Many people enjoy having a pool in their backyard since it is a great addition to refresh themselves during hot summer days. However, what if you have power lines that pass over your backyard where you plan to install the pool? Although you might initially think that it is not a big deal, you will be wrong. Electricity combined with water is very dangerous.
National Electric Code (NEC) specifies what requirements you need to follow when installing a pool under the power lines. Many pool owners don’t know that these rules must be strictly followed. Having electrical power lines near the pool is dangerous, and we are going to talk about this. So, let’s start!
Can You Put A Pool Under Power Lines? A pool should not be placed under power lines due to the potential danger of electric shock if water comes into contact with the lines. According to the National Electrical Code, power lines must be at least 25 feet (7.6 m) away from the pool. During the storm, power lines could fall into the pool.
Now that we’ve explained why it’s not a good idea to have a pool under the power lines, we will talk about the things you need to pay attention to when doing this task.
Safety Measures Related to Electricity Around the Pool
First, electricity in combination with water is dangerous. As water can also be found around the pool, make sure to keep you and everybody else safe from electrical shock. To do this, ensure that your electrical equipment is working without problems and that they were installed properly. Just one faulty wire may cause a lot of damage to people or any other living creature when it is combined with water.
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To avoid this, ensure that all of your electrical components are checked by a professional and not by you alone since you may not spot the things he would. There are also electricians to hire who specialize in pools, hot tubs, and spas. It is even a better idea since they can give you advice about pool features and equipment and pool placement in relation to power lines.
Related article about pools: How Long Can A Frog Live In A Pool.
Safety Codes To Follow For Swimming Pool Safety
When installing a swimming pool, you need to follow some rules and safety codes for underground or overhead power lines. Not following safety rules can lead to fatal consequences. That is why it may be the best idea to keep your pool away from power lines for everyone’s safety and to make sure to follow all the rules. Be sure to follow these rules:
- Overhead power lines need to be around 30 feet from the pool.
- If you have a diving board or any kind of platform, even an observation area, you need to make sure that overhead power lines are at least 20 feet away from it.
- You need to be careful about underground power lines since a pool cannot be placed over them. It should be at least 5 feet away from them.
- There should be no electrical fixtures or receptacles around the pool for at least 5 feet. Lighting fixtures that are professionally designed for pools are an exception.
- If you need to have wiring around the pool and if it is closer to it than 18 feet, you need to protect it with GFCI protection.
Power Lines And Their Impact On A Swimming Pool
If you have overhead power lines near your house, you will need to learn how they may affect the installation of your swimming pool or hot tub before you decide to begin the installation process. Here are the things to look for:
1. Minimum Distance Between Power Lines And The Pool
If you want to put a swimming pool under power lines, you need to ensure that the pool and these power lines are at least 25 feet (7.6 m) apart. Also, if you plan on having diving platforms, they need to follow the same distance as these lines. Communication cables are different since they require less distance between the water and diving platforms. That distance needs to be around 12 feet (3.6 m).
Note: When you are calculating the distance, you need to calculate it from the water level. This point is defined as the highest tip that water can reach in the pool without overflowing.
2. Potential Dangers Of Having A Pool Under Power Lines
It is not forbidden to place a pool under power lines, but most homeowners avoid it if possible. Power lines can be dangerous not only when in contact with water but also with other materials. That is why you need to be careful. For example, when cleaning a pool, you may harm yourself if you touch the power lines with a metallic net used for cleaning the pools.
Another dangerous situation is if power lines are damaged because of bad weather and fall directly into the pool. If this situation happens, you will need to call your electric company to help you. This situation cannot be solved on your own and is extremely dangerous if it happens. That is why many people avoid this in the first place if they can choose.
Related Article: Should We Fill A Pool With A Water Truck? Explained
Safety Rules About Electrical Devices Around The Pool
Most pools consist of pumps, motors, and lights that run on electricity. For safety reasons, the following electrical components must be properly maintained:
Since you need to connect motors and pumps to electrical outlets, you also need to make sure to protect these outlets properly. They need to be locked, protected by GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupters), and located at least 5 feet from any poolside. If you have an outlet that is not protected by GFCI, you need to make sure that it is at least 18 feet away from your swimming pool to avoid any unwanted dangerous situation.
For in-ground pools, you will require at least 1 electrical outlet that is protected by GFCI. Remember that it must be at least 5 feet from your swimming pool.
GFCIs are made to protect your pool from electric currents, and by doing that, they are keeping your pool and its surroundings safe. They are not a requirement, but having them is good just to be safe. It is a good idea to use GFCI to protect you from things such as outdoor lights, underwater pool lights, and convenience outlets.
Underground power lines need to be at least 5.5 feet (1.5 m) away from any side of your pool. Also, you cannot put your pool directly above these power lines. Some lines, like lighting or others, are crucial for the pool’s functioning, so keeping them 5 feet away may be hard. That is why you can add a full raceway system to safely keep these wires closer to your pool.
If you are using a rigid metal conduit, you need to remember that you need at least 7 inches of overhead space. A non-metallic raceway also requires 7 inches of overhead space but 5 inches of it needs to be concrete. Without it, you will need at least 20 inches for the non-metallic raceway.
For pool owners, maintenance disconnect is also an important thing that needs to be installed as an addition to your pool. It will shut down power to all electrical components that you have in your pool (filters, lights, pumps, etc.) for practical and for safety reasons. It should be located away from the pool so you cannot touch it when using it (around 7 feet away or even more).
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Pool Clearances Around Power Lines
It is required by the National Electrical Safety Code that the pool’s water level and any equipment that may touch the water, such as diving platforms, need to be at least 22.5 feet away from the overhead electric service line. When it comes to overhead primary lines, it needs to be 25 feet (7.6 m) away from them.
This rule is both for swimming pools (in-ground and above-ground) and hot tubs/spas. For underground power lines, you can call 811 to have them located. If you have them near your house, your pool needs to be at least 5 feet away from these lines and cannot be directly placed above them. If you do not follow the code, you can be charged if they discover it and need to move the lines or your pool.
For those who want to learn more, be sure to read: Does An In-Ground Pool Increase Property Taxes?
FAQ: People Also Ask
Why can’t you have a pool under power lines?
Keeping a pool under power lines can be very dangerous since electricity can kill you. You can be electrocuted very easily. That is why you must keep your pool’s water level and any additional pool features at least 25 feet away from the overhead power lines.
How far does a pool have to be from electric lines?
If you have electrical outlets near your pool, you need to GFCI protect them and make sure that they are at least 5 feet away from the pool. If you have other outlets that you will not use for the pool and that is not protected, you need to keep them at least 18 feet away to avoid danger.
What is the minimum height for power lines?
Power lines are usually higher above the ground so that any vehicle on the road is safe. This measurement is usually 16 feet above the ground minimally, at the lowest point.
Does a swimming pool need to be grounded?
Because a swimming pool has some electrical components and it also consists of metal parts, it needs to be grounded properly to prevent any kind of danger to people using it.
Having a swimming pool under power lines is allowed. However, it is not recommended since it can be harmful and dangerous. Even if you keep your pool 25 feet away from any power lines, accidents can result in lines falling directly into the water and causing chaos. To avoid this, you should place your pool in a safe space and not risk your health and life.
Having electrical components near the pool is dangerous, but it is also crucial to have them so your pool can work properly. Every wire needs to be protected and checked regularly to avoid risks. Electrical outlets need to be GFCI protected when near a pool and also placed away from the pool at a safe distance. Doing all of these things will help you to have safe entertainment and recreation for your family, friends, and acquaintances.