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Electrical Code - USA Commercial or Residential 1999 / 2002 / 2005 versions - for UNITED STATES

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  #1   IP: 68.76.120.187
Old May 31st, 2012, 04:20 PM
Alshere Alshere is offline
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Default 40 year old in ground pool

I own a home that has a 40 year old in ground concrete pool, The pool had been abandoned and allowed to turn in to a pond for 32 years, when I bought the house. My first thought was to fill it in and forget it. Upon further investigation, ( interviewing neighbors ) and finding the history of the pool, it had frozen solid every winter for the last 32 winters and there is not a crack in it nor has it risen up out of the ground at all. I decided to keep it.
I have dug up and re-plumbed the jet and skimmer lines, redone the concrete around the pool area over top of the existing concrete mostly and extended it further in some areas, I have water blasted the entire pool, coated it with the best clear resin sealer, and then 4 coats ( roll, spray,allow to tack up, roll spray allow to dry) two part epoxy pool paint from Glidden.
Now to the fun part, There is a wet niche with a 40 year old Paragon swimming pool light in it that is rotted and the lens is cracked up and long gone, after some tracking down I located a Pentair 500w 120v light that is the correct replacement for the original ( Pentair is the residential division now of what used to be Paragon ) This light will fit perfectly in the old niche, and seal the same way it originally did. Here is my dilemma, all I have to get power to the light is a piece of the original underground romex style cable sticking up out of the earth, it does provide power to the light niche when I hook up power to it. Problem, it is still hooked up to what is left of the old fixture. I can not pull the new cord through, (when I pull on the romex it wont budge, I think it is partly suspended in the new concrete.)
Can I simply cut the existing cord inside the niche, tie in my new light and seal it with some sort of water proof sealer, run the other end into a box
(The box would be 10 feet from the pool and 2 1/2 feet above water level) and then run a new line from the box to a ground fault breaker set up solely for the pool light?
If not what are my options? I can not cut up the concrete, nor can I tunnel under a 10 foot stretch of both new and old concrete.
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  #2   IP: 50.135.128.55
Old May 31st, 2012, 07:27 PM
suemarkp suemarkp is offline
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I don't think you have many options unless you can find some way to clean out that raceway. A splice below the water line is a bad idea, especially at 120V in pool water. You could just abandon it and take a different approach with the lighting (no niche light, low voltage lighting).
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  #3   IP: 68.76.120.187
Old May 31st, 2012, 08:28 PM
Alshere Alshere is offline
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What kind of waterproof sealers are there out there today, that you would recommend?, maybe a two part epoxy type?

Is there any kind of long, flexible drill bit, I could use to clean out the raceway? it may need to be able to boar through cement.

If I use a ground fault breaker on the line it would trip immediately if the niche leaked a AND the sealer let go, wouldn't it?
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  #4   IP: 130.76.32.212
Old June 1st, 2012, 03:54 PM
suemarkp suemarkp is offline
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I wouldn't recommend any sealer/splice for an underwater pool. That conduit is intended to be wet all the time, but there is a listed potting compound you're supposed to use to seal the raceway at the above ground junction box. That box just needs to be 8" (I think) above the max water level.

Yes, the GFCI should trip if the pool light splice begins to leak current. But GFCI's can fail. Most people don't test their GFCI's. GFCI's are a supplemental safety measure and should not be the primary safety means. Most underwater splices, especially those in a harsh chlorine environment, are going to fail at some point.
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  #5   IP: 68.76.120.187
Old June 2nd, 2012, 08:22 AM
Alshere Alshere is offline
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Thanks for your responses, Any recommendations?

If you were me, and replacing the niche or cutting through the concrete were not at all possible, what would you do if it were your pool?
What about 2 high performance GFCI's to insure a fault trip if, and when the splice fails?

If you HAD to make the splice, what materials would you use and how would you go about it?
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  #6   IP: 24.41.32.242
Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Thereís a high amount of life safety risk involved with any body of water an electricity. Iíve been keeping my mouth shutóas I believe there may be other reasons the original owners abandon the pool. I personally believe this isnít a DIYer project!!!
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  #7   IP: 24.41.32.242
Old June 2nd, 2012, 10:48 AM
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PS: Splicing is out of the question and against code, unless specific requirements are meet<<<where the focus is on the equipment grounding conductor.
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  #8   IP: 24.36.248.139
Old June 2nd, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suemarkp View Post
Yes, the GFCI should trip if the pool light splice begins to leak current. But GFCI's can fail. Most people don't test their GFCI's. GFCI's are a supplemental safety measure and should not be the primary safety means.
I have to say to the original poster, please re-read what Mark has said (quoted above).

I can't agree more with his statement. Choosing to sidestep safety because you're "already protected by the GFCI" is a dangerous route to take.

After a nearby lightning strike many GFCIs do not survive. Likewise, outdoor GFCIs don't seem to last more than a few years with extremely cold winters.

How many people test their GFCIs after each thunderstorm?

Homer
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  #9   IP: 50.135.128.55
Old June 2nd, 2012, 12:20 PM
suemarkp suemarkp is offline
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There are many reasons to abandon a pool. Many people don't want the hassle of one. If they are not the DIY type, pool people will kill you on price for every little thing they do. Pool maintenance is very easy with a bit of education. But it takes about 5 minutes every week or two at a minimum.

I won't splice a pool light, so I'm not offering any suggestions. Clearing out the conduit may be a possibility, but I bet that is also hard. I'd start with smashing the concrete around where it comes out of the ground and see what you're in for. You may just need to abandon this list circuit and do a new one if you really want a light. There are retrofit lights you screw to the pool deck that reach under the water. I've got one for my spa, since that corner of the pool doesn't have a light. But I've never installed it because it is a bit clunky.
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  #10   IP: 68.76.120.187
Old June 2nd, 2012, 12:30 PM
Alshere Alshere is offline
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This would be a GFCI breaker in the panel with the line being dedicated to only this light.
I have found an industrial product used to make electrical splices INSIDE water towers, called "Uraseal" it is a 2 part epoxy liquid, inside a plastic tube placed over the splice,the splice is first prepared with each individual wire soldered, heat shrink tubed, and then all 3 wires are heat shrinked in a larger heat shrink tube the size of the cord, then a water tight plastic tube is locked over the cord and filled with a 2 part epoxy that is designed to be submersed in chlorinated water indefinitely. It's like the splice will be encased in an epoxy sleeve inside a plastic tube. This backed up by the above mentioned dedicated GFCI breaker should do the trick I think. I could even add an exterior GFCI in the line pre-breaker, so there will be a permanent, industrial strength, chemical safe tested, waterproof seal, designed to withstand the pressures inside a millions of gallon water tank, backed up by 2 GFCI's.

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Last edited by Alshere : June 2nd, 2012 at 12:52 PM.
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