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Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
I just had an electrician ask me if he could install #14 cu. conductors for a pool motor and I said yes but he would need a #12 cu. EGC. Is everyone on this forum in agreement? (ha ha) I know the rules that say the GEC doesn't have to be larger than the circuit conductor (250.122(A)) but there apearently isn't any rule that would let us run less than a #12 cu. GEC for a pool motor. Check 680.21(A).

George Little
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 613
680.21 requires a equipment grounding conductor not smaller than #12 AWG for pool motors.

680.3 states that methods modified by this article be used...

2005 NEC 680.21 added that the EGC has to be "insulated" except as covered by this section...

I agree that a #12 EGC minimum must be used...


Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 15
I noticed that you are asking about using #14 wire on a pump motor. I dont see any great benefit/savings using #14 for this particular application (unless you are doing a lot of them) but...since you seem to be splitting hairs...why would you mention #14 CU? Do you ever see #14 AL in a raceway?

Just curious


Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,507
I guess I didn't have to specify cu wire because I don't think they make alum. wire in that gauge. Don't forget, we have a lot of very exacting people on this board so you have to choose your words carefully. And, I agree, there's not much of a savings in using #14 wire for the branch wiring and #12 for the EGC. That's what I told the contractor. If he ends up using #14 with a #12 EGC, I can't quote a violation.

George Little
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,928
Likes: 34
#12 cu is the smallest EGC you can use anywhere in a pool as far as I know. In fact I have some left over SJTW wet niche lamp cord that is 14ga with a 12ga ground. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it but they whacked about 60-80' of a 100' cord for 3 lights and it was in the dumpster.
It just looked too good to throw away.
(I wasn't working there, just visiting my favorite builder)

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
Don't forget, we have a lot of very exacting people on this board so you have to choose your words carefully.

No truer words have been spoken. [Linked Image]

I agree with shortcircuits reasoning.

Look at that, so far we are all in agreement. [Linked Image]


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233

What if the wet niche cord had # 16 ga ground wire and the fixture was UL listed and would you have to accept it?

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,928
Likes: 34
I wouldn't accept it. Me the EC and U/L would have to go round and round.
There may be some places where I would accept a U/L stamp that appeared to be a code violation but it would not be in an underwater light.
My first guess would be this was some Chicom knockoff of a U/L product, complete with counterfeit listing

Greg Fretwell
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 558

What code would you cite to require a #12 EGC in the cord?

You are only required to install a #12 or larger EGC to the junction box where the cord terminates. The EGC in the cord must not be smaller than the supply conductors and not smaller than #16. See 680.23(B)(3)

I have never seen a wet niche fixture cord that has a #12 EGC.


[This message has been edited by caselec (edited 04-16-2005).]

Curt Swartz
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 681
"(3) Equipment Grounding Provisions for Cords. Wetniche luminaires (lighting fixtures) that are supplied by a flexible cord or cable shall have all exposed non–currentcarrying metal parts grounded by an insulated copper equipment grounding conductor that is an integral part of the cord or cable. This grounding conductor shall be connected to a grounding terminal in the supply junction box, transformer enclosure, or other enclosure. The grounding
conductor shall not be smaller than the supply conductors and not smaller than 16 AWG.

this section spells it out pretty good [Linked Image].

Pierre Belarge
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