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Thread: Patching 4" Round Hole in Vinyl Liner - Previously Pool Light

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    Patching 4" Round Hole in Vinyl Liner - Previously Pool Light

    Hello everyone,
    When our pool was installed about 7 years ago, I made the unfortunate choice of having the pool company install a Hayward light (it was an option). This required them cutting a hole in the pool wall similar to what is done for the skimmer. I have a deck around half of the pool and the light is under the deck side, so kind of out of sight, out of mind (meaning I don't even see it 99.9% of the time). Although the light itself works great, it has leaked repeatedly over the years despite me changing the gaskets twice. It sucked to have to change the gaskets because I had to drain the pool water down to the light to do so and refilling is a challenge because we have well water with limited pressure. But I did it...

    Now the light is leaking yet again and I have determined there is a small rust area beginning to form just below the light. It's minimal yet I've noticed it has increased the leaking to a steadier drip. At this point I have had it with the light and don't care whether I have it or not. It's cost me so much time and hassle over the years and now I am worried it could destroy my pool wall with rust left in it's current state.

    I'm in the process of closing the pool and decided to drain the pool several inches below the light and deal with it now (pictures were taken before it got down as far as it is now). I'm trying to decide the best plan of action. My first thought is to remove the light and use a high quality vinyl patch over the hole. It looks like if I get a decent patching product they work ok. I'm not that worried about looks because its in a spot that people don't really see it. My only concern with that plan is that there will still be a 4" hole in the pool wall behind the patch and I'm worried someone could push through it possibly. I could always put a piece of sheet metal over the hole on the outside of the pool as a backing. It's under the deck so no one would see it. I wish the added backing could be between the liner and pool wall but I have no way of getting it between the two. I could do that some day when I change the liner but I have no reason to change it right now.

    Thoughts? Is there a better way to seal a hole like this?
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    30' Round, Hayward S180 Sand Filter w/ 1.5hp single speed Hayward pump

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    Re: Patching 4" Round Hole in Vinyl Liner - Previously Pool Light

    A few questions:

    1) The light is only 4"?
    2) Where is the rust (on back side or in pool)? You may be able to remove the rust and spray the panel, which I assume is steel with a Marine spray (which I can send you a picture of what I would recommend later).
    3) Are there screws in the light housing or niche? Could this be the cause of the rust?
    4) What is the model # of the light and housing, etc?
    5) Do you know if the light is bonded and/or grounded?

    If you have had a leak from day one, it may be possible that the portion that was cut out was not done properly. If it leaked later, then maybe the gaskets are not sealed right, and/or you may be missing something in the installation. My light nice looks like this below in the thread. You may want to read the whole thread. There is a gasket on the light niche, then the liner, then gasket and ring with screws. The liner is cut inside the niche. Mine did not leak and of course I can not see behind as it is an in-ground pool. Maybe yours is similar and your plastic niche should be almost a perfect fit (Please look at post # 6). White round trim is the backing. Hard to tell with yours.

    Sequence of chemicals and possibly any effects on what happened to screws at light.
    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: Patching 4" Round Hole in Vinyl Liner - Previously Pool Light

    The model of the light is a Hayward MODEL#SP056525A

    There are no screws involved in the installation. Basically you cut a circular hole in the liner and pool wall. There is an outer lens piece that gets pushed through the hole from the inside (liner side) of the pool. There is a gasket that goes between the lens and the liner and then another gasket that goes between the liner and the pool wall. It's a little tricky to put in without having the gasket between the liner and wall fall down and get lost. The lens piece is more of a cylinder which goes through the hole. On the outer pool wall you clip the actual light assembly to the lens. The light assembly has a low voltage wire going to the power converter box (AC to DC).

    I guessed on the 4" but I'm pretty sure the hole is not much bigger than that. I just looked at a ruler and looks about right to me.

    The rust is forming at the bottom of the hole cut in the pool wall. See the picture but it look like a tiny bulge just below the light about the size of a finger tip. When I press on it with my finger I can feel it flexing and could see water flow increase from the area. The pool level is now drained below the light.

