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Metal and electrical components in a pool

Does Your Pool Need Bonding and Grounding?

When it comes to pool safety, most people think of proper fencing, water depth, and lifeguards. However, other crucial safety steps often go unnoticed. When installing a home swimming pool, electrically bonding and grounding the pool are mandatory safety steps in the process.

Bonding and grounding your swimming pool protects your family, friends, and pets when swimming in your pool. Everyone knows that electricity and water do not mix, and these two processes ensure they never do. The Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario (ESA) will only approve the safety of your swimming pool after you have completed these steps.

What is the difference between bonding and grounding a swimming pool?

While often considered the same, pool bonding and grounding are two different steps in the pool installation process. They both involve electrical connections but serve unique purposes in protecting you and your pool.

What is pool bonding? 

Pool bonding uses copper wiring to connect all metal objects in and around the pool into a single electrical group, called a bonding grid. This bonding grid ensures that all metal objects, such as ladder rails, light fixtures, pumps, filters, and structures, share the same electrical potential or have equipotential.

Without this bonding grid, the people using the pool are at risk of electrical shock and electrocution. The risk is eliminated with properly installed pool bonding.

Copper wiring bonding pool ladder to the bonding grid

What is pool grounding?

After bonding your swimming pool, grounding its electrical components is next. Electrical grounding connects the bonding grid to a contact point (usually a copper pole) in the ground. This contact gives the electricity a path of least resistance to flow away from the water, equipment, and swimmers.Pools are grounded like this to protect the pool equipment and swimmers from harmful electrical currents, such as surges, lighting, or electrical contact with any of the pool's metal components.

If an electrical event occurred, it would trip the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) it is connected to, and all electricity flowing to the pool would instantly stop until the breaker is reset. If your pool is not grounded, electricity could flow in any direction, including towards or through you, pets, family members or pool equipment.

Do all swimming pools need to be grounded and bonded?

Both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools must be bonded and grounded, even if made of non-conductive material like fibreglass. Although the pool structures may not be conductive, the equipment in and around the pool is. After installing the structure and equipment, the bonding and grounding processes can occur for above-ground pools.

The bonding and grounding processes must occur after installing the equipment and laying the wire mesh for in-ground pools, as they are all parts of the pool that join the bonding grid. These tasks must happen BEFORE pouring the concrete so the ESA can approve the work. Pouring concrete before ESA approval is a quick and easy way to increase costs and frustration to the project.

The ESA has specific requirements for bonding and grounding different types of pools. They can be challenging to understand without the proper training, so hiring a licensed electrical contractor is often necessary to help you.

How long does pool bonding and grounding take?

Bonding and grounding a pool usually take less than a few hours, depending on the pool size. In jobs with more intricate work and many connections to be made, the completion time can certainly increase. However, they are only a small part of the pool installation process.

Do hot tubs need to be grounded or bonded?

Hot tub installation is a separate process altogether. There are specific considerations and rules required for a passable hot tub installation. Fortunately, in most cases, there is no need for grounding or bonding for hot tubs. The only instance where it is necessary is specified by the electrical equipment manufacturer.

two electricians bonding a pool

DIY pool bonding and grounding or hire professional help?

Many pool companies will ground and bond your pool as part of the installation process. If that is not an option, you can wire your pool if you have the proper technical expertise. There are some things to remember, though:

If you need support in wiring, grounding, or bonding your swimming pool, Kraun is here to help. We handle your ESA responsibilities and complete the work quickly and efficiently. The cost of this work can vary widely depending on the size of the pool and its setup, but we are always happy to provide a free quote for the service. To get in touch, please call us at 1-844-667-6937, email, or fill out the form below.

Happy swimming!

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Serving the Hamilton and Niagara area.

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