GFCIs have been in the code since the Ford administration. I don't get it. I think the health inspector should get a seminar about pool wiring and the current code. Then see what they can do about this from a "life safety" aspect. A short check list would identify 99% of the dangers and give you a feel for the other 1%.
That appears to be more than they do here. My wife said the only pool inspection is done by the health inspector and she never saw much in the way of electrical other than just looking for obvious things. (missing covers, damaged cords etc)
I have a question into Brian Holland (the CBO in a town north of me) to see what he thinks about this.
If I wanted to work some more I would offer a pool inspection service to supplement what the health department does and also do residential. Those are generally only inspected on initial install at the code at the time and everything since then is not even looked at.
Greg: A little more details. Keep in mind that I am in a 'seasonal area'; basically, Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day. Yes, we have some year round pools in health clubs and the hotels, and two schools.
Our Health Dept also checks the pools; prior to seasonal opening, and during the summer season as required.
Electrical Inspector does a visual of the bonding and power wiring, checks operation of EPO and all GFIs within pool area, restrooms, etc.
Needless to say, it gets really crazy the week before Memorial Day.
I think this may become an area for some special tools. Obviously the GFCIs are the low fruit, trip them and be sure all the equipment that is supposed to go off, goes off. Actually verifying the bonding is tougher. I am really sorry I do not have pictures but "pool lifts" seem to be a problem. I have seen several and never have I seen one with an 8ga solid bonding wire. I would question what was on the other end if I did. The pool I saw in Miami (airport Hyatt) was a death trap. No self latching gates, no bonding on 2 lifts, non-compliant drain cover and that was just a cursory look. My wife told me to stop it
Greg: NJ Regs (DCA) require a 'test and certification' of the bonding with a maximum of five (5) years between tests. The Certificate must be posted by the pool equipment area. And a copy must be provided with the annual permit application.
Any types of work that may affect the integrity of the bonding requires another test.
The 'test' may be done by a NJ Lic. EC, or a recognized testing company.
That's about the jist of it.
There is nomethod described for the 'test', with the exception of NOT using a flashlight continuity tester!!
I guess that was the question. You are certainly not testing anything with a simple continuity test. You would need to check it under a load and verify something less than 1 ohm. (the standard IBM came up with for grounding paths after we had a guy die) Even a light bulb tester would be better than a digital ohm meter, particularly if you actually measured the voltage drop while lighting the bulb. I think I would want a sealed beam headlight and a 12v battery, not a flashlight bulb. Something like an Ecos or a Sure Test would do it but people get nervous using 120v to energize water.
I bet a properly wired pool would still show troubling voltage drop across all of those connections after 10-20 years.
I may build up a tester like this and see how my 8 year old pool is doing.
In real life, simple GFCI protection would have prevented all of the problems we have had here in the last few months. That is certainly easy to inspect and test.