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Pool Wiring What Need To Know From An Electrician

Pool Wiring What Need To Know From An Electrician

Ok so you purchased a new pool and now what? We can tell you all about pool wiring and everything you need to know to wire it safely.

As a general rule, all permanent structure above ground or in ground swimming pools should be wired or consulted with by a certified electrician. This includes metal wall frame and concrete style pools or anything that is required to be hardwired and does not plug in. GFCI protection is a must for any style pool.

Unfortunately the code rules around swimming pools are not cut and dry so read on to get the details.

1.What Are The Electrical Requirements For Pool Wiring?

Knowing what the electrical requirements for a new swimming pool could be rather confusing. There are so many different types of pools to deal with that you will not be sure whether you can wire yourself. It basically boils down to two types of pools. Anything with a 1.5 hp motor or under including 1 hp will usually be a 120 V system that plugs in.

This would come in your typical metal style above ground pools. Usually around style pools or oval style pools. These type of pools can be simply plugged in to external outside GFCI outlet. A GFCI outlet is a must for your safety.

pool wiring

Anything over 1.5 hp in other words 2 hp and up usually requires a 240 volt connection and will need to be hardwired. This is for your larger inground swimming pools. In most cases you require certified electrician to do these connections for you.

When it comes to small blow up in the box pools they simply plug-in as well. Usually you can run those right off of your outside existing outlet because they do not draw much for power. The 1 to 1.5 hp size swimming pools usually require their own circuit so you may need to get an electrician involved to install an outlet for you.

2.How Much Does Pool Wiring Cost?

The cost for wiring a swimming pool can vary. Obviously if you have a small blow up style pool that doesn’t draw much power like mentioned above you can simply just plug it into your existing outside plug.

If you have an above ground swimming pool with a bigger motor that requires a plug-in then we recommend you have a separate circuit or a GFCI receptacle or breaker installed by an electrician. You can count on three to $600 for the service.

If you get into the larger hardwired swimming pools then you’re in the thousands of dollars of electrical work. Keep in mind to do it properly had to do it safely you get what you pay for.

There are a variety of factors that can come into the cost that you would pay. If you have additional lighting or heating system for your swimming pool and these will all need to be worried as well. It will also all need to be on GFCI protection. GFCI protection or ground fault is a must on any type of water source.

3. What Electrical Is Needed For An Above Ground Pool Wiring?

All water sources including above ground swimming pools if you have electrical components need to have GFCI protection. This GFCI protection protect you while you’re in the water electrical fault to ground. This will detect that and trip if there are any issues.

All above ground swimming pool motors or pool pumps circulate the water. These pumps must be protected either by GFCI receptacle, a faceless GFCI or GFCI breaker. Some form of GFCI protection is needed.

Without the proper GFCI protection you could be putting yourself at risk to electrocution while in the pool. This is a situation that no one wants to get into so it is best to spend the money to have that GFCI protection in place. Some above ground swimming pools come with GFCI protection as wiring to put a plug in the motor. In so look out for that in your deal when you’re purchasing a new swimming pool.

4. Does An Above Ground Pool Wiring Need To Be On Its Own Circuit?

Any larger above ground swimming pool will have a larger motor either 1 hp or 1.5 hp. These larger motors usually run between 700 and 1500 watts. 1500 watt is actually a 15 amp electrical circuit.

So if you plug this in on other things that have on the circuit the circuit will most likely trip.

It is recommended that you have a dedicated circuit for the pool only. This will keep things from tripping and stop any issues from happening if the circuit does go out. It’s important to keep the pool circulating so if the pool power trips. Circulating and then you’re at risk of water going cloudy or building up algae.

5. What If My Pool Is Not Bonded?

All swimming pool should be bonded in some form of manner. Find it it’s just a fancy way of saying grounded. Most times a plug-in pool pump will have a ground or does have a ground which is sufficient that plugs into your regular electrical system.

However on larger metal frame swimming pools is always a good idea to have the electrician bond the metal frame to ground. This can be done either with ground electrodes directly into the earth. Or a bond wire run back to electrical panel source.

This isolates and ensures that if there is any leakage to ground it will cause a GFCI to trip. Is the safest way and approach It is safest way and approach even if your ground fault circuit interrupt her fails.

For larger swimming pools we usually run a number six green. Bond or ground between all current carrying parts or metal parts of the swimming pool. We then usually use ground plates or ground electrodes to be on the best possible place to ground all parts of the pool.

