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Thread: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

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    Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    So the light had water when we bought the house. After the slam and cleaning behind it, I had my wife grab a new gasket while I disassembled. Replaced the gasket and put it back. Worked great for a week or so and then I noticed it had water again. I took it out and reassembled again thinking some kid hit it when they were all over it the day before. Installed and seemed fine for another day. That next morning I turned on the light and noticed within about 10 minutes there were air bubbles coming out (probably when it heated up?).

    Should I be using pool lube on the inside of the gasket? Am I missing something else? Unit looks solid. No rust/holes/etc I can see.
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Hmmm, just saw the resurrected 2013 thread about it coming in the back. I will check that tonight.
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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    Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Ok, so took it apart today. Water is not coming in the back. The whole rear of the housing is like an epoxy covering everything. So, I figured it must be the front and used pool lube between the cover and base, then all in the gasket groove. Looked ok for 20 mins when on. Bubbles came out a couple times but I did not see it fill. Will check in the morning.
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    This is good timing. I just removed my lights this evening to clean out the niches and noticed a little water inside the housings. I'll replace the gaskets but wait until you post up again about the pool lube.

    Of course I turned off the breaker before doing anything, but I didn't realize they had a little water inside until after I twisted it all around. I don't know what kind of socket or contact is inside, but I'm regretting sloshing the water all over the inside. I'll let them set a couple days after reinstallation before powering them back up. GFCI protected, so not too worried.
    Brent / 24k gal / 16'x36' IG / Dura Glas II 1.25hp / 55 sqft DE filter / CircuPool Si-45 / TF-100 kit

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    You guys are making me nervous! Water inside the light? Please be careful. I am SO not handy with electrical, so I don't know enough to trust or not trust GFI's to keep things safe. Yikes!

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Well, who knows how long that water has been inside, but I agree. I'm going to look for new gaskets today and just keep the breaker off for now.
    Brent / 24k gal / 16'x36' IG / Dura Glas II 1.25hp / 55 sqft DE filter / CircuPool Si-45 / TF-100 kit

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    Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Well... Sad to say it continues to bubble. For such a basic construction this thing sure is getting the best of me. Right now the switch is off, it it tied to the gfci, and breaker goes off when the bot is done.

    Perhaps the lube helped some but I can't tell where the bubbles are coming from (front/rear/tear-in-space-time). Next test will be weighing it down outside the housing if possible in a normal position to look for the actual source.

    Btw, it is obviously based on heat as it takes about 30 sec before it starts and stops in about 20-30 sec after going off.

    I really do not look forward to cleaning the lube. There is prob 1/4 of a pool lube tube in the gasket and between the metal/glass of the housing.
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    The pool lube should be silicone...and while it's technically a lubricant - it primarily acts as a preservative for the rubber seal. Coating it with the lube maintains the flexibility/effectiveness of the seal by not allowing contaminants access to the rubber, which can decay, harden, or corrode it.

    Take it apart again and clean it really well. Make sure there's no dust or dirt on the glass, rubber or housing. Then coat the heck out of the rubber seal, ALL around it (not just the top) but apply it liberally. Clamp it back up and throw it in a bathtub (or somewhere that you can see it up close), and see if it still leaks.
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    My wife says I cannot drag a bathtub outside to the pool. She seemed rather firm on that.
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Hahaha well dang. For some reason I was thinking that you had pulled the line out too...my mistake! I've done 3 total, one for myself and a couple of others for friends...and on one of my friends - there was not enough slack in the line to completely take the light out of the water without pulling it completely out - wiring and all. So after I pulled it, I took it inside in the wonderful A/C and put some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and wiped down everything. Lubed up the rubber seal and reassembled. Then after a couple of bathtub tests, went back to the pool and wired it up. 2 years and going strong .

    On that particular one, the wiring was only about 15 feet straight back and up to a junction box, so pulling it and running it again was no trouble at all. But with the light completely submerged in water 100% of the time, it doesn't take any more than a SPECK of dirt to compromise the seal. So, if you're still unable to convince your wife to haul the tub out to the pool lol...just wipe everything down and clean it up as best you can, and coat that seal with lube.

