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  1. #1
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    Default Pool Light GFCI Device

    I recently did an inspection where every time I tripped the pool light GFCI device, two pool pump motors shut off. I wrote it up as a defect. Just did a re-inspection at the same property. The condition is still present even though the Seller had a licensed electrical contractor correct. The electrician told the Seller " What's the problem if power is removed from everything?" I seem to remember that a pool light GFCI circuit can have no other devices connected to it, not to mention each pump motor should be on its on circuit. I have to call and speak to the electrician. Anybody got any ideas on what could be happening? Thanks.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Quote Originally Posted by Tab Wilcox View Post
    I recently did an inspection where every time I tripped the pool light GFCI device, two pool pump motors shut off. I wrote it up as a defect. Just did a re-inspection at the same property. The condition is still present even though the Seller had a licensed electrical contractor correct. The electrician told the Seller " What's the problem if power is removed from everything?" I seem to remember that a pool light GFCI circuit can have no other devices connected to it, not to mention each pump motor should be on its on circuit. I have to call and speak to the electrician. Anybody got any ideas on what could be happening? Thanks.
    No such rule that I am aware of concerning pool light on a dedicated circuit.
    The pump motor, maybe depending on the pump motor size vs circuit size.
    Yes it is unusual but I would be digging deeper before calling it wrong.
    Nothing wrong with everything being GFCI protected as long as the circuit is wired and sized properly.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    I guess I am somewhat confused. If this is an in ground pool, the pump is normally 240 volts and the light is 120 volts. In the electrical panel there are two different circuits.

    How would a 120 volt GFI trip a 240 volt pool motor?

    If I had encounter the same thing, I would have called it out as being wrong also.

    Do they make a 240 volt pool light?

    Jeff


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Euriech View Post

    Do they make a 240 volt pool light?

    Jeff
    May I recommend, try limiting your liability.
    Swimming pools are an auxiliary inspection, along with solid fuel and gas burning appliances.
    I know you want to help your client/s, but protecting yourself against liabilities helps them more.

    Pool Luminaries come in 12, 120 volt and high voltage capacities.
    Pool electrocutions account for a growing percentage of pool related deaths.
    Swimming Pool Safety: Electrocutions Raise Alarm Before Summer - NBC News

    If you ever saw an swimmer during electrocution you maybe confused by the visual expression and body language.
    Knowing what to do is so critical or others will become part of an on going emergency.
    That's why a lifeguards hook is not conductive.
    All food for thought Jeff.

    Did anyone know the P in swimming is silent?

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Quote Originally Posted by Tab Wilcox View Post
    I recently did an inspection where every time I tripped the pool light GFCI device, two pool pump motors shut off. I wrote it up as a defect. Just did a re-inspection at the same property. The condition is still present even though the Seller had a licensed electrical contractor correct. The electrician told the Seller " What's the problem if power is removed from everything?" I seem to remember that a pool light GFCI circuit can have no other devices connected to it, not to mention each pump motor should be on its on circuit. I have to call and speak to the electrician. Anybody got any ideas on what could be happening? Thanks.
    I will take a stab at an explanation...

    Is it possible that the 120v circuit that powers the pool light also provides power to the pump controls? If this happens to be the case, then the pumps would shut down if the control system looses its power. This assumes of course that the pool pumps actually uses the type of controller that would permit this to happen if it happened to be wired with the GFCI trip device located ahead of the controller's power feed.

    Normally I see the GFCI for the pool light connected downstream of the controller power feed so if the GFCI for the light should trip it would not shut off everything else by killing the power to the control module. While it may not be a "problem" to have the controller power shut down during a GFCI trip event, its not normally wired that way in my area and would likely be contrary to the manufacturer's installation instructions for the controller.

    If what I am suggesting is what is actually going on then it should be noted that the power circuits for the pumps themselves are not shutting off - its the control relays that operate the pumps that would be turned off and thus shutting down the motors.

