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Thread: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

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    Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    I am having the strangest problem with my pool light and/or circuit ...

    Currently, I have a low voltage Pentair SAM light that has been in operation for approx 12 years or so ... The light is low voltage, using an intermatic transformer. The light is on separate 15AMP circuit with a dedicated GFCI in line. What keeps happening is that the GFCI will trip about every 8 hours, even if the light is not in use.

    Since the switch remains in the off position, would this suggest that the problem resides between the switch and the GFCI breaker? About 8 years ago I had to replace this GFCI Breaker ..

    Thx ...

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    Re: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    I'd suspect the GFCI is faulty. If you're comfortable with working on electrics, turn the GFCI off, prove that its output is dead and then disconnect the outgoing connection to the transformer. Then turn the GFCI back on and see if it trips again. If it doesn't repeat the exercise with the next item down the line until you find the cause.
    Pool newbie - In ground 13.5k gallon gunite pool & spa. All Jandy equipment - 2.0HP VS pump, iAqualink touch controller, Jxi heater, & AquaPure salt cell system, CL 580 cartridge filter, & 1.0HP water feature pump. SAVI LED lights.

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    Re: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    CCP4321 has the test procedure correct.

    I'm going to be a heretic and say you don't need the GFCI. Its not required by code and if you have a swim rated transformer (which is required by code) then you are as safe without the GFCI. The GFCI does nothing to protect you in the pool and will not trip if there is a problem with the light or in the pool.

    Is the switch between the transformer and the GFCI?
    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: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    I always thought that A GFCI was required on all outdoor lighting and receptacles... if I'm not mistaken the GFCI is the first component off the circuit breaker, then the switch, then the Intermatic 12 volt transformer for submersible pool lights..

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    Re: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    A GFCI is not required on low voltage lighting because it will have no effect on the secondary side of the transformer (the lights). NEC 680.23(A)(3). A pool rated transformer is required.

    A GFCI is required on pool equipment, lighting with voltage greater than the contact limit, and receptacles.
    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: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    GFCI on pool equipment leads me to another question ...

    The sub panel for my equipment is feed from a 50AMP GFCI Breaker ... I suppose the mentality is that it was cheaper then having 3 separate GFCI breakers for all 3 pump circuits ... What puzzles me is that if the entire sub panel is protected by the 50AMP GFCI breaker, then what is the need for having 3 additional GFCI interrupters for the heater, receptacles and pool light ...

    If this is not considered safe anymore, I will just change the 3 breakers to GFCI... It's very hard to keep up, what was safe 20 years ago, is not considered safe today! The pool I had growing up didn't have any GFCI pump breakers and nothing was bonded ...

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    Re: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    If the subpanel is protected by a GFCI breaker then you don't need or want serial GFCI breakers or receptacles. Though I would replace the 20 year old 50 amp GFCI breaker.

    With what you are describing I think your GFCI are getting old and your transformer is getting old and heating up more and doing weird things to the current and the old transformer is tripping the old GFCI but that is just speculation.
    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: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    Is having additional GFCI's actually hurting me? I have a 50AMP that feeds the sub panel, one for the light, one for the receptacles, and one for the mini fridge...

    I have 3 separate 110 Volt circuits and 3 220 circuits ...

    Should I just install 3 GFCI Breakers for the pumps and negate the 50AMP?

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    Re: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    Generally you want the GFCI as close to why it is protecting as possible. So GFCIs in the sub panel are preferred to a GFCI in the main.
    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: Pentair SAM light and GFCI tripping

    That makes sense ... I'll switch them out .. Thanks for the advise on this!

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