Become a TFP Supporter Pool Math Forum Rules Pool School
Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Pool light dead - looking for advice

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Pool light dead - looking for advice

    I moved into an old house about a year ago that has a 30 year old pool. Well, towards the end of last season (late October), the light in the pool died. Well not so much the light, but turning the light on trips the breaker. I had the pool repair guy out a couple weeks ago to look at several issues (quote for new gas heater to replace the 30 year old rusted out one). He said the fixture was flooded and he'd have to pull the old line to the fixture. Unfortunately, he didn't have much luck pulling the line from the breaker side. Is it possible to pull the line through from the fixture end? Should I bother trying this? The pool repair guy said that pretty much the only option at this point would be to pull up the pavers and dig down and replace the old line. I just wanted to make sure there weren't any creative solutions out there. Any thoughts??

    I've just spent a grand getting two return leaks repaired and another couple on the heater so the costs off pulling up 40 feet of brick pavers is not too appetizing.

    I spent a bit of time digging around this site and so far it looks like the best floter LED pool light option is the Nova Floating Pool Light. Do you guys have any other suggestions?

  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    The wire is connected to the light fixture ... you have to pull it out from the niche end (the pool guy, must know this) Make sure you tie a string/rope to the deck box end so that you have a way to pull the wire on the new fixture back through the conduit.

    ... At least that is how it is supposed to work ... easy right ...

    In reality, it can be very difficult to pull the wire out. You can try squirting in some lubricant or even water sometimes can help get the wire moving.
    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!

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Thanks for the quick reply. My wife tells me I have above average handy man skills, but I'm pretty inexperienced with pool stuff. The pool guy I used was highly rated on Angie's list and he seemed quite knowledgeable. I spent a couple hours with him while fixing some other stuff - new air tube to spa blower switch, new spa blower switch, and double checking for suction side leaks because of air bubbles in returns. All stuff I could have done on my own, but figured it would be faster for them to do it, plus I wanted a professional opinion on the bubbles coming out the return and the quote on the heater install. Anyway, I didn't feel like challenging him when he tried pulling the line from the breaker side. He did confirm my own check on the suction side leak - that there was none. After the leak detector guy found two leaks on the return lines, all my bubble problems are gone.

    I agree with you comment about pulling wire. It appears to be in a 1" metal pipe, so there might be some chance of getting it through. I will definitely tie some nylon twine to it before I pull it!

    This is probably a dumb question, but I'm assuming I should empty the pool down to just below the light level before trying to pull?

    The good news is the smaller spa light was flooded when I moved in and it's only about a 16' run by my guess. So I can start small with that light. Also, the spa is elevated so I can drain all the water into the pool o work on that one...

  4. Back To Top    #4
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    no need to drain water ... the conduit should have been designed to hold water between the niche and the deck box. Which raises a question, why was he pulling at the breaker? The wire should run from the pool niche to a deck box and then from the beck box to a switch/breaker.
    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!

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    I just used that nifty search box and found the answers to all my questions on this site...

    inground-light-installation-for-beginners-t23630.html

    I won't be draining the pool down. About to start on the spa light now. I shut of the breakers and disconnected the light wires at a junction box... so definitely not chance of electrocution!

  6. Back To Top    #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    no need to drain water ... the conduit should have been designed to hold water between the niche and the deck box. Which raises a question, why was he pulling at the breaker? The wire should run from the pool niche to a deck box and then from the beck box to a switch/breaker.

    Yeah between this site and a couple youtube videos I think I'm now a qualified basic pool repair guy.

    Thanks again!

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Make sure you use some sort of lube when pulling the new wire through ... you do NOT want the rope to come loose as then you will have a hard time fishing the new wire through.

    Whenever I am doing something like this I get the rope/wire tied together and then wrap it with electrical tape to lower the likelihood of it coming untied.
    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!

  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Make sure you use some sort of lube when pulling the new wire through ... you do NOT want the rope to come loose as then you will have a hard time fishing the new wire through.

