Code Hunter: Pools & spas NEC 2017

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Code Hunter Spas & Pools

The Questions

To play this game, you need a sharp eye, a quick mind and a 2017 National Electrical Code book. (Fill-in-the-blank questions are looking for the exact word(s) used in the NEC.)

1) Minimum cover depths for underground wiring in swimming pool installations are required to comply with:

A) Table 300.5
B) Table 300.50
C) Table 680.9(A)
D) Table 680.11

2) Communications, radio, and television coaxial cables within the scope of Articles 800 through 820 shall be permitted at a height of not less than above swimming and wading pools, diving structures, and observations stands, towers, or platforms.

A) 1.5 m (5 ft)
B) 3.0 m (10 ft)
C) 4.5 m (15 ft)
D) 6.0 m (20 ft)

3) Areas where pool __________ chemicals are stored, as well as areas with circulation pumps, automatic chlorinators, filters, open areas under decks adjacent to or abutting the pool structure, and similar locations shall be considered to be a corrosive environment.

A) And spa
B) Cleaning
C) Sanitation
D) Chlorinating

4) Where necessary to employ __________ connections at or adjacent to the motor, liquidtight flexible metal or liquidtight flexible nonmetallic conduit with listed fittings shall be permitted.

A) Tight
B) Flexible
C) Permanent
D) Removable

5) Wiring methods installed in corrosive environments as described in 680.14 shall contain an insulated copper equipment grounding conductor sized in accordance with__________ , but not smaller than 12 AWG.

A) Table 250.66
B) Table 250.102(C)(1)
C) Table 250.122
D) Table 250.166

6) Where none of the bonded parts is in direct connection with the pool water, the pool water shall be in direct contact with an approved corrosion-resistant conductive surface that exposes not less than __________ of surface area to the pool water at all times.

A) 645 mm2 (1 in.2)
B) 1935 mm2 (3 in.2)
C) 3870 mm2 (6 in.2)
D) 5800 mm2 (9 in.2)

7) Ground-fault circuit-interrupter protection for personnel shall be installed in the branch circuit supplying luminaires operating at voltages greater than __________.

A) 12 volts
B) 150 volts
C) The supply voltage
D) The low-voltage contact limit

8) Low-voltage gas-fired luminaires, decorative fireplaces, fire pits, and similar equipment are permitted within 5’ of the inside walls of a swimming pool.

A) True
B) False

9) Receptacles must be located farther than 1.83 m (6 ft) from the inside walls of a storable pool, storable spa, or storable hot tub.

A) True
B) False

10) Existing luminaires are permitted to remain within 5 feet measured horizontally from the inside walls of a swimming pool if they are more than 5 feet above the surface of the maximum water level, rigidly attached to the existing structure, and protected by a ground-fault circuit interrupter.

A) True
B) False

Bonus Question

Q: Field-installed grounding and bonding terminals for swimming pool installation connections in a wet or corrosive location are required to be made of copper, copper alloy, or stainless steel.

The AnswersCode Hunter Spas & Pools

1) A, Table 300.5. Section 680.11 Underground Wiring Methods now states that the burial depths shall be as given in Table 300.5. Prior to the 2017 NEC, Table 680.10 contained minimum cover depths for these wiring methods. However, since there were only slight variations from Table 300.5, the table in Article 680 was deleted.

2) B, 3.0 m (10 ft). Section 680.9 deals with requirements for Overhead Conductor Clearances for power and communications systems wiring. Communications systems wiring for radio, television and coaxial cable systems is required to be at least 10 feet above pools and associated structures.

3) C, Sanitation. This language is found in 680.14, and the entire section is new for the 2017 NEC. The requirement goes on to discuss what types of corrosive environment might be present, and lists corrosive agents including acid, chlorine, and bromine vapors.

4) B, Flexible. Section 680.21(A)(2) applies to the allowable wiring methods for pool motors in situations where flexible connections are required. In certain locations, it is safer and more practical to employ a flexible wiring method than a non-flexible wiring method due to limited installation space, equipment vibration, etc.

