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#161188 03/31/07 10:37 AM
Joined: Oct 2002
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If the circuit is GFI protected and not over 20 amps, can I still just go 12" on pool wiring? In the burial depth table in the pool section, it doesn't say anything about it. Thanks Steve...

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Everything but the underwater pool light must be 5' away from the pool so the normal rules apply.


Greg Fretwell
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Greg, I'm talking on the depth of the trench, not the distance from the pool. In residential, the trench can be minimum of 12" deep if it is GFI protected and not over a 20 amp circuit. I was wondering if that same rule applied on pool wiring, since the chapter on pool wiring has it's on depth table, and it don't say anthing about the 12" rule. Thanks again, Steve....

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You use 680.10 (18" for RNC) but that is not usually a burden since the pool light(s) will usually be the only equipment that is required to be wired inside the 5' zone. This will be >18" deep where it goes into the pool wall so it is not really that hard to keep it 18" for 5 feet. Once you get outside the zone you can ease it up to 12". Since you are pulling a #8 and a SJOW cord you don't want many bends anyway. I don't know any AHJs who think "Where space limitations prevent wiring from being routed a distance 1.5 m (5 ft) or more from the pool ..." refers to anything but wiring supplying pool equipment.


Greg Fretwell
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I am reading 680.10 ('02 NEC) and it tells me that if the wiring is within 5 feet horizontal of the pool and it is underground the wiring methods do not include UF cable. If you are beyond 5 foot then the rules of 300.5 apply.


George Little
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UF is not really recognized for any pool equipment is it? (no insulated EGC)
All the guys I know just say "no" to any wiring that is not necessary for the pool to be inside the 5' zone. The pool digger usually enforces that rule with his backhoe anyway. With the possible exception of a power cover I can't think of any other "pool" equipment that will be there besides the light.
I guess the question is whether you wire before they backfill the shell. Even if it is after, this is fresh fill, should be easy digging. On my pool I did go "after" but that was mostly to avoid stress on the plumbing that I did at the same time.


Greg Fretwell
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Greg- I agree with you on the wiring in the 5 foot zone being only pool related but every once in a while I've run into a need to have wiring non pool related run in that zone due to side yard or other space limitations and I don't know what he had but if he had to run in the 5 foot zone it would have to be in conduit.


George Little
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Greg- I just had a thought about the power for fiberoptic lighting for a pool. It is not required to be in a raceway. But it could be in the 5 foot zone and as such would have to be in conduit. It comes as hard wired and as cord and cap connected. If the latter it would have to be GFCI protected.
If it were hard wired then it could be in UF and possible not need GFCI protection I think???

Last edited by George Little; 03/31/07 08:34 PM.

George Little
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How do you approve an above ground light inside the zone by code? (not "underwater")
The only time I have seen fiber illuminators they get installed outside the zone and "fibered" in. That makes everyone happy so the contractor does it that way. He gets to sell another few feet of fiber too. If you are inside that zone with a light, I am really looking for something that looks like 680.23. The same thing goes for rope light, landscape lights or anything else. That is the advantage of fiber, you can put your illuminator "out there" and still pipe in light for borders, accents, spots and anything else you would have done with rope, Malibu or whatever.
I really can't think of any pool equipment besides a light, and maybe a power cover, that needs to be in the zone.


Greg Fretwell
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Actually not even the power cover. That electrical equipment needs to be 5' away.


Greg Fretwell
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