Pool light niche confusion.

EBD

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
54
Gilbert
I am going to replace my pool light soon and while reading on how to change it, it seems some people talk about leaks or dry niches vs flooded ones or leaks at the niche. I thought all niches are supposed to be flooded. In which circumstances would I use a rubber plug at the end of the niche? Also is it recommended to use silicone grease or any grease while pulling the cord?
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
You are correct. Typically the niche will be full of water which is designed that way to cool the bulb itself. Water will actually travel up into the conduit to a certain point and stop which is why there are electrical codes stating how high the junction box should be at the equipment pad (above the waterline level). Leaks at the niche typically happen at the rear where the conduit joins at the niche. It develops a crack at the joint because of soil settling, thereby allowing water to seep out. I'm not sure about the plug, maybe someone else will chime in, but some folks may use some silicon/grease when pulling the cord depending on the length and turns of the conduit. Hope that helps.
 

EBD

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2017
54
Gilbert
Thank you for the information. It does help and explains a lot. So basically it becomes an issue after years of settling and therefore people start putting the silicone or plugs to prevent the water from leaking between the niche and conduit connection. I haven't been in the pool yet this season but due to the expansive soil we have here I would bet I might have to do the sealing. Any putty recommendations you could provide? I saw one in Amazon called pool putty. It resembles JB weld. A plug might be better and cleaner but not sure if the seal will be the same.
 

gwegan

TFP Expert
Apr 19, 2013
2,769
Sacramento, CA
The only time you would use putty or a plug are:

1. When the local inspector or code variation requires it.

2. After you have developed a leak in the conduit that is extremely difficult or impossible to repair.

Otherwise you probably shouldn't use putty. If a leak develops at the niche / conduit junction that should be repaired.

Plugs, silicone and putty all increase the difficulty of replacing the fixture down the line and should be avoided. While they may make life easy for you now and the problem go away they may make it extremely difficult to replace the fixture seven or ten years from now.

Pentair does (or used to) make a plug. But the code assumes open conduit.
 

CountryBumkin

Bronze Supporter
Jan 9, 2017
124
Orlando/FL
My Pentair Pool Light Niche has a seal that (I think) is there to keep water out of the conduit.
But I would not be surprised to find water has leaked past the seal and filled the conduit by now.
I'm going to be replacing this pool light soon (and since I don't plan to drain the pool) once I pull out the cable the conduit will fill with water (if it's not already full).
 

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