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Thread: 12vac - 15vac pool cage lighting

  1. #1
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    12vac - 15vac pool cage lighting

    Hey guys and gals,

    This is my first time using this forum. I thought I was signed up but I guess I was only signed up for the newsletters.

    This is long but interesting.
    I'm trying to work up an estimate for a customer, for landscape lighting and need some questions answered. I'm not asking how to do the installation just needing clarification on some of the devices and fixtures I would need for the type of application I'm explaining.

    Customer wants to have 3 up lights outside on the vegetation, both sides on the exterior of the pool cage on one transformer dusk to dawn. This part I have figured out. Pretty easy.
    Also, they want approximately 10 lights on the aluminum pool cage on the inside. They want to be able to be turn them on and off with a switch or remote. They may not want them on from dusk to dawn. I really don't want to have to make them walk out to the pool cage to switch a weather proof switch releasing power from either the same transformer or a second transformer with dusk to dawn just waiting to be released to the deck lights. This part I don't have figured out yet. Also, the beams next to the pool are approximately 2 - 3 feet away.

    Questions:


    1. Are there any landscape lighting manufactures that make a 12v transformer with 2 sets of contacts and either one, or just one can be switched remotely and at the same time the other auxiliary can be dusk to dawn listed for this application. Or is it easier to use one transformer with a photo eye and another more intelligent transformer with Bluetooth, some type of app enabling a switch from a smart device or some type of remote that's mounted inside near the sliding glass doors signaling straight to the transformer.
    2. I did some research in the code because it doesn't seem right to be able to install luminaires so close to the water’s edge. But because there is no equipment ground and if you meet other requirements it can be done per 2014 680.22(B)(6). I guess this is a change from the 2011. It is highlighted gray in my 2014. I have never seen a low voltage fixture with an equipment ground. Low voltage lumiaires are only 2 wire connected no ground wire. Plus a lot of the times they're stuck right in the earth, lol. But usually with a plastic base, not saying that either way would generate a quicker response time during a ground fault. Just a different operating system. If a fixture does have an equipment ground a lot of the times it's just a screw tapped with a piece of bare wire coming off of it. If I mount low voltage fixtures to the aluminum cage and the pool equipment bond is intact then technically I just made them a luminare with a ground. HMMMMMM.
    3. Also, isn't there more of a risk of the equipotential bonding not seeing any stray voltage on the ocd or gfci due to the voltage being secondary and derived from another source (AKA - the lv xformer)? Question is if something were to short out the LV wiring less than 15 vac and did not short out the transformer and energizes the pool cage structure then technically the breaker that's energizing the cord and plug connection won’t see the 12 - 15 vac ground fault not turning off leaving the pool cage as one giant luminaire or resistor until the wattage is exceeded and burns out the transformer. Am I thinking correctly?
    4. Also, it seems that most deck or wall mounted landscape lights have a manufacture listing of 10 feet plus from the edge of the pool water. These fixtures only have 2 wires and not and equipment ground but become bonded when screwed to the pool cage. For the fixtures to carry a listing of 5' or less do they have to have some type of isolation or insulated properties built in to the fixture as in 680.33(A)(1)
    5. Is not every landscape lighting transformer not listed for this application (pool cage lighting)? 680.23(A)(2). Code is stating to use a wet niche transformer per 680.22(B)(6). Correct? Which means now I need a timer or a separate dusk to dawn sensor controlling the transformer. What makes the wet niche light transformer rated for these applications or under water applications? Are the windings isolated? Is there a built in wattage overload? How and why does an underwater luminaire transformer meet code for these applications?



    JUST THINKING, IT ALMOST SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD BE SAFER TO HAVE 120 VAC LIGHTING ON GFCI AND AFCI PROTECTION PROTECTED IN SCH 80. BUT OBVIOUSLY NOT ALLOWED. ALSO, IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT IF THE COMBO BREAKER OR THE POOL EQUIPMENT BOND WERE TO FAIL A NOT SO GOOD SCENARIO COULD HAPPEN.

    In my photos you can see in my sketch of what I’m thinking as far as the lighting layout.
    What are some of your guy’s thoughts. Am I thinking correctly? Is this really this difficult? Also, I did some research on web images of pool cage lights and it seems a lot of them are mounted high. This is probably to keep just outside of 10' of the pools water’s edge. But it doesn't quite look like 10 foot from the water’s edge. 110.3(B) states I have to install per the manufactures listing.

