Rules for Wiring Near a Pool

Whether you get an in ground pool, above ground pool or a storable “inflatable type” pool. The common denominator is water. To stay safe from electricity there are a few set-up rules that must be followed here in Ontario for wiring near a pool .

Safe wiring near a pool

All electrical equipment near a pool must be GFCI protected

Electrical Equipment

Any electrical equipment — that is, receptacles, lighting, heating, pumps, air conditioning equipment, etc— located within 3 meters of the inside walls of the tub must be GFCI protected. This can be a GFCI receptacle, or controlled by a GFCI breaker.

When providing wiring near a pool receptacles (even GFCI receptacles) are not permitted to be located within 1.5 m (5 feet) of the tub. The exception to this is that a receptacle can be closer than 5 feet as long as it is on the opposite side of a barrier (a fence, wall, or other permanent barrier) that prevents a 5 foot length of cord from being plugged in and also reaching any spot on the pool edge.

Underground wiring near a pool

Call Ontario ONE CALL for your FREE cable locate whether you are doing an in-ground or above-ground pool. If you have wires buried in your yard the electrical code has the same rules for both above-ground pools and in-ground pools.

If you have buried wires run inside a product called “electrical conduit” these wires must be a minimum of 1 meter (39″) away from the inside walls of a pool (horizontally). If the wires are not in approved electrical conduit, but are buried directly in the earth, they must be a full 1.5 M (60″) away from the inside walls of the pool (horizontally).

Just to be clear on the horizontal part of the rule: you cannot address the 1 meter or 1.5 meter rule by burying the wires deeper directly beneath the pool.

Overhead wires

You CANNOT hang string lights over your pool — even if they are plugged into a GFCI receptacle. Plan to light your pool from the walls of the pool using lovely, approved waterproof fixtures, or by having flood lights mounted on a nearby wall of an adjacent building, like the house or pool shed.

There are very strict rules about the utility company overhead wires too. Your pool supplier needs to know these rules and check them very carefully before selling you an installation beneath those wires. You may also TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO BURY THE OVERHEAD WIRES. Not only does it look better, but also it removes the risk of these lines coming down in a storm and damaging your incoming electrical service equipment.