help from the pool experts please

I inspected a pool today and this was the junction box for a pool light. There should be a bonding conductor here right?
Also the pool light is centered at 18" below the water line. Is the >18" requirement to the top of the light?


No bonding wire is necessary, only the equipment grounding conductor, which is present.

18 inches to the top edge of the light - 2002 NEC 680.23(A)(5)

Thanks Jeff!

Did the GFCI work?

That was my next question. I saw that the light was supposed to be GFCI protected, but where will I find it to test it?

Could be near the pool equipment or in a sub panel or panel.

If you do not trip it yourself and/or can not find where to trip the GFCI, point that out in your report.

Just guessing, but I would bet the GFCI used to be in that J-Box.

Thanks Brian.
No sign of it near the equipment. I’ll take your advice on the report.


You may find this useful:

680 pool starts on page 16

The plastic box and conduit may not require it…but what about the metal chain link fencing? if thats what it is in the picture (not clear enough)…that would require bonding, correct?

That’s a great document Barry. I had downloaded it a few days before the inspection.

No chain link fence. The pool was enclosed. Ten years old.

The pool cage which is aluminum would require bonding, though.

You had a 110v pool light on a house ten years old?

You would have expected 15V at 10 years?

I have not seen a 110 volt pool light on a pool less than 25 years old in this area. Most are 12 or 24 volt.

I recommend replacement of 110 volt pool lights with low voltage models for safety.

But then, I’m a pain in the …

Blaine, there is no doubt based on the photo of the J-box that it’s a 110V light right? Do you think they were using up old stock when they put in this pool. It’s in a subdivision where all of the homes are 12 years old or less.

Nice one Blaine :smiley:

Pool light transformers

Here’s a question I placed in another tread, hoping for an answer. But YOU are just the guy to ask this question to –

Where should the GFCI be located for a pool. In Phx we have 1000000’s of pools but no 2 seem to be alike. Today I saw an older pool (25 years) and it had no GFCI anywhere I could see. All the pool electrical was in a sub panel. The light and pump motor breakers where there with a couple of other breakers. While everything worked as expected, there was not a GFCI anywhere. The grounding wire was connected to the pump and to the concrete base. The metal pole with the hot lead inside had a weather proof cover, leading to the motor and a switch for the pump. The timer was at the electrical service panel on the wall of the house. A metal conduit ran under ground to the filter/pump area.

In pools with a GFCI, they haven’t been connected to the pool pump, just a receptacle at the pool filter/pump motor. Shouldn’t the GFCI protect the pool pump also?

Question #2 - I was asked the other day by a buyer if the garbage disposal was protected by a GFCI breaker. I was dumb-founded, thought about my answer and replied no; but didn’t exactly know why not. The receptacles in the kitchen were protected by the necessary GFCIs. She stated that when she is finished washing dishes, or cleaning veggies, etc, she always runs the garbage disposal and could the water on her hand get into the receptacle when she turns it on and shock her. I told her I didn’t think so but would find out.

SO I’m finding out.

Any one want to chime in???

Thanks for the help…

Brain, see you at the auto cross on Sunday?


No because the pool piping is plastic.
I look for the pool light GFCI until I am tired of looking for it, when I can not locate it I write it up. If it is there and I was too stupid to find it, so what. If it is not there and/or there and not functioning, then it should be fixed.

See you Sunday Doug, bring me a Cigar.:smiley:

Actually that installation and the information that you have received are incorrect.

Per NEC 680.24(d) only junction boxes designed specifically for use with wet-niche swimming pool lights may be utilized. That j-box is NOT approved for swimming pool lighting.

The box you inspected is lacking cord strain reliefs, lacks the internal AND external bonding connections and a terminal bar.

Grounding conductors for swimming pools may only be made upon a terminal bar (NO WIRENUTS).
A stranded green #8 conductor must connect to the terminal bar inside of the junction box.
A stranded green #8 conductor must run alongside of the pool light cord to the wet niche. Inside of the niche this stranded #8 must be connected to the provided terminal and potted with a special epoxy (3M/Scotchcast or Aquabond). In the junction box it must connect to the same terminal bar. The grounding conductor inside the light fixture cord is also attached to the terminal bar.
A solid #8 copper wire shall connect to the external bonding lug on the junction box to the bonding grid (pool structural steel, pool deck steel or bonding wire at the equipment pad).

The internal stranded #8 j-box to the light niche can ONLY be omitted if ALL OF THESE CONDITIONS ARE MET: the wet niche is metal (bronze or SS), the conduit is red brass AND the junction box has a brass base.

The bottom of the junction box must be mounted 8" above the pools maximum water level (over flowing point).

Check out this explanation of swimming pool electrical codes for us simple mined folks:

Thanks to Mike Holt & Thank you for the link. And for the help you offer fellow inspectors.