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Thread: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

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    Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    I have one pool light and one spa light. They wired into the same junction box but SEPARATE light switches. Both are wired to the same GFCI breaker at the wall. The problem is my SPA LIGHT trips the breaker (halfway) quite often. Example...if I turn on both switches at the same time, the spa light won't come on (breaker trips) but the pool light will. I'll have to go reset the breaker. Last night I had them BOTH on for a while and a few hours later, the spa light went out (tripped the breaker again). If they breaker is tripped, I can still operate the POOL LIGHT. The pool light hasn't ever gave me trouble, I can turn it on and off everytime as it should. It's the SPA LIGHT that has something wrong with it. COuld it just be a loose wire in the junction box?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Sounds like the pool light and the spa light are powered from two different breakers. It also sounds like the GFCI may be doing its job. Loose connections will not cause a GFCI to trip. That is what AFCI's were designed for. Check the light to make sure there is no water inside the housing
    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: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    I would remove the light and check it. I would probably replace the gasket if I saw any sign of water. Does it only happen after it has been on for a while?

    There could be a problem in the jbox but that is much further down the line of attack.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    I would remove the light and check it. I would probably replace the gasket if I saw any sign of water. Does it only happen after it has been on for a while?

    There could be a problem in the jbox but that is much further down the line of attack.
    Last night was the first time that it went off a being on for a few hours. There is only ONE GFCI breaker in the breaker box. I'm assuming both the pool and spa lights are going to that one breaker. Would I be able to still work the pool light if the breaker is tripped and they are both wired to it?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    I attached a picture of the breaker panel, the GFCI breaker is circled in red which I attached a close up picture of.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    if the breaker trips, the lights will go out. This is true if it trips on overcurrent or Ground fault. If one is staying on then it is wired to a different circuit. Possibly the GFCI in the bottom of the box. At least I am hoping the light that is staying on is on a GFCI.
    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: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    I agree with Dan. That was my first though when I saw the box.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    I was wondering what the white GFCI breaker at the bottom was for...so yall are saying that the white one on the bottom is mostly likely where the pool light is wired to (the light on it does stay lit green)? And the one circled in red is probably the spa light wired separately correct? Since that one keeps tripping and I'm still able to turn the pool light on.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Well I could always test the white one at the bottom, by tripping it then going try to turn the pool light on and see if it works or not right?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Yes, no harm in trying that.
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Actually, the code requires a receptacle to be accessible at or near any main panel or sub panel for service work. After looking at that panel I do not see a breaker labeled for that GFCI. It could be one of the two located on the bottom right side. Also, does this panel have a separate disconnect near it??? As a feeder/sub panel there are way too many breakers in there to not have a disconnect
    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: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    That panel looks suspect to me...all 20 amp breakers. Wonder if they really need to be 15 amp for anything with #14 wire???

    OH, and YES, you do have a real problem if one light stays on when the GFCI breaker is tripped...could be deadly. I'd get that checked out RIGHT NOW.
    16 x 32 17500 gallons
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    Actually, the code requires a receptacle to be accessible at or near any main panel or sub panel for service work. After looking at that panel I do not see a breaker labeled for that GFCI. It could be one of the two located on the bottom right side. Also, does this panel have a separate disconnect near it??? As a feeder/sub panel there are way too many breakers in there to not have a disconnect
    The two on the bottom right I assumed did't have anything wired to it since it wasn't labele. Do you think the white breaker at the bottom may be wired to those?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
    Resilience PSC3 SWCG

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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Quote Originally Posted by Griswald View Post
    That panel looks suspect to me...all 20 amp breakers. Wonder if they really need to be 15 amp for anything with #14 wire???

    OH, and YES, you do have a real problem if one light stays on when the GFCI breaker is tripped...could be deadly. I'd get that checked out RIGHT NOW.
    Wait, I'm confused and it's because I'm no electrician lol! If the POOL LIGHT (the one that works all the time) works when the breaker that is circled in red is tripped (this is when the spa light doesn't work), then there is no way BOTH lights are wired to tat same breaker circled in red? Could they have wired the POOL LIGHT to that white receptacle on the bottom and then wired the white receptacle to one of those bottom right breakers that aren't labeled for anything?

