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Thread: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

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    Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Ok, here's my situation - I had a Pentair SAM light that went out last summer, and I waited till this season to replace the bulb. I replaced the bulbs, but the GFCI breaker kept tripping when I put everything back together. There was no water in the light whatsoever (I never put it back in the water). I disconnected the wiring at the junction box, and tried to hit the switch...and the breaker did not trip...so obviously, there was a connection problem between the junction box behind the diving board and the light.

    I called an electrician, and they came out to look at it. Essentially, I paid them $115 for them to tell me the same thing (the electricians guess was the trasnformer in the light was busted). I even asked him if he thought that since my pools concrete was sinking at the diving board, would that "pinch" the conduit and cause a short? He said, nope - it didn't appear to have sunk that much to damage the conduit.

    So basically, I get the Pentair Intellibrite 5g color light to replace the SAM - mainly so I wouldn't have to change the niche out. So I get in the pool, and TUG as hard as I can on the cable. Nothing. I call a buddy over, and we tie the cable around a 36" crow bar, and we both put our feet on the pool wall and pull with everything we got. The cable snapped, but there's still plenty of slack left (thank God).

    My question is, how do I fix this? Tear up the concrete at the diving board, dig up the old conduit, replace the conduit, and replace with new concrete? The concrete only sunk about 1" around the diving board, so it's not extreme, but I think it's enough. I really wish someone would just tell me about some "secret" relief screw on the Pentair niche that would free the cable, but I don't think that's the case (I don't have that star shaped nut in the niche, I checked). But please, someone help!

    Thanks!
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Wet niche I assume? If so and you are not loosing water then if there is a crack in the conduit it must be above the water line.

    I used a potting compound on the connections and did silicone up the hole around the cord, but do not remember any set screws or mechanical fasteners to hold the cord.

    Have you tried pulling it out from the feed side?


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    gtemkin's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    I would try a slow pull method. Similar to peeling a label, if you do it fast, a label will tear, if you do it slow, a label will come off cleanly. I'd suggest getting a come-along puller or other winch type puller and apply a pulling load on the cable overnight. Not enough pull to break the cable but just enough to hopefully break the sticktion between the cable jacket and the conduit. Most Hardware stores have the special teardrop shaped end pieces for making up wire rope cables. It'd be great to use one of those to create the pulling loop on the cable so it's not as stressed and won't break as easily. HD also sells pulling sleeves - which grip the cable the same way those "Chinese finger cuff" toys work. It might take a couple of days and a few staged pulls but it might save a lot of digging, etc.
    21K gal 16' x 40' in-ground pool built 1959, old school with Jacuzzi bronze pump, American Products 24" Sand Filter & Americana Multiport valve, Jandy Lite2 millivolt heater, Coverstar cover, and classic Kreepy Krauly.

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Thanks for the replies - and yes, it is a wet niche...which is the only reason I thought I could be wrong about the pinch - It would have to be below the water line because the water level is all the way back to the junction box (about 20' away)...and no, I'm not leaking any water.

    And from the feed side, access is slightly limited without taking out a section of the fence, but I think that may be my next option considering gtem's post.
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    For my pool, my wire was inside galvanized steel, and being it was installed in 1957 it was beyond stuck.

    They just drove a new conduit under my deck with a sledgehammer and bypassed the old conduit. It wasn't a big deal.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Whoa...just to clarify...they still broke up the old concrete, right?
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    On mine? No. They went under the concrete. My deck would have never been the same had they removed even a single tile.

    They had to go all the way from the left edge of this picture to under the diving board. In fact, you can see there's no light in the pool in this picture. This deck was put down in 1957, I didn't want them to touch it.

    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Wow..she's a beaut Clark - I can see why you didn't want them to touch it. That's still amazing though that they were able to go underneath the deck to change the conduit. You've given me hope! Ha
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    To elaborate, they dug a pretty deep hole at the edge of the deck, then one guided the new conduit while the other hammered it in. It took them about 3-4 hours to do the job start to finish (conduit, wiring, etc.), but they got it done. I think I somewhat overpaid at about $350 for the work, but it was a lot cheaper than ripping and replacing the deck, and I don't have to worry about it not being right.

    That's an old picture, the pool has been completely replastered, new water line tile, and all those ratty bushes are gone and we have a really cool corrugated tin "fence" and cabana back there now.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    CUTiger78's Avatar
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Did ya try some cable lube before the first attempt? I understand there's some kind of stuff you can pour into the conduit to help ease the pull.

    I could be wrong - I had my pool guy replace my light....

    Good luck!
    36K gallon 42X22 gunite/plaster kidney-shaped IG;
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    I did try a few squirts of dish soap through the junction box end and let it work for a few hours before my first attempts. Heard it worked about the same as the lube.

