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Thread: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

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    Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Hello,

    I am just wondering if someone can advise if my theory sounds like a good solutions.

    I am trying to add a "Smart Switch" that works off WiFi or Bluetooth. Seems like all the ones at the local hardware store need a neutral wire. My neutral wire from the pool light goes into my GFCI Service Outlet. Can I just come from the same connection (where the Neutral wire is connected) and take it to the new switch? My set up is attached as best I can display.Pool_Light_Wire_Diagram.jpg

    Again, I'm wondering if it's okay to just go from the same neutral wire connection on the GFCI and take it to the switch?

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Chris how many wire are on the switch? And what colors? Any green or bare goes to green or bare in your gfci. If only one white and one black remain then it goes in series with the black hot lead. In other words the same as your current switch just the wire from switch to gfci becomes white. If you have two blacks and a white then the two blacks wire the same as the switch above and the white ties to white at the gfci

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    Mod Squad Jimrahbe's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Chris,

    Welcome to TFP... A Great resource for all your pool questions..

    What specific "Smart Switch" are you planning on using?

    Thanks for posting,

    Jim R.
    Finished in 2015 - 17K Gal, IG, 20' x 25' Almost Rectangular Pool, Pebble finish, three rockport water falls. Pentair Equipment: EasyTouch 4, IC40 SWG, 3 HP VS Pump, CCP520 Cartridge Filter.
    TF100 with SpeedStir and SampleSizer, ColorQ Pro 7, Dolphin Premier Robot Cleaner, added Screen Logic 2, added small 3 person Caldera Spa.

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Right now, it's just 2 reds (black from pool light was extended with a wire nut and red wire). So, a black/red direct from the pool whip to direct to the switch and then one red from the GFCI to the switch. The green wire from the whip goes to a grounding bus and the white wire from the whip goes to the GFCI outlet. As shown in the diagram.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm thinking of either a Belkin WeMo switch or a GE In-Wall Bluetooth Switch. I had picked up another brand, that turns out doesn't work off WiFi or Bluetooth like I thought. I went to install and that's when I found out I need a neutral wire to the new switch if I want to use it. Both switches I am thinking about say the must have a neutral wire as well. The pool light neutral goes direct to the GFCI outlet though. Guess I just need to know the best way to get a neutral to the new switch.

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeByers View Post
    Right now, it's just 2 reds (black from pool light was extended with a wire nut and red wire). So, a black/red direct from the pool whip to direct to the switch and then one red from the GFCI to the switch. The green wire from the whip goes to a grounding bus and the white wire from the whip goes to the GFCI outlet. As shown in the diagram.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I'm thinking of either a Belkin WeMo switch or a GE In-Wall Bluetooth Switch. I had picked up another brand, that turns out doesn't work off WiFi or Bluetooth like I thought. I went to install and that's when I found out I need a neutral wire to the new switch if I want to use it. Both switches I am thinking about say the must have a neutral wire as well. The pool light neutral goes direct to the GFCI outlet though. Guess I just need to know the best way to get a neutral to the new switch.
    Can you post a picture of the setup? Are the GFCI outlet and switch in the same box? If so, then yes, you can directly use the neutral wire from the "load" side (very important) to connect to the switch.

    If they're not in the same box, you can still do this, but I believe in that case it's required that you bring the neutral back from the switch also (i.e. connect the light's neutral at the switch box, rather than at the GFCI box).
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    The Top (Load) side of the GFI is as diagrammed previously. The line side of the GFI has a red wire to the breaker and a white wire to what I assume is the neutral bus. I didn't notice that before. Is it possible for me to go off the neutral bus to my new switch in order to gain the Neutral I need? Or would it be better to piggy back on the neutral wire from the load side (I can come right off that top screw connection).

    20170301_112033.jpg20170301_112132.jpg

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Using the neutral bus is the correct way to wire your switch!

