As a property rehab specialist, I am often looking at the swimming pool and what will happen during the ultimate buyer’s inspection.

One of the things that happens is that if there is any sort of special equipment, like a heater or automatic chlorinator, or a spa control of some kind, it will not be working and I usually am not really in the mood to repair it. And the buyer will want it repaired…

So mostly these added items are negotiated as conveying “as is”, or if it is a simple thing, I remove them (like the automatic chlorinators. I have removed many.)

Pool lighting is another matter. Most people want the pool lights to work. And I have had to repair many of them. Often, someone has unscrewed the light fixture and lost the screw so the light is either sitting on the deck, or is floating around in the pool at the end of the cord. The other problem is that they trip the GFI.

Now, I really HATE GFIs. I don’t think a GFI has ever prevented any injury (I couldn’t find any stats) and somehow the human race dealt with the lack of them for decades without any problems. I don’t think throwing an operating radio into a bathtub that has a person in it will hurt you (Mythbusters aside.)

However, it is code that there be one, and I always comply with the code. And old pool lights almost always trip the GFI.

I put in a pool when I moved into my home, and I installed pool lighting. And last year, the pool light… started tripping the GFI. I could remove the fixture and dry it out, and it would be okay for a few weeks then start tripping again. There was never any visible moisture in the light, so I’m sure it is a pinhole leak somewhere.

When I installed the light, there wasn’t a choice for LED lighting. But now there is. So a couple months ago, I found some 12 volt LED floodlights online and ordered one for the pool. Then I went into the pool panel and added a 12 volt transformer (and left the GFI hooked up). I also made sure it was running on 12 volts DC not AC. Sealed everything back up, and … yep, it works. And it doesn’t trip the GFI. Even if it did leak voltage, 12 volts is not going to hurt anyone.

They sell retrofit kits now, and you can upgrade your pool light to a multi-color one, and I think they are far safer than having a 120 volt fixture under water. So next time I flip a house, before I replace the light fixture, I’m upgrading it to a 12 volt LED one.