I have an in ground pool approximately 30 years old. After 7 years, the
underground circuit from the house to the pump shed failed. An
electrician updated the wiring and added a GFCI to the pool light.
I had changed the pool light switch (between the pump shed and the pool
light) to a dimmer unit in an outdoor enclosure. After the GCFI was
installed, it would trip whenever I turned up the dimmer. Low light
worked well, but anything approaching half-bright would trip the GFCI.
The light is a wet niche unit whose cord emerges from conduit into an
above ground junction box. The hot and neutral are spliced there, and
the green ground is shaved and looped around a terminal on the above
ground junction box housing.
I removed the dimmer and just wired together the hot/neutral, but the
GFCI still trips.
I disconnected the hot/neutral at the above ground junction box. No
This indicates to me that a ground fault exists between the above
ground junction box and the light bulb inside the luminaire. It is a
small current leak, because the light will work at low dimmer settings.
SHould I just replace the fixture? They are not cheap, about $160.
Can pool light fixtures develop small current leakages that can be
fixed by cleaning and drying the fixture? As far as I can tell, no
water has leaked into the light chamber.
Is pulling the new wire back from the wet niche through to the junction
box a do-it-yourself task?
Does pulling through a new continuous wire require draining the pool
down below entry point for the wire? I presume that the wire is
manufactured integrally with the fixture.
For 7 years, we swam with this light and no GFCI. I briefly considered
tossing the GFCI, but decided further flirtation with electrocution.
The electrician who installed the GFCI did shoddy work and charged me
$700. That experience has shifted my thinking toward considering doing
this myself. I'm a professional engineer, but not an electrician. I
understand the principles and the Code requirements, but I don't have a
lot of experience with this. That's sufficient for rewiring outlets,
but a pool light seems fraught with potential disaster. Should I be
talked out of DIY and just fork up another $1000 to have a licensed
electrician come do it right?