    17,000 gal, 27' AG, Cartridge filter, Waterway 1.5 hp 2 speed pump, No SWG

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Thanks Chuckdobro and everyone else for the quick feedback! I'll try to use the neutral from the bus tonight and see what happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckdobro View Post
    Using the neutral bus is the correct way to wire your switch!

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeByers View Post
    Thanks Chuckdobro and everyone else for the quick feedback! I'll try to use the neutral from the bus tonight and see what happens.
    Unless I'm missing something in the picture or in my head (possible), you do NOT want to use the neutral from the bus -- you want the neutral from the LOAD side of the GFCI (the one that currently goes directly to the pool light). The neutral bus next to the breakers appears to be (and should be) on the LINE side of the GFCI.

    If you use the neutral bus, the GFCI would (hopefully) trip, as if would be seeing a differential current between the load hot (which feeds the switch) and load neutral. A pigtail from the GFCI load neutral wire-nutted to both the switch and the light is what you want.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    That is not how a ground fault circuit interrupter works. If you are trying to switch the neutral, then one side of the switch should be attached to the neutral bus and the other side to the light.

    17,000 gal, 27' AG, Cartridge filter, Waterway 1.5 hp 2 speed pump, No SWG

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckdobro View Post
    That is not how a ground fault circuit interrupter works. If you are trying to switch the neutral, then one side of the switch should be attached to the neutral bus and the other side to the light.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
    First, the OP isn't trying to switch the neutral; if I am understanding correctly he or she is wanting to use a smart switch that controls the hot output, but requires a neutral input in addition to the hot input for its own power.

    But either way, that's exactly how a GFCI works -- it uses a differential current transformer to detect any imbalance between the current flowing on the 2 load-side wires (which are also connected to the outlet itself). A difference of more than a few milliamps trips the GFCI. https://www.nema.org/Products/Docume...esentation.pdf

    If you put a device (e.g. the smart switch) between the load "hot" and the line "neutral" (which is what the neutral bus in this picture is connected to), the GFCI will see more current on the load hot than the load neutral and should trip as designed. If you connect the smart switch neutral to the load neutral, the current will always be in balance no matter what the switch or light are drawing.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
    Filter: Cartridge, Pentair CCP420 (2014)
    Main pump: Pentair IntelliFlo VS (2015)
    Boost pump: 3/4hp (2011), Polaris 280 cleaner (unknown age)

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    It looks like your previous switch was located inside the box to the right of the timer? You probably are going to find then no RF controlled switch is going to work inside a metal box.
    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.

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Thanks All!

    I ended up getting a "dumber" switch... one that doesn't work on WiFi or Bluetooth. One that has it's own remote bundled with the switch. This ended up not needing a neutral and is working great from the distances that I need it to. Remote works from from inside the house with the switch inside the box and the box closed. The light even dims now, if desired!

    If I do decide to upgrade the switch to something that I can control from my mobile device (WiFi or Bluetooth), looks like I have the answer. Just come off the neutral on the load side of the GFCI to the new switch.

    Thanks again for all the help. This place is a great resource I intend to use the in the future when needed!

    - CHRIS

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    Re: Pool Light - Neutral Wire

    Quote Originally Posted by TheyCallMeByers View Post
    Thanks All!

    I ended up getting a "dumber" switch... one that doesn't work on WiFi or Bluetooth. One that has it's own remote bundled with the switch. This ended up not needing a neutral and is working great from the distances that I need it to. Remote works from from inside the house with the switch inside the box and the box closed. The light even dims now, if desired!

    If I do decide to upgrade the switch to something that I can control from my mobile device (WiFi or Bluetooth), looks like I have the answer. Just come off the neutral on the load side of the GFCI to the new switch.

    Thanks again for all the help. This place is a great resource I intend to use the in the future when needed!

    - CHRIS
    Late to the thread, but I can't believe nobody asked what switch you used. So, what switch did you use?

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