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Thread: No junction box?

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    No junction box?

    Purchased house in Dec, and upon viewing owner told me the pool light was disconnected because he didn't trust an electric light under water. He said the light worked but he had it disconnected. Thinking about reconnecting it. I have looked but can't find a junction box anywhere. I pulled the cover off of the breaker box for the pool and the wires that come out of the conduit from the ground that run into the box are disconnected. There is a black wire, a white wire and a green ground wire. The ground wire is still connected but the other two are free and have twist connects on the end.

    How do they connect to the GFCI breaker? Is it ok that the pool light wires run straight into the breaker box and not into a junction box?
    20K gal IG Plaster pool with Sand Filter, single speed 3/4 HP pump, Polaris 280 Pressure Cleaner, Pool built/installed ~2003

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: No junction box?

    Unless that breaker box is within 30 or 40 feet of the light fixture I doubt it's direct wired. The lights are ordered with several,cord lengths, 40 is the longest I've seen.

    The junction boxes I've seen are generally in a direct line with the light fixture, off the side of the pool deck. As the light fixture conduit is normally filled with water, the junction is required to be higher than the maximum fill of the pool.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Corleone's Avatar
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    Re: No junction box?

    I'm sure others are more informed, but the code in my area, specifically required a junction box.
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
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    Re: No junction box?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corleone View Post
    I'm sure others are more informed, but the code in my area, specifically required a junction box.
    It's strange, I always thought that, but reading 680.24 of the National Electrical Code I don't see where a junction box is required. All of the sentence structure leads you to believe it is required, but hey...

    Anyway, here is the part about junction boxes:
    [680.24 Junction Boxes.

    (A) Junction Boxes. The pool luminaire junction box connected to a conduit that extends directly to the underwater pool, outdoor spa, and hot tub luminaire forming shell, shall comply with the following: Figure 680-18 un680-18 680-24A.cdr
    (1) Construction. The junction box shall be listed for the purpose and shall be:
    (1) Equipped with threaded entries or a nonmetallic hub,
    (2) Constructed of copper, brass, or approved corrosion-resistant material, and
    (3) Provided with electrical continuity between all metal conduit and the grounding terminals.

    (2) Installation.
    (a) Vertical Spacing. The junction box shall not be located less than 4 in. above the ground or pool, outdoor spa, or hot tub deck, or not less than 8 in. above the maximum water level.
    (b) Horizontal Spacing. The junction box shall be located not less than 4 ft from the inside wall of the pool, outdoor spa or hot tub, unless separated by a solid fence, wall, or other permanent barrier.
    Thanks to Mike Holt for putting it on line!
    Article 680 - Swimming Pool Installations
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: No junction box?

    If you have a GFCI breaker in the panel box, the black and white wires both connect to the breaker. There should be two terminals on the breaker for them and they should be marked. There also should be a white wire coming from the breaker going to the neutral bar. I have seen deck boxes in weird places. One I saw was inside a diving board base.

    There is no specific requirement for a deck box in the nec code that I am aware of. The wording covers it, as most times there is one, so it will have a set of rules to cover the use and placement. There can be some local codes (have to be written and posted) that can supercede the nec
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Corleone's Avatar
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    Re: No junction box?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    It's strange, I always thought that, but reading 680.24 of the National Electrical Code I don't see where a junction box is required. All of the sentence structure leads you to believe it is required, but hey...

    Anyway, here is the part about junction boxes:

    Thanks to Mike Holt for putting it on line!
    Article 680 - Swimming Pool Installations
    Interesting.
    There is this though:

    680.23 Underwater Luminaires (Lighting Fixtures).
    (B) Wet-Niche Luminaires (Fixtures).
    2) Wiring Extending Directly to the Forming Shell. Conduit shall be installed from the forming shell to a suitable junction box or other enclosure located as provided in 680.24. Conduit shall be rigid metal, intermediate metal, liquidtight flexible nonmetallic, or rigid nonmetallic.
    - - - Updated - - -

    . . .but honestly, even with all that said, as long as the panel is 8" above the waterline, it should be fine right?
    13K Gallon IG Pool/Spa -- First time pool owners -- Completed in 2015 Caribbean Blue Pebble Tec Pentair 4000 Series 47 sq. ft. D.E. Filter Pentair IntelliFlo Variable Speed Pump Pentair SWG Jandy LXi Heater 400,000 BTU S.R. Smith Typhoon Slide Pentair LED 12v Lights Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Cleaner TF-100 Test Kit
    Our Build Thread

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: No junction box?

    See, I saw that but does a panel met the definition of "other enclosure". As wth most codes, it is clear as mud.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: No junction box?

