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Thread: Underwater Light and GFCI

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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Underwater Light and GFCI

    I've got an Aqualumin Nicheless Light 120V. I cannot find a GFCI that is connected to the light. I've tested all of the outlets in the pool area and there is none at the circuit breaker. I am going to replace the diving board hardware in a couple days so when I take the board off, I don't know what I'll find. It's possible that there will be a transformer under there that converts the light to 12V (My neighbor has one).

    If this is the case, could this be the reason that I may not have a GFCI on this circuit and I don't need one? It says here that a GFCI is needed on lights operating at more than 15 volts.

    http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5039.html

    Now if I don't find a transformer, then there definitely needs to be a GFCI. Could I replace the existing single light switch with this one?

    http://www.amazon.com/R12-07299-0NW-Com ... 466&sr=1-2

    If this switch would work, would it be a good idea swap the current one for this one regardless of what I find under the board?

    Thanks again in advance
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    You may have a gfi that is also an outlet. On the side of your automation box (if you have one). It's common practice to take voltage from a breaker to a relay then to a gfi then on to the light. If you have a 120v light, you don't have a transformer. You may have a transformer, but it's not hooked up.
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    I don't expect you'll find anything under the board unless the pool is fairly old. The junction box for the light needs to be higher than the deck surface per code.
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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    I checked all of the GFCI outlets and none of them turned off the light. As far as I can tell, I've got wire running from the breaker box to a light switch about 20' from the pool. Then to the light. I need to do a little work to get the board off. I doubt if it's been removed in the 14 years since it was built.

    My neighbor's pool was built a couple years earlier than mine by the same builder and he has a transformer under his board that inputs 120v and outputs 12v to the light. That is why I think I might find one under mine.
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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    OK, I went ahead and got the diving board off. Nothing in there but a bunch of old small beehives Now a new mystery. Where does the light go from here? Does it go all the way to the switch?

    I'm going to go ahead and replace the switch with one of those combo switch/GFCI outlets. Hopefully this will work. But if I ever need to replace the light, I'll need some answers.
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    When you open the switch check the wires in the pipe going towards the pool/light , if the pipe contains a cord with 3 wires in it (SJ cord) than it most likely goes directly to the fixure.
    If you dont mind changing a circuit breaker , install a GFCI breaker on the light circuit ,and leave the switch alone.
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCPOOL
    When you open the switch check the wires in the pipe going towards the pool/light , if the pipe contains a cord with 3 wires in it (SJ cord) than it most likely goes directly to the fixure.
    If you dont mind changing a circuit breaker , install a GFCI breaker on the light circuit ,and leave the switch alone.
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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    It's a 2-wire cord. Here are some pics to give you a visual. Pic 1 is the cord coming from the switch. It heads under the concrete toward the light end of the pool. Pic 2 is halfway from the switch to the light. Pic 3 is directly behind the diving board. I've dug around back there and found nothing. I know there was mulching over the years that could have easily buried a junction box. I've even checked inside the light pole.

    I'm afraid that the cords meet up somewhere in the concrete. I'd like to be able to replace the light at some point.

    What would be under (not inside) the diving board stand? I couldn't get those bolts to budge.
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    The back of the light niche is usually piped to a deck box or directly to the light switch.The cord in the picture looks more like buried UF cable, you must have a junction box somewhere above the water level.Was the retaining wall for the flower beds installed after the pool build?It might be behind the wall just above the deck height
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    buddywiser's Avatar
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    I've been digging by hand behind the wall but haven't found anything. I think the wall and pool were all built at the same time. I'll get the shovel out when I get a chance.
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    Did you find out your issue? I am having trouble with mine now. It comes on and goes through 3 or 4 colors and cuts off. I may know what my issue is but I wanted to ask you guys to see. Last year, we bought the house with pool. I am a first time in ground pool owner. I had an issue with wasp getting under my diving board and stinging everyone. They had this huge nest under the diving board in the area you can see. I sprayed it with wasp spray and water and it seems like after that the light stopped working. Do you think I shorted it out? And if I did is it easy to correct and how?




    Quote Originally Posted by buddywiser View Post
    I've got an Aqualumin Nicheless Light 120V. I cannot find a GFCI that is connected to the light. I've tested all of the outlets in the pool area and there is none at the circuit breaker. I am going to replace the diving board hardware in a couple days so when I take the board off, I don't know what I'll find. It's possible that there will be a transformer under there that converts the light to 12V (My neighbor has one).

    If this is the case, could this be the reason that I may not have a GFCI on this circuit and I don't need one? It says here that a GFCI is needed on lights operating at more than 15 volts.

    http://www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PUBS/5039.html

    Now if I don't find a transformer, then there definitely needs to be a GFCI. Could I replace the existing single light switch with this one?

    http://www.amazon.com/R12-07299-0NW-Com ... 466&sr=1-2

    If this switch would work, would it be a good idea swap the current one for this one regardless of what I find under the board?

    Thanks again in advance
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    Re: Underwater Light and GFCI

    You need an electrician.

    Your Light does not look like a nicheless light. You picture shows what looks to be sheathed cable.

    A pool light has a cable that runs from the light niche or nicheless light to a junction box or other enclosure through conduit. It generally cannot run directly to a switch.

    Everything electrical associated with your pool should be protected by a GFCI either on the breaker or an inline one in a receptacle. Just adding a GFCI switch does not solve the problem. The cord from the light must terminate in either a listed junction box or another enclosure meeting all the requirements of NEC 680.24.

    All wiring associated with a pool must be in conduit. Generally you should never use cable in residential backyards.

    These are just the problems I see from your posts. You need an electrician with an understanding of pools to look at what you have and make it safer. This is a link to a guide to pool electrical, its intended for electricians but you will get the basic concepts.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...25221236,d.cGc
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