5) C, Table 250.122. Section 680.23(F)(1) contains requirements for branch-circuit wiring on the supply side of enclosures and junction boxes connected to conduits run to underwater luminaires. In corrosive environments, the allowable wiring methods are required to contain a separate insulated copper equipment grounding conductor, even if the wiring method might itself qualify as an equipment grounding conductor in other, noncorrosive locations.

6) D, 5800 mm2 (9 in.2). This requirement is found in Section 680.26(C) for Pool Water. 680.26 deals with Equipotential Bonding, including performance requirements, bonded parts, and pool water. 680.26(C) goes on to say that the conductive surface shall be located where it is not exposed to physical damage or dislodgement during pool activities, and that it must be bonded.

7) D, The low-voltage contact limit. This language is found in Section 680.23(A)(3). The definition for low-voltage contact limit is found in 680.2 and is defined as a voltage not exceeding the following values:

(1) 15 volts (RMS) for sinusoidal ac
(2) 21.2 volts peak for nonsinusoidal ac
(3) 30 volts for continuous dc
(4) 12.4 volts peak for dc that is interrupted at a rate of 10 to 200 Hz

8) A, True. In the new Section 680.22(B)(7), the code language explicitly permits these equipment types to be installed less than 5’ from the inside walls of the pool if the equipment does not require grounding and is supplied by a listed transformer or power supply with an output that does not exceed the low-voltage contact limit. Metallic equipment must be bonded, along with metallic gas piping.

9) A, True. Section 680.34 requires that receptacles be located not less than six feet from the inside walls of storable pools, spas and hot tubs. When determining the distance, the measurement is the shortest path the supply cord of an appliance connected to the receptacle would follow without piercing a floor, wall, ceiling, doorway with hinged or sliding door, window opening, or other effective permanent barrier.

10) A, True. Section 680.22(B)(3) permits existing luminaires and lighting outlets to remain if they meet all of the specified conditions.

Bonus Answer

True. Section 680.7 requires that all grounding and bonding terminations for swimming pools be identified for use in wet and corrosive environments, and if field-installed, must be one of the specified metals. These connectors must also be listed for direct burial


Christel Hunter is director of codes and standards for Cerro Wire. Chris is a senior associate member of IAEI and serves as a board member for the Southern Nevada Chapter of IAEI, the IEEE Standards Association Standards Board, and the Las Vegas Section of IEEE. Chris also serves on NEC CMP-6. Chris is a Certified Standards Professional, Master Electrician, and LEED Accredited Professional.

Randy Hunter is an instructor and consultant specializing in electrical code and installations, and co-owner of Hunter Technical Services. He holds twelve inspections certifications from IAEI, ICC and IAPMO. He is the IAEI Southwestern Section secretary and Southern Nevada IAEI Chapter president. Randy has been a master electrician since 1988.

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Christel Hunter is director of codes and standards for Cerro Wire. Chris is a senior associate member of IAEI and serves as a board member for the Southern Nevada Chapter of IAEI and the Las Vegas Section of IEEE. Chris also serves on NEC CMP-6 and CMP-7, the CE Code Part I committee and Sections 4 and 12 subcommittees, and many other industry committees. She is a certified standards professional, master electrician, and LEED accredited professional. Randy Hunter has over thirty years’ experience in the electrical industry including working in the government, contracting and manufacturing sectors. He is an instructor and consultant specializing in electrical code and installations, and co-owner of Hunter Technical Services. He holds twelve inspections certifications from IAEI, ICC and IAPMO. He is the IAEI Southwestern Section secretary, Southern Nevada IAEI Chapter president, former principal member on NEC CMP-6 and CMP-17, voting member of UL 1563 (Electric Spas, Equipment Assemblies, and Associated Equipment), and a former member of the IAPMO Product Certification Committee and Standards Review Committee. Randy has served on several Southern Nevada local code committees and electrical licensing committees and has been a master electrician since 1988. Prior to that, he designed and built computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine tools.

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