    Oh and I forgot to mention in my post above...but a LOT of people make the mistake about wrenching down the clamp super tight. Doing this can compromise the seal as well. It needs to be tight, but not to the point where you're muscling down the clamp. In the mechanic's world...when a newbie would ask what the torque setting should be for a particular bolt and we don't have the specs for it, we would always say - "Just use that German torque". They would always look at us very confused and say "What's that?" And we would reply, "GŁttentight". After a couple of seconds repeating that to themselves, they would just smile and shake their head. So for the clamp on the light - use that German torque .
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Took it out again. I have this: Pentair Parts for AmeriQuartz Pool Lighting - From PoolCenter.com

    I may be missing on the pic but is there an o-ring that goes between the metal housing and the glass cover? There appears to be a groove in the housing lip where they mate together. If not, I am not sure how it makes a seal except for the rubber gasket that goes around them both. Maybe I have the wrong one for that even though it seems snug?
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Bump, anyone?
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Some of these lights start to leak where the cord enters the fixture in the back. If this might be the case there was a thread a few years back where they used epoxy around the cord to seal it.
    Inground 22k gallon gunite 15x31 main pool, 15x7 wading pool/sunning deck, hot tub/with overflow (9' octagon with limestone top) & slide NSWG, Aqua Blue Pebble Sheen
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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Accidnet, this is in response to comment #11. My lights are the "spa" sized versions of these lights -- same frame, gasket, retaining clip mechanism. The gasket (part #13 in that diagram) is stretched around the edge of the lens, and the lens rests in the groove of the gasket. The mating surfaces of the gasket have a slight bulge that rests in a matching slight indentation in the light fixture's frame lip. Maybe that bulge/detent is why you think an O-ring should be there. So you can think of this has a few parts: the front frame with retaining clips, the lens-gasket pair, and the housing.

    When I did my lights, I disassembled these parts, then used a putty knife to scrape off any remaining gasket material from the various surfaces. I also brushed parts to clean up some grunge/scale. Also cleaned the lens. I then placed about four small blobs of silicone lube inside the gasket's groove, spreading that evenly. This will allow the gasket to slip and fit around the lens evenly. I also spread a very thin coat of lube around the mating surface of the housing. Then, I just reassembled things, making sure the retaining ring was tightened well.

    I replaced the 100W incandescents with LEDs, so after a bucket test to ensure they were sealed, they went back in the wall.
    Brent / 24k gal / 16'x36' IG / Dura Glas II 1.25hp / 55 sqft DE filter / CircuPool Si-45 / TF-100 kit

