Retrofit Pentair Microbrite to IG gunite pool

kazamali

Well-known member
May 28, 2020
49
Austin, TX
Hi folks,

I just had a pool build completed and realized (after the fact) that i don't have any lighting on my tanning ledge. The rest of the pool is using multiple Pentair Globrite Color lights, so for the tanning ledge I was thinking of adding a Microbrite (since the area is shallow/small). Since I'm all sealed/decked in, it's an understatement that this would be a challenge. I actually thought of a method to retrofit this (something I'm currently "negotiating" with my PB), but *if* I ever have to go my own route, it seems I'd have to core out a 1.5" niche (cutting thru plaster/glass waterline tile) and be able to run the feed back to the equip shed via the deck's deep expansion joints. First question is: what kind of coring bit would I need?...with the shallow Microbrite niche requirement, not sure if I'd be hitting any rebar (so wet/dry?). Second question is what kind of wall fitting would the Microbrite use and where could I purchase it? I have plenty of wattage capacity (2 x 300W transformers for 6 lights so far)

Again, I'm just pondering this and not looking to screw with my warranty, but the engineer in me wants to solve it since I'm looking at a half dark pool every night. :p
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
23,660
Northern NJ
Pool Size
35000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-60
MicroBrite screws into a standard 1.5" PVC pipe that would fit into the hole you core drill.

@bdavis466 may know the details about core drilling.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
You need at least a 2" bit. They can be found on Amazon or a contractor's supply store.

The microbrites use standard 1.5" NPT threads so any adapter or pool return fitting will work.

Why not use a globrite if you already have some?
 

kazamali

Well-known member
May 28, 2020
49
Austin, TX
Thanks for the replies! Microbrite mainly because the footprint is smaller (diameter and niche depth) , nicheless and gives me the option of another mfr. in case i want to change it in the future. I did speak with my PB today and he confirmed that THEY screwed up (the light's in the orig. plans), so I'll update the thread with further developments.
 

joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
284
Allen, TX
FYI the microbrite may have a slightly different color than the globrites... don't have a clue what it would amount to in real life. What size is your pool? How do you like have 6 lights? I am dealing with not having installed enough microbrites in my pool. Going from 3 to 4 for sure and trying to convince my wife we need 5. Problem is my shell is already shot so I have limited options but have worked through an option with the builder to add more by drilling as you are planning.


1590717013496.png
 

kazamali

Well-known member
May 28, 2020
49
Austin, TX
My pool is 35' x ~18-23' (depending on if you include the tanning ledge). Good call on the color difference, but it could be negligible for the application as we mainly use the blue at night. I like the 6 lights we have and the 5 *in* the pool really light up the volume very well (3.5' to 6' depths). Here are pictures of it at night to give you a good idea of the coverage
 

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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
284
Allen, TX
My pool is 35' x ~18-23' (depending on if you include the tanning ledge). Good call on the color difference, but it could be negligible for the application as we mainly use the blue at night. I like the 6 lights we have and the 5 *in* the pool really light up the volume very well (3.5' to 6' depths). Here are pictures of it at night to give you a good idea of the coverage
That looks great!
 

kazamali

Well-known member
May 28, 2020
49
Austin, TX
Ok, as promised, updating my old thread. PB is finally addressing this, so I thought I'd attach photos as the work progresses. To summarize, PB forgot the tanning ledge (tl) light (yeah, sounds minor, but looks weird at night and I paid for it. 'nuf said.)... PB will:

1. cut a 3" wide channel down the existing expansion crack from the tl coping, to the perpendicular drain channel that feeds back to my equipment shed.
2. Drain pool down to tl level and core out niche for a Microbrite. (i.e. no need to disturb coping tile)
3. Electrician will run conduit/light
4. Concrete/Sundek redone (apparently they will redo it so it will have the same expansion joint as before). We'll see how it looks/matches.

Today they are starting to cut the channel. My fear is that things will take a while to fully complete and I don't want the pool to be partially drained for too long...PB says the Pebbletec stuff can be exposed to sun for a bit, but I won't take any chances. Anything else I should bug them about?
 

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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
284
Allen, TX
Ok, as promised, updating my old thread. PB is finally addressing this, so I thought I'd attach photos as the work progresses. To summarize, PB forgot the tanning ledge (tl) light (yeah, sounds minor, but looks weird at night and I paid for it. 'nuf said.)... PB will:

1. cut a 3" wide channel down the existing expansion crack from the tl coping, to the perpendicular drain channel that feeds back to my equipment shed.
2. Drain pool down to tl level and core out niche for a Microbrite. (i.e. no need to disturb coping tile)
3. Electrician will run conduit/light
4. Concrete/Sundek redone (apparently they will redo it so it will have the same expansion joint as before). We'll see how it looks/matches.

Today they are starting to cut the channel. My fear is that things will take a while to fully complete and I don't want the pool to be partially drained for too long...PB says the Pebbletec stuff can be exposed to sun for a bit, but I won't take any chances. Anything else I should bug them about?
Glad to hear they will address it for you.
 

kazamali

Well-known member
May 28, 2020
49
Austin, TX
Adding some more pictures...glad I didn't try this myself:
 

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joepaiii

Well-known member
May 16, 2013
284
Allen, TX
Adding some more pictures...glad I didn't try this myself:
That’s impressive. My shell was not plastered and they used a jackhammer to add my lights. I asked them why they weren’t using a core drill and they just said they don’t. It wasn’t above a tanning ledge like that but kind of wish I had one there.
 

bdavis466

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
Aug 4, 2014
5,529
San Clemente, CA
That’s impressive. My shell was not plastered and they used a jackhammer to add my lights. I asked them why they weren’t using a core drill and they just said they don’t. It wasn’t above a tanning ledge like that but kind of wish I had one there.
A jackhammer is preferred since it leaves the surface rough and provides more for the concrete filler to adhere to. A core bit leaves a smooth hole that isn't much bigger than the pipe which makes a solid patch challenging.
 

GDN

Bronze Supporter
Oct 17, 2016
474
Dallas, TX
I hope they get it taken care of. I would have been scared of anyone to take that one and add, just for the fear of it never looking the same, espcially the decking. I don't have a light on my tanning ledge and it is darker at night, but it is closest to the house, so the patio lights light it up. Yours will look nice when done though.

Surprised at that core coming out as a single piece. How long did it take to drill?
 

kazamali

Well-known member
May 28, 2020
49
Austin, TX
I hope they get it taken care of. I would have been scared of anyone to take that one and add, just for the fear of it never looking the same, espcially the decking. I don't have a light on my tanning ledge and it is darker at night, but it is closest to the house, so the patio lights light it up. Yours will look nice when done though.

Surprised at that core coming out as a single piece. How long did it take to drill?
2 Hours!! I watched the entire time...drill for a few minutes, hose down, vacuum...repeat. I'm keeping the core as a souvenir. :)

They put the concrete back so just waiting on Sundek to come back and blend it. I'm hoping that it'll look good and be the end of it! The extra light has already made a huge difference. BTW, going back to your earlier post regarding color matching between the Glo/microbrites...they look exactly the same across the RGB spectrum...
 

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Candurin

Well-known member
Jun 30, 2017
105
Southern NJ
That's one **** of a paperweight! I would agree with you that the tanning ledge was in need of the extra light. We're eagerly anticipating our FG install with a tanning ledge and we added extra microbrite lights to our work order. One of which will go right into the ledge.
 
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