Pool pump and extension cord safety

Thread Starter

Spacerat

Joined Aug 3, 2015
25
Hello,

I just got an above the ground pool for the summer. The pool has a pump rated 110V, 014. Hp, 2A current, and it (the pump motor, I guess) requires GFCI protection.I do have an GFCI rated outlet. Is the GFCI protection solely required to protect the pool pump motor so it does not burn or catch fire? Of course, I am not planning to run the pump while people are in the pool. Could swimmers get electrocuted if the pump failed given that the pump is in contact with the water in the pool through its hoses?

My issue: unfortunately the pump wire does not reach the GFCI outlet (it is 4 feet short). To solve the problem, I am considering using a gauge 10, 15A rated extension cord to connect the pump to the GFCI outlet. However, I read that extension cords should not be used in this context but the extension cord I have seems safe (15 amps rating).

Do you see anything wrong with that?

Thank you!
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,453
The extension cord MUST be 3 pronged with a grounding conductor. The GFCI is absolutely required. In the US according to the National Electric Code all outside outlets must be GFCI. Used to be at the breaker in the panel but now GFCI outlets are more common as it saves a bit of time from going to the panel to reset the breaker. Outdoor weather resistant GFCIs should be covered.
1588786414123.png
 

Thread Starter

Spacerat

Joined Aug 3, 2015
25
Thank you!

Yes, the extension chord is 3 pronged and 15A rated. I will place a cover on the GFCI outlet (not present now). I know for sure that the outlet is a GFCI outlet because it once tripped the circuit....
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
984
The reason you should not use an extension lead with the submersible pump is that it is possible that the mains plug could fall into the water. That said, you need to ensure that with the extension lead attached, it is not possible for the pump plug to come anywhere near the pool water.
 

Thread Starter

Spacerat

Joined Aug 3, 2015
25
The reason you should not use an extension lead with the submersible pump is that it is possible that the mains plug could fall into the water. That said, you need to ensure that with the extension lead attached, it is not possible for the pump plug to come anywhere near the pool water.
Thanks. The pump actually seats outside the pool pulling water out, passing through a filter, and pushing it back into the pool. So the extension cord is far from water, just closing the last 4-5 feet gap between the pump and the outlet.
 

Thread Starter

Spacerat

Joined Aug 3, 2015
25
The extension cord MUST be 3 pronged with a grounding conductor. The GFCI is absolutely required. In the US according to the National Electric Code all outside outlets must be GFCI. Used to be at the breaker in the panel but now GFCI outlets are more common as it saves a bit of time from going to the panel to reset the breaker. Outdoor weather resistant GFCIs should be covered.
View attachment 206431
SamR, actually, the outlet on the patio that I will be connecting the pool to is not a GFCI outlet. However, I know that this patio outlet is connected to a GFCI outlet located in a different room in the house...I remember working with a power tool connected to the patio outlet and accidentally cutting the tool power cord :( All of a sudden the tool stopped working and the patio outlet was not active anymore: the GFCI in the other room got tripped...
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
3,453
Extension cords by nature are for temporary use and should be protected from sharp edges that may penetrate the outside insulation of the cord. That would include foot traffic over them. We required a 2x4 laid on each side of them or a piece of metal pipe large enough to pass the connector through for on-plant use to protect from being driven/walked over. YMMV

Tripping the breaker by cutting a power cord does not guarantee that it is a GFCI protected breaker. Check the panel for a GFCI breaker and trip it. Check the outlet before and after to make sure it is on the GFCI. If not, install one on the outside outlet. My house was built 45 years ago and only has 1 GFCI breaker installed in the panel that serves 3 outside outlets, 2 bathroom vanity outlets and the required to be protected outlets in an enclosed garage area. The pool electrical service must be protected for safety. Even with grandfathering of preexisting outlets, new installations must be protected and it never hurts to upgrade outlets where needed.
 

Janis59

Joined Aug 21, 2017
1,337
Nothing may be better for open-air work safety as differential-current-automat. Cord - of course have impact on probablity but even ever best cord sooner of later WILL have forms aUV-induced micro-crack in insulation and there is lurking out Your death. Opposite, automat gives a well chances that even if You become electrocuted, in miliseconds it will end with near 100% warranty. And that is really cheap solution. For illustration only purpose https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/cir...ie-row-table-devices-to-protect-145838236.jpg
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
9,028
For a pool filter pump that only draws 2 amps you do not need a #10 wire size cord, whiuch is good for 30 amps. You can do very well with a cord of #14 wire, or even #16 sized conductors.

And the GFCI will certainly protect from shocks if it is actually protecting that outlet, and if it is working correctly.

Far to often somebody installs a GFCI to feed multiple outlets, and in many occasions other parts of a house, and because of repeated nuisance tripping it gets bypassed, so that none of the rest of the outlets are protected. For that reason you do need to verify that the outlet is in fact GFCI protected. And the fact that a circuit breaker tripped when you cut the wire does not prove that protection.
And given that the pool filter pump is a small one, it may be double insulated and not even have a 3-pin plug, in which case there is no need for a 3 wire extension cord.
The primary reason that any instructions command not using an extension cord is to cover themselves from lawsuits from fools who use an entirely incorrect cord. It is appropriate to keep the connection dry and away from where pool users will contact it.
 

djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
7,763
What if he removed the existing power cord and replaced it with an appropriately length cord? Possibly cut from an extension cord...

ideally, I’d hire an electrician to run a line through conduit and buried in concrete, to a GFCI outlet located by the pump.
 

Hymie

Joined Mar 30, 2018
984
Normally such pumps will have an ingress protection of IPX7; replacing the cord will almost certainly compromise this level of protection – the user instructions will have a statement to the effect that should the mains cord become damaged the pump should be scrapped.
 
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