    The light fixture is roughly about 50-60 (I did measure this part) foot from the panel box, which is about 4 feet above water level. So I would estimate about 70-80 of wire, since it isn't exactly straight line and raises 4 foot above ground level, to the breaker panel box. However, that is just a WAG (wild *** guess). From looking online at new lights, most come with 50 ft and some with 100 ft of wire to run. Not sure if that is a new thing or been that way for years around here. However, I have looked everywhere and there is no junction box to be found.

    I do have a GFCI breaker in the breaker box. It currently has three wires connected to it. It has a red wire and a white wire connected to same spot. That spot has two labels, one says box neutral and the other label says load neutral. One is white that runs up to the top of the panel box and is hooked in by a screw. This spot has about 15 little screws all side by side that have a few green grounds from the pool pumps connected to it as well as the green wire that runs up out of the conduit that I think runs to the pool light. One wire is red that runs into a small conduit out the side of the panel box that is connected to a three prong plug just outside the panel box. The black wire is connected to the load power label on the GFCI breaker and runs into the conduit connected to the 3 prong plug. Now, I did check and the three prong plug does work if I turn the breaker on and if I trip the breaker it looses power. Now the conduit that run to the 3 prong plug does have 1 red wire coming out of it and it to is connected to one of the little screws in the top of the panel box. God I hope that made/makes sense to someone.

    From what it looks like the black wire is the power wire and the red is a neutral wire. But, the 2 wires that aren't connected to anything that come out of the conduit from the ground (which I believe is the pool light) is one black and one white wire. So, which is what? Which one connects to where? I don't really want to have to call an electrician to hook up 2 wires. I can screw 2 wires into a breaker. I just want to make sure I hook the right one up to the right place. Oh, plus is it ok to have the other wires running off the GFCI breaker to the 3 prong plug just outside the breaker box?
    20K gal IG Plaster pool with Sand Filter, single speed 3/4 HP pump, Polaris 280 Pressure Cleaner, Pool built/installed ~2003

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: No junction box?

    In household electric, red would never be neutral. Green is always ground, white is always neutral and "colors" are hot.

    Now, if there was un-inspected "homeowner" work anything is possible.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: No junction box?

    Well from my understanding it was all installed by certified pool builder and electricians. I just said that the red may be a neutral. I don't know that for sure.

    So based off what Tim said, the white wire would connect to the neutral load spot on the GFCI breaker and the black wire to the power load. That sound correct? Is it safe to add those 2 wires with the existing wires that power the 3 prong plug just outside the breaker panel box?
    20K gal IG Plaster pool with Sand Filter, single speed 3/4 HP pump, Polaris 280 Pressure Cleaner, Pool built/installed ~2003

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    Re: No junction box?

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    white is always neutral Neutral is always white...White is not always neutral. (switch legs, etc. Although they should be re-identified.)
    Fixed it For you

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyW View Post
    Well from my understanding it was all installed by certified pool builder and electricians. I just said that the red may be a neutral. I don't know that for sure.

    So based off what Tim said, the white wire would connect to the neutral load spot on the GFCI breaker and the black wire to the power load. That sound correct? Is it safe to add those 2 wires with the existing wires that power the 3 prong plug just outside the breaker panel box?

    Can you post a pic or two of the inside of the panel. It sounds like, from your description, that there may be some other code issues in there
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: No junction box?

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    Fixed it For you
    Thanks! Wasn't even thinking switch legs.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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    Re: No junction box?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyW View Post
    So based off what Tim said, the white wire would connect to the neutral load spot on the GFCI breaker and the black wire to the power load. That sound correct? Is it safe to add those 2 wires with the existing wires that power the 3 prong plug just outside the breaker panel box?
    Maybe...Most breakers are not rated for more than one wire under a screw/lug
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: No junction box?

    No need for a pic now I think. Had an electrician come look at it and you were right, it did have 1 code violation. The red wire I spoke about should actually be a white wire. It is a neutral wire, they just used the wrong color. Said it works just the same, but technically it should be replaced with a white wire to meet current codes.

    However, got the light hooked up and it immediately tripped the breaker. So we disconnected and pulled the light out of the pool. The bulb was blown of course, there was a little water (very little) in the bulb and it leaked in through the cord in the back. The socket on the inside has a little rust on it. So, does this make the entire light suspect or trash? Can it be cleaned and used or should I just replace the entire light with a new one?
    20K gal IG Plaster pool with Sand Filter, single speed 3/4 HP pump, Polaris 280 Pressure Cleaner, Pool built/installed ~2003

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: No junction box?

    If you said the gasket leaked I might say it is salvageable, but if it leaked in through the cord in the back I don't hold much hope for the fixture.
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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