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Thread: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal)

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    URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal)

    Background:

    I've been maintaining my girlfriend's pool and have changed the bulb/gasket on one of her pool lights multiple times. Each time, the end result was the same - water eventually leaked into the housing and GFI did it's job. I have always assumed it was my inability to get a good seal between the lens and the housing.

    This evening, when I pulled the housing out of the niche and onto the deck, I saw "gurgles" (not real sure how to describe it) from the power cord near where it enters the housing (the gurgles were from where there are obvious joints, as opposed to a place in the power cord itself). The housing was out of the water when I noticed "gurgles". From that, I think my issues have not (necessarily!) been the lens/housing seal (note 1), but the leak is from where the power cord enters the housing.

    Pulling the light fixture out and replacing isn't an option at this time (long story!).

    I am heavily leaning towards *liberally* applying a "sealant" (use a very liberal definition of that word!) to the area where the power cord enters the housing.

    Question:

    Any suggestions as to which sealant to use and/or suggestions on application? I've read in other threads "AB Epoxy" - but that was for sealing the niche/power cord interface and not the housing/niche interface. Preferably, I need something that cures in 80-95 degree weather or underwater AND cures preferably in hours and not multiple days (the light fixture needs to be re-installed and ready for a "sweet 16" party in a few days).

    Note 1: when I first pulled this thing out, the gasket was installed such that it went around the lens AND housing as opposed to around the lens and then the combined lens/gasket was mated to the housing. I've since seen videos where the gasket is applied to the lens, and then mated to the housing. Comments on which is correct? (this is a good representation of the gasket: http://www.inyopools.com/Products/07...KxURoCqXnw_wcB

    Note 2: When the housing was on the deck, I had to "tug" a little to get more cord out. When I did that, an air bubble came out of the niche. That perplexed me! Any thoughts on that?

    Note 3: This evening, when the housing was installed (i.e. before I removed it!), I noticed semi-periodic "bubbles" coming from the niche. I assumed it was from air escaping the housing - but given note 2 - any thoughts? (I've always assumed the place where the power cord enters the niche was "free" and not intended to be air tight - so am unsure where air can be coming from).
    55K (not a typo!), in ground (is in ground redundant with 55K?).

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    Replace the light...the risk is not worth it and at worst you won't lose any sleep over it.

    If that isn't an option, then disable the power to that light. Don't solely rely on a GFI for the safety of swimmers in the pool.
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    I agree with bdavis,
    if water is gettinginto the niche, then it's potentially a seroius saftey hazard.
    Divin Dave,
    IG Vinyl, 15' x 30', 3 1/2' - 6' deep, Oval, ~15K gal, Intelliclor IC40, Intelliflo VS pump, Clean and Clear 420 Filter, auto-fill-disabled, Retrofit LED Color Light, Dolphin Nautilus Robot, TF100 Test Kit, Taylor K1766 Salt Test Kit, Tftestkit Pressure Gauge.
    www.tftestkits.net Experience- it's what's learned just after you needed it most !!

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    Divin Dave and bdavis,

    I hear what you are saying. I also don't think relying on GFI as my safety net is a good idea. But, preventing water from entering the housing is my goal here - so GFI won't trip. [edit: if I can't get signs of a leak to stop (water entering housing), I'll disconnect power to that light and eventually replace fixture.]

    Setting the housing/power cord interface aside, I'd like to pick your (or anybody elses) brains on putting the lens/gasket/housing back together.

    This video (https://youtu.be/YsUaWpwO93k?t=58) shows my particular light fixture and shows the gasket installed onto the lens, versus installed around the lens and housing lip. It was the latter configuration that the light had when I first took it apart 1.5 years ago (this is my third attempt stopping a leak) and my LPS said was correct. The video also shows the retaining screw not tightened to it's limits (my LPS said "tighten to just before the lens cracks", yep they said that). The video did not show any type of lube being applied, but I've also seen videos for different housings where lube was applied.

    So:

    1) is lens/gasket mating and then installing the combination onto the housing the correct procedure? (I think so, but see my comment above on how many times I've tried this and my LPS's advice!).

    2) to use lube or not use lube? (pool gasket O-ring lube)


    I appreciate your patience! Thanks!!
    55K (not a typo!), in ground (is in ground redundant with 55K?).

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    DO NOT attempt a patch of this. You are talking about possibly electrocuting someone if you fail. The only option is remove the light from service and do not reuse it.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    The fact that the GFI did trip is reason enough alone to warrant replacement. The one thing going for you is that you know which light caused it (if you have multiple lights).
    -Brian-
    33K Pool/Spa, Pentair Equipment
    POOL BUILD
    Davis Custom Construction - Home Page

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    Hello All, I haven't forgotten about this. So, an update:

    After discussing with owner (girlfriend), I disconnected power to this particular light fixture. Something I do remain a little confused on, so thought I'd ask: how is a leak coming in back that manifests itself as pooling water in housing any different than a leak from an ineffective lens cover seal installation? The resin block that houses the light socket was intact and no signs of water infiltration into resin block (but, admittedly - I'm not an expert and could have missed signs!).
    55K (not a typo!), in ground (is in ground redundant with 55K?).

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    A light housing that is getting water where no water is supposed to be is a problem. I have a customer that when you put the fixture in the water small air bubbles escape where the cord goes through the housing. When you look at it you can't see any defect but it fills with water.
    Over 30 years in the pool business
    We build vinyl, fiberglass, stainless steel pools
    Certified in Hydraulics

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    Re: URGENT (to me!): Sealing a leaky Pentair light housing (not the lens/housing seal

    Pull the fixture and disassemble. Let it dry (+/- 1 hour in the sun).
    Put a new gasket on the lens only. You have to replace when you take it apart, you can't re-use an old gasket.
    Lens with gasket goes on the fixture. Replace clamp and tighten. Hold the light under water with the cord pointing up.
    Have someone turn the light on. If the GFI holds, continue to hold the fixture underwater and observe the connection where the cord enters the light. If it don't, disconnect power and try to reset GFI. If it holds, fixture is done.
    As the light heats up the fixture, the air in it will begin to expand, and if you have a leak, you will begin to see air bubbles escaping from the fixture through the cord. If you see this happen, turn the light off, fixture is done.
    At this point you can either disconnect power and abandon it, or replace the fixture.

    Note: There is no problem when the air is expanding and pushing through the cord connection. The problem is when you turn the light off and it begins to cool. It is then when the fixture develops a slight vacuum and water begins to get drawn in through that leak.

    So in theory, if the fixture is cool when you assemble, and you never turn the light on OR heat the pool, the fixture should not show any water intrusion.
    Factory Warranty Station for:
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