Swimming pool safety is something that’s been drilled into most of us from a very young age. No running around the pool. Always swim with a buddy. Look before you leap. Stay out of the pool during a lightning storm. All these short, snappy phrases are intended to keep us safe and free from injury. But there are other safety issues that have probably never been taught to the average swimmer. And this is simply because they’ve been taken care of during the installation of the swimming pool and aren’t needed to be considered by the average user. One of these issues is electrical grounding. Do above ground pools need to be grounded? Absolutely! Not only do they need to be grounded, but they also need to be bonded. And while most pool users may have never even thought about these types of problems, if you’re a swimming pool owner, these are the types of things that you need to understand and control.
What Is Electrical Bonding?
Electrical bonding is the process of connecting the metal components of the swimming pool together to equalize their electrical potentials. This will stop the passage of electrical current from the swimming pool to a person touching two different metal components simultaneously. When the components of a swimming pool are bonded, they are wired together to create a network that will contain electricity and not allow it to pass to someone touching two metal parts of the pool. Bonding also creates an electrical pathway so that a circuit breaker will trip if a fault exists.
What Is Electrical Grounding?
Electrical grounding is the process of connecting the electrical system and bonded elements of the swimming pool to the physical ground. If a potentially harmful electrical current exists, it will be directed towards the earth and away from people and metal swimming pool components. By grounding the swimming pool, its electrical network is connected to the earth which prevents people or equipment from conducting an electrical current.
Bonding and Grounding in Conjunction
The combination of bonding and grounding creates an important, but often invisible safety mechanism to prevent the occurrence of electric shock around your swimming pool. With all the metal components of the swimming pool bonded or attached by conductive wiring, unequal electric potentials (a shock hazard) are eliminated. And when the electrical system and bonded components are attached physically to the ground, any fault current will flow to earth and not through a human.
The Importance of Swimming Pool Bonding and Grounding
Electrical safety around a swimming pool is of the utmost importance. It requires a licensed electrician who has a familiarity with swimming pools. You should speak with your swimming pool retailer about grounding before the installation process begins. Getting things right could be the difference between life and death.
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