Grounding and Bonding – What’s the difference?

In Tech Talk by Steve Donohoe1 Comment

Betty Davis’s office in Riverside during the entire month of October.

Halloween will soon be here, and Betty Davis, the Accounts Receivable Manager at PoolCorp’s SCP store in Riverside, is always ready.  She has a tradition of decorating her office to the max before Halloween!

Tombstones, mummies, rats, vultures, ghosts, skeletons and all kinds of spooky stuff can be found in there.

You might even find a few body parts — could it be some of Betty’s delinquent paying customers, maybe? :o) Oh my!….

This is what happens when Betty gets a hold of you — when you DO NOT pay your bill!

It’s all in fun, so if you have a chance — step into her office, check it out and pick up a few pieces of candy…..but be sure you’ve paid your bills to Betty or BEWARE!

Our CPO class this past Thursday and Friday, October 6-7, at the SCP Riverside store was another success.  Thanks to all of PoolCorp, the folks at SCP Riverside, and especially to Eric for helping us carry our equipment and supplies upstairs.




So what is the difference between grounding and bonding?

When we are in Chapter 14 (Facility Safety) of the  Pool & Spa Operator Handbook during our  CPO® class, we discuss the difference between grounding and bonding.

Grounding is when a piece of electrical equipment’s  “return” is properly connected to ensure a low-resistance electrical current path to “earth ground”. Typically, a green “ground” wire is run from the electrical panel to each piece of equipment to ensure that, in case of a fault, there is another path for the electricity to return to the panel and to earth ground.  The simple schematic on the right illustrates ‘Line In” (power in), the “Load” and the return path to ground.

Since the earth is not a very good electrical conductor,  each single point “earth ground”  does not necessarily have the same electrical potential.

If you happen to bridge across this “difference in potential”, you will feel an electrical shock.  To ensure these ground points are at the same potential, we “bond”  them, or “connect” them together to put them on the same “ground plane.”

 The swimming pool is concrete, re-bar, electrical wiring for lights, and water.  The very fact that it is in the ground makes it very  “grounded.”  However, this “ground” should be connected or bonded to the pool equipment to put everything on the same “ground plane”.

On the left is a simple schematic showing three different circuits with their grounds “bonded”  together.

To read a little more about grounding and bonding click here.


  1. Grounding is when you tell your kids they cannot leave the house and bonding is when you go with them. Hope this helps out. :>)

    Thanks, great explanation.

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