    Just a little fyi....when we bought the house about two months ago, neither the pool light or spa light was working. It was my understanding that the previous owners never had them actually hooked up and working, so they got an electrician out there and got them working.
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    The only thing you know sure at this point is this: only your Spa light is connected to the GFCI breaker. If any GFCI trips and one or more lights stay on, they are not connected to that GFCI. When a GFCI trips, it disconnects all power from the circuit, i.e. turns off the lights. It appears only the Spa light is connected to the GFCI breaker circled in red.

    The white outlet was mentioned as a POSSIBLE source for the pool light to be hooked to, this is not known with any certainty. You can be certain, by turning the pool light on then pushing the "test" button on the white GFCI outlet. If the pool light shuts off, that is where it is wired. If not, your pool light is not powered from the GFCI breaker (spa light only) nor from the GFCI outlet and you are not properly protected from electrocution from the pool light. All lights must be installed on a GFCI.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pool Tool View Post
    The only thing you know sure at this point is this: only your Spa light is connected to the GFCI breaker. If any GFCI trips and one or more lights stay on, they are not connected to that GFCI. When a GFCI trips, it disconnects all power from the circuit, i.e. turns off the lights. It appears only the Spa light is connected to the GFCI breaker circled in red.

    The white outlet was mentioned as a POSSIBLE source for the pool light to be hooked to, this is not known with any certainty. You can be certain, by turning the pool light on then pushing the "test" button on the white GFCI outlet. If the pool light shuts off, that is where it is wired. If not, your pool light is not powered from the GFCI breaker (spa light only) nor from the GFCI outlet and you are not properly protected from electrocution from the pool light. All lights must be installed on a GFCI.
    Hey thanks for clarifying all that for me! One thing I forgot to mention and it's kind of big. When the pool and spa lights weren't in use (not wired up) before we moved in, the panel DID NOT have that white GFCI receptacle at the bottom of the panel. That receptacle was put in AFTERWARDS once the pool and spa light were wired and they got them to work. A couple more questions:

    1) If I turn the pool light on and press the "test" button on the bottom white receptacle and the pool light turns off, then it is safe to assume the pool light is wired to that white GFCI receptacle at the bottom correct? If that is the case, then that white GFCI receptacle would "most likely" be wired to one of those two bottom right breakers that aren't labeled correct? If the pool light is indeed wired to the white GFCI receptacle at the bottom, I could then flip the two breakers on the bottom right and if the pool light goes off on whichever one, then it's safe to say that the pool light is wired to white GFCI receptacle which is then wired to that breaker correct?

    2) If all of the above is true and the SPA LIGHT is wired independently to the GFCI breaker circled in red and it is somehow tripping that breaker then there is a problem with either the spa light itself, or somewhere along the wiring (like at the junction box, or I may have to replace that breaker circled in red...is this correct?
    15k Gallon In Ground Saltwater Gunite Pool and Spa w/ Overflow
    Dolphin Nautilus Plus Pool Cleaner
    Main Filter Pump - 1.5HP Pentair Whisperflo connected to Triton II Sand Filter
    Spa Pump - 2HP Pentair Whisperflo w/ 2HP Polaris Spa Air Blower
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunGuy View Post
    Wait, I'm confused and it's because I'm no electrician lol! If the POOL LIGHT (the one that works all the time) works when the breaker that is circled in red is tripped (this is when the spa light doesn't work), then there is no way BOTH lights are wired to tat same breaker circled in red? Could they have wired the POOL LIGHT to that white receptacle on the bottom and then wired the white receptacle to one of those bottom right breakers that aren't labeled for anything?
    The best way to check this is to plug in a radio, lamp, etc into the receptacle. and turn off/on each breaker until you find the one that controls the receptacle. You can then test the GFCI and see if it controlls the light. Pool lights and all associated electrical equipment near and in a pool must be on GFCI's There are some exceptions to this but, all lights are to be protected. It is obvious that the spa light is on the GFCI breaker and that the pool light is not. It is imperative that you discover which breaker and (hopefully) GFCI device is protecting the pool light. We are also assuming that the pool light is a 120 volt light. It is possible that it is on a transformer and is a low voltage light. The transformer still needs to be on a GFCI even though the low voltage side of the transformer will not be protected

