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Thread: pool lighting problem

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    pool lighting problem

    I have an inground pool and had my lights repaired within the year.
    Soon after or possibly even right after, the GFCI switch kept tripping whenever I turned on the switch for the lights.
    The lights switch on and then immediately off.
    I replaced the GFCI outlet but not the switch.
    Could light bulbs with the wrong wattage been installed?

    Thanks for any help or ideas on how to resolve my problem.
    -kim

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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: pool lighting problem

    Welcome to TFP!

    More than likely one of the lights wasn't sealed well when it was reassembled. What kind of lights do you have?
    TFP Moderator
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    TFP Guide

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    Re: pool lighting problem

    GFCI's don't won't trip due to a wrong size bulb. GFCI's only trip when there is a ground fault. Water mixed with electricity will cause such a fault. Somewhere there is a leak that is allowing an electrical connection to get wet and allow current to go to ground.

    As a refresher on GFCI recepticles/breakers. There is a monitoring system built into these devices to monitor current flow into and back out of the the device attached. If there is an imbalance of ~5 milivolts or more it will trip.
    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: pool lighting problem

    I don't know what kind of light I have, but if the seal wasn't good, would the lights come on at all?
    They do come on for that fraction of a second before the GFCI trips.
    -kim

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    Re: pool lighting problem

    Quote Originally Posted by kim
    I don't know what kind of light I have, but if the seal wasn't good, would the lights come on at all?
    They do come on for that fraction of a second before the GFCI trips.
    -kim
    Yes, you will see a brief, very brief, flash of light. That is the circuit being made just before the GFCI detects a problem.
    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: pool lighting problem

    thank you

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    Re: pool lighting problem

    Yes, check this carefully. That GFCI switching off is telling you that there is a major problem with the electrical through the pool light circuit. In no way do you want to have anyone in the pool until that light is fixed. Is the light 120V or 12V? Is there water inside the light fixture? I agree that water inside the fixture is the most likely culprit, but it could also be that the lighting wire has been compromised and needs to be replaced. Remove the fixture from the light niche, remove its bulb and energize the circuit (with nobody in the pool, of course). If there was water in the light fixture, let it dry out for a while before doing this. If the GFCI still pops, there is a good chance you have a problem with the wire and you are getting a ground fault (e.g. current imbalance between line and neutral). If this is the case, it is likely that the fixture and cord will need to be replaced. If not, it could be that the circuit inside just got wet due to a problem with the install of the gasket. Make sure to replace the rubber gasket that is designed to keep water out of the fixture any time you change the bulb. I emphasize again that the GFCI is telling you there is something potentially very dangerous regarding your pool lighting. If any of this is beyond your skills, bring out a pool guy to check this before allowing swimmers in the pool, as there is significant potential for electrocution.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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