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Thread: Screws around light appear to be rusting

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    Screws around light appear to be rusting

    I was underwater today. and a stain appeared on the white light housing. I cleaned the light with Vitamin C and the stains appear to be gone. Although. the screws seems to be rusting, not on the outside, but where the screw driver tip grabs the screw.

    Is this normal? Could the chlorine be rusting these screws? All the other screws on the returns (6 of them) are all in tact, without any rust.

    There probably is not a warranty from the pool company. As these are under water, what would be my next step? Call the manufacturer? Or can these screws be removed and replaced under water, or do we have to drain the water and fix? Not sure.

    Thank you.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    There are different grades of stainless steel. I would look into where you can order the highest grade of stainless steel screw for your light.

    Good luck!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Kim is right, replace those screws with stainless steel screws. They are available at any hardware store. Replace one at a time. I don't think you will need to drain anything.
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Kim is right, replace those screws with stainless steel screws. They are available at any hardware store. Replace one at a time. I don't think you will need to drain anything.
    Thank you for your quick response. I am assuming they will come out fairly easy with a regular screwdriver. Remove one and swap out quickly.

    I read somewhere that these are the best:

    Titanium or 316 Stainless Steel Screws are what I need & do not bother with the 304 SS. McMaster-Carr will sell these. I will check this out.

    My first step is to call the Pool Company. Pool is not even 2 years old and already rusting screws.

    Question: Will this affect the water chemistry over the next week or so, until the new screws come in?
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    I don't think it will mess with your chemistry but........don't know for sure.

    If you are the one that takes the screws out make sure you are using the right size head on the screwdriver. Make sure it FITS snuggly in the slots-not too loose, not too big, just right. Put the screwdriver into the slot and use lots of pressure straight towards the screw as you take it out. You do NOT want to take any chance of messing up the head of the screw.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    I don't think it will mess with your chemistry but........don't know for sure.

    If you are the one that takes the screws out make sure you are using the right size head on the screwdriver. Make sure it FITS snuggly in the slots-not too loose, not too big, just right. Put the screwdriver into the slot and use lots of pressure straight towards the screw as you take it out. You do NOT want to take any chance of messing up the head of the screw.

    Kim
    Removed 1 screw and loosened the remainder so they will come out easy. Spoke to a tech and he stated that the plate will stay on without the screws. The pool store has 16 screws for $9.99, which is not bad but they will rust again. It appears the titanium are very expensive. Thank you for all your help.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Stainless steel screws should not rust at all. The screws that came with my AGB, such as the screws on the skimmer are 8 years old and still look brand new. I tried putting a regular steel screw on my Poolskim and it was rusty and corroded within a couple of weeks. I replaced it with a stainless screw from the hardware store and it has been fine the last 2 years.
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Stainless steel screws should not rust at all. The screws that came with my AGB, such as the screws on the skimmer are 8 years old and still look brand new. I tried putting a regular steel screw on my Poolskim and it was rusty and corroded within a couple of weeks. I replaced it with a stainless screw from the hardware store and it has been fine the last 2 years.
    They are only rusting there the screwdriver hits the screw head, not the whole screw. They did not use a screwdriver, but a cordless drill and probably stripped the inside. I was also told you can place underwater silicone on the heads to protect them (too be seen).
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by zea3 View Post
    Stainless steel screws should not rust at all. The screws that came with my AGB, such as the screws on the skimmer are 8 years old and still look brand new. I tried putting a regular steel screw on my Poolskim and it was rusty and corroded within a couple of weeks. I replaced it with a stainless screw from the hardware store and it has been fine the last 2 years.
    Some types of "stainless" will rust. Without a number, the term "stainless steel" is about as descriptive as "new and improved".
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    I am willing to bet that the rust is coming from the tool that installed them. If the installer used a power tool and "stripped" the slots as you indicated then the bit may have left some carbon imbedded in the stainless.
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    I am willing to bet that the rust is coming from the tool that installed them. If the installer used a power tool and "stripped" the slots as you indicated then the bit may have left some carbon imbedded in the stainless.
    Good point.
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Can someone chime in here please:

    The pool company gave me replacement screws. I carefully removed one at a time and installed one at a time. A piece of electrical tape at the end of the screwdriver not to nick the screw. The pool company states that these are stainless steel screws. Now, the second time around, not even a week later, they are rusting.

