How to wire Pool light to inground outlet?

lobes

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2016
48
West suburbs of Chicago, IL
I am trying to replace the outlet next to my pool due to it always tripping because of water getting in the receptacle. The outlet also connects to the pool light.
For some reason the pictures of the wiring setup to the outlet didn't save so I don't know how it was connected.
I cut the pvc housing the wires so I could raise the outlet from not always getting water since it's on the ground.
The left pipe shows 12 gauge stranded wire with 2 hot wires, 1 neutral and 1 ground. These wires are coming from the electrical panel that controls my pool pump, heater...
The right pipe shows 16 gauge stranded wire with 1 hot wire, 1 neutral and 1 ground. These wires control the pool light.
I tried connecting the 2 hot wires and extended the wires with a 14 gauge solid wire. I wired all the hot wires to the line side of the GFCI. The problem I am having is when I turn on the circuit breaker, the pool light stays on and I can't turn it off unless i turn off the breaker.
How do I properly connect the electrical wires together?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
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Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
I suspect that what you had was this:


Now that you're trying to put a GFI plug in there, you have no room.

You need a bigger box. Then you can wire the GFI up to protect the light switch and light.

And if that makes no sense, then you need to hire an electrician. If you;ve got the double box installed, the rest of it ought to be child's play for a pro.
 

Bama Rambler

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Jun 22, 2009
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SouthWest Alabama
If you'll post those pictures to this site, so I can view them (I can't view Imgur here) I can probably tell you how to rewire it.
Sounds like you bypassed the switch for the light when you rewired it.

Also, sounds like you have the gfci wired wrong. The only wires that should be on the 'Line' side is the wires from the breaker.
 

ajw22

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TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,531
Northern NJ
>>I tried connecting the 2 hot wires and extended the wires with a 14 gauge solid wire. I wired all the hot wires to the line side of the GFC<<

You should not be tieing the two hot wires together or to the same terminal, if that is what you did.

You only use one hot wire and neutral for a 120V receptacle or light. You use 2 hot wires for 240V devices.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
I actually had a regular duplex outlet. The pool light is controlled from the Pentair control panel.
Did the outlet power work when the pool light was off?

My guess is you did not have two hot wires as in a 240V circuit. One hot is switched by your control panel and goes to the light. The other hot is always powered and goes to the outlet. They are both 120V hot wires.

Both use the same neutral and ground wires.

What amp CBs do the outlet and light have? The outlet is probably 20A and you need to use 12 gauge not 14.
 
Last edited:

lobes

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2016
48
West suburbs of Chicago, IL
If you'll post those pictures to this site, so I can view them (I can't view Imgur here) I can probably tell you how to rewire it.
Sounds like you bypassed the switch for the light when you rewired it.

Also, sounds like you have the gfci wired wrong. The only wires that should be on the 'Line' side is the wires from the breaker.
I initially tried wiring the 2 hot wires to the 'line' side from the breaker and put the pool light wire on the 'load' side of the gfci but the pool light would not turn on from the Pentair control panel.
 

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lobes

Well-known member
Sep 28, 2016
48
West suburbs of Chicago, IL
>>I tried connecting the 2 hot wires and extended the wires with a 14 gauge solid wire. I wired all the hot wires to the line side of the GFC<<

You should not be tieing the two hot wires together or to the same terminal, if that is what you did.

You only use one hot wire and neutral for a 120V receptacle or light. You use 2 hot wires for 240V devices.
I was wondering why there are 2 hot wires coming from the breaker. I actually tried putting all the hot wires (breaker and pool light hot wires) all on the 'line' side.
What is the proper way?
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Okay, now we see what you have.

Yes, I see 4 wires from the panel. Is the one to the front grey? It should be some color other than black, white or green. Did it perhaps have colored tape wrapped around it? One will be the hot from the fancy control panel relay. One will be hot from the breaker. The neutrals and the grounds are pretty obvious.

You wire the two greens together with a pigtail that goes to the outlet.
You wire the hot from the breaker to the brass terminal on the plug.
You wire the hot from the relay to the wire feeding the light, completely bypassing the plug.
You wire all the white neutrals together with a pigtail to the plug,
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
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Northern NJ
I was wondering why there are 2 hot wires coming from the breaker. I actually tried putting all the hot wires (breaker and pool light hot wires) all on the 'line' side.
What is the proper way?
Identify the switches hot for the pool light and connect it to the pool light.

Other always powered hot goes to GFCI outlet.

Wire nut together other light wire, neutral side of outlet, with neutral from panel.

Do same with grounds.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
10,531
Northern NJ
I would like to confirm that you have a GFCI CB for the light????

Are the outlet and light on different CBs?

Is the outlet CB GFCI? In which case you don’t need a GFCI outlet.
 

ajw22

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Jul 21, 2013
10,531
Northern NJ
Ok that makes sense now why there are 2 hot wires. How do I determine which is the hot wire from the breaker vs the hot wire from relay?
Use a multimeter to see which wire does not have voltage when light is off.

Or wire it one way. If light is always on flip the hot wires. You have a 50/50 chance of getting it correct the first time.
 

Bama Rambler

Mod Squad
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Jun 22, 2009
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Okay, now we see what you have.

Yes, I see 4 wires from the panel. Is the one to the front grey? It should be some color other than black, white or green. Did it perhaps have colored tape wrapped around it? One will be the hot from the fancy control panel relay. One will be hot from the breaker. The neutrals and the grounds are pretty obvious.

You wire the two greens together with a pigtail that goes to the outlet.
You wire the hot from the breaker to the brass terminal on the plug.
You wire the hot from the relay to the wire feeding the light, completely bypassing the plug.
You wire all the white neutrals together with a pigtail to the plug,
This is what you had before. As you stated, you need to determine which 'hot' wire is the switched wire from the relay in the panel and tie that wire to the hot wire to the light.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
10,531
Northern NJ
I think these are GFCI CBs.
I'm not sure if the light and outlet is on different CBs. I should've tested the switches first.

All of your 120V CBs are GFCI. The middle CB is labeled lights. The bottom left and top right CBs are not labeled.

Here is the issue. If the light and outlet hot wires come through one CB then you can share the neutral. If they are on different CBs then you cannot share one neutral as the GFCI will not work properly. Each GFCI CB needs a dedicated neutral.
 

jimmythegreek

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In The Industry
Aug 10, 2017
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Morris Cnty NJ
I didn't read the whole thread but my issue is that code requires ANY pool light to be junctioned in an approved light junction box UL listed. Furthermore any circuits in that same conduit junction must also be gfci protected and the light as well. I also dont see a bond wire theres alot wrong with this from safety point of view. Easy to get it to work but not truly safe at all. Different height requirements for a light box and an electrical box
 

yeldogt

Member
Mar 15, 2019
12
Mid-atlantic
The box on the lawn -- did it have an outlet in it -- or was it a blank cover ? It looks like you may have had two feeds -- one for an outlet another for a pass through to power the light? I'm assuming it's a 120v light? that way the outlet has power all the time and the light's on a switch.

Actually -- I'm not sure you can have the pool light junction within a box with another feed. In my case it was not allowed. You are sharing neutrals.

Is the niche plastic ? Otherwise it needs a bonding wire inside the conduit.

Not trying to be a downer -- this is not something to mess around with. Pool lights have to be correctly wired