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Thread: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

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    Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Need some help with my pool light that is tripping the GFCI.

    Pool light and spa light are on the same GFCI only trips when the pool light is on and it trips immediately. Rules out possible GFCI Issue.
    Water in Light about half full. Replaced gasket looks good. Still Trips.
    Discounted light at box the GFCI does NOT trip, believe this tells me it is most likely the light or the wire connected to the light.
    Cleaned connections and reconnected. Still trips.
    Let the light sit out overnight to dry. Still trips the GFCI.

    Any other thoughts or do I need a new light. Is replacing the light a DIY?

    Thanks
    14,000 Pebble Sheen Salt Water Pool All Pentair Equipment/ Cartridge Filter, 400K BTU Heated.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Your reasoning is sound but not 100% guaranteed. There can be weird GFCI issues that violate intuition. Your guess that it is the light fixture and/or cable is by far the most likely possibility, but you can't 100% rule out a bad GFCI. Personally, I would try a new GFCI, even though it is likely to be a waste of time, because trying a new one is easy and inexpensive and if the new one also trips you still have the old one as a spare.

    Replacing a light is normally a reasonable DIY project, but there are occasionally issues that can make it more complex. To replace the fixture you need to locate the junction box, should be above ground somewhere fairly near the light, disconnect the light cable, attach a snake or string to the cable, pull it out of the conduit from the light end, attach the new cable to the snake/string, pull the new cable through to the junction box, and hook everything back up. The risk comes if your conduit is collapsed, jamming the cable, or if someone has epoxied the back of the light niche to stop a leak. If either of those come up it can be a far more complex job.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Hey Jason,

    If you're replacing the light, could you cut off the light and attach/splice the new cable to the old cable as you pull the old cable out?

    Don't mean to hijack this thread....
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    What does the light socket look like? I helped out a friend awhile back and I found that the socket itself was so corroded out it tripped the gfci.

    You might be able to clean it.
    14,000 gallon IG plaster pool, Cartridge Filter

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    If you're replacing the light, could you cut off the light and attach/splice the new cable to the old cable as you pull the old cable out?
    No, that is a bad idea. The splice would be underwater and eventually, or most likely sooner, leak current into the water.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion
    Quote Originally Posted by CUTiger78
    If you're replacing the light, could you cut off the light and attach/splice the new cable to the old cable as you pull the old cable out?
    No, that is a bad idea. The splice would be underwater and eventually, or most likely sooner, leak current into the water.
    I think CUTiger meant to pull the new cable when pulling out the old one by temporarily attaching them to each other.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Ah, that could work. If you cut the old cable off at the niche and connect the new cable to the cut end, you can pull the new cable through by pulling the old one out from the junction box end. The fairly minor disadvantage is that if the conduit has collapsed, you will have a useless cut cable stuck in there instead of whatever small chance there is of repairing the old fixture.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Thanks for the replies. The socket is not corroded and is very clean. I will try a new gfci then move on to a new light.
    14,000 Pebble Sheen Salt Water Pool All Pentair Equipment/ Cartridge Filter, 400K BTU Heated.

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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    As long as you're trying the easy & inexpensive ideas before replacing the light, you might try replacing the switch. They don't fail often, but they're cheap to replace.
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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  10. Back To Top    #10

    Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    How do the connections look in the junction box?

    Have you tried a known good lightbulb in the socket with it out of the water and the glass off?

    Does it trip when you turn it on without a lamp in it?

    I'd try to replace the gfci first. Then the switch. Make sure all connections are good, I'd probably put new wire nuts on just to make sure those are good.
    14,000 gallon IG plaster pool, Cartridge Filter

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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    My light fixture, without the light in it, trips the GFI. Does this mean that the fixture is bad and needs replacement? If so, where's the best place to buy a replace fixutre and wire?

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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Before you replace the light fixture, it might be worthwhile to take the light apart and let it dry out thuroughly with the lens off for a couple days and see if the GFCI still trips.
    8.5k gallon IG pebble sheen play pool with Intellitouch control, Intellifo VF, IC 20, Rainbow tab feeder (not currently in use), Pentaire mystery cartridge filter with labels faded to the point I have no idea on the model, Intellibrite 5g LED light, Hayward Navigator. Adding IntelliPh and Crestron control next.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    I have let it dry, and it indeed does not trip the GFCI any longer. Not sure what this means?

    Historically, the light was working when I installed it in the pool about 3 weeks ago. It came on for two nights then tripped the circuit. When i removed it from the pool there was no visible moisture inside. I took it apart and found some condensation, but not much. It has set out in the Arizona sun for about 5 days now, and the fixture no longer trips the GFCI. Would this mean that there is still some level of moisture getting in, possibly around the power cord?

    Any help?

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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    If it is a standard white light, I would replace the bulb and gasket as this is the cheapest fix for now. Most likely the gasket developed a small leak and the moisture inside the light was causing the GFCI to trip. The cord could be bad but that would require a complete new light and will be more expensive than replacing the bulb and gasket.
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    It is a halogen light, but still less than $20 plus the gasket. Thanks!

    Kevin

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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Ok, so I have a Hayward Colorlogic 4.0 that went bad. They sent me a new one and it doesn't work either. The new one keeps tripping the GFCI breaker (the old one didn't). How can I test the GFCI? Would I be able to simply connect the hot line directly to the neutral line to bypass the light? If a GFCI is supposed to trip when the voltage is different on the hot line and the neutral line, then this should work, should it not?

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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Quote Originally Posted by probee773
    Would I be able to simply connect the hot line directly to the neutral line to bypass the light??
    Do not do that!

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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    GFCI's are tested by pressing the test button, if the GFCI trips when the button is pressed it's working. To check if the light is causing the GFCI to trip because the fixture is leaking electricity, after you turn off the power so you don't get shocked, you can disconnect the fixture at the deck box. But likely if the new unit is tripping after you had the fixture open, then the gasket isn't completely sealed and moisture is getting into the interior of the fixture. I'd suggest bringing the fixture up out of the water, taking the lens off and leaving it open to dry and reassembling it with a new gasket.
    8.5k gallon IG pebble sheen play pool with Intellitouch control, Intellifo VF, IC 20, Rainbow tab feeder (not currently in use), Pentaire mystery cartridge filter with labels faded to the point I have no idea on the model, Intellibrite 5g LED light, Hayward Navigator. Adding IntelliPh and Crestron control next.

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Thanks dtlight. Actually, it's an LED fixture that is sealed at the factory. So, if the gasket is letting moisture in, then I guess I need another replacement light. Ugh, I'm not very impressed with Hayward's quality. But at least they are taking care of me by sending out replacement lights very quickly...

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    Ramrise's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Tripping GFCI

    Most likely the GFCI is functioning properly but they do fail on a rare occasions. Before you go to the trouble of replacing the GFCI, do the following steps.

    1. Turn off all the pool equipment and remove power from the control panel box.
    2. Remove the high voltage cover plate from within the control panel box and examine the wires leading into the GFCI.
    3. Look for stray wires, uncovered wires or bare wires touching other wires.
    4. Sometimes low voltage wires get too close to the 120/240 Volt power strips. Carefully remove any low voltage wires that have drifted within 2 inches of the power strips. The induced current can trip the GFCI, ##WARNING## Treat the power strip as if it were HOT. If you followed step 1 it shouldn't be but safety is free insurance.
    5. Look for wires that are too close to exposed mounting screws. Sometimes insulation can be rubbed thin by vibrations of the house/box and this may cause the GFCI to trip. (These GFCI's are sensitive to unusual current)

    Good Luck

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