What's this grease in my pool light?! Yuk!

denisbaldwin

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 23, 2010
252
Daring and dumb go together, and none more than when I attempt to repair things like the pool light.

An electrician friend of mine came out and brought all of my pool electrical up to code. He's been doing this stuff for 20+ years and felt bad for me after seeing how I had taking it from completely broken to rigged together and decided to clean it up. It looks great. While he was in there, he checked the wiring going to the light. The light hadn't worked in a while, so he assured me it was the bulb.

After much innovation in turning a ratchet into a screwdriver (sort of), I was able to pull the housing free from the wall. When I got it open, I pulled the obviously broken bulb free. While the bulb was physically intact the sound of blown filament confirmed our suspicions. Carefully removing the bulb, my hand became completely saturated in a thick, viscous grease. I akin it to lithium grease that you would use to pack bearings in a motor. It's so thick that it took soaking my hand in degreaser after I went through a roll of paper tower to get everything off from it. It's a dark brown, almost black, thick mess.

So.. what is it? Why would it be in my pool light housing? Do I have to get more of said grease and re-pack the light when changing the bulb? I'm seriously considering the move to an LED light. Is it still required?

Denis
 

sandrin

Member
Jun 14, 2010
7
my guess is that the grease was used to prevent corosion and to prevent the bulb to stick in the socket.

it's not a bad idea to use waterproof electrical grease when reinstall even with led bulb, but led bulb have electronic part in it, and it might no be a good idea to put it in that kind of environment, i would check with the bulb manufacturer. Also led bulb are not that powerfull for a pool light.

well, having said that, im not a pool expert, but i have some knowledge in electricity. Maybe pool expert will have a different opinion for reason im not aware.
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
Sorry I really can't give you much help here but wanted to let you know that I had the thick, black/dark brown, molasses, like stuff inside my 120 volt light when I replaced the 500 watt incandescent bulb with a color changing LED. Some of the stuff was actually stiff instead of gooey. It had, also, stained the white light socket.

It took lots of scrubbing with different things and solutions. I think I may have used a citrus cleaner on some of it, steel wool, and other scrubbers, and lots of paper towels. After using any solvent based products I did clean them out very well. I wish I could remember more, but just wanted to let you know that I had the same stuff. I didn't put any goo in the socket when I replaced the and it's been doing great for almost a year now.

Be sure to get a new gasket when you replace the bulb and give it a good lube when installing.

LED isn't as bright as incandescent but it does disperse through the water very well. The lighter your pool color the more light you will get as medium to dark colors do "absorb" the light. After removing some of the white calcium scale from my blue plaster the light isn't lighting the side steps at the other end of pool as well as it did when there was more white scale.

gg=alice
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,053
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
There is some sort of foul silicon grease electricians use when pulling wires through conduits. Somebody was probably a slob and didn't wipe up the excess when it was fresh, years ago.
 

denisbaldwin

LifeTime Supporter
Mar 23, 2010
252
geekgranny said:
Sorry I really can't give you much help here but wanted to let you know that I had the thick, black/dark brown, molasses, like stuff inside my 120 volt light when I replaced the 500 watt incandescent bulb with a color changing LED.
In a sorta-related note, which color changing LED bulb did you get? Did you just replace the bulb itself or did you replace the whole lamp, basin, wires, etc? Are you happy with it overall?
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
denisbaldwin said:
geekgranny said:
Sorry I really can't give you much help here but wanted to let you know that I had the thick, black/dark brown, molasses, like stuff inside my 120 volt light when I replaced the 500 watt incandescent bulb with a color changing LED.

In a sorta-related note, which color changing LED bulb did you get? Did you just replace the bulb itself or did you replace the whole lamp, basin, wires, etc? Are you happy with it overall?
http://colorgloproducts.com/colorsplash.html

I went with the ColorSplash, 120 volt, standard Edison base. I've seen some cheaper on eBay, I think. I don't know anything about them. Putting in a whole new light is a lot more expensive. I love it. I love it. I love it.

BTW... I have a 120 volt whole light set, with cord, for spa that I ordered but never used. It, of course, is much smaller but I am selling it.

The light bulbs will usually list what fixtures they fit in and base style. If you have an 8" lens, with Edison base, 120 volt, you go with that light. On older pools that is a pretty standard light.

Do order a new gasket. You take a chance of water seepage reusing an old gasket even if it isn't that old. These lights are just too expensive to gamble like that.

Shop around for the best price. I think there may be two different lights, with similar model number but an extra number on end that may indicate one is brighter than the other. I think there has been some discussion on the board about that. I can't remember which one mine is, sorry.

gg=alice
 

geekgranny

LifeTime Supporter
Aug 20, 2009
1,358
North Central Texas
EDIT This page has an explanation of the difference between the 2G and 3G. Mine must be the 2G because of the lower price I paid for it in 2008. I didn't install until 2009.

http://www.poolsupplyworld.com/blog/article/ColorSplash3GLED-Video/

I just did a little Googling. The regular Color Splash, it the one I think I have. It is 35 watt. The Color Splash 3G is 42 watt. This may make a lot of difference in ability to light up the pool especially if pool is large and/or a darker color. The 3G replacement bulb cost about $70+ more than the regular Color Splash. The reg. Color Splash has a five year warranty (withing certain limits I'm sure); not sure about the 3G but probably the same. There are wide differences in prices around the Internet. Do some shopping and comparing. If you have any questions about any dealer be sure to ask here to see if anyone has experience shopping with them.

gg=alice