Pool light replacement + other ?'s

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  #1  
Old 06-26-07, 04:23 PM
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Pool light replacement + other ?'s

I just moved into a house recently that myself and 2 of my close buddies are renting out. We have an in ground pool which from what we are told is pretty old but seems to be in ok shape except for a few things we will be taking care of.

Our pool light has never worked nor do we know how it works. We can't seem to locate any type of switch box for the light itself, but in the breaker box there is a tab which is labeled for the pool light. I pulled the panel to see where the wires led to and all I see is one red wire leading down into a conduit which I assume is going straight to the pool light but cant be for sure. Is it possible for a pool light to be wired directly to the breaker and not to a switch anywhere? We are assuming the light needs replaced since it wont turn on by the breaker but I really don't want to get zapped because we missed something. I turned the breaker off and pulled the light housing out of the hole but it also seems the cord isnt long enough to get the whole assembly out of the pool/water. I read it can be because of how old everything the wires are just swelled up in the conduit and need some sort of lube to get more slack. Either way I have no idea where to go from here so maybe someone can help, I was under the impression the cords should always be long enough to get out of water and onto the surrounding of the pool.

The owner of the house only lived here for a couple years and during that time never figured out how the light worked either, but we are dead set on having a pool light so our spot lights dont have to be on all night when swimming. HELP!!
 
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Old 06-26-07, 04:54 PM
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I messed up in the first post, I found a red wire coming off the breaker into the conduit, and also a green wire and white wire coming off of the "power Supply i think its considered" so I'm assuming the breaker is the switch for the light?
 
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Old 06-26-07, 06:47 PM
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A little info:
pool lights are 99% of the time hooked to a switch, the switch should be located somewhere around the pool. The wires you talked about at the breaker box, are they surrounded by a thick black plastic covering? Lights and breakers are usually linked at what we call a junction box, this junction box should be located near to the pool where the light is in the water. If there is a diving board it is sometimes under the diving board. It is usually grey with 2 or 3 electrical conduit pipe coming up into the bottom of it. If you can locate this, this is where you want to test your current coming from breaker. If you have current then your light is bad. This is also where you would start to replace a light. Take the light wires loose(thick plastic sheeth with red, green, black and white wire)tie masonary twine to the wires securely, then from inside pool pull light out and wire with string. Then you'll tie the wire of the new light to the string and pull string back from junction box. Leave enough wire so light can sit on deck out of water then cut wire at junction box and hook up. NEVER attemp to turn a light on out of water.
Wires don't swell up in the conduit, however if the conduit has been leaking someone might have sealed the opening where the wires go into the pool wall and might need to chiselled out. Let me know if I can help...
 
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Old 06-26-07, 10:22 PM
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The switch thing is what has me stumped. I can not find a box or anything anywhere around the pool. We have no diving board so its not hidden there, its not over near the pump and I cant find it anywhere else. The way the wires sit not from the breaker box, there is no covering, just the red wire, green wire, and white wire coming from there points in the breaker box directly into a conduit that goes into the ground next to our covered patio. From there I cant tell where anything goes, doesn't make much sense to me. The only switches we have outside is one for the spot lights, and one for the pool pump itself and those are both on different circuits. I cant think of any other places the switch can be, is it possible to be inside our house? We do have several switches around which we have no clue what they do. We dont even know how to turn on our front lights.
 
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Old 06-27-07, 06:45 AM
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Its possible that it could be in the house, I've run them just about anywhere. Lets get back to the wire coming inside breaker box. What kind of wire is it? Is it romax or are the wires in a round black plastic sheathing? Are the red white and green wires solid or stranded? These might be the actual light wires coming in. How far is light to breaker box?
 
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Old 06-27-07, 10:25 AM
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I'm not to familiar with romex wire so I cant say for sure but The wires seem to be just ran loose. There is no sheathing around all the wires from what I can tell unless its down in the conduit but the ones I see are just solid wires going to their destination right out of the conduit. The whole panel isn't to far from the light itself, maybe 15ft-20ft. There is one thing I'm not sure what it is though. There is a small box that has two small pipes coming up out of the ground into it. The box is lined up with the pool light basically and against the wall of the house, only there is no switch on it or anything. It says T/Paragon on it or something like that, kinda worn so I couldn't read it completely and it has 4 flat head screws on top of it. Could this be the junction box but without a switch?