    Now obviously I do not know what kind of pool system controller they have on this pool so I could be way off base on this possible explanation.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Quote Originally Posted by Tab Wilcox View Post
    I recently did an inspection where every time I tripped the pool light GFCI device, two pool pump motors shut off. I wrote it up as a defect.I seem to remember that a pool light GFCI circuit can have no other devices connected to it, not to mention each pump motor should be on its on circuit. I have to call and speak to the electrician. Anybody got any ideas on what could be happening? Thanks.
    Tab, I'm with Jim in not being aware of any such rule. As for Jeff's point about 240-volt lights, it seems worth mentioning just pro forma that the NEC talks about 120-240 volt pumps. Still, I wouldn't expect two pumps plus lights to be on one 120 V circuit. The idea of controls sharing a circuit with the lights is ingenious.

    I'll be interested in learning what the electrician tells you they discovered about the circuiting, presuming they were paid to look at more than the question of whether required GFCI protection was present.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Quote Originally Posted by Tab Wilcox View Post
    I recently did an inspection where every time I tripped the pool light GFCI device, two pool pump motors shut off. I wrote it up as a defect. Just did a re-inspection at the same property. The condition is still present even though the Seller had a licensed electrical contractor correct. The electrician told the Seller " What's the problem if power is removed from everything?" I seem to remember that a pool light GFCI circuit can have no other devices connected to it, not to mention each pump motor should be on its on circuit. I have to call and speak to the electrician. Anybody got any ideas on what could be happening? Thanks.
    Is the GFCI at the main disconnect setup? Is a gas or electrical heater used? Are there motors using a downstream timer for system filtering and pressure control shut down? The swimming pool light is wired in parallel with the motors circuit. As an example, some hot tubs similarly have lighting, heating and a motor that use a four wire 240V, 60A or higher GFCI disconnect feed. If not, then additional information is needed to resolve questions here and by other posts. For safety reasons, the pool light must be separately protected isolated from all other system running circuits.

    Last edited by Ben Jacks; 01-23-2016 at 04:21 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    No such rule that I am aware of concerning pool light on a dedicated circuit.
    The pump motor, maybe depending on the pump motor size vs circuit size.
    Yes it is unusual but I would be digging deeper before calling it wrong.
    Nothing wrong with everything being GFCI protected as long as the circuit is wired and sized properly.
    I agree. The NEC agenda lies with only electrical CYA and does not think of a pool light shutting down in the pitch dark night with people disoriented or falling in the pool. Maybe this is a Report Comment for the next NFPA Tech committee code cycle or a local AHJ mandate.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jacks View Post
    I agree. The NEC agenda lies with only electrical CYA and does not think of a pool light shutting down in the pitch dark night with people disoriented or falling in the pool. Maybe this is a Report Comment for the next NFPA Tech committee code cycle or a local AHJ mandate.
    I have to agree, Ben. The bare minimum of NEC compliance does not provide a system that is ". . . efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service."

    Does this require a Code change? You can seek one. But one benefit of bringing in HIs (or wise-guy consulting electricians like me) is that they have the power to say, "Legalities aside, this would be a good idea," or ". . . could be a selling point."

    If there is a stumbling risk, one possible "beyond what Code requires" recommendation would be lights on a different circuit, mounted a distance from the pool but close enough for safety-focused illumination.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    I have to agree, Ben. The bare minimum of NEC compliance does not provide a system that is ". . . efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service."

    Does this require a Code change? You can seek one. But one benefit of bringing in HIs (or wise-guy consulting electricians like me) is that they have the power to say, "Legalities aside, this would be a good idea," or ". . . could be a selling point."

    If there is a stumbling risk, one possible "beyond what Code requires" recommendation would be lights on a different circuit, mounted a distance from the pool but close enough for safety-focused illumination.
    My computer is code sensitive and just crashed. As far as commenting to the next code cycle, I am not sure if I will be around in 2020...I am waiting for the final ROC's approvals so I can publish my next addition on Dwelling NM Wiring Installation methods for high rise and residential codes. This will be interesting considering what the 2017 outcome is going to inject in the way of including GFCI auto monitoring and lockout, especially with Dual Function technology that hasn't been considered yet. Should be fun.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jacks View Post
    , especially with Dual Function technology that hasn't been considered yet. .
    Clarify, please. Dual-function CBs have been out for a while, and any manufactured after 6/30/2015 have been required by the standard to self-monitor and, if the results say so, to lock themselves out.

