Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Pool Light GFCI tripping

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Pool Light GFCI tripping

    I am having a problem with my pool light that keeps causing my GFCI to trip. My setup is that I have a 110 volt/20A breaker that connects to my 20A GFCI outlet. The load side of the outlet goes to the junction box (black wire via a toggle\light switch to engage the light) that connects my Hayward Astrolight pool light. Every time I place a reasonable load on the GFCI, it instantly trips. It will engage and power my cell phone charger, Rigid orbital sander, but will immediately trip whenever I connect my leaf blower, hair dryer or turn on the pool light.

    Here is what I know:
    If I disconnect the wires from the pool light at the junction box (at the diving board or load side of the GCIF outlet), the GFCI will work with the hair dryer where it would not work with before. I have also changed out 3 different 20A GFCI outlets (one even from the bathroom that uses the hair dryer); so I have ruled out the GFCI.

    Also, I have had water in the junction box in the past and there was some in there this time. The previous time, I ran the leaf blower to remove all of the water from the box. I keep siliconing the face plate, but water somehow keeps getting in there. (flush with concrete). The only possibilities I know of now are is if water when down the inside the cord (where the lamps wires are) and made itís way inside the light, if there is just enough moisture in the conduit that will cause high amps to trip the circuit, or itís possible that water is inside the fixture (I really cannot tell at this point and tool cold to get in pool). The wire has silicone around it (going into the lamp side conduit) to prevent it from either moving or water going down the conduit; not really sure on the fixture side of this. I did notice that after blowing out the junction box, some water came back (likely from the pool side conduit) but was minimal. The water level appears to have always been below the wire nuts making the connection.

    When it went out, I had it turned on as I was pumping water out of the pool (due to rain) and it stayed on on for about 5-10 minutes. Can anyone advise me on what I can do next to determine the problem?
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    It takes a very extremely small amount of current to trip a GFI. something measured in milliamps

    Water in a junction box would certainly be the first suspect. Wires needs to be dry and clean, wires can not have a conductive sludge on them. (That extreme small trip current thing)

    Second task might be to change the GFI, simply because it is easier then the light.

    At which point, you are now needing to remove the light and inspect for internal leaks.
    Easytouch, Intelliflo, Intellichem, Acid tank with pump, Intellichlor and Autelis network interface.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    The wire points are kind nasty looking. I can cut the ones on the pool light back, however I do not have slack on the lines to the breaker box. Is there a good way to clean the romex feeds that I have?

    Thanks
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverJK
    The wire points are kind nasty looking. I can cut the ones on the pool light back, however I do not have slack on the lines to the breaker box. Is there a good way to clean the romex feeds that I have?

    Thanks
    No need to cut back any wires, remove power, disassemble connectors, clean with a rag and rubbing alcohol.

    Cap black power wire by it's self (This will leave the circuit to light "open") and test circuit again, If GFI trips, there is other issues.

    If it passes that test, Disconnect power, reconnect the light and test again.

    Most likely the problem is in the lamp assembly.
    Easytouch, Intelliflo, Intellichem, Acid tank with pump, Intellichlor and Autelis network interface.

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    I didn't have any rubbing alcohol, so I wiped the the best I could. I did cap the black wire and cycled the light, it didn't trip the GFCI. I also tried the hair dryer test at the outlet (40 feet away). It didn't trip on low, but it did on high. So I tried it several more times and it worked fine on high and low. When I connected the black again, the hair dryer failed on high and low ( the light failed as well).

    What else can I try to clean the wires with? Is there anything else left to do besides pulling the light?
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverJK
    I didn't have any rubbing alcohol, so I wiped the the best I could. I did cap the black wire and cycled the light, it didn't trip the GFCI. I also tried the hair dryer test at the outlet (40 feet away). It didn't trip on low, but it did on high. So I tried it several more times and it worked fine on high and low. When I connected the black again, the hair dryer failed on high and low ( the light failed as well).

    What else can I try to clean the wires with? Is there anything else left to do besides pulling the light?
    Change the GFI, it should not be tripping from a hair dryer.

    Does this hair dryer have a built in GFI in the cord (Re-settable red button)?
    Easytouch, Intelliflo, Intellichem, Acid tank with pump, Intellichlor and Autelis network interface.

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    I changed the GFCI with one form the store and tried a 3rd one out of our bathroom (same one my wife uses with the hair dryer); all 3 are doing the same thing. It only trips it when the light is wired in at the junction box. I guess my question is, if there was water affecting the fixture; would that cause the GFCI outlet to trip withe the black wire toggled off but not when the the black wire is unconnected?

    I suppose I could simply test the light (at the junction box) by using an extension cord and another GFCI outlet? I will try to find some rubbing alcohol to clean the wires.
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverJK
    I changed the GFCI with one form the store and tried a 3rd one out of our bathroom (same one my wife uses with the hair dryer); all 3 are doing the same thing. It only trips it when the light is wired in at the junction box. I guess my question is, if there was water affecting the fixture; would that cause the GFCI outlet to trip withe the black wire toggled off but not when the the black wire is unconnected?

