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Swimming Pool Light

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by Chris, Aug 9, 2005.

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  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Have a question about a swimming pool light I hope someone may have
    experience with.

    My brother's inground pool light suddently began tripping the GFI
    breaker. As we'd check the ground with an ohm-meter, we'd find low
    resistance to ground between the neutral and the ground. As I recall
    with GFI breaker's, they break both legs (hot and neutral as in double
    pole breaker) where if anything is leaking to earth ground off the hot
    or neutral, the GFI shuts down the circuit. Is this correct? The hot
    read infinite to ground on my triplett meter but the ground and
    neutral read approximately 20k between them until the light was pulled
    and allowed to dry out for a day.

    These pool lights come with an 'epoxy' or some sort of other
    non-conductive material to seal the connections at the fixture so I
    *believe* that either the epoxy sealant in the fixture is leaking
    moisture OR the 'SO' type cord had degraded to a point where the
    insulation is leaking through. This fixture is somewhere between 5 -
    10 years old.

    Does any of this sound familiar (folks familiar with pools)? TIA
  2. John G

    John G Guest

    You have isolated the problem.
    The breaker is telling you the next step is call the Undertaker.
  3. Guest

    You can try a new lens gasket but if that doesn't fix it the lamp
    assembly is the next FRU. The potting on the connectors and socket is
    not field fixable.
  4. Terry

    Terry Guest

    =>Have a question about a swimming pool light I hope someone may have
    =>experience with.

    Most pool lights I've dealt with employ an isolation xfmr 120/12V
    connected to a 12V sealed-beam headlight or similar. If you're running
    120V directly to the pool light, get out of the pool NOW!

    Edenton, NC
  5. Bob

    Bob Guest

    All the other aswers are good sage advice. I'll just enlighten you on
    the resistance readings you saw. A neutral wire is ALWAYS continuous
    to ground. If you follow the wire back to your breaker banel neutral
    bar, then up through your service cable to the utility pole, you would
    see that it is connected to a rod that goes directly to ground. The
    resistance you were measuring was just in the wire itself. As the
    first response said, the GFI is really looking at only the return
    current on the neutral with respect to the hot leg, and any difference
    is going directly to ground somewhere downstream from the breaker,
    hence the trip!
  6. Guest

    There are millions of people using 120v lights in pools. As the OP has
    found, if a couple drops of water get in that housing the GFCI trips.
  7. Right. Also consider what might happen if your repair fails and someone
    gets electrocuted. When the insurance company forensic team discovers
    your home made fix, they might refuse to cover you in the subsequent
    civil suit.
  8. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Thanks everyone - very much for the replies. Your time is very much
    appreciated and I picked up a little different perspective.

    thanks again,
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