Pool Bonding

Hey guys…need the big guns…deal fell through ‘cause I stated that the pool pump bond wire was not present indicating that the existed the possibility that there was no bonding of the metal surfaces within 10’ from the waters edge.

It seems that I was right…but just one question…can someone explain:

  1. Why I was right? and,
  2. How do I explain why it is necesarry or required for the the metal surfaces within 10’ of the waters edge to be bonded back to the pool pump…and maybe,
  3. What is Bonding versus Grounding


Sorry Harvey, but you were wrong (partially). :wink:

The dimension is 5 feet horz. and 12 feet vert. for required bonding.

Nothing is bonded “back to” anything, but rather, they share a “common bond” (they’re all connected).

  1. See Article 680 - Part II. Permanently Installed Pools

  2. Electrical Equipment: Metal parts of electrical equipment associated with the pool water circulating system, including pump motors and metal parts of equipment associated with pool covers, including electric motors, shall be bonded.

  3. Bonding (Bonded). The permanent joining of metallic parts to form an electrically conductive path that ensures electrical continuity and the capacity to conduct safely any current likely to be imposed.

The purpose of bonding is to establish an effective path for fault current that, in turn, facilitates the operation of the overcurrent protective device.

Grounded. Connected to earth or to some conducting body that serves in place of the earth.


My visual cluse was there was no bond wire to the pool pump.

It was my understanding that metal surrounding the waters edge, as well as the pool light were required to be bonded back to the pool pump.

Those components are contained within a common bond. There is no single “bonding point” like you would think of in a grounding system (ground rod, water pipe, ufer). It’s more like throwing everything into a basket. If it’s not in the basket, it’s not bonded - no single component is more critical than another. They must all share the same potential to ground.

Then how do I check that metal is bonded at the waters edge (and I refuse to go in the pool and create some static energy).

Verifying the integrity of the bond is far beyond our scope, however, many components can be identified as being bonded based on their bonding lug.

Items such as pumps, heaters and metal filters should have a visible bonding lug with an appropriately sized bonding wire attached to it. Typically, the bonding wire is protruding from the concrete and is assumed to be bonded to the rebar.

In many cases, you’ll see the same lugs at wrought iron fencing and window frames within the regulated zone.

If there is ever any question, I will defer the item to be verified for proper bonding of components.

Pictures are worth 1,000 words…


Change requires an equipotential bonding grid be installed to reduce voltage gradients in and around permanently installed pools, outdoor spas, and outdoor hot tubs.

INDENT Bonded Parts. The following parts of a permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub must be bonded to a equipotential bonding grid of the type specified in 680.26©.

Author’s Comment: See 680.42(B) for the bonding methods permitted for outdoor spas and hot tubs.

(1) Metallic Parts of Structure. All metallic parts of the water structure, including the reinforcing metal of the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub shell and deck, must be bonded to the equipotential grid. The usual steel tie wires are considered suitable for bonding the reinforcing steel together for this purpose. Welding or special clamping is not required, but the tie wires must be made tight. Figure 680-4

Where the reinforcing steel of the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub shell and deck are encapsulated with a nonconductive compound or if it’s not available, an equipotential grid constructed in accordance with 680.26© must be installed to mask stray voltage gradients.

(2) Underwater Lighting. All metal forming shells for underwater permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub luminaires and speakers.
(3) Metal Fittings. Metal fittings within or attached to the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub structure, such as ladders and handrails.
(4) Electrical Equipment. Metal parts of electrical equipment associated with the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub water circulating system, such as water heaters and pump motors. Accessible metal parts of listed equipment incorporating a system of double insulation and providing a means for grounding internal metal parts are not required to be directly bonded to the equipotential grid.
(5) Metal Wiring Methods and Equipment. Metal-sheathed cables and raceways, metal piping, and all fixed metal parts, as well as metallic surfaces of electrical equipment, must be bonded to the equipotential grid if located:
(1) Within 5 ft horizontally of the inside walls of the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub, and
(2) Within 12 ft measured vertically above the maximum water level of the permanently installed pool, outdoor spa, and outdoor hot tub, or any observation stands, towers, or platforms or any diving structures.



(A) Receptacles
(5) GFCI Protection. All 125V receptacles located within 20 ft. of the inside walls of a pool or fountain must be protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Receptacles supplying pool pump motors rated 15 or 20A, single-phase, 120V through 240V must be provided with GFCI protection. Figure 680-5

Intent: The revised text is intended to clarify that GFCI protection is required for all 15 or 20A, 120V through 240V,240V circuits that supply single-phase receptacles for pool pump motors.

Courtest of Mike Holt Enterprises- Can you tell I am a huge fan of Mr. Holt…:slight_smile:


A new item (4) was added and it reads:

(A) Receptacles
(4) Restricted Space. One 15 or 20A, single-phase, 125V receptacle can be installed not less than 5 ft. measured horizontally from the inside wall of the pool at a dwelling unit, if the dimensions of the lot does not allow the receptacle outlet required in 680-22(A)(3) to be 10 ft. from the water. Figure 680-4Intent: The new rule allows the required 15 or 20A, single-phase, 125V receptacle for outdoor pools and spas for dwelling units [680-22(A)(3)] to be located less than 10 ft., but not closer than 5 ft., from the pool, if the dimensions of the property prevent locating the receptacle 10 ft. away as required in 680.22(A)(3).

Courtesy of Mike Holt Enterprises

Paul, the accepted method in 250.26©(3) NEC2005 for alternate means is a 12"x12" grid of #8 solid copper, joined at every intersection by a listed means.
In a practical sense you will use a welded wire ground mat. That is really a monitary prohibition on encapulated rebar and paver pool decks.
Over at ECN there are pictures of a job where they had to do one of these grids under pool pavers. I can try to track them down if you want to see it.

Paul or Greg,

In regards to the illustration above [NEC 680.26 (B)(1)]

(1) Does the equipment need to be bonded if it is to the side of the house, behind a concrete wall enclosure, Appoximately 15’ away from the pool edge? What are the distances for bonding pool equipment? And how long has it been required?

There has been discussion on this before , I just forgot to bookmark the page.



I would LOVE to see it…:)…I would venture to say it is one of the accepted methods…but not THE accepted method…lol…Would you not agree…MOST certainly I would like to see it if you can get it for me…sad thing is I am out of the office today and do not have my 2005 handy.

Here is the verbage update to 680.26



This is the link to the discussion and the pictures of the job at the end

Thanks Greg…on that pre-fab mat…looks like standard square fence metal myself that is connected together with split bolts…

It begs me to ask…since I am not in the office today does the 2005 NEC specify copper for this grid…and as stated I think 2002 leaves us without having to do this method…2005 most certainly expands it.

Thanks again greg on the link…the install that fella did looks nice, Have you heard any news on any newer updated products for this…

680.26©(3)(a) says “The grid shall be constructed of minimum #8 AWG bare solid copper conductors … bonded to each other at all points of crossing … <per 680(D)> … in accordance with 250.8” (exothermic welding, listed pressure connectors, listed clamps, or other listed means).
The ground mats are listed.

This is new in 2005

Yep…I was trying to get some info before I got back in the office to the 2005 NEC…but you answered it…thanks…talk about cost with the price of copper going up…:frowning:

Paul and Jeff…I believe then that I was mis-educated…unless this grid is recent…I was told that all was to be bonded back to the pool pump…now is that simply a work around?


The requirement for the bonding grid is not new, what greg is refering to has to do with an new addition to the 2005 NEC. The bonding of the grid to  as listed in the previous responses are the same as they have been. With exception to a newly added verbage in 2002....

Hope that helps…