspect.

As stated, NJ public pools require bond testing every 3 years. Perhaps residential pools should be required.

Mike Holt for instance, in one his videos, would not put lights in his own pool. That's how delicate this part of a pool is.

My wife is a mobile horse vet traveling barn to barn. I have a concern for her in stables where the concrete floors can become energized and horses "dance" around when getting washed down or drink from the automatic water dispensers-all noted on previous posts on this forum.

She has not witnessed this, but this great forum has informed me of such instances, and I just make her aware of her surroundings.

Pool patios I'm sure too can become energized if improperly/not bonded.

Water and electricity mixing are not be taken lightly.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
No such thing.
We, pool contractors, have a great responsibility in this aspect.

As stated, NJ public pools require bond testing every 3 years. Perhaps residential pools should be required.

Mike Holt for instance, in one his videos, would not put lights in his own pool. That's how delicate this part of a pool is.

My wife is a mobile horse vet traveling barn to barn. I have a concern for her in stables where the concrete floors can become energized and horses "dance" around when getting washed down or drink from the automatic water dispensers-all noted on previous posts on this forum.

She has not witnessed this, but this great forum has informed me of such instances, and I just make her aware of her surroundings.

Pool patios I'm sure too can become energized if improperly/not bonded.

Water and electricity mixing are not be taken lightly.
I wouldn't put lights in my own pool either, seems like completely unnecessary risk. Pumps and heaters are more of a necessity, but at least are not right in the user vicinity. Bonding everything still sounds like a good idea even if nothing associated with the pool is electric powered.

Been around livestock, of course horses are a little different to the owner than most other animals - they are more of a pet than an asset, but are still subjected to similar voltage sensitivity as many other critters of similar size and build.

Cattle in a feedyard, seen them get electrocuted a time or two. Owner takes the loss on that one critter, fixes the fault and moves on. This kind of incident isn't too common, often the cow was already at the watering trough when the fault happened and gets killed immediately. If the trough were energized with no cattle at it, they typically will feel something as they approach because of how long of a base they have between front and back legs they will span over more voltage gradient than a human would, plus they don't wear any shoes that add to insulating them from the ground. When they feel that voltage they typically just stay away, farmer/rancher will notice they aren't drinking and then discover the tank is live.

Pigs however have too much curiosity. You find one dead at the water tank and chances are better there will be others that want to check things out and end up with even more dead. Not many pigs around here are in unheated space anymore, so the need to electrify a water tank to prevent freezing is not what it used to be in swine operations.

Cattle also get zapped by an electric fence once and tend to just stay away afterward. A pig will keep coming back to test it, curiosity the main reason.
 

Mystic Pools

Senior Member
Location
Park Ridge, NJ
Occupation
Swimming Pool Contractor
I wouldn't put lights in my own pool either, seems like completely unnecessary risk. Pumps and heaters are more of a necessity, but at least are not right in the user vicinity. Bonding everything still sounds like a good idea even if nothing associated with the pool is electric powered.

Been around livestock, of course horses are a little different to the owner than most other animals - they are more of a pet than an asset, but are still subjected to similar voltage sensitivity as many other critters of similar size and build.

Cattle in a feedyard, seen them get electrocuted a time or two. Owner takes the loss on that one critter, fixes the fault and moves on. This kind of incident isn't too common, often the cow was already at the watering trough when the fault happened and gets killed immediately. If the trough were energized with no cattle at it, they typically will feel something as they approach because of how long of a base they have between front and back legs they will span over more voltage gradient than a human would, plus they don't wear any shoes that add to insulating them from the ground. When they feel that voltage they typically just stay away, farmer/rancher will notice they aren't drinking and then discover the tank is live.

Pigs however have too much curiosity. You find one dead at the water tank and chances are better there will be others that want to check things out and end up with even more dead. Not many pigs around here are in unheated space anymore, so the need to electrify a water tank to prevent freezing is not what it used to be in swine operations.

Cattle also get zapped by an electric fence once and tend to just stay away afterward. A pig will keep coming back to test it, curiosity the main reason.

Agreed. Bonding everything is good practice.

Yes, animals are expendable. People are not.

I only mention about the possibility of a barn/stall floor possibly getting energized as an inspector about 10 years told me of this exact situation first hand.
If handlers/trainers/farmers can recognize this at their own facility with their animals, then they can protect themselves and others first and foremost, and then protect the animals.

If a few curious pigs get zapped, so be it. More chops and bacon on my plate. :D
 
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