What is the Right Way to Ground Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs?

Nothing feels better than a dip in the pool, a hot bath, or a soothing spa. You deserve to enjoy these in your home. The only problem is water and electricity are a risky combo. A professional and experienced electrician will know how to ground your pool, spa, and hot tub the right way. Here is all you need to know about safe wiring for a blissful summer.

Where can I find electricity around pools, hot tubs, or spas?

  • Overhead power lines
  • Underwater lights
  • Electrical switches or outlets
  • Electric pool equipment like pumps, filters, heaters, vacuum, and so on.
  • Extension and power cords
  • Electrical appliances like a radio or TV

The disconnect switch
For outdoor spas, and pools the electrician will install a disconnect switch to give you control and convenience. You can set the timer on the switch to a specific time and when this runs out the switch turns off. This is one safety measure. The disconnect switch is also installed at least five feet from the spa or tub. The aim is to prevent you from getting electrocuted by attempting to reach the switch from the pool.

Overhead power lines
Having power lines run over your pool or spa is almost unavoidable, so precautions are taken to prevent an electrical hazard. The wiring must be at least 22 and a half feet above water level.

Underground wiring
All underground wiring must be run at least five feet from the edge of the water. The only exceptions to this rule are wiring connected to the pool, spa, or tub. An example is a heater, spa lighting, or pump filter.

The ground fault circuit interrupter devices come in the form of an outlet or circuit breaker. All the electrical connections made around the pools, spas, or tubs are connected to these devices for your safety. When a fault arises the circuit automatically shuts off to prevent electrocution.

GFCIs are generally used around the home for areas prone to water. They always help to protect you and your family from electric shocks.

Overhead telecommunication lines
These refer to wiring used for telephone, speakers, and cable. They should be run at least 10 feet above the water and diving platform. It is also advisable to place your pool or spa away from these overhead lines if that is an option.

Even when your pool, spa, or hot tub are wired the right way and according to all electrical codes, it is important to take precautions and avoid electrical hazards. Here are a few tips:

  • Schedule regular maintenance for these wires with a professional electrician
  • Learn to turn off the electrical power to these wet areas in case of an emergency.
  • All outdoor receptacles should be waterproof and kept dry.
  • Keep all electrical appliances like the stereo or cords at least 10 feet from the water.
  • Consult with your electrician about pool alarms.
  • Test the GFCIs regularly to ensure they are in optimum condition.