I do not have a code book here, but, I believe that almost ALL pool lights (lens) must be 18" or more below NORMAL water level, unless it is identified for a use higher that the 18". In NO case shall the lens be closer that 4" to the surface. I have never seen a pool light that is rated for use above 18". I also thought that in NO case can a pool light operate at more than 150 volts, ( I need to check this for accuracy). Be sure to install the redundant #8 INSULATED ground wire between the light forming shell and the listed for pool use junction box & treat the connections with the approved potting compound. Rick
Hello Watts. Take a look at artivle 680.23(A)(5): Luminaires mounted in walls shall be installed with the top of the luminaire lens not less than 18 inches below the normal water level of the pool, unless the luminaire is listed and identified for use at lesser depths. No luminaire shall be installed less than 4 inches below the normal water level of the pool.
As an FYI there are above ground pool lights UL listed for installation above the 18" level (I believe). I don't have the paperwork with me right now, But I have heard of them. They usually attach to the return from the pool filter and they are usually low voltage.
We use two different lights from Hydrel / Lithonia that is rated for wet submerged or dry operation. One has three 100W MR16 JDR lamps and the other is a 175W Metal Halide arc lamp with intergal ballast...
Rick There was much discussion about the 'terminology' used for the conductor you describe (#8 conductor to the forming shell) at the IAEI conference this past week. Is it a grounding conductor or a bonding conductor? What is its purpose, what color can it be? Just curious what everyone thinks.
Pierre: I call it a ground conductor as does the NEC. It took me a while to get used to calling it a ground cond. I consider it a redundant ground. I do not know when it went into the NEC, or the reasoning. I would like to see the actual proposal that was accepted by the NEC panel at the time. It certainly would help me understand the logic behind the rule, and to give a factual response to someone asking why I enforce that rule, apparently a lot of AHJ do NOT enforce this. How is this enforced in other areas? I have wondered if the rule is there possibly because of the potential for the ground cond in the cable to deteriorate and fail at the connection to the lamp. As for insulation color, most use black or green. I am not fussy about that. Just getting electricians to install a redundant ground and treating the connections with compound is a big accomplishment.
Harold, you are right, and I am aware of the luminaires rated for above 18" in above ground pools. Do you know of any wet niche lights that are rated for use above 18"? I have had pool people tell me (after they have been cited) they will replace the nonconforming light with one for use above 18", I tell them I want the paperwork that goes with the light. To this day I have not seen any light (wet niche) rated for above 18", or the paperwork. Ideas anyone? Rick