"Goo" in pool light

chrispete

Active member
Mar 17, 2017
28
League City, TX
I grabbed a mask a few days ago and did a quick check of the pool (older pool, new to us) to see if everything looked OK. I noticed that the light had something in it up to the bottom of the bulb. I pulled it tonight to see what was going on and found this:

20170402_195144.jpg

Looks like the potting material melted at some point. It's fluid enough that I could clean it out without much trouble. My question is: there was no water in the light and it looks good otherwise - can I just re-pot it (I can get the correct potting material and have experience with potting electrical for underwater applications) and move on or is there a reason to buy a new assembly?

Thanks!
 

JamesW

TFP Expert
Mar 2, 2011
13,350
That's odd, there is not usually anything in a light that would melt like that.

The base is usually epoxy. It might burn, but it won't usually melt.

Did part of the gasket melt?

Can you show a picture of the inside with the bulb removed?

If there's any question about the integrity of the light, it should be replaced.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
14,885
Tucson, AZ
Is it just me or does that bulb look like a compact fluorescent light bulb?

The coloration of that "goo" suggests it was not part of the original light fixture. Something smells fishy here...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

chrispete

Active member
Mar 17, 2017
28
League City, TX
It is a CFL, I've been wondering why it took so long to come up to full brightness - now I have an answer. The actual color of the goo seems to be beige, I think the blue was leached out of the gasket. I'll pull the bulb after work tomorrow and get some better shots. I did think it was a bit odd that whatever it was melted and didn't re-firm. The light had not been powered up within 72 hours of me pulling it so it was plenty "cold".

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JoeGolan

Bronze Supporter
Nov 2, 2016
200
Palm Coast, FL
Any chance that is a dielectric gel used to protect "wet" electrical connections and was put in the socket when the bulb was installed?
 

chrispete

Active member
Mar 17, 2017
28
League City, TX
Update: Came home and found that the light had tipped over, allowing goo to ruin part of the coping (strike 1). In trying to clean said goo off of said coping I found that it's an amazing compound able to stay fluid and yet simultaneously stickier than anything I've ever run across in my life (it was sticking to me like a rabid spider monkey until I figured out that acetone would cut it). It's probably banned in all 50 states and in making contact with it I'm probably already in the process of dying a gruesome death (strike 2). Once I got the label cleaned off I found that it was labeled "freshwater use only" and is in my newly converted SW pool (strike 3).

So my next step is to change it out for a fancy multi-color light (per the wife and daughter). I have no idea how to match up a new light with the niche that's installed (plaster pool) or if that's even possible. The info I was able to get off the label was:

PacFab Inc.
Model 60-xx5x
Housing 62-xxxx
Wet Niche Type L-649314
500W max draw
and in tiny print at the bottom 61-8230

Googling finds that it's likely a PacFab Pool Star / Hatteras model light (the diagrams match what I've got.) What would be my next step?

Thanks!
 

overton

In The Industry
May 6, 2017
1
houston, tx
Howdy fellow Texan!

Your light niche is not deep enough (the measurement from the edge of the pool wall to the back of the niche) to accommodate a newer incandescent light without an adapter plate. Additionally, fitting an LED light (one that is not deep, like the Colorlogic) is a chore to keep it flush without the adapter plate. I find a lot of older pools built in Houston and the surrounding areas had these types of light fixtures/niches. There are a couple of things you could do:

1. Re-epoxy and refit your existing light (least expensive, but time consuming and potentially dangerous if not done correctly) - I can post a how-to for you if you want... may take me a few days.

2. You can buy an adapter plate for your niche so it will fit a more common size light - incandescent or LED (easiest route, but cost of plate + new light)

3. You can put in a new niche (most expensive and least recommended route) that fits common light sizes

If you decide to go the adapter plate/new light route, I would be happy to purchase your old trim ring, clamp, and glass... I have a customer that cannot afford a new light, but her trim ring and clamp broke. Either way, Good Luck and let us know what you decided!
 

CountyBumkin

Bronze Supporter
Apr 3, 2016
58
Orlando FL
Our pools are considered "freshwater" even though we add salt for a SWG. I called Pentair tech once to ask this question.
Seawater is 35,000 ppm salt, our pools max out at around 4,500 ppm (more typically around 3,000 ppm).
 

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