A new mystery leak

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
623
Alamo, CA
But seriously, is it possible that code hadn’t been written in 1988 when the pool was built? It seems so strange to put a junction underground. Somebody did that on purpose all those years ago.

This was not disclosed to us when we bought the house in 2012. Now we will have to disclose it if we ever sell the place. The only real fix would involve demolition and excavation of the deck and yard because the wires aren’t long enough to erect a box at the proper level.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,277
San Clemente, CA
But seriously, is it possible that code hadn’t been written in 1988 when the pool was built? It seems so strange to put a junction underground. Somebody did that on purpose all those years ago.

This was not disclosed to us when we bought the house in 2012. Now we will have to disclose it if we ever sell the place. The only real fix would involve demolition and excavation of the deck and yard because the wires aren’t long enough to erect a box at the proper level.
I've never seen that type of silliness used on a pool and I've been involved with many that are well older than I am.

My guess is that was someone's attempt at cosmetics over safety and they had no idea what they were doing.

"I keep tripping over this dumb electrical thingy... I'll just make it flush with the ground!"
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,277
San Clemente, CA
It’s OK. I’ve had a good long life.
I know you're joking but the things are never serious until they become serious. I know two of the responders to this incident, one of which was off work for several months following the event due to the psychological trauma...

 
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kimkats

Mod Squad
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2012
43,202
Tallahassee, FL
This was permitted!
See that red word? So what if is WAS permitted back then? You are being told it is NOT safe and would NOT pass now AND your breaker it telling you it is not safe now. This is nothing to laugh about. It needs to be fixed and fixed properly. It might costs your a few bills but in the end it will be worth it to ensure your family and friends are safe in the pool.

You NEED to call in a couple of electric people and ask them what they can do to make it safe and out of sight.

Kim TFP MOD
 

Arizonarob

Gold Supporter
Silver Supporter
TFP Guide
Mar 25, 2018
3,176
Chandler Arizona
Can you clean that box completely and snap a pic? It looks like there are several conduits running into it, and I’m wondering if those conduits can be extended above ground, and new wire pulled through.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
623
Alamo, CA
I get it. I understand that water & electricity don't mix. I will get this resolved. For now, I'm going to plug the conduit to exclude the water and waterproof the wire splices. I want to be able to refill the spa and circulate the water until I can get a pro to look at it.

Installing a raised box may be possible without demolition. There's extra cable in the light niche, so I can pull some of that out. And maybe the other cables can be pulled as well.

In the meantime, there's a really simple way to eliminate the risk: leave the breaker open and don't use the pool lights. We virtually never use them anyway because we only swim in the daytime. The other wires in that junction don't go to water; they power the auto-cover and some outdoor lights and are on a separate breaker.

I appreciate the advice and concern. Thanks for sticking with me through this unfortunate saga.
 
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ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,801
Northern NJ
In the meantime, there's a really simple way to eliminate the risk: leave the breaker open and don't use the pool lights. We virtually never use them anyway because we only swim in the daytime.
I was about to suggest that.

The other wires in that junction don't go to water; they power the auto-cover and some outdoor lights and are on a separate breaker.

I appreciate the advice and concern. Thanks for sticking with me through this unfortunate saga.
Note that should your plug leak pool water into the box the other wires will be in contact with the pool water. Is the autocover and outdoor lights on GFCI breakers? Even if they are I would pull the breakers on those circuits also.
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
623
Alamo, CA
In case anyone is still following along... the silicone successfully sealed the conduit and water is no longer entering the junction. I was able to refill and circulate the spa so it's not sitting there stagnant, and I can close the auto-cover with water in the spa to support it. So I've bought some time to figure out a more permanent solution to water vs. electricity. :)