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Thread: Pool Light Fixture full of water

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    Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Pool Ligt Fixture

    Background: I am year two into my used pool that i got in a house purchase last year. Additional historical info can be found at "Swamp to pool conversion" thread (swamp-to-pool-conversion-t34542.html) I started in the summer of 2011. Briefly, the pool had been untouched for 1.5 to 3 years (except for reports of city workers dumping chemicals to keep mosquitoes from breding), was a deep dark green color (actually near black) prior to 2011.

    Fast forward to today, it is a useful pool thanks in great part to the advice received from this forum. It is not perfect by any means, the liner is in need of replacement and pockets of dirt continue to form in predictable locations despite filtering, vacuuming to waste, or using an external pool vac.

    That brings me to today's dilemma. The pool has a Sta-rite (Pentair) SunLite LTC (http://www.staritepool.com/pdfs/SunLiteOM.pdf) light fixture. When I was able to get to the light last year, I pulled it out of the pool and the light housing was completely full of green water. So, I took it apart (removing the clamp), cleaned the inside of the housing, cleaned the lense, purchased a new gasket and a new lamp. Upon reassembly, and after some troubleshooting, the lamp worked great, great until I put it back into the pool where it eventually (a day or two I beleive) filled with water again and the lamp would not light.

    Since then I have tried a half a dozen or more times to get it to work for longer than a day, in the pool, but with no luck. I finally noticed a small pinhole in the housing that when I scratched, has produced a hole the size of a dime. I have tried to fill the hole with various substances and have reassembled the fixture, but water still gets in after 10-15 minutes of submersion.

    There is also a metal band that seems to be part of the fixture (it seems to go in between the lens and the housing), but it is not listed in the parts manual that I found for the light fixture. The fixture fills with water if I assemble the fixture with or without the band (though it seems to leak slightly more WITHOUT the band).

    At this point I am not sure if water is getting in through the hole in the housing (which I have currently attemted to seal with hot glue) or if it is entering through the gasket. The gasket does seem to be a slight bit big for the housing and the lens does not fit very snug, but I assume it tightens up a bit when the housing clamp is tightened aginst the face ring. I do not see any air bubbles form while the fixture is submurged.

    I would like to isolate the problem and then get a good plan to fix it. So far I seem to be guessing wrong. If anyone has any advice or experience in this area, I would be greatful.

    Happy pooling!
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    I would think you should be able to tell where the water is getting in if you just hold the fixture under the water and turn it around to find where the air is bubbling out.

    I have my doubt about hot glue working ... and honestly it sounds like time to buy a new fixture if there is a half inch hole in it (from rust I guess?)
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Sounds like it may be time for a new light fixture, I found a led light off eBay that is resin filled, so it can't really leak per say as the Entire light is filled with resin.
    Works great!
    If your interested do a search on eBay for 546 led pool light and you will see it.
    The last 3 lights I had on my pools have all leaked, first 2 were called the darkbuster and tried an all white led the 3rd time but all 3 filled with water.
    I then found the 546 led resin filled light and so far so good!
    One lights up my 18'x33' fine
    18' x 33' Aqua leader AGP (~19k gal) w/hayward swimpro voyager cartridge filter and 2hp hayward pump.
    8 Gal LQ, hayward heater.

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    Administrator Leebo's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Sounds like a new light is in store. We replaced ours this year, and it was a snap. An hour and we were done. Hardest part was pulling the new wire through the pipes.

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    If you pull the old wires out, tie a string piece of pull string to the old wire before pulling it out so you can use the string to pull the new wires in.
    -- Guy --
    10K gallons in 21' Round 52 inch wall Aqualeader AG, Hayward Power Flow LX 1.5 HP pump motor, Hayward Perflex EC50AC DE filter w/Cellulose, Wide mouth skimmer, 2013 new Diver Dan (craigslist) to replace the faded old Hayward AquaBug. TF-100

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Thanks for all the advice. I actually was not giving much consideratrion to replacement, but as I reviewed the manual, it seems it would not be as difficult as I had imagined. m I would still just like to get this one functioning, as I have other expenses that are more pressing than this. I can honestly say I have not needed the additional lighting so far, but it does look really nice when lit. (The few times it has not had water in it). With the newly found knowledge that I can remove and replace the entire fixture myself, it might make working on it a bit easier than having to kneal on the pool ledge to try and try and get any leverage with it.

    I might just remove it, try a few more things and test it in a bucket of water, then depending on how I progress, reinstall or install a new one (or just leave it out)..
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Since this needs to be air-tight, there will be a reasonable level of air pressure trying to flow out through that hole. So, the hot glue idea is really unlikely to work. You could try some epoxy or liquid metal type of product. Better yet, if you have a welder, you could spot weld over the hole to repair it that way. It's probably made of aluminum, so you would need to use the proper technique for that metal. In any event, having a large hole in the fixture suggests there are likely other areas of corrosion on that fixture just wating to fail. A new fixture is going to be necessary sooner or later.
    38K in ground pool with attached spa. Current equipment: Easytouch 8 (521150) with IC-60 SWCG with web control by Autelis, 1x Pentair IntelliFlo 011018 pump (for filter), 1x Pentair 2HP WhisperFlo pump (for waterfall), 2X Pentair IntelliBrite 5G 12V lights, Pentair MiniMax400 NG Heater, Pentair SMBW2060 DE filter. Zodiac Barracuda MX8 cleaner on dedicated cleaner line. Lighting/home automation controlled by Insteon/ISY-99i.