    I can pull part the light and take some more detailed pictures of the wall and rust tonight when I get home from work.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I forgot to add that there is a threaded ring (visible in the picture noting the rust spot) that spins onto the lens piece that passes through the hole in the pool. This is what sucks everything down together tight (or is supposed to) sealing the water out with the gaskets (hence no screws). The light assembly clips on over that retaining ring.
    30' Round, Hayward S180 Sand Filter w/ 1.5hp single speed Hayward pump

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    Re: Patching 4" Round Hole in Vinyl Liner - Previously Pool Light

    I am assuming the plastic duraniche goes through the cutout and the threaded ring is in the back under the deck. Then you have a gasket against wall (inside pool), duraniche housing, liner over gasket, gasket over liner and your trim peice. If the cutout was done properly, the reason why rust is occurring is because the chlorinated water is allowing in that area to seep through (which of course is because the seal is not 100%). My light, although for an in-ground pool's liner was cut in the middle of the light (if you can picture this). I had to have the light ring removed. Was the liner cut exactly around the light housing? If the housing is 6" in diameter, is your liner's diameter 6"? My diameter of the liner that was cut is about half of the total, allowing the light to push back the liner. The one thing I have is screws that hold everything together (10 of them), plus a few screws that hold the duraniche against the wall with the ring in the back.

    I know this sounds lengthy and complicated, but it appears that the actual installation from the pb was not done properly. It is the liner and gasket before the final trim piece (where the light goes in) that creates the seal.

    My advice in this situation is to contact Hayward Technical Support. You may want to send them an e-mail or contact them directly. Hayward will open up a case for you and they are extremely helpful. I tried to find the installation showing the sequence as I have in my light, but no luck. Hopefully your liner was cut out properly so there is wiggle room as it is pressed against the gasket. One last item, is there any damage to the steel wall (maybe not 100% flush)?
    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: Patching 4" Round Hole in Vinyl Liner - Previously Pool Light

    Attachment 43239Attachment 43240I took the light apart last night for a closer look. See attached pics. Turns out there isn't much of any rust involved below the light (a good thing) but more of a small crack in the wall. The outside of the hole at the bottom is actually very flared (bent over) with the crack in the middle. While this could have been this way when they installed it (ie poor installation), causing the initial leak, I wonder if I could have made it worse over time by trying to 'crank down' the retaining ring too tight to stop the leak which could have flared it out more. The directions were clear not to over-tighten it although I think that was more at risk of damaging the light than the pool and the light is fine. Regardless, I'm just not sure I can fix this enough to keep the light. The continual draining the pool down and having to refill it back up on well water has been a total PITA. I think we have even had to pay for water delivered once or twice to get it filled quicker ($$) due to this problem.
    So I think I am going to try to cover the hole itself with a piece of strong flat plastic between the liner and pool wall (secured with something on the outside of the pool wall connected to it) and then cover the hole in the liner with a patch kit. Hopefully the fact that it is now dry in the area will insure a better patch.
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    30' Round, Hayward S180 Sand Filter w/ 1.5hp single speed Hayward pump

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    Re: Patching 4" Round Hole in Vinyl Liner - Previously Pool Light

    Chrisj:

    For what it is worth, maybe this is an option. I am assuming AGP have steel walls and they are in sections. A 30' round probably holds a lot of water. If it were me, I would have the panel replaced by a professional and possibly the liner patched up with a kit (which should hold). The patch (if you can match up perfectly should be at least 3" around the diameter to obtain a good seal). A new liner would probably cost a lot more, but not as much as in ground. With this project, you would have to drain the pool completely and then refill, hopefully for the last time. It does appear that the wall is damaged and caulking, silicone, glue is probably not the answer.

    Outside of this, a pool professional may be able to add/replace one of the panels and possibly put it together properly and/or possibly come up with other ideas. I do not know what the walls are made of. My panel pool light cutout was done at the factory, probably by high end equipment. Considering you have access to the panels, a pool professional may be your best bet. I find a lot of times it is best to have something handled by others as the time involved, plus possible mistakes could wind up costing more. I am a DIY, but understand when things should be left alone.

    Please keep us posted on what your next step is. Thank you.
    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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