In AS/NZS 3000:2007 Clause 220.127.116.11 (the Wiring Rules) where electrical equipment situated in a classified zone is required to be earthed, all extraneous conductive parts in Zones 0, 1 and 2 shall be connected together by equipotential bonding conductors and connected to the protective earthing conductor of the electrical equipment.
Wiring Rules requirements for swimming and spa pools
Although an electrician is contracted to install power points for a pool pump and equipment, the electrician must also be aware of pool or spa zone regulations.
The following items require equipotential bonding:
The exposed conductive parts of electrical equipment in the classified pool zones.
Any exposed conductive parts of electrical equipment that are not separated from live parts by double insulation and that are in contact with pool water, including water in the circulation or filtering system.
Where any items described in (a) or (b) above exist, the bonding items extend to the following:
Any fixed extraneous conductive parts of the pool structure, including the reinforcing metal of the pool shell and deck.
Any conductive fittings within or attached to the pool structure, such as ladders and diving boards.
Any fixed conductive material within arm’s reach of the pool edge, including fences, lamp standards and pipe work.
The bonding conductor shall be terminated or connected by any means permitted by clause 3.7 of the Wiring Rules. In addition, where the connection may be subject to the deteriorating effect of pool water, it requires encapsulating in a suitable compound.
An equipotential bonding conductor in accordance with clause 5.6.3 shall be connected between the bonding parts and the earthing conductor associated with each circuit supplying the pool or spa, or at the earth bar the circuit originates.
Builders and electricians should co-ordinate installation so concrete pools or spas with reinforced metal are bonded with the appropriate bond conductor and encapsulated to protect the joint. See clause 5.6.3 of the Wiring Rules for sizing of the earth bonding conductor. It may mean a critical extra visit for the electrician to install and test the equipotential bond prior to the concrete pour.
If the pool or spa is not equipotential bonded, the pump must be double insulated to water. Check any pool heating to see that it is double insulated to water. If metallic low voltage lights are within the zones, they may also mean the pool must be bonded.
See clause 18.104.22.168 of the Wiring Rules for aspects of equipotential bonding in a swimming or spa pool zone relating to:
Metallic reinforcing of pool or spa shells.
Exemption by double insulation.
One point bonding connection principles in reinforced concrete shells.
Bonding of fixed non-electrical metallic fittings.
Bonding of conductive material within arm’s reach of the pool or spa edge.
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