How I Fixed My Pool Light

Shablam

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 26, 2010
55
Flower Mound, TX
When I purchased my house the light did not function. I found out that it was tied to a GFCI outlet close to my pool equipment and if I reset the outlet it would allow my light to turn on for less then 30 seconds and then trip the GFCI again. After reading online I found information pointing to a leak in the light around the O ring or from the housing itself.

I was also told that anytime you replace the bulb the O ring should also be replaced. I ordered the ring and went ahead and replaced the light. For those of you who have not done this it is very simple. However this did not solve my problem, the GFCI still tripped. I checked the light and no bubbles were coming from the housing and it was as dry as could be.

Then I checked the integrity of the GFCI outlet by plugging a light or a small radio in and seeing if it tripped the outlet. Nope, so the outlet was ok.

I next decided to check the junction box. If you do not know these boxes are set back from your pool in line with your lights. It will have two conduits or pipes running to it. One goes to your light and the other to the wiring of the house.

MAKE SURE TO TURN OFF YOUR BREAKER TO YOUR LIGHT!

A simple flat head unscrewed mine and from the picture you can see there was six wires.

Two were screwed to the junction box I made sure these were tight and secure to the box as they are the ground.
The other 4 were separated and twisted into two pairs.

When I unscrewed the cap you can see that one wire was a frayed type wire and the other was a thick gauge. The thick gauge goes to my house and the frayed to the light. Here is where my problem was, when I went to unscrew one was barely twisted to the house wire and the other had some corrosion in the inner cap. I can only imagine from the chlorine that is coming up the conduit from the light housing.

I took some wire strippers and striped back some fresh wire and twisted securely with two new twist caps. I made sure all was place carefully back and sealed the box up.

I reset the GFCI and the light stayed on for four hours as I enjoyed my first night swim in two summers. I have not had a problem since.

I wanted to write this just in case there was someone out there like myself who was banging their head trying to fix the light and never thought to check the wiring in the box.
 

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openpool

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2010
91
TT
Glad that you were able ( with a little sleuthing ) to fix your problem.

I haven't seen a junction box like that used normally for the light connections but I've read sometimes of people packing the wire nuts in the J-box with the same potting compound used in the light niche. They do that so the vapor/fumes in the conduit don't corrode the bare wire. Maybe that's something you can consider.
 

Shablam

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 26, 2010
55
Flower Mound, TX
Good idea actually was thinking of blocking that somehow.

You bring up a good point. This pool is 9 years old however I am finding out since I purchased this house last year that the builder might have cut some corners.
 

Txmat

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 18, 2010
424
San Antonio
Would using wire nuts for underground sprinkler systems work to keep any corrosion away from the wires? I have used them when wiring underground electric sprinkler valves - they contain some sort of grease that keeps water out. Easily obtained at the Big Box stores.
 

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
1,882
Silicon Valley, CA
Turn the sprinkler off that is hitting the box. That may subside the corrosion. Doubt it though, that corrosion looks pretty well established. In my area, those boxes are illegal for a light conduit, and it looks too low to the ground. Code here is 12-18" above grade.

Good job on the diagnosis/ repair.