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Thread: Nasty cloth behind light?

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    Nasty cloth behind light?

    Today I decided to troubleshoot my inop pool light. We just bought the home a few weeks ago and the previous owner said it was working recently, but now it trips the breaker when energized. I didn't find anything obvious, but I did find this old, nasty looking piece of cloth behind the light. It pretty much disintegrated when touched. I went ahead and removed what I could and vacuumed to waste the rest. Between me and the nautilus pro we seem to have gotten most all of it. Any ideas what that was doing in there? It wasn't attached to anything as best I can tell. I just had a leak detection company do a full leak check a couple days ago and the light housing wasn't leaking, so that's something good at least. Hopefully replacing the light doesn't change that. Thanks!





    In ground 12,000 gallon gunite pool with attached spa, sand filter, nautilus pro robot, and of course my TF-100 test kit.

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    borjis's Avatar
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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    wow, that shouldn't be there.

    I wonder why the heck they did that?
    16x32 IG Vinyl, 13,000 Gals. Hayward S-244T sand filter, SP2810X15 pump
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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    Any chance you can replace that retainer ring? It appears that the nickel & chrome finish is completely etched off and now your down to the base steel layer. I'd be pretty concerned about on-going dissolution as a source of iron contamination. As for what looks an old tee-shirt, that's just nasty! Looks like you found a good source of on-going organic contamination.
    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that wasn't helping my chemistry any! As far as replacing the ring, I'll definitely do that. It appears I need a whole new light anyway, so I'll have to find one that fits and get a new retaining ring to match.
    In ground 12,000 gallon gunite pool with attached spa, sand filter, nautilus pro robot, and of course my TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    Was there water inside when you took it apart?

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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    No water in the light at all. I was kinda hoping that would be the case and why the breaker was tripping, but it was dry as a bone in there.
    In ground 12,000 gallon gunite pool with attached spa, sand filter, nautilus pro robot, and of course my TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    I replaced my bulb. It worked from Mar 3 to around May 15 without flaw. Then my breaker started to trip. Sometimes it would, sometimes it wouldn't. I still haven't diagnosed it, but I can't detect any water by looking through the lens. I don't want to take mine apart because I'm not sure it's the problem. I know the breaker is 29 years old. Currently, since about June 26, it's worked flawlessly so I stopped messing with it. I just hope you figure yours out because for me, it's a big mystery as to what causes it because it's intermittent.

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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    Intermittent problems are always the worst. I wouldn't say I'm "lucky", but at least mine is hard failed. Flip switch, breaker trips. Bulb, no bulb, doesn't matter. I'm going to go ahead and replace the whole thing since it's probably easier, and definitely safer. Plus I really want an LED setup, so now I have an excuse. Just not sure if I want to tackle it myself or pay someone. Doesn't LOOK that tough, but I know my luck...
    In ground 12,000 gallon gunite pool with attached spa, sand filter, nautilus pro robot, and of course my TF-100 test kit.

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    jasnovanorder's Avatar
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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty24 View Post
    Intermittent problems are always the worst. I wouldn't say I'm "lucky", but at least mine is hard failed. Flip switch, breaker trips. Bulb, no bulb, doesn't matter. I'm going to go ahead and replace the whole thing since it's probably easier, and definitely safer. Plus I really want an LED setup, so now I have an excuse. Just not sure if I want to tackle it myself or pay someone. Doesn't LOOK that tough, but I know my luck...
    If it's tripping the breaker with no bulb sounds to me that a wire is grounding somewhere. See if you can see anything on the wiring you can get to. If you think the breaker is just worn out they are simple to replace just make sure the power is off


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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    My guess (only a guess) is that the former owners used that old sweater (maybe) as a jerry-rigged re-enforcement for the gasket. A new fixture will run you over 4 bills and that is if there is no issues replacing it. It very well be more.

    The good news is that the pool builder doesn't want to replace the fixture any more than you want to pay for it. Most of the cost is in the hardware so it's not the best use of their time. It takes several hours to replace. Longer, and obviously more expensive, if your ground collapsed around the conduit. It's so much easier for them to sell you chemicals you don't need in their own store.
    Chris
    17' x 35' outdoor in-ground Grecian shaped w/ vinyl liner. ≈ 21,000 gallons. Hayward S-200 Sand Filter and 1 HP Hayward Super-pump. Other Accessories: slide, light, ladder, fiberglass stairs, TF-100. Baquacil Conversion - June 2015, SLAM How-to, Chlorine/CYA Chart

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    Re: Nasty cloth behind light?

    Thanks all! I don't think it's the breaker since it trips even without the bulb in it, so that seems to point towards a short in the housing or in the wiring, and the inside of the housing was nice and dry. I'm going to do some research and buy a new one and hope I can pull the wire through the conduit without too much trouble. I wanted a more modern light anyway, and now I have good reason since I'd like to avoid electrocuting anyone in my pool! I still have no idea what that mess was doing stuck behind it, but I'm glad it's no longer in my pool water!
    Last edited by Smitty24; 07-20-2015 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Words

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