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Thread: Odd electrical issue

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    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Prosper, Texas
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    Odd electrical issue

    I'm having an interesting electrical problem and would like some guidance on where to look next.

    I have a gfci that is tied to several things.
    - pool light
    - spa light
    - grill outlet
    - other outdoor plugs installed by pool company

    Items I added to this same circuit.
    - outdoor led lights
    - stenner pump

    At first all was fine then the GFCI started tripping when I turn on the pool and spa light (these are on separate switches). I can tun on just the pool or just the spa light and all is fine but if both are on it trips. other items seem to not matter one way or the other.

    I have tried replacing the GFCI with another one and all worked for a little while, few months, (I could turn on both the pool and spa lights at the same time). Now the problem has returned. Any thoughts on where to go next?

    TIA
    21,000 gallon pool w/spa, Pebble Sheen, Hayward EcoStar variable speed filter pump, Hayward DE6020 Filter, Hayward 400FDN Heater, Stenner pump with 15 gallon tank, Clear O3 ozone system, Hayward Goldline PS-8 controller, Hayward 6060 cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward EcoStar variable speed water feature pump.

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    Odd electrical issue

    Basic stuff, but What is the amp rating of the GFCI, and what is the total amperage of equipment on the circuit?


    68,000litre, IG vinyl, LorentzPS 600 Solar Pump & 1/2 HP Tristar, Sandfilter, Aquarite T-15 SWG
    20000 gallon, IG, SWG, Sand Filter, Hayward 1/2HP + Lorentz direct solsr PV pump

  3. Back To Top    #3

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    Re: Odd electrical issue

    It's at least a 15 amp GFCI. The pool light is 500 watts and the spa is 100 watts. I can have everything else turned off and turning on just those 2 cause the gfci to trip. That should be under 5 amps so i dont think its an overloaded circuit causing this issue.
    21,000 gallon pool w/spa, Pebble Sheen, Hayward EcoStar variable speed filter pump, Hayward DE6020 Filter, Hayward 400FDN Heater, Stenner pump with 15 gallon tank, Clear O3 ozone system, Hayward Goldline PS-8 controller, Hayward 6060 cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward EcoStar variable speed water feature pump.

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    Re: Odd electrical issue

    If it were me and i was sure there was no faulty equip, I would replace the gfci - they do have a shelf life....


    68,000litre, IG vinyl, LorentzPS 600 Solar Pump & 1/2 HP Tristar, Sandfilter, Aquarite T-15 SWG
    20000 gallon, IG, SWG, Sand Filter, Hayward 1/2HP + Lorentz direct solsr PV pump

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Odd electrical issue

    Your pool lights are supposed to be on their own circuits by code. My bet is you have a poor connection in the neutral someplace in the circuit, and pool junction boxes would be the first place I'd look
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

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    Re: Odd electrical issue

    I'll look at the wiring in the junction boxes. Could it be thats its a poor connection and this only triggers when both lights are on for some reason? That's the part that confuses me.
    21,000 gallon pool w/spa, Pebble Sheen, Hayward EcoStar variable speed filter pump, Hayward DE6020 Filter, Hayward 400FDN Heater, Stenner pump with 15 gallon tank, Clear O3 ozone system, Hayward Goldline PS-8 controller, Hayward 6060 cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward EcoStar variable speed water feature pump.

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    Re: Odd electrical issue

    Yes it could.Start with the Jbs and work back.
    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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    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Villa Park, CA
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    Re: Odd electrical issue

    I had the same problem with my 4 pool lights. They are switched separately (pool, wading pool, spa, fountain) and when they were all on the GFCI tripped. I replaced the GFCI but that didnít help. Next I measured the resistance of each lightís leakage to ground and found the problems.

    It turns out that eventually the lightís insulated cord will start to degrade and allow some water in causing the GFCI to trip. The lights use special submersion grade double insulated wire but it is continually submerged and will eventually fail. In my case this was at about 10 years. The GFCI will trip at 4 to 6 mA leakage or about 18K ohms between the line/load and ground for a 110V circuit. Here is a great discussion on how they work:
    http://www.nema.org/Products/Documen...esentation.pdf

    I had one light with measurable leakage resistance to ground and a second light that had water in the conduit between the controller relay box and the elevated light J-box causing leakage with the feed wiring. My fix then was to replace the one bad light and then the feed wiring to the other light circuit after I got all the water out. My pool is now 23 years old and I just had to replace another 4Ē light with the same symptoms.

    If you have a multimeter and are familiar with working on your wiring you can check this yourself. If not, get a qualified electrician because you can injure or kill yourself. Here is what I would do:

    • Turn off the breaker that feeds the poolís subpanel.
    • If your lights are on mechanical switches turn them all on.
    • At the GFCI measure the resistance between the line & ground and the neutral & ground. Ideally this will be an open circuit but if itís less than 100K you have issues and at 18K it will trip. Isolate and check each light separately to find the defect(s).
    • If your lights are on relays you can check the resistance at the elevated J-box for each light.
    20' x 40' 30,000 gallon IG Plaster with Spa, wading pool, fountain built 1993
    Pentair 011018 IntelliFlo / 2HP fountain pump / 2 HP spa jet punp / Jandy Ji8000 controller with IntelliComm II interface to IntelliFlo
    Crystal Water Aqua Clean 60 Sq ft DE filter / FlowVis Flow / Stenner DIY Chlorinator / The Poolcleaner 4-wheel / Taylor K-2006

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    Join Date
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    Location
    Prosper, Texas
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    Re: Odd electrical issue

    Thanks CA92807 for the writeup and thanks to everyone else for your help.

    My switches are controlled via software but I'll measure from the point where they are tied into the panel to determine what light or fixture has the issue. I suspect I will find both have a some leakage and the total leakage when both are on is enough to trip the gfci.

    Thanks again.
    21,000 gallon pool w/spa, Pebble Sheen, Hayward EcoStar variable speed filter pump, Hayward DE6020 Filter, Hayward 400FDN Heater, Stenner pump with 15 gallon tank, Clear O3 ozone system, Hayward Goldline PS-8 controller, Hayward 6060 cleaner pump, Polaris 280 cleaner, Hayward EcoStar variable speed water feature pump.

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