Something blew a hole in my pool light fixture

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
This is the first time I have removed the fixture, changed the bulb.I replaced the incandescent bulb in this light fixture following direction on a video for this exact fixture. Unfortunately, the video did not mention testing before reinstalling. My bad,should have done more research.
Anyway, the fixture filled with water, blew the bulb, and blew a hole in the fixture! What I am wondering is, is this the thermal protector? Close up it looks like 2 solid flat bars of metal in protective coating. It was originally “soldered”to the fixture. First picture is before bulb replacement and re-install. Second picture is after bulb replacement, bulb blew, hole in fixture.
One thing, I did not have the pilot screw the talk about at INYO POOLS. Apparently it does do some sort of grounding. I’m wondering if that was the problem? Can I fix this? I really don’t want to replace the fixture, it’s an old pool and you all know how projects go when you open up an ‘old’ anything to repair or replace.
 

avspin

Gold Supporter
Jun 3, 2015
138
Reno, NV
No pics.
But if there is a hole in your fixture DO NOT go in. Turn the breaker for the light off. Better yet disconnect the wires in the Jbox.
If it is the lens you can get a replacement but the water may have damaged the insides.
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
Sorry, forgot the pics! I have the breaker off and the fixture out of the niche.
On the first photo, the intact “whatever it is” is at 11:00.
The hole that was created when lamp blew is at 1:00 on the above or 2nd photo.m( reposted 2nd photo because photo would not show full-size)
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
That light is toast. Literally. You need a new fixture.
Yah, yah, I knew that just had to put it out to the universe for the easier, softer way.
So is that piece by the hole the thermal protector, you think?
Why are light fixtures so gol’dang expensive!
Now I haft a figure out what niche I have, no labels or markings.
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,805
Northern NJ
Is the light on a GFCI breaker? My guess is no.

I think that piece by the hole was the grounding or bonding lug. My guess is the water shorted the circuit to ground.
 

Cybernurse

Gold Supporter
Jun 15, 2015
59
Albuquerque NM
No, no GFCI that I can find on the circuit. I probably need to add one when I replace the light fixture. See, already the project scope expands!?
Thanks for your help!
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,805
Northern NJ
I think a GFCI would have prevented the light from exploding. The GFCI would have tripped at the first sign of a problem. Instead it took a full short circuit in the light housing that generated heat and pressure causing the damage.

Your incident is a good example of why a GFCI is required by code. You are lucky no one was injured.