    I', sure you know this, if you write on the topic, so I don't grok your meaning.

    I've been recommending the self-testing, dual-function beasties, despite the fact that anything new is bound to go through iterations.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jacks View Post
    The NEC agenda lies with only electrical CYA and does not think of a pool light shutting down in the pitch dark night with people disoriented or falling in the pool.
    Ben,

    I am confused, or have missed something ... the NEC is not CYA, it is the minimum requirements for electrical systems.

    As David previously stated, even the NEC says it is not ". . . efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service." ... regardless of how many electricians complain about 'how hard it is to meet' the NEC, the NEC is simply the minimum.

    With that said, I must have missed the requirement in the NEC for a pool light?

    Or are you saying that the NEC should now become a 'good', 'better', or 'best' practices standard?

    Should the NEC therefore require 5 fc for every walkway to, from, and around a dwelling? Should the NEC require 3-way and 4-way switches when there are two or more entries into a room or space which cannot be reached within arms length by an average adult?

    At what point should the NEC go from being a 'minimum' standard to a 'convenience' standard?

    is there no longer any personal responsibility with turning lights on or off? Let's say that there is swimming pool, which has pool lights in it, must those lights go on with dusk-to-dawn sensors in case someone is out around the pool when it gets dark?

    Just curious where you are heading?


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by david shapiro View Post
    Clarify, please. Dual-function CBs have been out for a while, and any manufactured after 6/30/2015 have been required by the standard to self-monitor and, if the results say so, to lock themselves out.

    I', sure you know this, if you write on the topic, so I don't grok your meaning.

    I've been recommending the self-testing, dual-function beasties, despite the fact that anything new is bound to go through iterations.
    Yes, I have published ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS DWELLING WIRING just after the 2014 code cycle release and have illustrated the SD Dual Function advanced methods for PON and test diagnosis. The NEC 2014 code cycle does not cover the Dual Function technology and UL did not specify self-testing until Jun 2015, hence the comment on about how what is going to be specified for rule making of Dual Function and the new combination of branch circuit allowances.
    (I.e. kitchen requirements for SA 1 & SA 2 overlapping AFCI & GFCI fault protection affecting areas such as ART. 210.8(A)(6) and 210.52(A)(4) counter top wall receptacles that permit exceptions to some outlets served as part of the SA circuits.)

    Feed back from local conversation with concerned electrical cohorts are concerned and hesitant in NEC adoption from a test reset not being within sight from a standpoint of safety. The CMP's have a lot to discuss that are going to favor the manufacturing ahead of installation interests. I was part of the NFPA electrical section in the mid 2005 and 2007 code cycles and plan not to get involved anymore. I might send them my research notes on how safety is being overlooked in a place coming from the vendor manufacturer agenda vote. Self-testing at the main panelboard can be a reason to cause safety logistics from my own in-field experiences...sort of like the pool light safety not mentioned in the NEC that lacks other trade and safety conditions.


  14. #14

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ben,

    I am confused, or have missed something ... the NEC is not CYA, it is the minimum requirements for electrical systems.

    As David previously stated, even the NEC says it is not ". . . efficient, convenient, or adequate for good service." ... regardless of how many electricians complain about 'how hard it is to meet' the NEC, the NEC is simply the minimum.

    With that said, I must have missed the requirement in the NEC for a pool light?

    Or are you saying that the NEC should now become a 'good', 'better', or 'best' practices standard?

    Should the NEC therefore require 5 fc for every walkway to, from, and around a dwelling? Should the NEC require 3-way and 4-way switches when there are two or more entries into a room or space which cannot be reached within arms length by an average adult?

