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Thread: New Light/Niche "Trouble"

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    New Light/Niche "Trouble"

    I put "trouble" in quotes because it was human generated.

    My circa 1978 pool had a light at one time, that had been patched over and a new liner covering it. The conduit was still there so I decided, that since I was having an electrician come out to wire up a new heat pump and SWG, to have a pool light installed as well. I chose the ColorLogic since I just wanted ambient light, and I bought a new Hayward jiffy niche because I figured whatever was there (if it was still there) probaby would not be useable/compatible. I was right.

    The electricians yanked out an old metal niche that would have been too shallow for the new PVC niche. They put in the new niche, wired up the light, and when I refilled the pool... glorious bright color. I was so happy!!!

    For about 8 hours.

    That's when the pump started making a god-awful noise because the water level had dropped to below skimmer level.

    another day and it had dropped to about 3/4 down the light. Then it stopped. Obviously the light was the culprit, but how? I was thinking maybe it needed a cord plug and so I ordered some online and had my husband go in the water (which by this time was disgusting and gross because it's been sitting for nearly a week) and see what was going on.

    Well!! Apparently the old conduit extended further into the niche cavity than the new jiffy niche could accomodate (the existing niche was shallower by about 2 inches) so... my genius electrician.. instead of using a pipe cutter to shorten the conduit, decided that knocking a giant hole in the niche was a better idea. You have to see it to believe it.
    (pics below)

    I can't afford the expense/time of finding someone else to re wire the light and put in a new niche, so I'm hoping just to repair what's there. I'm thinking putting a cord plug around the cord, then filling the space with epoxy putty, and possibly, before that, injecting some quickcrete behind the niche with a caulking gun, to give it a rigid surface to adhere to. I know this will make changing the light in the future difficult but in a year or two we are going to jackhammer up the existing concrete deck and replace it so we will pull the niche and conduit at that time and replace it as well.

    Any ideas/suggestions are welcome!

    18X36 vinyl I/G pool (c. 1978)
    D/E filter
    Aqua Cal Super Quiet 155 BTU heat pump
    Aqua Pro control panel/SWG

  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Coastalish 'down easter'

    Re: New Light/Niche "Trouble"

    Welcome to TFP!!

    Sorry the electrician was having an "off day"

    I'd say that the epoxy putty is your best bet for fixing this. Clean the dirt out of the area and be thorough in putting the epoxy in
    Luv& Luk

    Having done construction and service for 4 pool companies in 4 states starting in 1988, what I know about pools could fill a couple of books - what I don't know could fill a couple of libraries :-D

    POOL SCHOOL, TF Testkits, Jason's Pool Calculator, CYA vs. cl chart, (Just a few DARNED handy links!)

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Re: New Light/Niche "Trouble"

    Thanks for the reply!

    Yup... we shop vac'd the dirt out of there and cleaned it up. We plugged the conduit with a cord plug. If our repair works, water won't even reach the conduit but it was helpful for keeping the cord in place, and if we have to replace the light, having a plug we can remove will be easier than chipping away epoxy. Then.. we used a caulk gun and filled the cavity behind the niche with roofing tar. Weird I know, but we wanted something other than dead space behind that hole.. something for the repair to push against besides a void. THEN we covered the hole with mesh tape, and finally hubby fashioned a whole new back of the niche by basically making a pancake out of A+B putty and pressing it against the back of the niche. Hopefully, the putty will bond to the PVC of the niche (Hayward Jiffy Niche) and the mesh tape and hardened tar will create enough of a solid back. Tomorrow, he's going to add a coat of clear epoxy over the whole repair, just to seal up any potential gaps, esp around the edges of the putty pancake and around the cord plug. Overkill I'm sure but it's July 6th and we haven't been swimming yet.

    Wednesday I'm going to drop the hose in the pool and bring the water level up over the light... if it stays there for 24 hours and does not drop... we're golden.

    We had 2 pool repair companies shrug and walk away from thsi... so the solution may seem kind of Macguyver'd and weird but if it works,, I'm happy.

    We just need it to last about 2 years or so.. then I'm going to rip up the concrete deck and replace it so at that time we'll replace the niche and the conduit.

    I'll have him snap some pics of the repair tomorrow when he goes back in to do the final seal.
    18X36 vinyl I/G pool (c. 1978)
    D/E filter
    Aqua Cal Super Quiet 155 BTU heat pump
    Aqua Pro control panel/SWG

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