    I'll have to take a few pics of mine when I get home and post them. I think that's the only way anyone could give accurate advice on what to do, no matter how well I explain it, due to the slab shifting - and if that's even the cause. Or whether or not an electrician, pool guy, or concrete/foundation people would be the right people to call. And if I could get out of this mess for $350, I'd pay it the day before yesterday.
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by wrangler1217 View Post
    And if I could get out of this mess for $350, I'd pay it the day before yesterday.
    That's how I felt, considering they were telling me they had to tear out the deck to fix it.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Pool2.jpg
    - See if this works...this should be a pic of the diving board area, where the settling is taking place. About 35 feet behind the diving board are 5 Bradford Pear trees, whose roots continue to drink and use all the water in the area, which is why there is no grass there. The volitility in soil dampness/dryness is what I believe the cause of the concrete settling to be. I have dug up a few tree roots and cut them out, so that may be some contribution too. But has anyone else run into a similar situation?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    I take it those bradford pears aren't yours? If they were on my property, I'd have my chainsaw out. I can't stand those trees.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    They have one good use, smoking meat.


    30x20 vinyl IG, Hayward SD60 with Pentair Dynamo 340219 2HP pump, Compupool CPSC24 SWG, Hayward H200FDN heater. APC automatic pool cover.
    Central Illinois

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    It's a little more complicated than that - I hate them with a passion. Technically, they are on my property, but my property is a corner lot that borders the neighborhood entrance. There's no easement or anything on that side...but the name of the neighborhood is "Bradford Place" - yeah, exactly. Any and all "major" changes to any property within the neighborhood requires HOA approval...and the woman I bought the house from about 2 years ago said that she tried to get them cut down, but the HOA wouldn't budge because of the name associated with the neighborhood. I think the covenants are good for 20 years (if I remember correctly), and the old covenants should expire in October of this year. Everytime there's a thunderstorm, I pray that lightning strikes a couple of them, so my insurance would cover the demo/clean-up costs. I did get a quote from a tree guy, and he quoted me (with stump grinding) about $500 per tree.

    And yeah - around a pool...the leaves are terrible in the fall, and those little pod things they shed (I think that's the actual "fruit") are all over the place year-round. Oh, and not to mention in the spring...those small flowery things that are about the size of a hole punch from paper...clog the skimmer basket on the daily for about 2 weeks to a month. Yes...I want to pack the trees with some friggin salt.
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    $500 per tree is outrageous. If they are the size of my neighbor's bradfords, they don't get big before they die or fall over. I have had to remove a lot of trees off my property (unfortunately) and I would estimate removing all 4 of those at about $750-$1000, total.

    Oh, and that's exactly why I won't buy a house where there is any HOA. The good news is those trees won't last 20 years.

    Backwash a bunch of salt water onto them.
    Built in 1957 44,000 gallon in-ground, Wet Edge Primera Stone in Sky Blue, Intelliflo VF Pump, 600 lb. Pentair Triton II TR-100 Sand Filter, CircuPool RG 60 Plus SWG, TF-100 test kit
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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    $500 per tree is outrageous.
    Yeah, when he said it..I thought it was pretty high. But he broke it down to $350 per tree, and then around $50 for the stump grind. On top of that, the city I live in has specific ordinance on dumping - which he said would be about $100 per truck load, with 5 trees taking 2 trucks. In all fairness, I checked with the city - and they verified his claim for the dump load...to the dollar amount - so it's just a pass through cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    If they are the size of my neighbor's bradfords, they don't get big before they die or fall over. I have had to remove a lot of trees off my property (unfortunately) and I would estimate removing all 4 of those at about $750-$1000, total.

    Oh, and that's exactly why I won't buy a house where there is any HOA. The good news is those trees won't last 20 years.
    Actually, they are fully matured, coming up on 20 years - since the neighborhood was developed in the mid-90's. Most of the other Bradford Pear trees I've seen - the trunk system begins very shallow - sometimes a few feet off the ground - which is why they die/uproot so fast...bc the trunk can't support the weight and span of the branches. But the trunks of these Bradford Pears are a bit of a anomaly, with the trunk system starting about 6 feet high (I think because the fenceline blocks the morning sun, and it just took them longer than normal to develop...making them a bit stronger). I've probably got the Chuck Norris of Bradford Pears - unfortunately. These things are about 35 feet high too.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieH View Post
    Backwash a bunch of salt water onto them.
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    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Its always easier to spend your money, but here goes:

    I would rip up a section of deck and replace the run. Drilling can work. But you can fix the problem with the deck at the same time.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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    Re: Pentair Light Cable Stuck...

    Quote Originally Posted by gwegan View Post
    Its always easier to spend your money, but here goes:

    I would rip up a section of deck and replace the run. Drilling can work. But you can fix the problem with the deck at the same time.
    I had a feeling that's what I would have to do. So who would you call, foundation/concrete people - or a pool guy, who would probably contract out concrete/foundation people? Only reason I ask is, I don't know how hard it'd be to reset the diving board (probably just achor bolts???), and I'm sure the coping/vinyl lock or whatever it is, would be fairly bespoke. And also, if you look at the first picture, you can almost see where my overflow/drain pipe is protruding. Good thing that vinyl is thick, but I don't think I have much time before that rips.
    16,500 Gallon Rectangular Vinyl Pool; Aquarite SWCG T-15

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