    At what point should the NEC go from being a 'minimum' standard to a 'convenience' standard?

    is there no longer any personal responsibility with turning lights on or off? Let's say that there is swimming pool, which has pool lights in it, must those lights go on with dusk-to-dawn sensors in case someone is out around the pool when it gets dark?

    Just curious where you are heading?
    Hi Jerry,
    Sorry that you are confused and missed the context of my sarcasm. I quit this forum back in 2007 and recently rejoined to see if things have changed. I am still sarcastic.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jacks View Post
    Hi Jerry,
    Sorry that you are confused and missed the context of my sarcasm. I quit this forum back in 2007 and recently rejoined to see if things have changed. I am still sarcastic.
    So we are on the same page ... I just missed the intent behind the post?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  16. #16

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    So we are on the same page ... I just missed the intent behind the post?
    Sure. 2014....90.1(B) as David quoted.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj2

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jacks View Post
    Sure. 2014....90.1(B) as David quoted.
    I point that out to contractors who have a problem and complain about having to meet the NEC.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  18. #18

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj3

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I point that out to contractors who have a problem and complain about having to meet the NEC.
    I am sure that David appreciates the compliment.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Ben Jack's.
    As to your returning after 9 years, much thanks.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Good morning. I spoke with the electrician. The pump motors are connected to power through a contactor. The 120 volt control circuit for the contactors is being supplied power from the load side of the GFCI device that protects the pool light. When the GFCI is tripped power is removed to the motors. Pretty simple setup.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device

    Following the post; which is an interest to myself, the 120 volt control circuit for the (contactors), little confused by the verbiage, accessible visually?
    Other questions to follow.
    Thanks by the way.


    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj 4

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Ben Jack's.
    As to your returning after 9 years, much thanks.
    Hi Robert,
    Thank you for welcoming kind words. Hopefully I can be of help.


  23. #23

    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj5

    Quote Originally Posted by Tab Wilcox View Post
    Good morning. I spoke with the electrician. The pump motors are connected to power through a contactor. The 120 volt control circuit for the contactors is being supplied power from the load side of the GFCI device that protects the pool light. When the GFCI is tripped power is removed to the motors. Pretty simple setup.
    Hi Tab,
    Thanks for the update from the electrician. There is another question you might look into and that is the controlled motor bus circuits. First up, is the motor feeders being supplied through latching relay(s) that are separate from the GFCI protected lamp and relay control circuit?

    According to NEC 680.21(C)...outlet pool pump motors connected to single phase, 120-volt through 240-volt branch circuits shall be provided with GFCI protection. This requirement was enforced by the NEC 2008 code cycle.

    Check with the electrician to see if the relay(s) latched branch circuit feeder is protected by a GFCI line disconnect and that the pool lamp is controlled by a switch that is at least 5 ft horizontally from the pool inside wall unless separated from a fence or wall. 680.22(C) The GFCI protection you described is a suspect violation that still presents an unsafe condition as code noted. In all fairness to the licensed electrician, he may have observed a circuit isolation transformer that may make the setup compliant or may be from adopted AHJ codes.


  24. #24
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    Default Re: Pool Light GFCI Device rbj 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Jacks View Post
    Hi Robert,
    Thank you for welcoming kind words. Hopefully I can be of help.
    Ben,
    You are very welcome, and you already have.
    Much appreciated!

    I will take you up on that offer shortly.
    I have a couple of loose ends to tie down.

    As far as I am concerned, being enriched is a blessing.
    The gifts yourself, Jerry, Lon, Ray and other contributing members have to offer at Brian H. InspectionNews sets a tone of how professionals should act.

    It's been some time that I have the had the opportunity to converse with and truly enjoy a message board.
    Too bad.
    So sad a statement.

    A note Ben, while some may agree while others not, I truly believe sarcasm is a well deserved self built mechanism used to find the truth. To be used wisely, with reverence & reserve.
    Hope you do not wander far again.

    Best regards.
    Robert

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

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