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#89080 - 08/30/04 12:42 PM pool light 18 inch rule
shortcircuit Offline

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 608
Loc: massachusetts
680.23(A)(5)says that pool lights shall be installed so that the top of the lens is not less than 18 inches below the normal water level.
Well the pool company installed some low voltage lights at just 8 to 10 inches below the water level...12 volt 300 watt wet niche type (Hayward) and the inspector does not want to accept the installation.
Is it so very important to have these lights down 18 inches?Would any of you inspectors accept low voltage lights at this depth??

2014 / 2011 NEC & Related Books and Study Guides
#89081 - 08/30/04 01:14 PM Re: pool light 18 inch rule
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
I am not an inspector but I would not ask one to change requirements in this section.

In the NEC Handbook they give an explanation of this rule, it is an opinion not an official interpretation.

Handbook Commentary after 680.23(A)(5)
The reason for the 18-in. minimum submergence requirement is to reduce the likelihood that a person in the water and hanging onto the side of the pool directly over the fixture will have his or her chest in line with the fixture. This section covers fixtures that have been investigated and found acceptable for use where a person's chest may be directly in front of the fixture. The highest level of leakage current in the pool coming from a wet-niche fixture with a broken lens and bulb is found directly in front of the fixture.

Sounds like a good reason to follow the code.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#89082 - 08/30/04 01:37 PM Re: pool light 18 inch rule
Bill Addiss Offline

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
It says "unless the luminaire is listed and identified for use at lesser depths"

Do you have any specific information on the Fixture?


#89083 - 08/30/04 02:23 PM Re: pool light 18 inch rule
shortcircuit Offline

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 608
Loc: massachusetts
Bill...I've asked for installation instructions for the pool light from the pool company,who supplied and positioned the lights at that depth when they set up the forms for the concrete pour.It is going to be VERY difficult to change the lights at this stage.


#89084 - 08/30/04 07:17 PM Re: pool light 18 inch rule
nesparky Offline

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 650
Loc: omaha,ne
Sounds like some one made a very expensive mistake. Unless the fixture is listed for less than 18" depth and you can prove it to the inspector. Who ever installed the fixture niche is out some serious money

#89085 - 08/30/04 07:22 PM Re: pool light 18 inch rule
gfretwell Offline


Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9024
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
At this point it might be cheaper to go with a fiber light but they are pricy!
Greg Fretwell

#89086 - 08/30/04 09:16 PM Re: pool light 18 inch rule
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Not trying to make light of it... but make the pool deeper!
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason


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