Can I use pool's sub-panel for landscaping lights?
I have a good sized pergola next to my pool and want to add some low voltage lighting to it. My sub in the garage has a 30 amp breaker for the pool, the pool has two 30 amp breakers tied together for the filter pump and boost pump. and there's one 15 amp breaker for the 600W pool light, 3 low voltage 20W lights for the water feature on the pool, and two outlets on the pergola that are rarely ever used. There's 4 open slots for more breakers and one open slot for a switch on that same sub-panel that's outside by the pergola and pool pump.
My question is can I add another 15 amp breaker and switch for between 4 to 8 low voltage lights inside this pergola? And I know I ultimately have to ask my city, but will I need a permit to add these?
Also I know low voltage wiring doesn't need to be buried, but should it be buried from the panel to the pergola? The pump's concrete slab is literally right behind the pergola so there's no traffic around the panel besides turning switches on and off, and the distance is about 2-3 feet from the pergola. I plan on routing the wire into the pergola and have either post mounted lights or hanging lights.
Yes, you can add a circuit for the lights. You might want to check the actual load on the panel with everything turned on, since a 30A feeder is pretty small. Definitely put your new circuit on the opposite leg from the existing 15A lighting circuit. That means placing the breaker adjacent to, or an odd number of spaces above or below, the existing one. Not directly across from it, and not an even number of spaces above or below.
It would be good to bury the lighting cable wherever possible. It's neater looking and also better protected.