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#222379 10/24/23 07:59 PM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,883
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Actual details of the fault have not been released but it is clear there were violations of Article 680 going on here. At the very least, a GFCI should have tripped. This place was built in 2013-14 so there is no excuse that something was grandfathered in. The code around fountains and pools has been pretty consistent for decades.
This is a promo shot of the fountain from their web site and you can see there are submerged lights along with pumps to shoot the water up.

[Linked Image from]

Greg Fretwell
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Cat Servant
What chapter of the IPEC (Inter-Planetary Electric Code) applies to Jupiter? (Sorry -- couldn't resist)

An interesting venue. I can see several elements that require intelligent discussion between the AHJ, the designers, and the tradesmen. This is no job for cookie-cutter code application or hiding behind NRTL labels!
For example, I doubt that menorah, or its' controls, is listed by anyone. The applicable standards are pretty straightforward, but it takes a certain amount of discernment to know where to "bend" and how to address the basic concerns.
Likewise . . . how does one change some of those light bulbs?
Need I mention the problems when broken glass and pools meet?
Whether it be pool lights or stairway lights, I've had very little luck working with the equipment. It's nearly impossible to replace wires without bringing in a bulldozer. Maybe I've just seen poorly designed jobs.

GFI's? I'm sure that stage was -- at some time -- grounded and protected like nothing you've ever seen. Yet . . . apart from the usual corrosion concerns, you can be sure the grounding was modified over time as sound technicians tries to eliminate interference.
Even a properly working GFI won't detect faults that also tie into the neutral. The person is simply another load. You can't count on there being a poor return path when the masonry is wet and bare skin is in contact.

Joined: Jul 2004
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If you regrounded the neutral down steam of the GFCI it would trip as soon as there was any current present in the circuit and this was most likely a fault from line to ground. Unfortunately water is not a perfect conductor so there will be gradients along that fault path that can give lethal results. My guess is the water was energized and the GFCI was bad or bypassed. If someone standing on that splash pad with wet feet reached into that water they would become part of that fault path.
I assume the safest thing might be to try to float until someone turned off the power. You want to be a "bird on a wire" and not create a fault path with your body.
I am sure there will be multiple violations uncovered if anyone actually looks at the whole installation but I bet the first one is someone jumpered out the GFCI because it was tripping. (or it was bad and not tested regularly).
I expect we might even see mandatory GFCI testing with logging and tracking after this. I am sure Morgan and Morgan is already there.

Greg Fretwell

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