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Swimming pools, hot tubs and spas

ESD and swimming pools

Summer is the time of year when most swimming pool equipment, hot tubs, and spas are inspected and maintained to ensure that life saving measures such as ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection and all grounding and bonding systems are functioning properly. 

Examples of 2020 National Electrical Code® changes:
  • 680.7 – Terminals used for equipment grounding must be listed for use in wet and corrosive environments.
  • 680.9 – The requirements for overhead power now apply to all conductors and not just overhead service conductors.
  • 680.21 – All swimming pool motors that are on branch circuits are required to have Class A GFCI protection for personnel. This applies to replacement pump motors as well.
  • 680.22 – Pool equipment rooms now require at least one GFCI-protected receptacle on a 125-volt, 15- or 20-amp circuit.Any other receptacles installed in the equipment room must be GFCI-protected as well.
  • 680.22 – Electrical equipment other than receptacles and lighting must be a minimum of five feet away fromthe swimming pool unless separated by a barrier.
  • 680.23 – Wet-niche luminaires that are installed in the foot well of a spa are only required to reach the bench area when removed for maintenance.
  • 680.23 – Conduits leading directly to the forming shell of underwater luminaires shall be required to be listed as red brass or stainless steel.
  • 680.26 – The term equipotential bonding is now being used to better describe pool bonding systems.

With all of this GFCI protection required for electrical equipment associated with swimming pools, chances of being shocked or electrocuted in a swimming pool have been reduced dramatically. However, GFCI devices require maintenance according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Following the recommended maintenance schedule ensures that the GFCI protection functions when needed.


Additional information aimed at swimmers, pool and boat owners is available in the Public Education section of the website