Light trips breaker, but only when installed in niche

kbelky

New member
Mar 20, 2011
4
I have a spa light that keeps tripping the GFCI. I have taken the light out of the niche, replaced the bulb, and cleaned the internals. The light will stay on for hours just sitting in the floor of the spa. But when I install it in the niche and turn it on, it immediately trips the GFCI. Any ideas what may be causing this??

I have to add that the niche was put in the wrong way. It is turned at a 90 degree angle... such that the 'pilot screw' for the light assembly is at 3:00 instead of 12:00. I have contacted Pentair to make sure there is no risk involved with this orientation. Of course, I have not heard back. Any input on that would be appreciated, as well. The pool is 15 years old; so, the pool company will not fix their screw-up.

Thanks in advance
Kevin
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,073
Bedford, TX
Kevin,

My guess would be that the nitche is grounded and when the when the light is installed there is enough leakage current that it pops the GFCI..

What specific type of light system do you have?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,389
Tucson
The niche is grounded. If there is a tiny bit of current leakage in the fixture it would exhibit the symptoms you described. Not enough to pop the GFCI when loose in the water, but when it comes in contact with the niche, it opens the GFCI.
 

kbelky

New member
Mar 20, 2011
4
Thank you for the replies.
I'm not certain what you mean by 'what kind of light system'. So, I'll just take a guess and say it is a 120volt Pentair light with a 100 watt bulb. I don't know much more than that. :)

What would be the fix if the niche is grounded? I hope not replacing the niche... or tearing up the sidewalk to get to the back of it. That would be a nightmare. :oops:
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
13,073
Bedford, TX
I believe the niche is supposed to be grounded.. I suspect the problem is with the cable and/or the light..

Pentair has made about a billion different types of pool and spa lights so knowing which one would be kind of important. :mrgreen:

The good news is that we have people here that can recognize most of them by sight... Just post a couple of pics.

Also.. It could just be the GFCI outlet or breaker is more sensitive than it needs to be.. If this were my pool I would change it first as they don't cost very much..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

kbelky

New member
Mar 20, 2011
4
Ah, that makes sense now.

I'll start out by replacing the outlet. However, I'm not certain that'll fix it because my pool light is hooked up to the same outlet, and it gives me no problems. But, the outlet is old.... so, won't hurt to change it out.

Thanks for the advice!