Swimming Pools: Short In Pool Light?

By on May 19, 2016
pool light

Q. I apparently have a short in my under water pool light. The GFI circuit breaker keeps tripping when I try to turn the light on. The light itself appears okay. Any suggestions on trouble shooting it? I have only basic electrical knowledge but I have a multitester. – JmLnch., E-Mail.

A. The Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) is designed measure the current going in and out of a circuit or receptacle, which should be equal. Any variation indicates some of the current is going where it’s not supposed to go and is creating a shock hazard. This is the ground fault.

The GFCI will interrupt a current leakage of as little as four to six milliamps (one-thousandths of an amp) in about one-fortieth of a second. This is much lower than the current that would trip a normal breaker. The easiest way to think of GFCIs is to remember that normal circuit breakers protect property while GFCIs protect people.

All GFCIs have test buttons. You should test your GFCIs regularly. If the test doesn’t trim the breaker, replace the GFCI immediately.

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