If you’re about to install an inground or above-ground pool on your property, then grounding and bonding must be done properly. You may already have a swimming pool, but you still need to check, because there’s still the potential for shocks and electrocution if anything’s been done improperly.
There’s a worrying number of improperly-grounded pools in Australia and so if you’ve just had yours installed, or you’ve just moved into a new place, you should have your pool checked.
Grounding isn’t the same as bonding, although the two processes are usually done together. Grounding is protecting the people in the pool from any electrical faults – either in the main panel or the pool’s sub-panel. Faults usually mean a higher-than-normal electrical current.
If there is a fault, then it must be stopped by attaching an earthing device to the ground so that excess current flows down into the earth rather than people in the pool. The pool’s equipment must be properly grounded with a GFCI breaker because this will turn off any electrical current as soon as a fault is detected.
Your pool’s bonding
Bonding is the method of connecting all of the pool’s metal components together with a copper wire so that all the components have equal voltage going through them. Anywhere where there’s unequal voltage has the potential for current, which can shock or electrocute someone if they touch metal.
Once every metal component is bonded with the copper wire, you need your bonding grid. These are the components that need to be bonded together:
- the structure of the pool itself;
- the ladder;
- the handrails;
- the pump;
- the motor;
- any slides;
- the water, and
- the lights.
Grounding and bonding are both vital to avoid electrocution and shocks. Grounding prevents shocks by sending the current from a fault into the earth and bonding prevents differential currents running through metal components.
Find a trusted electrician
To make sure your pool is safe, only use licensed electricians who are insured and have experience. Your safety and that of your guests is far too precious to be left to anyone else!