Pool Lights - GFCI Issue

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Old 06-08-15, 10:00 AM
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Pool Lights - GFCI Issue

I recently repaired 2 underwater lights in my pool, I have three total, including the light in the spa. Everything worked fine for a couple days, then the GFCI began kicking out after the lights are on for a couple minutes. Is it time to replace the GFCI outlet? Or could there be another issue? Is there a way to test if the GFCI outlet has become too weak to support the load?
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:24 AM
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Gfis trip from an imbalance between hot and neutral current, not overloads. Breakers trip on overloads.

Gfis are cheap. I would replace it before tearing into the lights and draining the pool.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:35 AM
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I can run the 2 pool lights about 10 minutes before they trip the GFI, so I don't think I have an issue with moisture in the lights. The GFI is dry and doesn't show any signs of other issues. The GFI is only about 3 years in service, do they go bad? thank you for your reply!
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:47 AM
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That's a very unusual trip pattern for a GFCI -- it's usually immediate or never. Yes they can go bad. For the $15 it will cost, I'd certainly try that before tearing stuff apart. How are the lights wired that they use a GFCI receptacle instead of a GFCI breaker?

Are these incandescent lights or LED with a driver/transformer?
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:53 AM
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sorry, the GFCI is part of the pool panel that controls everything else, pumps, chlorinator, etc. The lights come on at night when nothing else is running so I assumed the lights are causing the problem. They are incandescent lights, not LED.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:57 AM
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Also, when the GFI trips the pool pumps and chlorinator keep running, (I have been testing the lights today with the other equipment on...) The spa light runs separate from the pool lights and it has been on now by itself for about 30 minutes and has not tripped the GFI yet.... I haven't had any issues with the pool panel breakers tripping, only the GFCI outlet on the side of the panel.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 11:08 AM
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The timer could be at fault. I'm more likely to believe that's the problem than the lights. Especially if it is a mechanical timer.

In ground pool pumps didn't require GFCI breakers until one of the fairly recent code revisions, so it's entirely possible your pump and chlorinator does not have GFCI on the breaker.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 11:15 AM
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Thank you, this helps.............!
 
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Old 06-08-15, 11:32 AM
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The timer is electronic. do you think it's more likely an issue with the electronic switch that turns the pool lights on and off, and not the GFCI ? Is there any way to test the switch? or do you think I should just replace the GFCI and see if that solves the problem?
 
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Old 06-08-15, 11:53 AM
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I'd start with the GFCI -- quickest and cheapest first shot.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 12:04 PM
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I will, if the lights work for 10 minutes before tripping the GFI, it would seem to me that the switch is ok... thanks again for your advice.
 
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