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Thread: Cutting the light cord

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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Cutting the light cord

    Opened pool to liner with rips above the water line. I can patch and swim for as long as I need to this year, but we'll be getting one by season's end. Already been measured for a new one. My problem is that I have no idea where my pool light junction box is, so I cannot remove the light for the liner install. Or if there even is a junction box. All I know is that the wire from the switch is NOT the light cord and that there is about 75 feet between the switch and the light, all under concrete. So I have no idea where the two wires meet up. It is most likely buried directly behind it around the diving board.

    I am leaning toward just cutting the light cord at this time and removing the wire at the switch. We have lighting around the pool area that would be sufficient for night swimming but the pool lights are nice to have. With the cord cut behind the pool wall, is there any chance that a second switch could be hooked up to the light? I know the answer is no, but I have a little anxiety and this would worry me.

    My long-term thinking is that we can get the light back later if we decide we want to switch out the concrete for pavers. This is something we're thinking about but not yet ready to do. I'd make sure the installers left the mounting parts behind the liner for later use (diagram below). It's an original nicheless Aqualumin, and this would be a good time to get a newer one. That would also be a better time to move the junction box and run new conduit back to the switch if needed.

    As a last effort, when the water warms up, I will try to pull the cord at the light and see if it budges the wire at the switch, just in case there's no junction box.

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    If the wire in the switch is not the same as the pool light cable then there is a splice somewhere between the two. Hopefully it is in a junction box somewhere. Is there any way to follow the wire from the switch to see where it goes? Any junction box for a pool light must be above the flood level of the pool to keep the water out of it. Unfortunately, once you cut that wire, you will have to completely disconnect the power to that circuit. There is no way to repair the light wire once cut. It may be possible for the liner installers to find a way to retain the current light and still get the liner in.
    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: Cutting the light cord

    I would look hard for that junction box. By code, it HAS to be above pool water level (18 in, I think) so it is surely not buried.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    If the wire in the switch is not the same as the pool light cable then there is a splice somewhere between the two. Hopefully it is in a junction box somewhere. Is there any way to follow the wire from the switch to see where it goes? Any junction box for a pool light must be above the flood level of the pool to keep the water out of it. Unfortunately, once you cut that wire, you will have to completely disconnect the power to that circuit. There is no way to repair the light wire once cut. It may be possible for the liner installers to find a way to retain the current light and still get the liner in.
    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I would look hard for that junction box. By code, it HAS to be above pool water level (18 in, I think) so it is surely not buried.

    I have been looking for the junction box for 7 years off and on, Dave. This was probably a little after I spoke to you on the phone about another issue I had. Time sure flies

    I believe others had mentioned earlier that they have found J boxes mounted flush with the deck and also buried in the concrete. My pool is about 20 years old. There is no visible deck box. I have searched and searched. It's pretty much driven me crazy.

    Here's a visual of where the cord comes out of the switch, heads straight under the concrete, probably down past the skimmers, around the corner (there's my newly ripped liner), then toward the board.

    First 2 pics are switched
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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    Well, that picture shows romex, so somewhere under the patio is an improper splice. To fix the light properly will require removing the concrete and installing the required junction box that Dave describes.
    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: Cutting the light cord

    Quote Originally Posted by tim5055 View Post
    Well, that picture shows romex, so somewhere under the patio is an improper splice. To fix the light properly will require removing the concrete and installing the required junction box that Dave describes.
    Yeah, that's why I am leaning toward cutting the light and fixing this later. I was hoping to find something like this in my diving board when I first started looking, but didn't.
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    Heat Siphon Heat Pump

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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    Have you checked with the city or county where you live to see if they have a copy of the plans when the pool was built? It should show everything and hopefully shed some light on where things are located.
    Paul
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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
    Have you checked with the city or county where you live to see if they have a copy of the plans when the pool was built? It should show everything and hopefully shed some light on where things are located.
    No, but I will look into that. I am outside of the city limits and I don't think inspections were needed but I will make a call. Thanks.
    24000 Gal, 18x36 Vinyl
    Hayward Super Pump
    Jacuzzi Tri Clops Cartridge Filter
    Heat Siphon Heat Pump

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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    Well, to be the bearer of bad news, that whole setup should not be used the way I see it wired. romex is not rated to be used outdoors even if it is inside conduit. If there is no above ground deck box like you pictured in one of your posts, then that is not a code compliant install either. My suspicion is there is a non-code compliant splice somewhere underground. I would abandon any hopes of using this system as is and wait until you decide to re-do the deck and have someone qualified to make the necessary repairs

    By the way, just because you are outside a city does not mean inspections were/are not required. It jut means that someone may have done the work without getting an inspection done.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    Just went and looked at the wire. It says UF/B, so that's good. Not that I'll be leaving the light, but there is more wire going around the other side of the pool for garden lights. I think the plan now is to remove the light, then we'll revisit redoing the whole patio area in a few years. That should give me some time to find somebody who knows what they're doing.
    24000 Gal, 18x36 Vinyl
    Hayward Super Pump
    Jacuzzi Tri Clops Cartridge Filter
    Heat Siphon Heat Pump

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    Re: Cutting the light cord

    Quote Originally Posted by buddywiser View Post
    Just went and looked at the wire. It says UF/B, so that's good.
    Better than NM but still not good for a pool application. Ground wires going to pools all have to be insulated. The jacket on UF wire is not rated for insulating purposes.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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