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Just to update, I removed the old light, which was easier than I had originally imagined. The cord was alot longer than I expected and the string I had cut was just long enough to be usable for the return trip.



    Much easier to work on when it is removed from the pool.

    Checked with a family friend, which suggested that welding is not likely in order and with the hole close to the rim where the lens attaches, I would hate to comprise the shape at that location. He suggested, if anything epoxy should work.

    I applied epoxy to the exterior of the fixture after placing a piece of metallic tape over the hole inside the fixture. After several hours I then applied silcone caulk completely over the cone shapes portion on the exterior of the fixture. After an overnight cure, I reassembled and place in a bucket of water for the day. After 10 hours I could not make out any water inside the fixture, so on to the pool test. I placed in the pool, somewhat lower than would normally be resting, to see if the increased pressure would cuase any problems. If all goes well, I will reinstall the fixture tonight.

    I also took a look at those LED lights suggested, nice looking, but again with that $200 price tag. I wonder, too, how universal the light niche would be. All the lights in pools I remember as a kid, were fairly large, which I would think mean a larger niche, but the niche (and light) for my pool is very small, so I would think I will be limited to the type of replacements I could use?

    Another question though. On the light power cord, right where it enters the conduit on the pool side, the is a rather large glob of a tar like substance. Presumably this is to seal the conduit so pool water does not enter the conduit after install. There is water in there now though. Do I need to try and blow the air out with a compressor or will this water somehow evaporate over time? The only place it can really go, is to evaporate and condense inside the junction box, which does not seem like to good of a thing.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    The conduit is designed to fill with water. The hole can be plugged if there is a concern that a leak had developed in the conduit, but that is pretty rare I think.

    Posted from my Droid with Tapatalk ... sorry if my response is short
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Thanks, I appreciate the response greatly, no matter the length.

    That tar substance is extremely messy, so I do not see any reason to remove it, and it marks the location for the length of wire I need to leave poolside for when I need to change the bulb in the future.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    The tar substance is covering the ground lug in the niche and helps prevent corrosion. It is part of the pool code for wiring (assuming the light conduit is PVC and not brass). Do not remove it, or replace it if you do.
    3M makes a potting kit (2135) that can be purchased from Amazon if necessary.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Well that is good to know. I will definitely "feel" for that nut and try to get it covered. There are two conduits to the junction, one is PVC and one is brass, I cannot remember which is which but I think the PVC side went to the pool, so I would say you are right on target with your advice. Thanks again.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    I think it should be a brass conduit between the pool and the junction box.
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Mine is PVC. If it is run with PVC, you then need to run a separate ground inside the conduit and use an approved potting compound for the connection to the internal lug. It would still also have an external bond wire on the outside of the niche.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Quote Originally Posted by jmhjgh
    Mine is PVC. If it is run with PVC, you then need to run a separate ground inside the conduit and use an approved potting compound for the connection to the internal lug. It would still also have an external bond wire on the outside of the niche.
    Got ya
    Jason, TFP Moderator
    18k IG pebblesheen pool, Hayward ProLogic P4 w/ T-15 SWG, Pentair 1HP 2-speed Superflo, Hayward 6020 DE filter
    500 sqft Heliocol solar panels, ThePoolCleaner, TF-100 test kit w/ SpeedStir
    Pool School + Test Kit + PoolMath = A TROUBLE FREE POOL
    If you found TFP helpful and we saved you money ... Become a TFP Supporter!

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    And, if my PVC freezes and cracks and causes a pool leak, then I will be really upset that it was not built with brass.
    20x44 IG vinyl. Intelliflo, Pentair Cartridge Filter (420ft^2), Raypac 336K, Kreepy Krauly

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Turns out the brass side conduit was to the pool. Also I lost my lead string, so this turned into quite the adventure.

    after several hours I was able to feed the light power cord from the junction side back to the pool, reattached my lead string and then pull the cord through the correct direction with the lead. Much easier job with 2 people, one pulling the lead, and one in the pool pushing/untangeling the cord.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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    Re: Pool Light Fixture full of water

    Just an update after a month. The light is still functioning. I still have not found a good use for it other than to test it. So the seal was fine all along, just the housing breech was causing a problem. For now the epoxy and silicone are holding nicely. Thanks everyone again for the advice.
    Vinyl In-Ground (vinyl) - about 21600 gallons (18x32 Grecian)
    Hayward DE (model 7220?) filter with Multiport valve
    Challenger Hi Flo Pump (3/4 HP)
    Intex SWG
    leaky/non-functioning Raypak Versa Natural Gas Heater *removed*

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