Pool lighting 110 volts

Recently I bought a home with a swimming pool. I assumed that the lights in the pool would be 12 volt to protect again shocking the swimmers. To my surprise - I opened an electrical box near the pool lights and it was operating on 110 volts.
The light is in the water - literally surround by water - it is not just outside the pool shining through a glass. Will someone tell me why we aren't getting shocked while swimming?
Harry
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I think if you look closer you will see that the bulb is actually sealed in a waterproof enclosure.
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PS
It's a good idea to inspect the enclosure every year. When I was a kid we had an inground pool with a 120V lamp, and if I recall watching my dad take it apart - it's just rubber gaskets keeping everything dry. Also, think the encosure had a pigtail connection to the 120v, which is also subject to failure.
Seems like an excellent place for a GFI to me.
Thinking back, the light we had was turned off and on via a circuit breaker in a small panel next to the filter. I dunno how it is that someone didn't get killed at some point.... kids jumping out of a pool to go flip a circuit breaker when the sun went down. Bare feet, wet grass, and a hand in a 220v panel.
But, the pool was put in in the 50's, and kids back then could sustain a 240v 100a charge, I suppose.
We didn't need no stinkin GFI to save us.
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Matt wrote:

When I was a kid, we had to walk 10 miles to school.............................in the snow...........................barefoot!
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There is probably one screw holding the light fixture in. It's is in the trim ring, once you remove this the can or sealed fixture will come out ,there is about six feet of cord out the back of the unite ( this cord is continues all the way to the junction box.) you can lay it on the side of the pool and open it up. Mine has a 500 watt heat lamp bulb. I had water in mine so the GFI would trip ( that's you safety against getting a shock) The can was leaking on mine was able to reseal it . Mine cost about $155 with a 50 foot cord, you buy them with the length cord you need. Getting the can back in the pool took awhile I could not stay down . If you do ever have fix or replace the light shut the circuit breaker off.
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Verify that there is a GFCI on the light and there is no water collecting in the fixture. Beyound that you are just trusting NEC article 680 and the electrician. The lamp fixture is bonded and grounded. So is the niche it fits in.
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When I removed my light to repair it I went a step farther an and unwired it at the junction box. I also have two lights and it HAD some electronic dimmer switches. Now there is one ON Off
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Even if it wasn't insulated by from the water, why would it want to go through you? It has an almost perfect ground right there in the fixture.
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Pools can come with dry niche fixtures, wet niche fixtures and low voltage. If you get exotic there is fiber optic. 120v is pretty common where I live. Most pool companies use a wet niche fixture. You can remove the screw and the light will bob up to the surface so you can change the bulb. Providing it was installed correctly. A dry niche,,, time to drain the water below the fixture location.
Most pools come with GFCI protection on the lights. As for me I will not swim in a pool with the light on. My life is worth more than the $10 bucks it costs for the el cheap o GFCI's.
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suggestion. Drive a copper rod down into the water table, connect your best DMM to it, drop the other lead into the pool and jump in...when the digits start rolling .... Get the hell out of Dodge... or you could just shut off the lights....Just having some fun at your expense....Ross
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toller wrote:

It's certainly possible. Consider this:
"In May 2002, a 14-year-old girl from Arlington, Texas, was electrocuted when wiring problems in an apartment swimming pools underwater lights charged the water with electricity. A 16-year-old boy was seriously shocked when he jumped in the pool to try to save the young girl. Another teenager used a fiberglass shepherds hook (a non-conductive device) to pull both victims from the water. "
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml03/03125.html
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