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    I have replaced two lights. Each one took me a couple of hours because they both leaked. The tightness needed to waterproof them bothered me. I really had to tighten that ring clamp down harder than I would've liked.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    A common reassembly error do it yourself homeowner's make is that they try to wrap the lens gasket around the metal fixture and the glass lens (the thin metal lip where the glass sits on the fixture) don't do that. The gasket ONLY goes around the glass lens, then the lens sits on top of the metal fixture and you then secure it with the clamp, you will notice an o-ring type protrusion on the rubber gasket (both sides) this is also represented on the metal fixture by an indentation around the perimeter of the fixture (you mentioned an area you thought was for an o-ring on the light fixture) there should be (6) metal brackets around the light face ring ( they are the loose hanging small things hanging from the face ring ) that the wire ring clamp sits on prior to tightening, if one of these are missing, you could be overlooking this as a reason for the leak, the ring has (6) brackets, you will not be able to properly tighten the clamp to ensure a leak free seal without (6) there is also a specific lens placement, and face ring, orientation to the fixture that eliminates difficulty when reattaching light fixture back in niche on pool wall as far as the pilot screw is concerned, and how the light reflects through the lens, if light is not to old, it may still have the label on the fixture that lines up the pilot screw hole on the face ring to the fixture, (there are various notches cut out from the fixture where the lens sits that are for pilot screw lateral movement when mounting back on pool wall) and on the lens it will say "top" on the glass, which usually lines up with pilot screw hole on face ring. So use a new lens gasket preferably, make sure you have (6) brackets for wire ring clamp, don't use any kind of lube,silicone,etc ever! it did not come from the factory with lube anywhere on it, so don't resort to quick fix solution ideas, check the cord also on back of fixture, when new, cord is usually black (or yellow depending on its age) in color, if it look's greyish and deformed, or distorted in shape from it's original condition when new, especially where it goes into fixture, consider replacing the light fixture with a new one, overall, if you reassemble it properly, and hold the light underwater and observe the gasket perimeter for bubbles, you should not see any air bubbles at all, the sealing capability of these lights is consistently reliable as far as the lens gasket area is concerned, accept when something is missing,or not installed properly, etc. I have worked on hundreds of this manufacturers light's over the year's, and rarely, if ever, have had to go back out because it leaks after i did the repair, bulb replacement,etc. On a closing side note to another observation i made relates to mention of removal of the fixture completely, if attempting this remember, DO NOT! pull the electrical cord through the conduit without enough length of nylon string, or fish tape tool attached to the cord so it can be pulled back through the conduit later, if you pull the cord through with no way of pulling it back to it's original position,or have no way of pulling a new fixture's cord through the conduit, you will be sorry, there aren't to many thing's that can feel worse than finding out the hard way you cant push the cord through 50-100' conduit run. Now to the powers that be, I am aware of the concerns you have with my various violations of website protocol, and will make adjustment's accordingly in the future.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    I also would like to address the tightening of the ring clamp, if you look at the clamp you will see loops at each end, point these towards the back of the fixture, so the loops are further from the chrome front face ring when tightening ring clamp bolt, as opposed to having the loops point to the front of the light, which would make the clamp bolt to close to the chrome front face ring when connecting to the six tabs/brackets that hang from the chrome light face ring, also, position the loops on the wire ring clamp away from the pilot screw hole 12:00 position on the chrome face plate, and below at it's 6:00 position, and instead use the 3:00 or 9:00 clock position to position the clamp before tightening so it wont be in the way of bottom front face ring tab,or the pilot screw hole at the top of the face ring when remounting the light back on pool wall, the detail i am providing eliminates hopefully, the possibility of having the clamp bolt position at 12:00 after you had tightened everything,etc. only to find out its now in the way of the pilot screw hole, and you have to go back and reposition it according to how i am describing it above. So that's how to position the wire ring clamp, now don't be to intimidated by the amount of clamping force that can be used, i have tightened the clamp bolt to the point of having both loops touch, and other times 1/2'' apart, etc,etc. Overall a good snug and general feel of tightness using a combination wrench on the clamp bolt should be adequate, then submerse the reassembled light fixture in the pool and look for bubbles, I think you should first and foremost verify that your lens gasket is only wrapped around the glass lens, and not in any way are you trying to also squeeze it around the thin metal lip of the fixture, which is a common mistake made, another way is to see it like this, in no way should any part of the glass lens contact any part of the the metal fixture, the glass only has contact with the rubber gasket that is wrapped around the glass lens, then the gasket wrapped lens is placed on top of the metal fixture.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    I also have a problem that i need help with, and a solution to it might put me back on the Christmas card list of the website moderators....How do i make paragraphs when i type, i have tried the space bar but it doesn't seem to be the answer, any help would be appreciated, thank's.

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    When I type, I use the return key to make a new paragraph. But I'm on an iPad, so I don't know if that makes it different.

    I hope that helps!
    28,000 gallon freeform, Stonescapes Tropics Blue Minipebble with abalone, 3.5' to 8.5' depth. 2 skimmers, 5 returns, dedicated vacuum port, Dolphin Z5 robot. All Pentair equip: EasyTouch 8, IC60 SWG, VS pump, 520 Cartridge Filter, 3 Intellibrites, 2 Color Cascade Bubblers. TurboTwister Slide and 8' Salt System Jump Board. TF-100. My Jan-Mar 2016 build:
    Waxahachie, TX Owner Build - A race to beat the baby!!

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    Re: Pool light taking on water, use pool lube?

    Holy cow. Gasket is around both as it was that way when I took it off the first time. I will try this in the morning. Thanks a bunch.
    11k gal ig vinyl, Challenger 1hp, Heyward 3030 cartridge filter, intermatic PF1103T timer w/ freeze protection, dolphin 4 deluxe.

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