Keeping Swimming Pools Safe and In Code

Electrical Code Requirements for Swimming Pools

Swimming pools (and hot tubs) come in a wide variety when it comes to their installation (above or below ground), and all use electrical equipment. Depending on the installation and specific pool or spa, it’s necessary to maintain the quality of the water, power the pumps, and where applicable power lights.

Craddock Electrical understands that all installations must be done according to the electrical code that pertains to your area. That’s why we ensure that any electrical work done always meets the local code requirements for safety. Here are just a few of the most common code requirements, noting local rules may vary. Craddock can let you know what the most current guidelines are for electrical safety around pools and spas in your area.
Overhead Power Lines

• Craddock Electrical suggests that it is always a good idea to install a pool or spa well away from any electrical lines. One danger comes when using pool cleaning nets that are equipped with very long handles and could come in contact with power lines.
• Power lines that run above a pool or spa must be at least 22.5 feet above the water level or base of a diving platform. The water level is defined as the highest point water can reach before it spills out of the pool or spa.
• Communication cables must be at least 10 feet above the water level or diving platform.
Underground wiring from any source
Craddock Electrical understands the various applications when connecting electrical to pools or spas.
• Underground wiring may be run no less than 5 feet from any side wall of a pool or spa and is never allowed to be under the pool or spa.
• Notable exceptions are if the connection attaches to the pool or spa to serve equipment or lighting. When space becomes a factor in order to maintain the 5-foot separation rule, if the wiring is installed in a complete liquid-tight flexible conduit for damp locations or corrosion resistant PVC coated components, then the install of the wiring may be closer than 5ft.
• Rigid metal raceway (RMC or IMC) must have at least 6 inches of cover. IMC conduit is a thicker conduit that is galvanized, making it a great choice for outdoor installations.

Receptacles (Power Outlets)

• Receptacles for pumps and motors must be located between 6 and 10 feet from the pool walls, and they must be GFCI-protected and locked. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a device that shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person.
• Outlet receptacles for general use can be no closer than within 20 ft. of a pool or in-ground spa if they are not GFCI-protected; and no closer than 6 feet away if they are GFCI protected.
• On in-ground pools, there MUST be at least one GFCI protected convenience outlet located between 6 feet and 20 feet from the edge of the pool.
Maintenance Disconnect
Craddock Electrical wants to ensure that there is a safe measure when maintain your pool or spa. Many times when non-licensed installers do the work, safety is overlooked.
• A maintenance disconnect is required to shut off power to pool or spa pumps, filters, and other utilization equipment.
• The Disconnect must be installed within sight of the pool or spa but can be no closer than 5 feet from the pool or spa so that you cannot be leaning out of the water to turn power on or off.
• Public spas must have an emergency disconnect that is visible and at least 5 feet from the spa, but this rule does not apply to single-family dwellings.
Special Regulations for Self-Contained Spas and Hot Tubs
• Outlet receptacles can be no closer than six feet from a hot tub or spa and must be GFCI protected if they are less than 10 feet away.
• Lights or ceiling fans must be at least 12 feet above the spa or hot tub if there is no GFCI protection, or at least 7.5 feet if there is GFCI protection.
• Any wall switches must be at least 5 feet from water.
• Any outlet or direct-wired circuit that powers the motor or heater in a self-contained spa or hot tub must be GFCI protected, no matter how far away from the spa or tub.

As you can imagine, while local codes may vary, there are many safeguards that must be followed when dealing with electricity near a pool or spa. Craddock Electrical wants you to be safe and secure when dealing with equipping a pool or spa with electrical connections.

Swimming pools (and hot tubs) come in a wide variety when it comes to their installation (above or below ground), and all use electrical equipment. Depending on the installation and specific pool or spa, it’s necessary to maintain the quality of the water, power the pumps, and where applicable power lights.

Craddock Electrical understands that all installations must be done according to the electrical code that pertains to your area. That’s why we ensure that any electrical work done always meets the local code requirements for safety. Here are just a few of the most common code requirements, noting local rules may vary. Craddock can let you know what the most current guidelines are for electrical safety around pools and spas in your area.

Overhead Power Lines

  • Craddock Electrical suggests that it is always a good idea to install a pool or spa well away from any electrical lines. One danger comes when using pool cleaning nets that are equipped with very long handles and could come in contact with power lines.
  • Power lines that run above a pool or spa must be at least 22.5 feet above the water level or base of a diving platform. The water level is defined as the highest point water can reach before it spills out of the pool or spa.
  • Communication cables must be at least 10 feet above the water level or diving platform.

Underground wiring from any source

Craddock Electrical understands the various applications when connecting electrical to pools or spas.

  • Underground wiring may be run no less than 5 feet from any side wall of a pool or spa and is never allowed to be under the pool or spa.
  • Notable exceptions are if the connection attaches to the pool or spa to serve equipment or lighting. When space becomes a factor in order to maintain the 5-foot separation rule, if the wiring is installed in a complete liquid-tight flexible conduit for damp locations or corrosion resistant PVC coated components, then the install of the wiring may be closer than 5ft.
  • Rigid metal raceway (RMC or IMC) must have at least 6 inches of cover. IMC conduitis a thicker conduit that is galvanized, making it a great choice for outdoor

 

Receptacles (Power Outlets)

  • Receptacles for pumps and motors must be located between 6 and 10 feet from the pool walls, and they must be GFCI-protected and locked. A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) is a device that shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person.
  • Outlet receptacles for general use can be no closer than within 20 ft. of a pool or in-ground spa if they are not GFCI-protected; and no closer than 6 feet away if they are GFCI protected.
  • On in-ground pools, there MUST be at least one GFCI protected convenience outlet located between 6 feet and 20 feet from the edge of the pool.

Maintenance Disconnect

Craddock Electrical wants to ensure that there is a safe measure when maintain your pool or spa. Many times when non-licensed installers do the work, safety is overlooked.

  • A maintenance disconnect is required to shut off power to pool or spa pumps, filters, and other utilization equipment.
  • The Disconnect must be installed within sight of the pool or spa but can be no closer than 5 feet from the pool or spa so that you cannot be leaning out of the water to turn power on or off.
  • Public spas must have an emergency disconnect that is visible and at least 5 feet from the spa, but this rule does not apply to single-family dwellings.

Special Regulations for Self-Contained Spas and Hot Tubs

  • Outlet receptacles can be no closer than six feet from a hot tub or spa and must be GFCI protected if they are less than 10 feet away.
  • Lights or ceiling fans must be at least 12 feet above the spa or hot tub if there is no GFCI protection, or at least 7.5 feet if there is GFCI protection.
  • Any wall switches must be at least 5 feet from water.
  • Any outlet or direct-wired circuit that powers the motor or heater in a self-contained spa or hot tub must be GFCI protected, no matter how far away from the spa or tub.

As you can imagine, while local codes may vary, there are many safeguards that must be followed when dealing with electricity near a pool or spa. Craddock Electrical wants you to be safe and secure when dealing with equipping a pool or spa with electrical connections.