Are you looking for a contractor?

Submit our quick form and get quotes now!

Table of Contents

Connecting a spa or a pool: everything to know

Connecting a spa or a pool: everything to know

Exterior renovationsConnecting a spa or a pool: everything to know

It can’t be denied that having a pool, whirlpool or spa in your backyard is a serious luxury. Relaxing next to and cooling off by a beautiful piece of water is what every homeowner dreams of, but of course, installing one of these options is easier said than done.

The electrical work involved with installation is challenging for the novice homeowner, and in some instances cannot be done without a professional.

If you’re ready to dive right in but need a little bit more information before taking the plunge, then look no further. We’re here to offer all the necessary information when it comes to the electrical work involved in installing a pool or spa in your backyard.

Connecting a pool or spa? Here’s everything you need to know.

Preparation for pool or spa installation

source: unsplash

If you’ve done a bit of research and looked into the best option for your backyard, you likely know that pools and spas come in all different shapes and sizes, and thus, require different types of electrical equipment to correctly maintain the quality of water.

In most cities and municipalities, electrical equipment must be installed by a licensed electrician. Rules surrounding this will be province or even city-specific, so make sure to complete ample research before you start digging up your yard. Regardless of whether the pool will be inground, above ground or inflatable, most cities will require you to hold a permit for the installation of the structure.

Further, some may require the pool or spa to remain fenced off or fully enclosed before any water can be added to it. In more instances than not, building any sort of structure on your property will necessitate a permit. In this article, we’re touching on common electrical requirements so make sure you delve into the specific necessities of the place you’re living before moving forward.

Another point worth mentioning is that any electrical work surrounding or adjacent to your pool or spa must be plugged into a GFCI or ground-fault circuit interrupter. These are in place to protect yourself and your loved ones against electrical shocks and are especially important in areas surrounding water. Unlike a regular fuse that you find inside the home, a GFCI comes integrated into the outlet. They work by monitoring and controlling the amount of power that goes into a device.

If the power supply is accidentally dropped into water, the GFCI works by detecting this and cutting the power. These are vital when working with electronics close to a pool, as they could be a potential lifesaver. If you're working with a professional, they should be aware of the ins and outs of these procedures but it’s good for you to know about them as well!

It should be noted that in Quebec, it is strictly forbidden to install a spa or a swimming pool within 1.5 metres of a distribution line.

Overhead wiring near a pool or spa

Let’s start with wiring that is already in place close to or around your pool. Power lines located above your pool or spa need to sit at a height of at least 5 meters above the water level or above a diving board. It is not possible to hang string lights above the pool, even if they are plugged into a GFCI outlet. In some municipalities, it will be illegal for pools or spas to be built or located underneath overhead wiring.

Exceptions are made in cases with neutrally supported cables that are at least 5 meters above the water level as well as with conductors that are operating at 50kV and are located 7.5 meters from the water level. The individual or persons installing your pool should be more than aware of the rules involved with overhead wiring. This also allows for an opportunity to bury overhead wires, which will completely remove the risk of above power lines coming down during a storm or damaging your electrical work.

Underground wiring near a pool or spa

It should come as no surprise that underground wiring is not allowed to sit directly under a pool or spa. It can run alongside the pool or other structure but needs to be kept at a 5-foot distance. If space doesn’t allow for this to happen but the wiring is necessary to power equipment or lighting as connected to your pool, there can be an exception made if the wiring is installed in a raceway or conduit system.

When it comes to the pumps and motors that are necessary for the water in your pool to keep clean, they’re required to be between 6 and 10 feet from the walls of your pool or spa. Again, these need to be GFCI protected as well as locked. If you need other access points or outdoor receptacles for general electricity use, they’ll need to be no closer than within 20 feet. However, if they are GFCI protected, they can live no closer than 6 feet away.

Maintenance disconnection

source: unsplash

When you install a backyard pool or spa, it is necessary to have a maintenance disconnect that will work to turn off power to all aspects of your pool or spa, this includes the pumps and filters as well as any other equipment that is being powered. This disconnect needs to be installed within sight of your pool but cannot be located any closer than 5 feet. This should be used in case of emergencies or when you’re cleaning.

As mentioned, when it comes to electrical installation, you’ll likely need to work with a certified electrician. This will keep yourself and your loved ones safe both during the installation process as well as when enjoying the pool during the warm season!

Note: The standards aforementioned are derived from the National Electrical Code and therefore apply to all Canadian provinces.

Want to check your installation’s compliance under current regulations? Use the Pool or spa installation safety checklist proposed by Hydro-Québec.

Want to learn more about how to install your pool? Check out our article on the subject!

Get 3 renovation quotes from qualified electricians will put you in contact with 3 reliable electricians to fix your electrical panel. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted electricians.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Last modified 2023-11-07

List of sources

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Looking for something else?

Table of contents

Get 3 free quotes for your project!

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes!

Are you a contractor?

Join our network and receive real leads!

Download the price guide for renovations

We’ll be emailing you the latest market price guide for renovations.

Related articles

The latest industry news, interviews, technologies, and resources.

5 min read

Amanda Harvey • 07 Nov 2023

How to Fix Your Wrought Iron Staircase

Having a wrought iron staircase on the exterior of any home is lucky. Wrought iron staircases are beautiful pieces that add to the resale value of the property as a highly sought-after item. This type of staircase is forever, with limitless design options. They do not show dust and are easy to clean and to maintain.

4 min read • 07 Nov 2023

Lead in Montréal Drinking Water: A Few Helpful Facts

In Montréal alone, it’s estimated that approximately 300,000 residents are affected by a high level of lead in their water, in particular, due to the pipe connecting their home to the city’s water system. In 2007, the City of Montréal, therefore, committed to changing all of its lead water pipes in the public sector, totalling around 48,000 by 2030, recently investing about $557 million to accelerate the project. 

5 min read • 07 Nov 2023

On-Site Construction Robots to Benefit Workers

Plenty of industries and various fields are adapting and evolving by introducing new technologies to their production procedures. Even in the construction sector, we’ve been noticing the rise of 2.0 methods, such as virtual or augmented reality, as well as robots working their way around construction sites. 

4 min read • 11 Apr 2024

Everything to Know About Wood-Fired Pool Heaters

Who wouldn’t want to be able to use their pool, year-round, even during those really cold winter days? The only way to do so is to set up a swimming pool water heater. A wood-fired pool heater is an efficient way to warm up your pool water at a low cost. Here’s everything you need to know about this type of pool heater and the products retailed.

6 min read • 07 Nov 2023

Renovating a Restaurant: Suggestions and Tips

Among the aspects that make guests enter and return to a restaurant, there is the way they are treated upon arrival, the quality and variety of the dishes offered, but also the comfort of the place. It's on this specific point that we will elaborate in this article. 

Looking for a contractor?

Submit a project and get 3 free quotes now!