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Thread: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

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    Aquatica's Avatar
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    Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    we tested the grounds in both transformers (300w each) 2 x 300w pool lights.

    and tested the junction box cover for ground problems and nothing.

    both lights even when off are shocking swimmers. if there is no current going to the lights then how can swimmers be getting shocked? also both lights are on 1 timer. could the timer be faulty and current still be flowing somehow to the lights? but they would be on though?? of course in the daytime its hard to tell.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    There must be a short to something live somewhere. The problem is that there are a lot of places to look.

    I would start at the junction box where the light cable comes up from the pool, disconnect everything, and with the light turned off measure the voltage between each wire and the bonding system. Hopefully one of them will show voltage and you know which direction to go looking in.
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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    What type pool is this? Vinyl, plaster, saltwater, etc?

    The real issue is bonding. Issues like that are the entire reason for the bonding requirement. Whatever you find, the bonding must be revisited and corrected.

    As Jason said, it's a leak somewhere in the light circuit. You should check for voltage starting at the timer working back.
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    Aquatica's Avatar
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    Thanks guys its concrete pool.

    my electrician didn't remove the junction box cover but just touched the cover with his volt meter. only swimmers can feel the shock near the light. I don't think he put the volt meter on the light itself. maybe I need another electrician.

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    Aquatica's Avatar
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    found a broken ground in the time clock for both lights. was loose. there was 3 ground wires on one post..should have been crimped. one wire must have worked itself free over time. I think I fixed it but need an electrician to check..however in the islands that can be a challenge! and my clients won't swim until one ok's it..they were willing to pay whatever the cost to replace or fix the problem plus they want the whole house and grounds checked..but no takers!! got to love the islands!

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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquatica
    we tested the grounds in both transformers (300w each) 2 x 300w pool lights.

    and tested the junction box cover for ground problems and nothing.

    both lights even when off are shocking swimmers. if there is no current going to the lights then how can swimmers be getting shocked? also both lights are on 1 timer. could the timer be faulty and current still be flowing somehow to the lights? but they would be on though?? of course in the daytime its hard to tell.
    I work in an old building built in 1917. I find some funky wiring from time to time. Shared neutrals can cause live circuits even though a particular circuit's breaker or switch is turned off. Just the other week we had a broken neutral that in a lighting circuit was causing voltage from socket shell to ground, voltage from socket button to ground, with no voltage from button to shell......voltage from another leg was backfeeding that shell neutral wire. It's enough to drive you crazy.

    I wouldn't have piped up if you hadn't pointed out that you are in the Islands--wiring can indeed be funky in the hinterlands!

    Good luck solving this puzzle. Suspect the neutrals.

    Lana
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    X2 on what Bama Rambler said. This is a bonding issue. Neutrals can also be a factor but not if the bonding is done correctly. The problem with the grounds could easily be the culprit. The type of mild shock you are describing often ocurrs when there is an ungrounded circuit and a person comes between this circuit and a source of ground. In your case, the swimmer is putting themselves in the pathway of current flowing towards a point of lower electrical potential.
    Why is it most people that work in a pool store know nothing about pool chemistry?
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    Aquatica's Avatar
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    Thanks guys.

    I found the time clock grounds..3 wires on one post in both the pump and light time clocks so pigtailed them together to hardwire and attached to the posts. Better ground now.

    Spoke with the owner and she said the swimmers felt more current/shock from the light in the shallow end. I turned the lights on and the light in the shallow end was not coming on. so they were getting "shocked" when lights were off and now this light in the shallow end is not even coming on anymore. I suspect a short was in the light and now its dead. so we are replacing both lights with ColorLogic LED's as the owner is taking this opportunity to upgrade. I hope changing the lights and having grounded the time clock better we won't have any more "shocking" going on.

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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    check bonding. current is not the same from your pump location to the water. If the short was in the light or Jbox it should pop a GFCI. I bet the pool itself is not bonded anymore.

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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquatica
    Thanks guys.

    I found the time clock grounds..3 wires on one post in both the pump and light time clocks so pigtailed them together to hardwire and attached to the posts. Better ground now.

    Spoke with the owner and she said the swimmers felt more current/shock from the light in the shallow end. I turned the lights on and the light in the shallow end was not coming on. so they were getting "shocked" when lights were off and now this light in the shallow end is not even coming on anymore. I suspect a short was in the light and now its dead. so we are replacing both lights with ColorLogic LED's as the owner is taking this opportunity to upgrade. I hope changing the lights and having grounded the time clock better we won't have any more "shocking" going on.

    Did you ever figure it out? Keep in mind there could be other electrical wiring in the ground thats leaking power (ie. through a nicked wire) to the light wire. Hence the reason why it happens even when the light is off. On clue is if this happens more so when the ground is wet and therefore more conductive.
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    Having some thirty years of experience with tropical wiring in Brazil, I have learned a few things. One is to never trust the wire colors the last idiot put there. Use a test light to verify what is a neutral and what is a hot. Make sure your timer is cutting the hot and not the neutral. This could explain how you get shocks when the lights are off. I found lots of hot white wires and neutral blacks in my years in Brazil. Colors are just decorations to the electricians there, and grounds are pretty much considered a useless frivolity. Shared neutrals were pretty much the rule, and 3-way switch wiring could get very crazy.

    Gas station attendants smoke when filling cars, too. The third world has its charms, but it can drive you nuts trying to survive.

    Proper bonding may eliminate the problem, but that does not mean there is no wiring fault that should be corrected. Lots of lights were put in before bonding was required, and people didn't get shocked.
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    Re: Getting shocked when swimming near pool lights

    Quote Originally Posted by Durk
    ...Gas station attendants smoke when filling cars, too.


    And run wires for pool installs when not pumping gas. LOL!

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