Pool light out.

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-06-12, 12:24 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Pool light out.

Hi

It has been at least a few years since I replaced the (in ground) pool bulb. If I remember correctly it worked only a couple of days after that and then died again. I gave up and just let it be.

I'm not very electrically inclined but I can follow instructions.

- If I pull the light casing out of the pool wall and set it on the pool deck can I take a regular 60 watt household light bulb and try it in the (dry) fixture ?
- Can I take the bulb that was in the pool and put it in a household lamp to see if it works ?
- Our house is old (60s). I don't see any GFCI in the area of the pool. There is a box near the pool market BWF which I guess is a 'junction box'. Is there anything in there that can 'trip' ?

Thanks for any ideas.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-06-12, 01:47 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
What is the voltage of the pool light, 120, 12v, or what?
 
  #3  
Old 11-07-12, 02:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Sorry - having a little trouble getting the screw out of the wall of the pool. I'll put on a wetsuit tomorrow and see if I can get better leverage...
 
  #4  
Old 11-07-12, 06:50 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 10,280
Received 43 Votes on 35 Posts
I was also wondering if this is a water cooled pool light.
 
  #5  
Old 11-09-12, 09:42 AM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
There is a box near the pool market BWF which I guess is a 'junction box'. Is there anything in there that can 'trip' ?
If that box can only be opened by using tools, there should only be splices inside.
 
  #6  
Old 11-29-12, 03:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Man what a day... Started out simple enough. About 8AM I pulled the light fixture from the side of the pool and placed it on the pool deck. Removed the light and it looked fine. I called Ace Hdwe and asked if they had any pool lights and if there was anyway to test if the bulb in my hand was any good. The kid on the phone said "You should be able to just put it in any light fixture to test it". Well five minutes later I saw my 12V perfectly ok pool light illuminate for about 1 sec before it was fried.

Ran out to the local pool supply place to purchase a new bulb ($20) and the guy said the problem might be the transformer. So I brought home two transformers (100 and 300 watt) with the understanding that I could return what I didn't need. Wimping out - I called an electrician to come check things out. Electrician comes and tests the transformer. Says the transformer looks fine. Opens up the "deck box" and aside from some corrosion things look fine up to that point.

Electrician goes to the light receptacle and he is only getting 2 volt reading. We cleaned up the fixture with sand paper and an eraser and he gets a 12 volt reading but he says the prong isn't elevated high enough. He sticks his screw driver under the prong and SNAPS IT OFF. At this point I ask the electrician how much money is on the meter. He says $90 and I tell him let's close everything up and call it quits.

Went back to the pool place and returned the transformers. Picked up a new Pentair pool light with 50 ft of cord (about $250).

My house is sold. Passed inspection yesterday with flying colors. The pool light was never checked but I knew it wasn't working and I didn't want to leave the new owner an existing problem. I should learn....

1) So - now that I know the problem is the bulb socket at the base of the receptacle - is there ANY way to repair that or do I truly need to replace the whole thing ?

2) If I do need to replace the whole thing is this something I should/can do myself or should I get an "expert" ? It looks like the tricky part is making sure you "thread" the cable through the conduit without it coming apart ? If it were to come apart is it just a matter of starting over or will I be screwed ?

There's a YouTube video of a girl doing this by herself. She makes it look easy. She uses a wire cable (is it called a pull string ?) which she attached to the cable end at the deck box and then pulls the cable out into the pool and then attaches the end of the new light to this thin cable and pulls from the deck box end. In my case the deck box is less than 10 feet from the pool wall.

Any thought or advice appreciated.
 
  #7  
Old 11-29-12, 10:29 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,565
Received 510 Votes on 480 Posts
I'm a little foggy here.....you went and picked up a new light for inspection and then returned it......is that correct ? You actually installed it and then removed it ?

To replace a complete light kit......you would tie a pull string to the wiring at the deck box going to the old light and then remove the fixture. Tie the string onto the new wire and pull it back up. If you lose it the pipe is 1/2" galvanized pipe and easy enough to refish.

There are wet niche and dry niche lamp kits. I have a 250w 130v wet niche lamp system. That means that the entire lamp housing is filled with water and is used to cool the bulb. My bulb is over twenty years old.

Without seeing that socket I would have to say that it's not repairable.
 
  #8  
Old 12-01-12, 11:23 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Today I am trying to install my new $250 pool light. I had no trouble snaking the new wire to the junction box. Installed the light fixture into the niche (that water was COLD) . Connected the 3 wires as they had been before, black to black, white to orange, green to the ground where it had been.

Turned on the fuse, flicked the switch that controls the light - NOTHING !!!!

The electrician's note from the other day reads "Checked out the pool light system and found 13 volts going to the light fixture> Need to replace the pool light fixture."

Any ideas appreciated.
 
  #9  
Old 12-01-12, 11:43 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,565
Received 510 Votes on 480 Posts
Ok......so that would seem to suggest that you need a low voltage replacement lamp assembly. Is that what you picked up ?


This shouldn't be this hard. You have 120 vac feeding a 12 vac transformer feeding a brand new light assembly.
 
