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#114625 - 05/21/03 06:57 PM Rotten EMT around pool  
Admin  Online Content

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,439
Submitted by "NJwirenut":

[Linked Image]
Here's a picture of a nice section of what was once 3/4" EMT running around the side of an indoor swimming pool. This was still live, carrying power to some non-GFCI receptacles fed from a Federal Pacific "no-trip" subpanel. Looks like a crack developed in the pool wall, leaking water onto the conduit for years.

Bob Weiss (NJwirenut)

Tools for Electricians:

#114626 - 05/21/03 07:24 PM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
You would think that when the second raceway was installed they might have chosen a different method like IMC, RMC, RNC or at least followed the code when installing the EMT.

300.6 Protection Against Corrosion.

(C) Indoor Wet Locations. In portions of dairy processing facilities, laundries, canneries, and other indoor wet locations, and in locations where walls are frequently washed or where there are surfaces of absorbent materials, such as damp paper or wood, the entire wiring system, where installed exposed, including all boxes, fittings, conduits, and cable used therewith, shall be mounted so that there is at least a 6-mm (1/4-in.) airspace between it and the wall or supporting surface.

Even with the crack in the wall I think had the 1/4" space been provided the EMT would be intact.

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#114627 - 05/21/03 10:10 PM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,811
Brick, NJ USA
We came across a pool equip room that looked a little better than your EMT, and the discos, panels and starters where corroded out. After a dollar and "sense" discussion, we replaced everything.
SS Discos
PVC conduit
PVC/Fiberglass 3R enclosures for starters
PVC 3R enclosure for CB panel.
Epoxy coated strut, SS strut straps
All SS hardware.

Do it right, it shall survive.
(As long as the maintenance guys keep the enclosures closed)



#114628 - 05/22/03 11:52 AM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
ThinkGood  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081
Milwaukee, WI
I thought there were yearly inspections in NJ?????!!!! This looks as though it was more than a year in the making.

(I vaguely recall reading that here somewhere.)

#114629 - 05/22/03 03:49 PM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
HotLine1  Offline

Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 6,811
Brick, NJ USA
Yes, there is a "annual" inspection for commercial pools in NJ. (Any pool/spa in other than a single family home. It is a "visual" inspection, and it should turn up things like the pic above. I don't know if NJWirenut is actually in NJ, or if the pic is a "commercial" pool. It says "indoor", and there are some houses with indoor pools.

(Edit) NJW is "on your side of the river", I just checked his profile.


[This message has been edited by HotLine1 (edited 05-22-2003).]


#114630 - 05/26/03 10:03 PM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
SAFTENG  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 136
Cincinnati, OH, USA
I can't help but think this is exactly what the Consumer Product Safety Commission was afraid of when they put out this announcement last week...

Don’t Swim With Shocks - CPSC, American Red Cross Warn of Electrocutions in Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the weather warms up, swimmers across the country are heading out to backyard, community and public pools, hot tubs and spas. When it comes to pool safety, drowning is the first concern that comes to mind; but today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Red Cross are warning of another hidden danger to swimmers: electrocution. There have been 60 deaths and nearly 50 serious shocks reported over the past 13 years involving electrical hazards in and around swimming pools.

The CPSC is most concerned about faulty underwater lighting; aging electrical wiring that hasn’t been inspected in years; the use of sump pumps, power washers, and vacuums that are not grounded; and electrical appliances (such as radios and TVs) and extension cords falling or being pulled into the water. All of these hazards present an even greater risk if the lighting, circuits, and nearby receptacles are not protected by Ground-Fault Circuit-Interrupters (GFCIs) – the best safety device to prevent electrocution.

“The best protection for families is inspection, detection, and correction of electrical hazards in and around swimming pools, hot tubs and spas,” says CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. “CPSC strongly encourages residential and commercial pool owners and operators to upgrade protection of the lights, receptacles, and switches with GFCIs. Older pools are the biggest concern, as underwater lighting fixtures may have degraded with age and may not be protected by GFCIs.”

The CPSC and the American Red Cross are also warning swimmers that electrical hazards around a pool, hot tub or spa can lead to multiple deaths or injuries. This occurs when an individual becomes incapacitated by stray current in the water and one or more persons jump in or reach out to save the victim, resulting in multiple electrocutions or serious shocks.

In May 2002, a 14-year-old girl from Arlington, Texas, was electrocuted when wiring problems in an apartment swimming pool’s underwater lights charged the water with electricity. A 16-year-old boy was seriously shocked when he jumped in the pool to try to save the young girl. Another teenager used a fiberglass shepherd’s hook (a non-conductive device) to pull both victims from the water.

Parents and pool owners should have an emergency plan (pdf), posted in the pool area, to safely help someone who is suffering an electrical shock. This action is necessary to prevent the victim from drowning and to protect others from the harm of electrical energy in or around the pool.

In an emergency, the American Red Cross recommends turning off all power; using a fiberglass hook to carefully remove the victim(s) from the water; administering CPR; and calling 911.

For more information about electrical safety around pools, hot tubs or spas, consumers should contact CPSC at (800) 638-2772 or Consumers also can view our publications, “Don’t Swim With Shocks – Electrical Safety In and Around Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas,” (pdf) and “Install Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter Protection for Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs”.

#114631 - 05/26/03 10:41 PM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
NJwirenut  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Bergen County, NJ
Yes, I am in NJ, and I have no idea how this one escaped the annual pool inspection for so long. The only explanation I can come up with is that there was some equipment stored in front of this mess, hiding it from the visual inspection.

This conduit (and the newer one above it) has since been replaced with PVC, and numerous other violations corrected. The FPE panel was replaced, as well! [Linked Image]

#114632 - 06/05/03 09:04 PM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
John Steinke  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 518
Reno,Nv., USA
This is why code requires that the methods used be suitable for the corrosion they will be exposed to. Unfortunatly, most people fail to appreciate either the alkalinity of concrete, or the corrosiveness of chlorine. Pools, especially indoor ones, can be a very corrosive location.
The best materials would probably be fiberglass or urethane conduit. This is one area where the use of stainless steel plumbing pipe can be justified (I'm not aware of any listed stainless or brass conduit).

#114633 - 06/06/03 12:45 AM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
nesparky  Offline
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
Just completed a pool rehab. Old wiring was done with RGS approx. 5 years ago. Almost all of it was easily crushed by hand during the demo phase. We tore every thing electrical out despite the owner wanting to reuse some of the equipment. We gave the owwner the old junk and he had to admit it was junk.
The new wiring is 100% PVC conduit and THWN.
At least the conduit will not rust out. Since we sealed all conduit openings into boxex and condulets, I am confident this will last a lot longer than the previous wiring.
The owner told me that this was the third reqwire of this pool since it opened 16 years ago.
Why some one else did not use PVC is a question I cannot answer.


#114634 - 06/06/03 03:15 PM Re: Rotten EMT around pool  
kale  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 174
Here is one source of UL Listed stainless steel conduit
and the 1/2 inch only costs $23 foot!

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