I will try to get pics of this as well since I'm not good at trying to explain exactly whats going on.
 
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Old 06-27-07, 10:44 AM
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the little junction box which looks like it is the small junction box just with no switch to the light.

Link: http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y44/fox_forma/?action=view&current=Picture136.jpg

The breaker box area, couldn't get to good of a pic but you can see the wires towards the back straight ahead.

Link: http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y44/fox_forma/?action=view&current=Picture137.jpg
 
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Old 06-27-07, 11:57 AM
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quote todrut: "NEVER attemp to turn a light on out of water."

why not? what will happen? do they get too hot or something?
 
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Old 06-27-07, 04:31 PM
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Annette, Yes they get very hot and will blow out or sometimes blow up. They are a sealed bulb usually 500w and use the water to cool.

Fox, Yes that is your junction box for the light. You'll want to open it and you'll see the wires from the light hooked to the wires from the breaker. Turn the breaker on and use a tester to see if you are getting power to the light. If you are getting power here then you'll need to replace either the whole light fixture or just the bulb depending how old the fixture is.
 
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Old 06-27-07, 04:43 PM
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Fox, I just saw your pictures, had to copy and paste in new browser. Your red wire coming from breaker is hot, the white is common and green is ground. The wires coming from light is black hot, white common, and green ground. So make sure your red and black are together, white and white, green and green. I forgot to mention if you are getting power to junction box then there is either no switch for light or it is in the on position. However if you are not getting power then there could be a switch and it is off or there is a problem in breaker box. Let me know and we'll trouble shoot from there.
 
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Old 06-27-07, 08:54 PM
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Ok I'll test it out tomorrow with the meter, but my other issue is, even if the circuit will carry power the lights wires arent long enough to reach the outer edge of the pool so its looks like I either have to drain the pool some or figure out another alternative. I guess if worse came to worse I could pull new wire through the conduit for the light and just re-wire it so theres more slack.

The wiring looks fairly new in the junction box I took the pic of as well so I would think whoever wired it up would of made the wires long enough to pull the whole light assembly out.
 
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Old 06-28-07, 08:43 AM
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The wires can not be replaced on a pool light, it is factory sealed. Please don't try this. If bulb needs to be replaced, simply detach wires in junction box, tie the string to wire and pull light up on deck and replace (be sure not to get any water in housing). Then just pull string to bring wire back up.
 
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Old 06-28-07, 11:56 AM
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I will do that then, thanks. Isn't odd that the wire isn't long enough though? The light almost gets out of the water but the slack runs out. Will try the string method and see what happens
 
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Old 06-28-07, 12:10 PM
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Not really odd, happens all the time when whoever installs the light cuts the wires to short at the junction box. Good luck
 
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Old 06-28-07, 12:14 PM
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Looking at that junction box again, it appears the red is going to white, and the black is going to white as well with the greens bolt grounded to the box. You said red/black should be together and white/white together as well. Would this be the problem?
 
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Old 06-29-07, 07:25 AM
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Apparently my post last night did not get on here, here it is again. I don't think the wires being wired backwards will matter on the light, however I would definately swap the wires before removing light. Are you getting 110v at the junction box?
 
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Old 06-29-07, 03:11 PM
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yup the junction box has power going to it once I flip the breaker. Right now I have everything turned off. Gonna have to pull the wires out the conduit some to get the light on the deck area then pull it back through once ready.
 
  #18  
Old 06-29-07, 04:01 PM
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Good luck, make sure you have string tied really good before pulling wires, it can be near impossible to get back in. If there is any water at all inside light housing you'll need a new gasket and must be completely dry before assembly. A hair dryer works good.
 
  #19  
Old 07-07-07, 08:36 PM
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lights in and working great, thanks for the info
 
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Old 07-08-07, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by fox_forma View Post
lights in and working great, thanks for the info
Congratulations.... So did you have to replace the whole fixture or just the bulb?
 
  #21  
Old 07-10-07, 04:47 PM
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Only had to replace the bulb. The wires actually were very easy to fish back through the conduit so it didnt take any time at all to swap out. Thanks for all the help.
 
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