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Thread: Can't get the old light out

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    Can't get the old light out

    The liner guy was supposed to change the light with the liner. It's a 12 V 300 watt light. It must be in about 50 ft of conduit back to the transformer. It must make a 90 bend somewhere. He could not get the wire to pull back through the conduit so he could replace the light. They really should have used a bigger conduit. He had two guys tugging on it as hard as they could. They got worried that they might damage something and gave up. The whole works is covered in concrete. I could probably dig down a couple of feet and then over about 6 ft and get to it. I'm hoping you guys might have some ideas about this predicament.
    Any cool tricks that you can share?
    37000 gallon inground vinyl
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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Ordinarily, I would expect the conduit to run from the light niche back and up to a junction box at ground level pretty nearby the light unit, then from there to the transformer. If so, then you should only need to work the wire to there.
    I also wouldn't be surprised if there were some "waterproofing" plug or caulk/seal in the conduit right at the light niche. See if you can pull the bulb and see anything there.
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    If there is a box it is underground. The wire is orange on both ends. There are two lights on the pool. The first one was easy. It came right out.
    37000 gallon inground vinyl
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    I changed out my in-laws lights last spring and niether would budge. I tried wrapping the cable around a broom stick and using that as leverage. What did the trick for me was getting a garden hose out and sending some water into the conduit from inside the niche. I had my wife stop me when she could hear the water in the conduit. This lubed the cable and it broke free with a yank and both cables came out easy after that. Most likely it is all the friction of the cable along the conduit that is keeping it from releasing and not a bend in the conduit.
    16k gal plaster with raised spa, Jandy DEV60 filter, 2 HP 2-speed SHPF Jandy Stealth pump
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Hi, all. New to the forum and glad I found it. Ohm-Boy has a point. I'm in the process of changing to LED's on my inground gunite. I have 2 lights, one for the pool and one for the spa. The pool light stopped working so I got to the point that the fixture was bad. I had 12v at the fixture, but the 300W light would not light. Screwed the new light into the fixture, a bit of a buzzing sound, light came on, then - nada. I connected the new bulb directly to the transformer with a light socket and Voila. So I decided to replace both lights. I started with the spa light and, yes, the niche conduit is full of caulk/sealant and it won't budge from either end. Most disturbing is that the fixture cable is gray and the cable terminus at the transformer is black. My guess is that it's been spliced, 'cause the knucklehead that installed it didn't have enough cable from the light, so it was spliced, pulled thru the conduit and the niche filled with caulk. There are no above ground junction boxes anywhere. The pool light cable is gray on both ends, so that one is next. I'll let you all know how it comes out. BTW-New Hayward lights have black cable.
    Rob

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Gray on one end, black on the other, huh? You don't have to guess about that splice.

    Remember - "If a piece of wire has one end, then it has another end."
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    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohm_Boy
    Remember - "If a piece of wire has one end, then it has another end."
    I've found that holds true, but I've come across a couple of situations that made me doubt it for a while.
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Thought I'd provide an update. Picked enough buytl "caulk" out to pull the fixture cord out, pool side. Attached a small nylon cord "tag-along" to keep the connection thru the conduit. This is a big PITA! I hope that this thread will help the next person. The snake had some issues, so I pulled some 20 Ga. wire from the J-Box ( the actual 12v transformer), using the "tag-along" to allow me to pull the nylon fish-tape thru the conduit from the J-box to the niche - Success!. However, there is so much caulk in the niche's conduit connection, passage of the new light wire from the pool to the J-box is difficult. I keep picking the caulk out and it gets a bit better, but slow going. Actually formed some heavy coat hanger wire with a J-bend to pull the caulk out. Photos to follow. So, I'm going to try a 54" flex for a drill (battery operated) and also get a wire brush that will clean out the niche's conduit, based on the niche's conduit diameter. It seems to be about 2"-3" of caulk in the conduit, but the big chunks are gone. Once this is done, I can do the spa from the "lesson's learned". I'd like to find the "Jack-Leg" that put this in. I'll keep you all up-to-date. I may have a retirement job in the future. Thank Heaven the pool temp is around 71°. Gettin' there...
    Fun in Florida!! Stay safe, all...
    Rob

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    From "upper" end of the conduit, pour an entire bottle of conduit lubricant into the conduit. It may take a little while. Then blow with compressed air from the same direction until you get lube out the other side, adding even more lubricant (or water) as your judgement directs. I have done this a couple of times with tough pulls, and it made the impossible do-able. When finished flush the conduit with water, then vac for 5-10 min to dry it out some.
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Protip: If the unthinkable should happen, and you end up with an empty conduit in the ground and a broken piece of wire in your hand, the fast and easy way to get a pullcord through the pipe is to tie a piece of a plastic grocery bag to the pullcord, stuff it into one end of the conduit, and TIE OFF THE OTHER END OF THE CORD. Then stick a shop-vac on the other end of the pipe. You'll have a pullcord through the conduit in the blink of an eye.
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Thanks, guys. I'll give both a try. I need a day away from this, anyway.
    Rob

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Man I hear ya there... There were days I didnt want to look at the pool-in-progress in my backyard. Its all worth it when you finish. (one day I will, I promise!).
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    SUCCESS!!! I finally got back to this #@$& project. To make a long story short - LUBE, LUBE, LUBE. Mind you , this was all done without draining down to the niche. Once I got the cable started, if I hit a snag, I'd back off then I shot a bunch of lube into the niche's conduit and pulled again. Got to within 6' of the end and it wouldn't budge - about where there were two 90 degree sweeps. Pulled it all out and started over. I actually spread lube on the wire before it went into the water and in to the conduit. All wired up and seems to work fine - I'll know tonight, for sure. Thanks for the help, words of wisdom, etc. The Spa light is next- but not after a long break.
    Rob

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    Lershac's Avatar
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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Lube is the answer to many of life's problems. For those it can't answer, there is duct tape.

    Good job getting it done!
    (DIY):16K Gal 20X30 rectangular IG Gunite, w/spa, CCP 520 filter,2 Pentair VS pumps, 400KBTU Pentair gas heater, Heat Pump for cooling, **update5.25.2013** added an intellichem with acid pump that will control existing SWG. My Build Thread Here

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    Re: Can't get the old light out

    Thanks, Lershac. You're correct on both counts! Trust me. The emoticon is what we have been doing!
    Rob

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