6. Why Do I Need GFCI Protection On My Pool Wiring?

pool wiring


All swimming pools are required to have GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupt her protection by code. It is a serious safety risk not to have it installed on your swimming pool. The GFCI detects any leakage to ground and will trip so you do not get electrocuted.

You’re not going mix water and electricity, water is very constructive. In addition you should also have GFCI protection on any pool related equipment that is electrical.

This includes all low-voltage in line voltage lighting. Pool lighting, rope lighting, accent lighting or anything that helps the look of the pool.

Any type of UV rated water system or timers should also be on GFCI protection. An even bigger factor, if you have your pool heated electrically via pool heater or a heat pump it should be also on GFCI protection. Most pool pump heaters are much larger and require a GFCI breaker.

7. How Close To An Electrical Outlet Can A Pool Be?

1.5 m or 5 feet is a rule for GFCI protection from any water source. However if your pool is it is away from your pool pump and you have a cord running on your full pump to plug it in you still need to have GFCI protection. The 1.5 m rule it’s just if you have permanently mounted electrical equipment directly next to the pool.

They should be in any case where you have a small shed with the pool wiring in it for the swimming pool. The whole feed conductor can be on a GFCI breaker.

In essence that protects everything related to the pool. This may be a cheaper option and providing individual GFCI protection for each electric pole circuit.

pool wiring

8. Can I Replace A 1HP Pool Pump With A 1.5 HP?

Absolutely you can replace a 1 hp pool pump with a 1.5 hp pump. Pool pumps of 1 hp draw 746 watts can usually contain a 15 amp circuit 1.5 hp is about 1200 W. This can also still be on a 15 amp circuit although recommended to be on a 20 amp circuit for start up in rush current.

Both models one horsepower and 1.5 hp can consume a 120 volt circuit although can be pre-wired for 240. Most of the inlet and outlet sizes on the pool are the same 1.5 hp.

Once over the size 2 hp enough you are usually into a 2 inch inlet and outlet. You’re also into a 240 volt 15 or 20 amp circuit. Most 2 hp pump do not come in 120 volt so they can simply not be plugged in I will need to be hardwired. However the 1 to 1.5 hp range is OK it’s a common exchange.

9. What Size Electrical Service Do I Need To Run A Pool?

Most common sizes are 15 amp 120 V and 20 amp 120 V for service to a swimming pool pump only however you will usually end up consuming more electricity with pool lights pool heaters etc. It is in this case that we recommend a minimum of 120/240 V 60 amp electrical service to a separate sub panel.

The sub panel can be on GFCI protection and will allow you to add a 40 or 50 amp heat pump to the electrical circuitry.

Usually this is just done in a “small dog house” next to the swimming pool or shed where they keep all the pool equipment.

Make sure that you have adequate size on your main electrical service as a minimum of 200 amp. This would be so that you can run 60 amp out to your swimming pool. You wouldn’t want to try this on a 100 amp main electrical service in your house and then take 60 of it for your swimming pool cause issues the rest of your house wiring.

pool wiring

10. Is It Ok To Run A Pool Pump 24 Hours A Day?

Mostly all swimming pool pumps are rated for continuous duty yes. In fact when you first start your swimming pool it will most likely run it for a week straight to get it cleared up in the spring time.

After the swimming pool has been cleared up and the chemicals are balanced then you can cut the time back on the pool pump running.

There would be no need at this point to run the swimming pool pump at 24 hours a day. For example I run my swim pool pump for hours on in four hours off on a timer.

11.What Size Wire Do I Need To Run My Pool Pump?

For smaller circuitry for pool pumps only a minimum of 12 gauge to wire and nmd90 or tech cable is recommended for 20 amp circuit. However with the cost difference most consumers will run 30 amp circuit which is 10 gauge.

If you plan to run a sub panel of 60 amp then we recommend a minimum of number 6/3 copper an nmd 90 or tech cable depending on the type of installation and the type of construction that you’re providing the pool circuitry too.

We recommend strongly that you have a pool pump house or an area where you can run through.

Tech cable is much more costly than an empty or non-metallic dry wiring. In addition if you can have an indoor rated electrical panel or subpanel you will save wisely.

Outdoor rated panels are three times the cost is indoor right and panels so if you add up the price difference in the wiring most enough money to build a small shed. We hope do you like this article and it helped give some sense to some pool wiring for your new swimming pool that you’re about to install. Please check out all of her other articles as they provide very helpful information.