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunGuy View Post
    Just a little fyi....when we bought the house about two months ago, neither the pool light or spa light was working. It was my understanding that the previous owners never had them actually hooked up and working, so they got an electrician out there and got them working.
    Personally, I would not trust this they got an electrician out there It may have been a handyman. I would call someone who is familiar with pool wiring and have it checked out for my own sanity.

    Quote Originally Posted by CajunGuy View Post

    2) If all of the above is true and the SPA LIGHT is wired independently to the GFCI breaker circled in red and it is somehow tripping that breaker then there is a problem with either the spa light itself, or somewhere along the wiring (like at the junction box, or I may have to replace that breaker circled in red...is this correct?
    GFCI breakers trip one of two ways. Either on overload...too much draw on the circuit from too many items or a dead short. The other is thru the GFCI protection which is a current monitoring device within the device to sense current (voltage) leakage. My guess is the device is doing it's job and protecting against a current leak. I would pull the spa light and see if there is water in the housing as this is the most likely scenario.
    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: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    1) If I turn the pool light on and press the "test" button on the bottom white receptacle and the pool light turns off, then it is safe to assume the pool light is wired to that white GFCI receptacle at the bottom correct? Yes. If that is the case, then that white GFCI receptacle would "most likely" be wired to one of those two bottom right breakers that aren't labeled correct? If the pool light is indeed wired to the white GFCI receptacle at the bottom, I could then flip the two breakers on the bottom right and if the pool light goes off on whichever one, then it's safe to say that the pool light is wired to white GFCI receptacle which is then wired to that breaker correct? Exactly and should labeled as such.

    2) If all of the above is true and the SPA LIGHT is wired independently (there is a potential of other items on the breaker but unlikely) to the GFCI breaker circled in red and it is somehow tripping that breaker then there is a problem with either the spa light itself, or somewhere along the wiring (like at the junction box, or I may have to replace that breaker circled in red...is this correct? Yes, and as you note GFCI's are susceptible to failure. I would look at the light first for obvious water entry, then replace the GFCI if the light and bulb look good.

    Happy to help, good luck.

    Update - Defer to Danpik on anything that contradicts with what I say, he is more knowledgeable than I.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    I don't know what you are running off that subpanel but with all those breakers it could almost be large bar with a bunch of margarita machines.

    Unless you have a separate mechanical disconnect for the pump that panel CANNOT act as the code required disconnect. It violates the "rule of six."

    Since your electrical knowledge is limited I would ask an electrician to come out and give you a bid of fixing three things:

    1. Get the panel in conformance with the rule of 6 by eliminating breakers or installing a pump disconnect. I would consolidate and eliminate breakers.

    2. Get the pool lights on the same circuit. Its dumb and potentially unsafe to have them on different circuits, especially if they run through the same jbox.

    3. Get rid of the convenience receptacle inside the box. In my view outlets inside boxes are dumb. They can only be used when the box is open and it should be closed 99.9996 % of the time. If you want a pad outlet or if this is the 6-20 convenience outlet then put one in its own box.

    That's my 2 cents
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Question about electrical wiring to Spa and Pool light...

    Do not assume ANYTHING when dealing with a deadly combination of 120VAC and the pool/spa.

    It is not worth killing yourself or somebodies kids because you "think" the pool is correct.

    Either hire an electrician that specializes in pools or call the county/city inspector to see if there were permits and inspections. If there is no inspection, see the first line of this post.

    This is nothing to blow off...
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