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#65889 - 05/15/06 06:34 PM Low-voltage lights near pool  
bot540  Offline
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 174
Vernon Hills, IL
Could someone clear up the code on this for me. I read 411 and 680 and can't seem to come up with a concrete answer. Can you put low voltage lights around a pool? What if the transformer is pluged into a gfi?

[This message has been edited by bot540 (edited 05-15-2006).]

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#65890 - 05/15/06 07:34 PM Re: Low-voltage lights near pool  
e57  Offline
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
The code does not seem to differentiate between low, or line voltage, so they are treated the same, depending on the fixture.... And where you want to install it. Beware, some Low voltage lighting systems have live exposed parts, that would not be suitable in any wet location at all.

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#65891 - 05/15/06 09:26 PM Re: Low-voltage lights near pool  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,140
The only lights that can be inside the 5' exclusion zone are listed underwater lights and *perhaps* battery operated solar lights but I defy you to find that one in the code.
Low voltage is still voltage. BTW the secondary IS NOT protected by a GFCI on the primary. In real life it is an isolation transformes so there is not really a path to ground but if some well thinking person grounds the secondary side (on purpose or by accident) you are just part of the load to the GFCI.
Up to your neck in water, 12vac will knock the snot out of you.

Greg Fretwell

#65892 - 05/16/06 05:25 PM Re: Low-voltage lights near pool  
luckyshadow  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 308
Maryland USA
Read article 411.4 (B )
680.22 ( B ) ( 1 )

I would say that if they are ground mounted they must be 10 feet away from the pools edge 411.4 B and if they are over head they must be at least 12 feet above maximum water level and at least 5 feet horizontally from the edge of the pool
680.22 B 1

#65893 - 05/16/06 08:58 PM Re: Low-voltage lights near pool  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,140
Lucky read that again. 680.22(B)(1) says if the luminaire is 5' or less from the pool it must be 12' up. When you look at (4) it says luminaires 5' to 10' from the pool must be GFCI.

[Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by gfretwell (edited 05-16-2006).]

Greg Fretwell

#65894 - 05/17/06 03:02 PM Re: Low-voltage lights near pool  
luckyshadow  Offline
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 308
Maryland USA
OK - I'll admend my post , It should say :
10' from pools edge if ground mounted as per 411.4 ( B ) OR
12' above maximum water level if within 5' of pools edge 680.22 (B) (1)

IF mounted between 5' to 10' from pools edge, they must be GFI protected UNLESS
installed NOT LESS then 5' above maximum water level AND mounted to the adjacent structure or pool enclosure 680.22 ( B) (4)

This makes it about as clear as a mud puddle. I think thhis is one of those areas in the NEC that needs work !

#65895 - 05/17/06 04:27 PM Re: Low-voltage lights near pool  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,140
That's why the handbook has that picture that defines the 5 zones but nothing is allowed in that 5'x 5' box directly adjacent to the water's edge but a listed underwater light or a potted deck box for that light.
I have heard a lot of inspectors say they would exempt a solar light since it is basically a flashlight but there is no code to back that up ... nor the flashlight for that matter. They are still regulated equipment by the strictest reading of 725.41(A)(5).

Greg Fretwell

#65896 - 05/18/06 06:32 AM Re: Low-voltage lights near pool  
FountainGuy  Offline
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 30
Lawrenceville,GA, U.S.A
The only reason that you would feed a low voltage light that originates from a GFCI is if the 120V/12V transformer were located in an area that required ground fault protection. A low voltage light (12V) won't trip a ground fault breaker (120V).
When using low voltage lights, the transformer MUST be rated for pool/spa applications (The transformer must have a grounded metal barrier between the primary and secondary windings).
For 120V swimming pool lighting, what's most important is where the junction box for the lights is located. For fountains, the box can be flush with the pool floor, but the box must include cord seals and must be filled with reenterable potting compound.

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