Pool light housing will not attach to pebbletec

Dadthepoolboy

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2018
56
0
Frisco TX
#1
When we moved into our home, the pool light fixture was removed by the previous owner.I found a brand new fixture in the garage.

I ran the cord through the conduit and hopped in the pool to attach the fixture This proved more difficult than I ever imagined. The pilot screw, on the new fixture, would not screw in. I went underwater to take a better look. It appears that a screw is broken off in the pilot hole which is obviously stopping the screw.

I also found a lighting wedge attached to the old face ring. I noticed that the instructions stated that a brass pilot screw should be used to attach the fixture to the pool which grounds the light.

As this is my first pool light install, I’m assuming that the broken screw in the pilot hole isn’t there for grounding purposes. The broken screw is inset inside the hole so it will not be easily removed. I can feel the screw slightly protruding from the back of the hole.

I thought this was going to be relatively easy but a simple task has turned in to an all day affair. I’ve got the housing somewhat secured using the light wedge. The light wedge is stripped. The housing is not connected to electricity. I have the cord neatly tucked into the conduit and screwed the plate back on.

Looks like I’m going to have to drain my pool, a bit, so I can use a drill to remove the broken screw. Before I do this, I have a few questions:

Did the previous owner break off the screw or is what appears to be a broken screw a ground feature?

Is there any other way to mount the light fixture? There’s only one place (bottom of the housing) where a light wedge could be secured, unless I missed something.

Is there any other way to remove the screw without draining the pool?

Unfortunately, it’s such a tiny piece I do not have a lot of room to work with. Perhaps, I should leave this one to the professionals.

What was that saying? POP? Pool owner patience. I need that right now :brickwall:

Thanks
 

chiefwej

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 12, 2011
3,219
0
Tucson
#2
Replacing a light fixture in a pool with water in it, is a challenge even when everything goes well. With the circumstances that you describe, I think I would drain below the light fixture, so you can actually see and deal with the problems much more easily. Beyond that I don’t have much for you.
 

Dadthepoolboy

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2018
56
0
Frisco TX
#3
Thanks. I won’t be able to work on the light until the weekend. After further research, I’m sure the previous owner broke off the head of the pilot screw and secured the light with the wedge.
 

Arizonarob

Silver Supporter
Gold Supporter
Mar 25, 2018
1,075
1
Chandler Arizona
#4
That’s pretty much what happened to me. The screw broke off when trying to replace the light, so it was installed using the wedge. It didn’t fit correctly in the niche, so when I drained the pool I drilled out the broken screw and installed the light correctly.
 

Dadthepoolboy

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2018
56
0
Frisco TX
#5
That’s pretty much what happened to me. The screw broke off when trying to replace the light, so it was installed using the wedge. It didn’t fit correctly in the niche, so when I drained the pool I drilled out the broken screw and installed the light correctly.
Thanks Rob. What I'm concerned about is my lights instructions state Use only the special pilot screw provided with this underwater light. This screw mounts and electrically grounds the housing securely to the mounting ring and wet niche. Failure to use the screw provided could create an electrical hazard which could result in death or serious injury to pool users, installers or others due to electrical shock."

If the wedge actually seats the light correctly, do I have to worry about not using the pilot screw? Wouldn't the light be grounded to the junction box? I would hate to have to drain my pool again. I just did a partial drain due to high CYA. However, the light needs to be installed safely. Thanks
 

Arizonarob

Silver Supporter
Gold Supporter
Mar 25, 2018
1,075
1
Chandler Arizona
#6
I’m not 100% sure(someone chime in that knows) but I’m pretty sure the ring in the light niche has been bonded along with all the other electrical components. By using the proper screw to attach the light to that ring, you are effectively making all things “equal”.

I would just be cautious about using the light until you can get it properly installed.
 

Realaxpooltech

In The Industry
May 12, 2018
35
0
Phoenix az
#8
try to get vise grips around remaining screw piece and carefully, slowly work it through, it may be awkward but worth a try.

Usually the copper colored screw they tell you to use is very hard to thread in compared to the stainless screw which is much easier. this is a very large company that when faced with a 1 in a billion chance of being sued will cover there butts by including the new screw to avoid it.
As long as the light is properly installed and equipped with a GFI etc, do you really think its unsafe? if this screw was that important to have, they would not rely on just taping it to the box and telling you to use it instead of the stainless screw, they would be sending people out to all the pools to install it themselves.

I never install those screws because they don't screw in the hole without a fight compared to the stainless screws that can screw in by hand pretty much, that's usually why this happens because people try to put these screws in and they get to hard to turn and "snap" , install the light in the niche and use it, use the light wedge if you can, secure it as good as you can and use it, then drain it down the road and drill it out if you can't get it out now.
 

Dadthepoolboy

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2018
56
0
Frisco TX
#9
Thanks. That’s what I was thinking but as this is my first pool and this involves electricity, better safe than sorry.

I haven’t had a chance to do anything with the light. I will try to install it in the morning. The screw is inset in the hole. I can try to use vice grips from the rear of the tab but there’s not much to grab on to.

If this works, then hopefully there would be enough of the screw protruding for me to bring the vice grips around to the front of the hole and continue removing the screw.

Plan B is the light wedge. I believe the wedge will work as the previous homeowner was using one. If the wedge doesn’t work, I’ll be forced to drain. I need the light installed before a pool party in July.

Thanks
 

Dadthepoolboy

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2018
56
0
Frisco TX
#10
Forgot to report that I installed my light using the wedge. It’s seated and secured perfectly. The color changing bulb makes the water look amazing and best of all my daughter loves it! Thanks