    Whenever I am doing something like this I get the rope/wire tied together and then wrap it with electrical tape to lower the likelihood of it coming untied.
    Well, I have restored faith in my pool guy now. I have to admit I was in and out while he was working (I got my taxes done at the same time). I missed the part where he unscrewed the lights and cut the cords. I did some serious pulling from in the spa (water temp 63, but only up to my knees), but nothing moved. Interestingly, on the spa light there were two sets of wires in there. I wonder if the thinner wire is from an older light. No clue why they left it in there.

    I guess this begs the question, is there anything that can help me pull with serious force? I gave it my best shot with my vicegrips/pliers.

    Edit: to add that the pool guy didn't pull at the breaker but at the poolside box. That was just some bad typing on my part earlier.

    [attachment=1:23c7royb]IMG_0652.JPG[/attachment:23c7royb]

    [attachment=0:23c7royb]IMG_0654.JPG[/attachment:23c7royb]
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. Back To Top    #9
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Is the smaller one just a single wire? could be part of the bonding loop (although the pic looks stranded).

    There is some way to get leverage, but I can not think of it right now. Like if you could put a 2 x 4 vertically over the wire and then attach the wire up the near side of the board and then push the top of the board away from you ... see where I am going with that?
    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!

  10. Back To Top    #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Is the smaller one just a single wire? could be part of the bonding loop (although the pic looks stranded).

    There is some way to get leverage, but I can not think of it right now. Like if you could put a 2 x 4 vertically over the wire and then attach the wire up the near side of the board and then push the top of the board away from you ... see where I am going with that?

    Yeah that's a good idea with the 2x4, just wedge one end in the bottom of the spa and lever. I'll have to buy some sort of wire clamp though to attach some steel wire cable to the light's wire (or something similar), because the light was obviously not installed with the necessary lead left in the pool.

    Thanks again for all the help.

    Edit: yes - the smaller one is just a single wire.

  11. Back To Top    #11
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Is the smaller wire in the junction box too? You may not want to pull on the smaller wire ... it could be attached to the outside of the niche for bonding. I am not sure about this part though since I though the bonding was a solid copper wire.

    Actually I am not sure how what I just wrote could happen if it was in the conduit. It still may be for bonding between the deck box and the light fixture.

    Need a bonding expert to swing by here.
    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!

  12. Back To Top    #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jblizzle
    Is the smaller wire in the junction box too? You may not want to pull on the smaller wire ... it could be attached to the outside of the niche for bonding. I am not sure about this part though since I though the bonding was a solid copper wire.

    Actually I am not sure how what I just wrote could happen if it was in the conduit. It still may be for bonding between the deck box and the light fixture.

    Need a bonding expert to swing by here.
    You might be right on the bonding. I'm onto other projects in the house now. I'll pop open the poolside box again tomorrow.

  13. Back To Top    #13

    In the Industry

    ps0303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    3,434

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    There should have been more wire on that light so it could have rested on the pool deck in case you wanted to change the bulb.

    If it's really hard to pull I would suggest getting a qualified electrician involved. Especially when you go to pull the new wire because if you nick it, you have an issue. Why couldn't you have just changed the bulb and gasket on your old light?
    Paul
    http://www.gastekservices.com A word of caution: When working with gas and electrical you might want to consider a licensed contractor. Consider the value of your life and others around you. If you would like to provide a review of the help I provided, please use the following link to leave a review. gastek - Google Search,

  14. Back To Top    #14

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303
    There should have been more wire on that light so it could have rested on the pool deck in case you wanted to change the bulb.

    If it's really hard to pull I would suggest getting a qualified electrician involved. Especially when you go to pull the new wire because if you nick it, you have an issue. Why couldn't you have just changed the bulb and gasket on your old light?
    Good question on replacing the bulb and the gasket. Per your comment, when I bought the house I had a full inspection done including an electrician because it's a very old house and there was no records kept on what was done to the wiring over the years. Anyway, the pool guy the inspection company used told me the spa light needed to be replaced. The pool guy I've been using said the same thing. One thing I've learned over time is that licensed contractors do not always do things right (I have a good story about a drywall install in an apartment I used to live in). In this case I may have gotten bad advice.

  15. Back To Top    #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    Well, I ended up going into work today so I didn't get a chance to try the leverage option. So this will be a project for next weekend now.