  #10  
Old 12-01-12, 11:51 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
100W - 12 Volt - both the old and the new are Pentair.

The only thing I can think is maybe in the course of closing things back up, the electrician undid something that was working. He did have to drop the bottom of the transformer out to get at the wires...

He did 'clean-up' the end of the wires at the junction box. He put some sort of vaseline like stuff on the ends.

I do heave a multimeter but I don't know how to use it.
 
  #11  
Old 12-01-12, 11:56 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I didn't scrutinize the new light fixture. It looked sealed and ready to go. To be honest I didn't even look to see if there was a bulb in it because the guy at the pool shop said there was.

Edit: there is a bulb :-)
 
  #12  
Old 12-01-12, 11:59 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,565
Received 510 Votes on 480 Posts
Set the meter to the next scale over what you are reading. So that means you'll need to select an AC VOLTS scale. For testing the output of the transformer since it's 12v you'll probably see 16v or 20v or 50v scale. Every meter uses different voltage points.

The black meter lead goes into COM or - and the red lead goes into Volts/ohms +

Just remember this.....if the voltage is unknown....start at the highest scale and work down. NEVER have the meter in OHMS when checking voltages.
 
  #13  
Old 12-01-12, 12:08 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Ok so I set the dieal to "20 V-". Black lead is in COM read lead is in V (the two rightmost of the 4 holes).

Then I go out, remove the caps from the wires.

Where do I put the probes ? Black probe goes on black wire ? Red probe goes on white ?

Thanks for your patience.

Where in Jersey are you. I'm from Bergen County.
 
  #14  
Old 12-01-12, 12:12 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,565
Received 510 Votes on 480 Posts
Morris County.....just outside of Morristown.

Since you're measuring AC there is no polarity.
 
  #15  
Old 12-01-12, 12:18 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Went to camp NoBeBosCo as a kid (North Bergen Boy Scout something)...

I'm afraid I don't understand 'no polarity' except that that probably mean put one lead on a wire and the other lead on ground ???
 
  #16  
Old 12-01-12, 12:26 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,565
Received 510 Votes on 480 Posts
You can put either lead on either wire.
 
  #17  
Old 12-01-12, 12:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
When I touch either probe to either wire nothing happens to the meter until I touch the other probe to ground. Then the display reads .04 or perhaps .06 (momentarily) and then settles back to 0.00.
 
  #18  
Old 12-01-12, 12:50 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,565
Received 510 Votes on 480 Posts
Ok......so now go to the transformer. Check for 120 vac to the transformer and 12 vac out of transformer.

Since you're measuring AC you'll get sporadic readings to ground.
 
  #19  
Old 12-01-12, 12:59 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Ok - I'm relying on my photographic memory (;-)) on this one. When I drop the bottom of our very old transformer there are going to be 3 PAIRS of wires. Does that mean something is "daisy-chained" ? in that transformer ?

So now I leave the probes on the multimeter as is but change the dial to 200 ?

There was 120 going to that transformer on Thursday.

I'll go open the box up and come back in a few minutes...
 
  #20  
Old 12-01-12, 01:12 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Sooo - I opened the transformer bottom and pulled out (straightened) the five caps. Came back into the house and threw the breaker and switch and the light lit up in the pool !!!

That's a little scary. I guess I have to keep opening and closing the transformer until I get lucky ?
 
  #21  
Old 12-01-12, 01:33 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I opened the transformer bottom and pulled out (straightened) the five caps. Came back into the house and threw the breaker and switch and the light lit up in the pool !!!

That's a little scary. I guess I have to keep opening and closing the transformer until I get lucky?
It sounds like one or more of the splices under the wire nuts is a bit loose. Turn the power off and uncap each splice, one at a time, and check to make sure all of the wires there are in good contact and undamaged. Twist them together, clockwise, put the wire nut (or a new one) on, and move on to the next splice.
 
  #22  
Old 12-01-12, 01:34 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
PJmax thank you so much for your help. You are incredible.
 
  #23  
Old 12-01-12, 01:37 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I think I know which 2 wires (1 cap) are giving me trouble. The trouble is both wire are thick and don't twist around each other very well. When I attempt to close the box the wires come apart. Maybe lots of electrical tape around the caps ??
 
  #24  
Old 12-01-12, 01:51 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I think I know which 2 wires (1 cap) are giving me trouble. The trouble is both wire are thick and don't twist around each other very well. When I attempt to close the box the wires come apart. Maybe lots of electrical tape around the caps ??
No. Maybe three or more good twists with lineman's pliers, clockwise, while holding the wires with the ends of the insulation even. That will make the splice. Then you trim the ends of the bare conductors even, if you need to, and protect the splice by twisting a wire nut onto it, again clockwise.
 
  #25  
Old 12-01-12, 02:04 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 357
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Thanks. I have to stop for today. But at least I know exactly what needs to be done. At this point the light works. I just need to better secure those splices and get the very stuffed transformer box closed. I know the last person (20+ years ago) inside that transformer box went through exactly what I am going through.
 
  #26  
Old 12-01-12, 03:12 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,565
Received 510 Votes on 480 Posts
You may need to strip the wires a little more or change to a larger wire nut.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: