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Is a Concrete Base Beneath a Vinyl Pool Liner a Pool Shell?

Question asked by Joe Nelson on Feb 24, 2018
Latest reply on Feb 28, 2018 by Nick Sasso

NEC 2017 680.26(B) states that conductive pool shells shall be bonded. 680.26(B)(1) states that, "Vinyl liners...shall be considered to be nonconductive materials." Some pool construction methods that utilize nonconductive vinyl liners also utilize a (unreinforced) concrete base (or shell) between native soil and the vinyl liner material.  Normally, this concrete base layer does not come in contact with pool water unless there is a tear in the vinyl liner or an installation defect. The question posed in a code review seminar is whether this concrete base layer is considered to be part of a pool shell, and if so, whether it is required to be incorporated into the equipotential system using a copper conductive grid as described in 680.26(B)(1)(b).


In 680.26(B)(1) bonding is specified to be to "conductive pool shells," and not to conductive "materials."There appears to be no specific definition of what constitutes a pool "shell," and it is not clear in 680.26(B)(1) whether vinyl "liners" referenced as a "material,"are also considered to be a "shell."