    I ran into a couple ideas on other sites:

    1) use my air compressor to see if air is making it from the pool side box to the niche to see if the conduit maybe sheared or plugged by something else (silicone I can't see?)
    2) lube the wire with some diluted dish soap. any suggestions for soap/lube? I'd like to stick to soap since I don't imagine other products are great to introduce to pool water. The father in law is a firm proponent of Rain-X, but I'm not so keen on that...

    I'll report back next week.

  16. Back To Top    #16

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Oldsmar, FL
    Posts
    34

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for best LED floater + advice

    If you try the air compressor thing and you do blow bubbles into the spa then what you can try squirting some soap into the conduit. Then taking a garden hose and trying to flush some of the soap further into the conduit towards the spa end. If you go the garden hose route, I'd turn the power off to your pool panel back at your main house panel. That way your pool panel doesn't have any power at it. Who knows what's going to get wet when you get a hose involved.
    15,000 Gal In-Ground w/ Spillover Spa, Pebble Finish
    120 Sq Ft Hayward Cartridge Filter, 1.5HP Single Speed Pump, (4) 4X12 Solar Panels, Circupool SI45 SWG
    Pool Installed in 1998
    Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

  17. Back To Top    #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for advice

    Alright, so the short story is that after about 7 hours of work with my father in law, we were able to pull the wire for the spa light (about a 16 ft run). I also opened up the pool light and found that the repair guy did cut the wire behind the light and they installed it with enough lead to bring it up on deck.

    The spa light details (long version):

    After draining down the spa, I put my air compressor air-gun tool into the junction box end of the conduit and saw I had plenty of flow through to the spa light fixture. A bunch of rusty water blew into the spa. Then I slightly diluted some palmolive dish soap with water and poured it into the conduit. I didn't even need to blow the soap water through, since it was dense enough and I could see it coming out of the fixture. Then I connected the spa end of the cable to an 8 ft 2x4 using a wire cable clamp to join the light wire to another piece of wire I could get around the 2x4. When I pulled using the leverage of the 2x4 it basically stretched and broke the sheath. I tried the same thing but attaching the wires without the sheath to the other wire and 2x4. The wires are not strong enough and just snapped a few inches from where the wire clamp was attached. My father in law then tried pulling from the conduit end using a piece of vertical 2x4 to balance another piece of 2x4 for leverage. While he was doing this, I attached a hose to the spa end of the conduit and turned it on full blast. Eventually we were able to get the wire out. I'm guessing the vibration of the water from the hose helped loosen the wire. After we pulled the whole wire, you could see that the sheath of the wire had rusted in to the conduit (big flakes o rust were attached to the sheath of the wire).


    The pool light details:

    The main pool light cable was not cut, so I pulled it on deck and broke it down. It looks like it probably leaked before and someone had put caulk in it to seal it up. Unfortunately the heat from the 400W bulb melted the caulk over time and it oozed into the fixture. I'm guessing if I dry out the fixture, clean up the contact a bit and reseal it with a high end caulk (silicone?) it may work again. The rubber on the seal is also brittle, so that needs to be replace too. Any idea where I can buy parts for 30 year old pool light fixtures?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. Back To Top    #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    39

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for advice

    I meant to report back after I got the new light pulled. It was a lot of work, but there is one tool I'd have to recommend to anyone doing a tight cable pull.

    It's called a cable grips. It's like a chinese finger toy for cables. After struggling to pull the new cable for several hours, once the cable grip showed up I got it pulled in about 5 minutes. Worth every penny.

    Home Depot sells cable grips, but not a small enough size for the Hayward cable. I went to a local electrical supply store, but couldn't get the right size, so I just bought online.

    Pass & Seymour make one that's the right size. I bought mine from Gordon Electrical Supply.
    PASS & SEYMOUR FC30-SS : SS BUS DROP SINGLE EYE .30-.43"" DI W/L

    http://www.gordonelectricsupply.com/ind ... rt=5631479
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    37,389

    Re: Pool light dead - looking for advice

    Glad to hear you got it fixed. I had never heard of that tool
    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!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •