Correct Light Installation IntelliBrite Color? Blob of tar on connection???

Tfastle

Active member
Mar 17, 2014
43
Albq. NM, United States
My pool builder has basically abandoned the job at 95% complete (fixing all the screw ups is going to cost him much more than I owe) and I am trying to get it finished myself. The lights (spa and pool, both are intellibrite color, 120v) were installed, wired to the J-box and then onto the control/breaker panel but never connected to the breaker. In the mean time the j-box starts dripping and then water running out of it draining my spa. He mounted it 10" below the spa water line (one of his many screw ups). So, my plan is to raise it 8" above the spa level and finish. I pulled the light out of the spa hoping to find 3-5 feet of cord but of course, he left all of about 15" so I will be close on even being able to raise it high enough. In looking inside I am trying to understand how it is supposed to be wired. There is a thick black wire with 2 wires for power and 1 ground. There is also a separate thick green wire that looks to be tied to the wet niche. I gather this is for bonding and should be tied to the niche. Where it is tied, or appears to be tied to the niche, it is covered with a big blob of what looks to be roofing tar. I guess my questions are - What is this blob of tar type substance and should it be there (I want to remove it and inspect the connection, should it be replaced)? Are my assumptions correct on the wires and the green should tie to the brass lug in the light J-box? Should there also be a bonding wire run to that J-box and tied to that lug (if not, I don't see what tying them to that lug does, it looks to be in plastic)? And, is there any way to lengthen the power wires so I can raise it to the level needed? I fear I may have to buy 2 new light units with long enough cords and at $500 per I'm not too excited about that. I should add, I will have an electrician do the actual electrical work but am trying to figure out exactly what that will be. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,648
Longview, Texas
THe green wire in teh J box is not for Bonding. Its grounding the light and connects to the light niche. Dont know what the black stuff is (might be electrician putty) but the ground connection should be covered with something so it doesnt corrode and fall off some day, exposing everyone to an electrical hazard.

When you run the power wires from the breaker, connect the Ground from the breaker to the J box, connect it to the same lug as the green wire going to the niche.

The bonding wire is a bare #8 buried in the ground. It also connects to the light niche.

If you google "wiring a pool light", you will find schematics of how to do it.

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I for one certainly can sympathiize with you. I finished mine myslef too.
 

Tfastle

Active member
Mar 17, 2014
43
Albq. NM, United States
Thanks Dave. I assume then that the bonding wire is bonded to the backside of the niche and in the concrete? I think I now recall that and it did have an electrical bonding inspection so I probably can assume that is alright. I am guessing the black stuff is indeed to stop corrosion. What is a good or the best thing to use? Also, I need to pull the light out of the pool as well to see if there is any extra wire to work with there. I assume I don't need to lower or empty the pool to that point since it's a wet niche and it's okay just to work on it under water? If I do that, what can I put on that ground wire while under water to to protect it from corrosion?
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
The green wire in the niche covered with putty is the ground wire it should run to the ground in the junction box and back to the sub panel. The NEC requires the ground in the niche be covered with a "listed potting compound." For those of you keeping score its in NEC 680.23(B)(2)(b). So if you take it off to inspect you need to replace it with a listed potting compound. Many California building departments are so serious about this requirement that the contractor is required to leave the tube at the site so the inspector can insure its a listed potting compound.