GFCI Receptacle & Pool Light

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  #1  
Old 07-24-11, 07:06 PM
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GFCI Receptacle & Pool Light

I have recently moved into a home (foreclosure) and am cleaning up some of the mess. One of these is the pool light which was previously non-functional and had been disconnected. I removed the light from the wet niche (underground gunite pool) and replaced the gasket and the 500 watt bulb. I traced the wires with a fluke and hooked it back up and it worked fine.

After disconnnecting it again and replacing some of the conduit a week or two later, I installed a GFCI receptacle and a switch that had the light connected to the load end of the GFCI. The GFCI wired correctly light comes on and I can connect one of those high speed fans to it without having any problems (one of the fans that are used to dry out carpet and such).

The problem is that the moment I flip the switch to turn the light on, the GFCI resets. I have it wired as follows:

BLACK/hot, WHITE/nuetral, GREEN/ground from power source and the same three colors to the pool light. I wired black/hot and white/nuetral from the power source to the LINE side of the GFCI and the green to the ground. I then wired a bare copper jumper to the light switch which is where the green/ground from the pool light is connected. The pool light white/nuetral is wired straight to the GFCI load, and the black/hot from the pool is wired to one side of the light switch with the other side jumped to the GFCI load.

GFCI LINE =
Black from power source
White from power source

GFCI LOAD =
Black to one side of light switch
White to pool light

POOL LIGHT =
Black to other side of light switch
White to GFCI load
Ground to light switch ground

Again, GREEN/ground from power in is connected to the GFCI ground which is then jumped over to the light switch ground where the pool light ground is also connected.
 
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  #2  
Old 07-24-11, 07:21 PM
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Does the pool light also have a GFCI?
 
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Old 07-24-11, 07:30 PM
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There may be water getting into the fixture or a nick in the wire insulation. The ends of the wires need to be coated with a potting compound to prevent water entry through the strands.

Does the pool light also have a GFCI?
It's protected by the gfci receptacle.
 
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Old 07-24-11, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Does the pool light also have a GFCI?
If you are asking whether or not it is on a GFCI breaker in addition to being on the GFCI receptacle, I only see one that is GFCI breaker which is split off from the main panel and it goes to the hot tub - which is a whole different project as it (the hot tub) is not actually receiving any power and I think that the hot tub 50 amp GFCI breaker is bad or something.


Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
There may be water getting into the fixture or a nick in the wire insulation. The ends of the wires need to be coated with a potting compound to prevent water entry through the strands.

It's protected by the gfci receptacle.

I am going to wire it directly again tomorrow just to verify that everything still functions properly outside of GFCI protection. If it does, then I would think that between the fact that I do not see any water inside and the fact that it operates properly (though the adverb "properly" could argued) one could argue that there is not a major functional/wiring issue (such as water leaking into the fixture). The wiring into the fixture itself is bolted in place/sealed.

On the light fixture there are only two ways in. The front lens where the light shines into the pool, and the small hole for the wire. The gasket on the front lens appears solid. The wire out seems to be okay but I will check it again tomorrow prior to lighting it directly (bypassing the GFCI).

I just wasn't sure if I was doing something functionally wrong which anyone with a dash more knowledge than me would say something along the lines of, "Of course it won't work that way dummy, the x wire needs to be where the y wire is!" Or that a 15 amp GFCI is going to have a problem with a 500 watt bulb lighting up due to some reason beyond scope of knowledge.
 
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Old 07-24-11, 09:00 PM
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Pool lights are not really a DIY project. Safety is to critical. You need an electrician experienced in working with swimming pools. At the very least the wiring and light need to be Meggered.
 
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Old 07-24-11, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
Pool lights are not really a DIY project. Safety is to critical. You need an electrician experienced in working with swimming pools. At the very least the wiring and light need to be Meggered.
Safety being critical is the reason that I am not using it until I know it is safe and has GFCI protection. If I just wanted it to work, I could have wired it back with the switch after replacing the bulb and gasket.

That said, since safety is my primary goal along with the secondary goal of having a functional light in the pool, I am asking for help to determine if it is safe or not. If I cannot figure it out, I will rip the whole thing out and replace it with a 12v LED light. Since they are ridiculously expensive and digging under the deck is going to be a royal pain, my preference would be to make sure that it is verified as unsafe prior to spending money and time replacing it. I am content enough with the 500 watt bulb ONLY if I am confident in its safety - which again is the whole reason I am here.
 
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Old 07-25-11, 07:53 AM
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The water may be leaking in through the cord grip, and the potting compound goes where the wires come up to the brass box that i cant remember the name of.
 
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