    I suppose I could simply test the light (at the junction box) by using an extension cord and another GFCI outlet? I will try to find some rubbing alcohol to clean the wires.
    What the GFI is looking for to trip is a small difference in current leaving the black wire from the GFI and not returning on the white wire. Either this current is coming back on the ground wire or returning thru another ground (Earth ground).

    In your statement above toggled (off) should be the same as the black wire disconnected.

    What toggles the black wire.

    I would suspect the light, but it could be the switch that toggles the light, or the wires somewhere.

    Your idea of an extension cord and GFI would work fine.
    Easytouch, Intelliflo, Intellichem, Acid tank with pump, Intellichlor and Autelis network interface.

  9. Back To Top    #9

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    I had the same problem, same light. Hayward even replaced my light under "one-time customer service" that really made me happy! Guess what....was the wiring all along. I had even cleaned and re-wire nut my connection, but I came down to me not really have them clean enough. Replace my stranded wire from a switch to junction box and was a complete fix. Spent too much time trying to clean corroded wire that could not be easily cleaned. Connection have to be absolute clean for it to work. Mine just happened from normal moisture in and around the pool area. Turned copper into a nightmare. Keep at it...you will find the solution!! Good Luck !!!
    Sami
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

  10. Back To Top    #10
    gtemkin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    738

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    Everything seems to be pointing to the light or its wiring leaking current and putting the circuit near its tripping threshold. Think a light and cable replacement is in order.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

  11. Back To Top    #11

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    okay, so I ran the extension cord to the lamp and plugged it in directly; it immediately tripped the GFCI it was using. So, I'm convinced it's the lamp now and tried to remove it from the pool. It's just a tad too cold for me to get in to remove the top screw. I've reached in several times, but I just cannot seem to get the screw driver on it and the bottom is moving around now. Is there a trick that anyone knows other than getting in the pool to remove it? My "get it done" attitude doesn't want to wait until the spring to get the light fixed; but I will have to unless someone has an idea. To be clear, I do not want to break anything on the niche trying to get it out.

    Thanks everyone for your help.
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    You are one the right track. That single screw (should be Philips) is what holds it in place. The bottom is held in with a tab coming off the light ring. Just a good fitting screwdriver and maybe a "tap" on the handle (like you are driving it in) gently may just be enough to break it loose. If that screw breaks or strips the head, then it does become a chore. Maybe spring and a mask is your best bet. Do you have any other good reason to drop the water down to a workable level? Hope this give you some ideas. Good Luck!!
    Sami
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

  13. Back To Top    #13

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    A wetsuit

    or

    Someone with a longer arm
    Easytouch, Intelliflo, Intellichem, Acid tank with pump, Intellichlor and Autelis network interface.

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    The wetsuit would be great if I had one. The problem isn't the length of my arm, it's that I cannot see the head of the screw. The diagram calls for a flat head screw. I'm gonna try using a small mirror to see the screw that I'm trying to get. I just don't want to damage anything.

    Thanks again everyone.
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    So I found my problem, the light was full of water. I managed to pull it to the deck and I instantly felt how heavy it was; then I knew. The problem is that the clamp was not secure and the nut had no threads on it; meaning that it simply slide to the end of the bolt.

    Since my liner was replaced, my installer did this and I'm not sure how tight it really was. It could have been the brass nut on the stainless bolt that caused it to fail as well. None the less, that's the source of the problem.

    Since the housing did not leak, is it conceivable that I only need to replace the bulb and seal while continuing to use the housing? I tested an ordinary bulb after wiping it down and it's working just fine.

    Thanks
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  16. Back To Top    #16
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    If you open it up and let it all dry out, then replace the bulb and seal, you should be back in business. When you go to re-submerge it, watch closely for any bubbles indicating that the fixture is leaking again.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    Great. Now about using a brass nut on a stainless steel bolt; is that a good practice (so the metals do no attack each other)? I was told this by a pool store.
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

  18. Back To Top    #18
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    I think you could use a little anti-seize on the threads to avoid any issues ... but it is done all the time.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

  19. Back To Top    #19

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    Good Job and a ton of money saved yet again!! Congrats!!
    Sami
    16,000 IG, SWG, 175 sq. ft. cartridge, 1.5 hp pump, vinyl, Charlotte NC
    TF-100, Pool School, Pool-Calc

  20. Back To Top    #20

    Re: Pool Light GFCI tripping

    Just for clarification. Use anti-sieze on a stainless or nut or brass nut (bolt is stainless I believe). I'm assuming the anti-sieze will keep the threads of the nut from breaking loose?

    Also, the bulb is working, I was assuming that it blew. Any issues with reusing a bulb after it being in the water (I've confirmed it is working). If no, then all I need now is a gasket.
    27K Vinyl IG Pool
    18x36, Aquarite with Goldline T-15 SWG,
    Hayward 244T Sand Filter, 1.5 HP Hayward Super Pump w/ AO Smith B129 Motor
    Taylor 2006 Test Kit
    NW Louisiana

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •