Name that Niche

provor

Member
Jun 27, 2015
18
Dallas
Hi Folks --

I have been having problems with my spa light ever since a re-plaster. After it was plastered, my spa light keep filling with water and getting brown gunk in it. I assumed it was old, replaced the gasket and lense... same issue. Pool was built around 1995 by prior owner.

Next I assumed the fixture was old and replaced it with a new one of the same model that was in it. Hayward SP0591SL was the old fixture.

It was very difficult to put in and required far more pressure then what seemed necessary but got it in and aligned on the screw, and same problem 2 months later. I suspect it's the wrong fixture for the niche, somehow it just never filled with water before. Not sure if a part was lost in the repaster process.

Does anyone know what niche this is and what the compatible spa light should be?
 

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Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
1,995
Silicon Valley, CA
When you re-plaster, the contractor is supposed to chip out around all the fittings so when they apply the new coat, they can feather right up to the fitting edge without an unsightly or obstructive build up of plaster, which, in the case of a light fixture, may cause the fixture to be "tweaked" or in a bind when installed and tightened down with the set screw. This is probably what is causing the fixture to fill up with water since it is still doing it after replacement with a new fixture. The two mating surfaces of the light lens gasket are not sealing due to the set screw and the slot flexing the light ring from the fixture as it gets tightened down against the plaster deformity. Your photo suggests that this may be the case. It appears that, when installed, fixture is right up against a bench or the spa floor and that is causing the issue. The area all the way around the fixture needs to be uniform. IOW, the ring of the fixture needs to be able to set evenly on the plaster all the way around without any interference by the (new) layer of plaster.

If your contractor refuses to comeback and make it right by doing some grinding, then you would have to live with either emptying the fixture every so often (not really an option), or set the fixture in the niche enough to get the set screw started THEN STOP TIGHTENING the set screw, possibly leaving very large gaps between the fixture and the plaster surface in some areas. Along with the unsightly aesthetics, this way may pose a safety issue depending on how much of a gap there is. Or hire or DIY grind the area so the light ring will again fit properly.

Edit:
Re read your post and if the there is no interference from plaster, the fixture may be too long for the niche.

I hate those small spa niches.

Is the replacement fixture the same as the one you replaced? If so, it should fit. Measure the depth of the niche and compare to the fixture length. Second, there may be too much cord that you have to cram in there. Since it is a spa, you can shorten the cord enough to get the fixture up on the bench (for repair) or if you can completely drain out the spa, make it even shorter (making repairs on the spa floor). I'm guessing that it was you that installed the replacement fixture? Just pull a little more cord through at the junction box end. That will take out the excess length at the niche end.
 
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provor

Member
Jun 27, 2015
18
Dallas
When you re-plaster, the contractor is supposed to chip out around all the fittings so when they apply the new coat, they can feather right up to the fitting edge without an unsightly or obstructive build up of plaster, which, in the case of a light fixture, may cause the fixture to be "tweaked" or in a bind when installed and tightened down with the set screw. This is probably what is causing the fixture to fill up with water since it is still doing it after replacement with a new fixture. The two mating surfaces of the light lens gasket are not sealing due to the set screw and the slot flexing the light ring from the fixture as it gets tightened down against the plaster deformity. Your photo suggests that this may be the case. It appears that, when installed, fixture is right up against a bench or the spa floor and that is causing the issue. The area all the way around the fixture needs to be uniform. IOW, the ring of the fixture needs to be able to set evenly on the plaster all the way around without any interference by the (new) layer of plaster.

If your contractor refuses to comeback and make it right by doing some grinding, then you would have to live with either emptying the fixture every so often (not really an option), or set the fixture in the niche enough to get the set screw started THEN STOP TIGHTENING the set screw, possibly leaving very large gaps between the fixture and the plaster surface in some areas. Along with the unsightly aesthetics, this way may pose a safety issue depending on how much of a gap there is. Or hire or DIY grind the area so the light ring will again fit properly.

Edit:
Re read your post and if the there is no interference from plaster, the fixture may be too long for the niche.

I hate those small spa niches.

Is the replacement fixture the same as the one you replaced? If so, it should fit. Measure the depth of the niche and compare to the fixture length. Second, there may be too much cord that you have to cram in there. Since it is a spa, you can shorten the cord enough to get the fixture up on the bench (for repair) or if you can completely drain out the spa, make it even shorter (making repairs on the spa floor). I'm guessing that it was you that installed the replacement fixture? Just pull a little more cord through at the junction box end. That will take out the excess length at the niche end.
Thank you! - I don't see any issue myself with the plaster to the niche as far as it not being level. The niche itself has no markings or numbers that I could find. I highly suspect the fixture which was a hayward before and I bought the same is not correct for the niche. II had to use a power driver to tighten it into the pilot hole, even then was a bit of a struggle to get it lined up.

I can see online that pentair fixtures are a bit smaller, but I was hopefully someone might recognize it before I sink another 250 dollars on a fixture.
 

provor

Member
Jun 27, 2015
18
Dallas
Thank you! - I don't see any issue myself with the plaster to the niche as far as it not being level. The niche itself has no markings or numbers that I could find. I highly suspect the fixture which was a hayward before and I bought the same is not correct for the niche. II had to use a power driver to tighten it into the pilot hole, even then was a bit of a struggle to get it lined up.

I can see online that pentair fixtures are a bit smaller, but I was hopefully someone might recognize it before I sink another 250 dollars on a fixture.
Oh and also there is space at the bottom of the niche thats still spa wall, I just had not drained all the spa water out I just took it down enough to take a look inside the niche.
 

Pool Clown

In The Industry
Sep 5, 2008
1,995
Silicon Valley, CA
If the slot lines up, and you can get the screw started, just measure the fixture length to be sure it will fit. If you go looking for a new fixture, all the manufacturers should provide cut sheets (specs) on their fixture dimensions, to confirm it will fit in the niche.
 
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