How To Bond An Above Ground Swimming Pool

In this article, I will first explain why then how to bond an above ground swimming pool. After answering some frequently asked questions about pool bonding. Then I will break down the steps and help you figure out what supplies you need.

The video below teaches you how to install a skimmer bonding plate and explains a lot of what is also on this page.

Why do you have to bond an above ground swimming pool?

Bonding your pool is a safety measure to prevent accidentally getting electrocuted or seriously injured. You need to create a field around your swimming pool by attaching the bonding wire to the metal deck, pool equipment, metal pool wall, and even the water. By doing this you prevent those about the pool or those in the pool from being able to reach a different potential.

Lastly, it is the law! Local state and federal building codes require all permanent above ground pools to get correctly bonded.

What is Pool Bonding

A lot of people mistakingly call this grounding the pool; While that is somewhat true, bonding is a little different. Have you ever seen a bird land on power lines and wondered why the bird wasn’t electrocuted? It’s because the power does not pass through the bird, and this is why we bond above ground swimming pools, to prevent getting electrocuted.
If the bird could reach a different potential, like a ground wire or a wire with a different current/potential, then current would flow through the bird, and it would fry like a piece of chicken at Kentucky Fried Chicken, maybe Popeyes for you Southerners.
The bird would act like a conductant creating a link from one potential to another.
Imagine you had one hand on the swimming pool or in the pool water, and your other hand was touching a pool pump that was electrically shorting out, you could get hurt or dead. Having the field or bonding wire keeps everything neutral.

How to bond pool water
Image is Amazon Link
copper pool bonding wire (number 8)
Image is Amazon Link

pool bonding lugs
Image is Amazon Link

Time needed: 1 hour.

How To Bond An Above Ground Swimming Pool

  1. Determine how much #8 bare solid copper wire you will require for the job and how many bonding lugs.

    For round pools, take the diameter of your pool and add two feet, then multiply by 3.14, finally add 25 feet to that. If you have a metal deck consider adding another 20 feet to touch it in two to three spots.

    The skimmer bonding plate and the pump come with bonding lugs so you may only need four more to connect to the pool frame or wall.

  2. Gather supplies

    Acquire a skimmer bonding plate, #8 solid bare copper wire, and enough bonding lugs to attach the wire at every point.

  3. Dig a trench

    Dig a trench twelve inches from the pool wall and six inches deep to lay bonding wire.

  4. Install Bonding plate in skimmer

    Your new bonding plate will come with instructions. The type I order from amazon requires me drilling a 3/16th hole.

  5. Attach bonding lugs

    You may need some hardware to attach lugs as they do not come with any. They want you to use a bolt and nut to attach lug to frame or pool wall.
    Doing that requires drilling a hole, so I usually use a stainless self-tapping screw and have only been made to replace them once with the “required” hardware. I don’t like putting holes in the pool wall, so I’ll usually connect to the bottom wall track or any other metal framing.

  6. Connect copper wire to all points

    Now just run the wire around to all those bonding lugs.

Conclusion – How to Bond An Above Ground Pool

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination, installing a pool bonding wire helps mitigate the danger. Even if you have a temporary pool like an Intex pool, please take the time to put in a proper dedicated GFI Plug/Outlet and bond the pool and equipment. I will be glad to answer questions in the comments below

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By MGK Pool Service

30 year veteran in the pool industry. Having had many career path changes over the years. I began in the pool industry, and looks like I will finish my working life in the pool industry.


  1. Question – after you have run the cooper wire around the pool, attaching it in 4 places, skimmer and motor, do you then connect all the copper wire together to make a complete loop?

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