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Thread: Moving and rewiring pool light

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    Moving and rewiring pool light

    Hi all,

    I punctured the metal (I think red brass) conduit carrying my pool light wire so I thought now would be a good time to rewire and replace the pool light and GFCI/switch controlling it. I have a few questions about the pool light and would really appreciate your help:

    1) Can I just add a piece of brass to the current conduit with a coupling and move the wiring further out? I would prefer to couple PVC conduit to the red brass for cost savings and availability but I'm not sure if that will cause issues with grounding/bonding. The puncture in the conduit is above the water line so I don't anticipate any pool water flowing up to the coupling.

    2) Do I need a bonding wire? I don't see any wire in or around the conduit besides the 3wires in a jacket for the pool light.

    3) Do I have to use a deck box/pool junction box? I was hoping to bring the red brass conduit directly into a 2 gang metallic weatherproof junction box where I would have the GFCI and light switch for the pool.

    Thank you in advance!!

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    Patrick_B's Avatar
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    I'm not you're wiring guy, but we have a few here who can answer. I just wanted to say welcome to the forum.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Welcome to TFP!

    #1 and #2 are interrelated. If the light is high voltage you need either a bonding wire or conductive conduit. If the light is 12 volts then you don't need a bonding wire or conductive conduit.

    Extending the conduit is fine as long as the light cord is long enough. You can not make a splice inside the conduit.

    An approved deck box is required and it must be properly positioned (4" above ground & 8" above water minimum vertically) and supported (two metal raceways). It can be right next to the GFCI/switch box.
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Thank you!

    Just to clarify. I plan to purchase a new 120V LED pool light with a cable long enough to reach the deck box without a splice. I will connect a new piece of red brass to the existing red brass (that does not have any bonding wire) and will thread the conduit into to the deck box (likely Pentair 78310500) that has brass fittings. I will connect the ground wire coming from the sub-panel to the grounding bar inside the deck box which will essentially ground the brass conduit and everything that is bonded to it. I will also connect the ground cable from the light itself to that ground bar. No need to run any bonding wire from the niche to anything as this is an existing pool construction. Does that sound right?

    Also, I noticed that the pool motor and filter are not currently bonded. They are approx. 30 feet from the pool. Do I need to add a bonding wire? If so, I was thinking about connecting a bonding lug/clamp to the red brass conduit and running a bare #8 wire underground to the pool pump and filter.

    Thanks again!

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Good plan

    The filter does not get bonded.

    The pump should be bonded unless it is double insulated. Many above ground pumps are double insulated, but hardly any in-ground pumps are double insulated.

    I would look around the equipment pad and see if you can find an existing bonding wire, possibly shallowly buried. Often there is one that simply wasn't connected to the pump.
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    It's highly unlikely you'd be in this situation but I think one exception to the filter generally not being bonded is if you happen to have an old stainless steel metal filter. In that case it would fall under the metal (I think it was greater than 4" in any dimension) in contact with pool water needs to be bonded requirement.
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Many thanks JasonLion and gtemkin! I'm looking forward to this project!

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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post

    #1 and #2 are interrelated. If the light is high voltage you need either a bonding wire or conductive conduit. If the light is 12 volts then you don't need a bonding wire or conductive conduit.
    Jason
    I am going to have to correct you on this.

    Article 680.26(B)(2) states: ALL metal forming shells for underwater permanently installed pool, spa or outdoor hot tub luminaires and speakers. Need to be bonded

    You may have confused this with GFCI requirements. As the code states, the underwater light assembly/wet niche has to be bonded.
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    danpik, that is talking about the niche. This is a fixture change and we were specifically talking about the wires in the conduit. The niche should already be bonded directly to the bonding system, separately from what needs to be in the conduit.
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Sorry to change scenarios, but as I research more, I have been intruiged by 12v lighting. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I were to use a 12v pool light (like the Pentair 601012), then I would not need to worry about bonding? If that's the case, I was thinking of just connecting to the existing red brass conduit and extending it using PVC conduit without a bonding wire. Does that sound correct?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Switching to a 12 volt light does simplify things just as you describe.

    As danpik points out, the niche must remain separately bonded, but that should already be in place and not require any effort on your part.
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLion View Post
    danpik, that is talking about the niche. This is a fixture change and we were specifically talking about the wires in the conduit. The niche should already be bonded directly to the bonding system, separately from what needs to be in the conduit.

    OK, I think we are using bonding and grounding interchangeably here. After re-reading the thread, I agree. The niche should have been bonded when the pool was built and the light should have a ground wire in the cable to it which should be connected to the Equipment Grounding Conductor in the junction box
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    680.23 (B)(2) requires either metallic conduit or an insulated copper bonding jumper in nonmetallic conduit or a listed low-voltage lighting system not requiring grounding.

    Except for the non-grounded low voltage case, grounding is required in addition to that.

    For high voltage lights in nonmetallic conduit, grounding and bonding conductors are connected together at the junction box end, bonding is connected to the niche at the pool end, while ground is connected to the fixture at the pool end. Ground additionally runs from the junction box back to the electrical panel, while bonding terminates at the junction box.
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Thank you, JasonLion and danpik!

    danpik: I think I'm confused. When you say the niche should have been bonded when the pool was built, do you mean to say that it is bonded to the rebars and other metal in the pool? In that case, what purpose does the red brass conduit serve if it is going from the niche to the junction box? My thinking is that since the niche is bonded to the metal in the pool and the red brass connects the niche to the Equipment Grounding Connector of the junction box, the red brass conduit serves to ground everything that is bonded together in the pool.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    The conduit is bonded to make sure that there is never a voltage difference between the water and something a person might touch while in the water. This might seem like overkill, after all the conduit is buried, so not easy to touch it. But even with this "overkill" attitude there have still been electrical accidents with swimming pools. When it comes to mixing electricity and swimming pools you can never be too safe.

    This is completely unrelated to grounding. The fixture is separately grounded using a ground wire inside the conduit.
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    Re: Moving and rewiring pool light

    Got it, thanks!

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