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Thread: GFCI Placement - Original 1985 Pool

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    GFCI Placement - Original 1985 Pool

    Hello from AZ where it might hit 120 degrees this weekend.

    I'll try to keep this brief.

    My pool was added in 1985 I *think*. It is a very large Paddock "diving" pool and had the "American" light fixture which I have determined is completely shot. 7 bulbs later that kept blowing out I decided to give up the ghost and plunked down $500 bucks on a Pentair 5G LED 120V 50' light. I've located my main deck box, same "American" brand I'm sure you've seen millions of them.

    Sooo... I killed the breaker to the deck box which is at my MAIN panel, a 15A breaker NOT GFI. I disco'd the blue/white from the deck box to the old light, wing nutted em at deck box, pulled out the light from pool and set it on my deck. The enclosure is completely fubar as if it's been under the ocean for 500 years and covered in barnacles. DONE DEAL. I think I will have pretty good luck with getting the entire cord out when I go to replace. I'll tie the new wire from Pentair light to old light ware, tape the **** out of it and plan on pushing back towards deck box while my nephew pulls cord up through brass conduit.

    SO... I am unable to locate a GFI circuit ANYWHERE along the path for this light. Directly below my MAIN house panel that has the 15A breaker for the light is an old Leviton brand ON/OFF toggle which controls the light. Direct below that light switch is a single gang metal box with 2 standard non GFI outlets that have these metal flap covers for each one. Directly below that dual outlet box is the metal conduit that feeds down wall and then goes underground all the way back to the deck box which is about 60' away towards the West corner of my home.

    At the deck box, I've got the 5 wires coming through that metal conduit (black/black/blue/white/green). The two blacks feed the 208V to the Pentair pump and the blue/white used to wire nut to the old light wire. Directly under the deck box to the left is a metal enclosure with a single ON/OFF switch (NON GFI) that directly controls the PUMP power.

    What I need from you wizards, is advice on WHERE to add the GFI. I would seem **** near impossible to add it at the deck box are based upon how the conduit/deck box/switch for pump are all wired up.

    I have two thoughts at this point, but am not a code wizard and want to be sure everyone swimming is safe.

    #1. Replace the Bryant BRD BD15-15 CU10-15 AL10-12 breaker that the light circuit is on to a GFI BREAKER?!?

    #2. The metal box with the two outlets and the metal cover flaps, remove the old school outlets and replace there with a GFI?

    #3. Add a GFI to the deck box area in some fashion (this behooves me)

    Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!!! My new Pentair light comes fedex tomorrow so I will complete my wire fish job through brass conduit, wing nut the new light in, test to make sure it works, mount her in pool permanently and then NOT use the light again until I add a GFI SOMEWHERE in the loop.

    My hope is that option #1 is perfectly safe and will satisfy code?

    Thank you to anyone in advance who has taken the time to read and is willing to help me. Cheers!!!

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    Re: GFCI Placement - Original 1985 Pool

    Pictures being word 1,000 words here is what I refer to. The shot with my dog Jean-Luc in the background is my deck box where you can see the ON/OFF toggle for the pump, the brass conduit next to it for pool light wire and then the steel conduit which brings in the 208V for pump and 120V for light.

    The second photo is the MAIN panel, with the ON/OFF toggle for pool light directly below and then the dual outlet box I spoke of. You can see the main conduit that runs down from there which goes to deck box on other side.

    Thank you in advance!!

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    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    western NY

    Re: GFCI Placement - Original 1985 Pool

    If you can get a GFI for your main breaker box...that would be easiest. You could put a GFI recepticle in the box under the switch and then feed the switch from the load side of the GFI
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: GFCI Placement - Original 1985 Pool

    As danpik mentioned, the simplest thing is to get a CGFI breaker for the main panel.

    Another approach, a little more work to find the right part, is to replace the switch at the deck box with a CGFI + switch combo unit. They are a little more difficult to find, but larger hardware stores and electrical supply stores do have them.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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