It would be best if you created an electrical sub-panel for your swimming pool’s electrical needs. This is vital in ensuring that you will have a proper extension of the wiring for multiple branch circuits into your swimming pool area.
This way, you will never have to worry about the electrics of your pool, and you can easily light up and pump up your pool at any given time. However, just like with any other part of your pool, your electrical sub-panel will also need replacement once in a while.
Here are some tips you must follow in properly replacing your electrical pool sub-panel safely.
Do a Sub Panel Checkup
Doing a thorough check-up of the old sub-panel will help you know what is wrong with it. There are so many things that can happen to your sub-panel, like a burn, corrosion, or wrong electrical load.
You must keep an eye on these three mentioned issues as these are the most common ones. In addition, checking the sub-panel before starting the replacement would also help you determine the number of circuits you need and the load for these circuits.
Remember, different pools have different electrical load requirements. It is best to do your research or use the old sub-panel as a reference.
Choose the Correct Sub Panel
Swimming pools usually have 60 to 100 amp sub-panels. Most commonly, 100 amps pool sub-panels are used when installing a large heat pump. A 60 amps pool sub-panel is enough to supply the power you need, especially if you use a variable speed pool pump.
A variable speed pool pump is known to be energy-efficient. Thus a sub panel with 60 amps would be enough to use. Moreover, if you are using the old version of the pool pump, your sub-panel would be at 70 amp.
Choose the Correct Breaker
Now that you know the correct sub panel you will use, it is now time to buy a new circuit breaker. When choosing the correct breaker for your pool subpanel, you should refer to the old sub-panel that you are replacing if and only if it does not go through heating up or a short circuit.
This is the reason why you must use the correct breakers according to your swimming pool needs. If you use a lower or higher size breaker, the wires, devices, and circuits that are connected to the sub-panel might experience a short circuit or will overheat. This is why you must conduct a thorough check-up before starting the replacement.
Replace the Old Wire with New Ones
When replacing the pool sub-panel it also means replacing everything, including the wire. There is a huge chance that the old wiring is starting to degrade. Therefore, it is vital that you also change the wirings and get rid of the old ones.
So, when you go shopping for the things and tools you will need, you should include wires with the correct sizes. But how would you know the correct size of the wire you are going to need? Stick around as that is what we are going to talk about next.
Use the Proper Wire Size
The wire size you will use will depend on the size of the circuit breaker you use. You can use this wire sizing chart to look for the correct wire size according to your circuit breaker and the type of wire you are planning to use.
Using an improper wire size will cause a short circuit and fire, which can be very hazardous. When installing a subpanel, whether it is for your pool or other usages, it is always best to follow the right sizing, voltage, and amps.
Do Not Forget to Change the Pool Timer as Well
Most of the time, when the sub-panel needs to be replaced, the pool timer also needs to be replaced. The reason behind this is that if the sub-panel is deteriorating due to aging, then so does your timer.
However, if you are using a variable speed pool pump, you might no longer need a pool timer connected to your sub-panel. This new generation of pool pump already has a built-in timer that you can control directly on the pump itself or even on your smartphone.
Furthermore, if you are using the old generation pool pump, it is best that you also replace the pool timer along with the sub-panel.
Make Sure That Your Sub-Panel Is Waterproof
Sub panels are made to be waterproof, but some people just have to do their thing and mess it up. Some will just create a hole on the cap of the sub-panel and install a connector on it. However, this process is not safe. Thus it is deemed illegal.
It is best to purchase a hub and replace that sub panel cap with it. It will secure the wires and the inside of the sub-panel from water. This is important, especially if you install a sub-panel outdoors with no shade to protect it from the rain.
Common Signs That Your Pool Sub Panel Has a Problem
Here are the signs that you will notice if your swimming pool sub-panel is having a problem:
- Flickering pool lights
- Frequent circuit breaker tripping
- Smelling a burnt plastic odor
- Seeing burnt wires or panel parts
- Pool lights wearing out quickly
- Problems with the pool pump function
- When breakers refuse to engage
When you are experiencing one or more of these problems mentioned, it is wise to replace your sub panel as soon as you can. This is to avoid any further damages it can cause, especially to your pool equipment.
The Most Important Tip
Doing electricity is a very dangerous thing. It can cause damage to the devices or equipment, electrocution, and fire that can cause death. This is why the most important tip of all is to consult a professional and let them do the job. Paying someone who is more knowledgeable is better than having to face more serious issues.