    Does anyone know of a slender rectangular low voltage light (bronze color) that could go on the vertical beams of the pool cage that is listed for less than 5 feet from the pools water’s edge? The round deck light won’t work and the half moon may work but would have to be on the horizontal beams causing more fishing or conduit work. It would just aesthetically look better on the horizontal beams. Also, what are some ideas to protect the wiring as it enters the pool cage framing or what do you use to sleeve the wiring going up to the fixture location on the backside of the pool cage.

    Here is a website I found based on what I'm sharing. It seems I'm not the first one that has ran into this issue of a spiraling effect causing over thinking. But being this close to the water I believe I really need to understand the operating system and what’s going on so I can safe guard people and pets.
    https://www.ecmag.com/section/codes-standards/introducing-voltage-around-pool-area

    Thanks in advance if you take the time to read my questions and answer them. I appreciate it.


    Dereck Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Dennis Alwon; 04-08-19 at 06:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    Wow!

    -Hal

  3. #3
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    Sorry I had to change the font size as it made it hard to read
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    Wow!

    -Hal
    ?

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    Also, isn't there more of a risk of the equipotential bonding not seeing any stray voltage on the ocd or gfci due to the voltage being secondary and derived from another source (AKA - the lv xformer)? Question is if something were to short out the LV wiring less than 15 vac and did not short out the transformer and energizes the pool cage structure then technically the breaker that's energizing the cord and plug connection won’t see the 12 - 15 vac ground fault not turning off leaving the pool cage as one giant luminaire or resistor until the wattage is exceeded and burns out the transformer. Am I thinking correctly?
    Grand Q, wish i had an answer for you......

    Welcome to the forum Derek

    ~RJ~

  6. #6
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    Before you go to far take a look at art. 680.22(B)(6)

    (6) Low-Voltage Luminaires. Listed low-voltage luminaires not
    requiring grounding, not exceeding the low-voltage contact
    limit, and supplied by listed transformers or power supplies
    that comply with 680.23(A)(2) shall be permitted to be located
    less than 1.5 m (5 ft) from the inside walls of the pool.
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    Before you go to far take a look at art. 680.22(B)(6)
    thx Den, which brings us to>>>>

    listed transformers or power supplies
    that comply with 680.23(A)(2)


    (2) Transformers and Power Supplies. Transformers and
    power supplies used for the supply of underwater luminaires,
    together with the transformer or power supply enclosure, shall
    be listed, labeled, and identified for swimming pool and spa
    use. The transformer or power supply shall incorporate either a
    transformer of the isolated winding type, with an ungrounded
    secondary that has a grounded metal barrier between the
    primary and secondary windings, or one that incorporates an
    approved system of double insulation between the primary and
    secondary windings.
    the '17 change in itallics......

    i just don't understand what is different about these xformers in how they respond to gfci protection?

    ~RJ~

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by romex jockey View Post
    thx Den, which brings us to>>>>







    the '17 change in itallics......

    i just don't understand what is different about these xformers in how they respond to gfci protection?

    ~RJ~
    I believe the pool trany is an isolation transformer


    Here is an article on low voltage lighting and pools
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  9. #9
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    Here is a UL article on landscape lights https://www.ul.com/wp-content/upload...janfeb2007.pdf. Sorry this is from 2007 and probably not worth the read.
    They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy
    She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me
    I can't help it if I'm lucky



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Let There Be Light View Post
    ?
    I said Wow! because I could read your bill board of text from I-95 10 miles away. Didn't you see that? Glad @Dennis Alwon made it readable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Let There Be Light
    Also, isn't there more of a risk of the equipotential bonding not seeing any stray voltage on the ocd or gfci due to the voltage being secondary and derived from another source (AKA - the lv xformer)? Question is if something were to short out the LV wiring less than 15 vac and did not short out the transformer and energizes the pool cage structure then technically the breaker that's energizing the cord and plug connection won’t see the 12 - 15 vac ground fault not turning off leaving the pool cage as one giant luminaire or resistor until the wattage is exceeded and burns out the transformer. Am I thinking correctly?
    No. The LV source, which is an isolated secondary is not grounded and this is one of the reasons. So if there were a fault to the pool fence from one side of the LV wiring, there would be no way for current to flow and shock anybody.

    I wouldn't take that EC article that you link to too seriously.

    To answer some of your other questions, if you are going to do landscape and pool lighting you are going to have to familiarize yourself with the products manufacturers have out there as well as their installation recommendations. Most do a good job of complying with the NEC.

    -Hal

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