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Thread: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

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    Question Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    I want to change out my two pool lights and spa, and cannot pull the wire out. I used to be an electrician, so I know about pulling wires, but have a couple questions.

    1) I've seen a lot of posts about having a short run from the light to a j-box. I don't have a junction box, but rather a direct run all the way from lights to the panel, about 100 feet. I'm just curious about the builder of the pool. Is it normal to run directly back to the panel, or is it "more correct" to have a short run to a j-box to facilitate changing lights down the road?

    2) I was trying to pull the light conductors out without pulling the bonding wire out. I'm betting those are twisted together as they were probably pulled in together. Maybe that was my problem and if I pull the bonding wire out at the same time, I'll get it out.

    3) If I remove the bonding wire, it looks like it should be attached at the niche with a screw lug. It's currently covered with silicone. I have a salt pool. If I replace the bonding wire, should I lower the water and put silicone around the lug again, or do I not have to worry about corrosion?

    BTW - I'm trying to change out my Pentair SAM lights with Intellibrites.

    Thanks for any advice,

    Robert
    22K inground, PS8 Aqualogic SWCG, 3/4 hp 2-speed Hayward Tristar pool pump, 2hp Pentair Whisperflo waterfall pump, Pentair 320 Clean and Clear cartridge filter, Sta-Rite heater, Intellibrite lights

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    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    188

    Re: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    When I changed mine, I used a product made by 3M to lube up the old wire in the conduit before pulling. Dry, I couldn't move it 6 inches, after squirting some of the 3M product into the line and adding some water to help carry down to the end, it pulled fairly easily. I cut the light itself off the end and attached the new wire to it so it would be pulled in as the old was pulled out. Also added some of the 3M lube to the new wire as it entered the niche. In my case the wire ran to a j-box and then on to the panel. I think that's code, but not sure.
    Also, my bonding wire was attached to the niche and was not disturbed during light replacement. The light itself had 3 wires, black white and green in one thick jacket.
    Hope that helps,

    3M product- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Silver Spring, MD
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    37,879

    Re: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    1) It is very common for there to be a junction box within 10 or 20 feet of the light, but code just says 4 feet or more, so some builders put it at the main panel location. It is good for it to be close so it is easier to pull the wire.

    2) Pulling all the wires at once is certainly easier, that will also make putting the new wires in easier as well

    3) With nonmetallic conduit, there are generally two bonding wires connecting to the niche, one running to the bonding loop/grid around the pool and the other running in the conduit. Both connections to the niche must be covered with a listed potting compound to protect from corrosion. The run to the bonding loop/grid is often on the outside of the niche where you can't see it.

    It may be possible to pull the boding wire without disconnecting it from the niche and then reuse the same wire.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    Thanks Jason, and Hawk,

    Sounds like I need to lower my water so I can redo the bonding wire and cover the connection with potting compound. That's a good idea to put some wire lube down the pipe at the panel and wash it down with some water (electricity off, of course). I already pulled my back trying to pull the wires. Unfortunately, I have concrete decking all around my pool, so digging up the pipes and putting in jboxes isn't much of an option. I might try to pull the bonding wire out and back in without disconnecting, although the installer left absolutely no extra length on the wire. Grrr.
    22K inground, PS8 Aqualogic SWCG, 3/4 hp 2-speed Hayward Tristar pool pump, 2hp Pentair Whisperflo waterfall pump, Pentair 320 Clean and Clear cartridge filter, Sta-Rite heater, Intellibrite lights

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    phipsi1237's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    North Las Vegas, NV
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    228

    Re: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    I had to make sure I got all the sealant out from around the wire exiting the niche. There was lot that was holding it in place.
    14.5K gal Plaster IGP, Intelliflo VS, EasyTouch 8, SWG, IntellipH, Clear and Clean 420 Cartridge Filter, Attached Spa, H400IDL2 NG Heater

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    Re: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    Are you sure about not having a j-box? Have you checked under the diving board (if you have one)?

    Where is the light switch.?

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Re: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    Yep. No jboxes. I got the lights out. I put some diluted wire pulling soap down the conduit at the control panel (Aqualogic). On the longest run, I unhooked the bonding wire at the panel and got enough leverage with my feet on the pool wall to pull it out. I probably didn't need to unhook the bonding wire because it didn't come out with the light wires, but it did drop down the conduit enough where I couldn't grab it back. So after the light wires came out, I pulled the bonding wire out. Like you said Jason, I got it out without disconnecting at the niche. So should be able to pull it all back in to the panel.

    Now to buy the lights and maybe next weekend install everything again. Will update with the progress. Thanks again!!

    Oh, and the switch is at the Aqualogic control panel - relays and switched with the Aqualogic PS8.

    Robert
    22K inground, PS8 Aqualogic SWCG, 3/4 hp 2-speed Hayward Tristar pool pump, 2hp Pentair Whisperflo waterfall pump, Pentair 320 Clean and Clear cartridge filter, Sta-Rite heater, Intellibrite lights

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    Smile Re: Changing light - cannot pull wire out

    All done. For the one light that I pulled the bonding wire out, I pulled it back in with the new light wire and got it hooked back up, no thanks to the original installer that left about 3 inches of wire to spare... Three new intellibrites, two in pool and one in spa. All 120v. Pulling 100' three times wore me out today, but the results are pretty nice. Hopefully, I can get the picture to show up. Thanks for everyone's help.

    Robert
    pool193 26-Apr-2014 (Large).jpg
    22K inground, PS8 Aqualogic SWCG, 3/4 hp 2-speed Hayward Tristar pool pump, 2hp Pentair Whisperflo waterfall pump, Pentair 320 Clean and Clear cartridge filter, Sta-Rite heater, Intellibrite lights

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