    I was told that the light niche that is screwed to the wall (all plastic), has a gasket, then the liner, then another gasket, white trim piece and then 12 screws that go into the niche and not the wall. This morning, I had a conversation with 2 people who built/build pools and they state that this should not be happening. Is it possible that this happened again, or something more serious is happening?

    There are no water leaks? Chemicals are on track. Could muriatic acid affect this? I broadcast slowly around the whole pool and mix in as PH rises? Sounds to me like the leak is at the liner and coming through the screws. No other part of screws are rusting, but just the heads. E-mails and phone calls were made to the pool company. There is a 50 year warranty on structure and 20 on the liner, parts and labor, which helps.

    My next step is to call the company in NJ that makes titanium screws. Strange part is that this is only happening around the light and nowhere else, which leads me to believe that it could be something else but the screws. Any thoughts?
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Go to a hardware store and look for 18-8 stainless screws. They should have something similar to what you are using/need. Get one and put it in the pool and see if it rusts. I am willing to bet the Chinese manufacturer of the part used a poor quality stainless or possibly a 400 series stainless that will rust in the presence of salt and chlorine
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Quote Originally Posted by danpik View Post
    Go to a hardware store and look for 18-8 stainless screws. They should have something similar to what you are using/need. Get one and put it in the pool and see if it rusts. I am willing to bet the Chinese manufacturer of the part used a poor quality stainless or possibly a 400 series stainless that will rust in the presence of salt and chlorine
    I will do this. McMaster Carr has e-mailed me back stating that they can not help (after pictures and measurements, plus a phone call) and they stated that I am looking for 3/4" - 10 Thread Size. You have recommended 18-8.

    From what I measured:

    7/16" head, 1.5" length, 10 threads per inch, 3/16" tip bottom (the other part not where the Philips screwdriver goes)
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    I THINK the 18-8 is the amount of stainless in the screw. There are different grades of stainless. I am willing to be they grade you have is not the highest so...........

    WOW I will let you do the research. There is a lot of info. out there about kinds/grades to stainless. I will let you pick and read in your spare time. It goes WAY over my head! LOL

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    The 18-8 is an old layman's term for the amount of chrome and nickel in the metal matrix. These are the two elements that make the steel rustproof. In metallurgical terms the 18-8 stainless is referred to as 304 stainless. This is the most common material used in kitchen flatware (forks and spoons)
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

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    Re: Screws around light appear to be rusting

    Update:

    I actually removed screws and sprayed with a T-9 spray and put back with silicone over the heads of the screws and left 3 unexposed (removed silicone) for testing. Called Hayward & a few companies that sell high end screws. It appears that this could be "Galvanic Corrosion" in where the 2 metals are touching and coming into contact with pool water and rust is dripping onto the head or "Electrolysis in the water". I have even called the pool company at this point, because Silicone is not acceptable. I believe the screws are not the problem. Definitely stainless steel, based on what Hayward states.

    During construction, I believe the pool was bonded properly. I took a lot of pictures and have gone back and all the bonding was secure before the concrete was poured. I believe, this all started after I used the 500 watt light at night (or could be a coincidence), who knows. The light is not currently being used for the next week or so and I will be removing one screw to determine if rust is on the back of the screw. Considering silicone was placed on the inside of the head, there should be no drip onto the head of the screw, but all the rust, if Galvanic Corrosion should be on the actual screw threads. I will give this a week without the light to determine what it could be.

    This is a pool that had to pass many inspections for electrical, so with regards to bonding, I doubt that the pool was not bonded properly, but who knows.

    Anyone ever had this situation, etc. I am trying to gain knowledge at this point to eventually resolve this issue. I can not have screws that rust as it is not acceptable, or keep silicone over the heads. Does not look right.
    14,700 gallons IG Pool Vinyl Liner - Octal Circulation System
    Hayward Pro-Series 350 LB. Sand Filter Model # S270T - 2" Plumping
    Hayward CL2002 Chlorinator - Hayward Super Pump 2 HP Model # k48m2n111
    Hayward AQR9 SWG 25K Salt Cell & TF-100 Test Kit + Speed Stir
    Gulfstream HE125RA - 117K BTU Heat Pump - Date of Build is 11-2013

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