Faulty Light Niche?

Leaks in the pool, plumbing, filtration system, skimmer, ...

Faulty Light Niche?

Postby bigdavetru » Tue 30 Jun, 2009 17:15

Our old built-in pool ( gunite, made in 1960 ) has a nice leak - it drops about 4 inches/day. The water level drops to about the level of the light and then slows down and seems to stop - I've plugged up the skimmer , side outlet and drain and return lines (and it still leaks ) and so of course it's probably leaking out of the light.

Pool is empty and I took the light off . One thing I noticed is that in the back of the niche wear where the pool light wire goes thru - well the wire goes thru that hole loosely. ( see photo links below ) Shouldn't there be a seal ( or something ) where the wire goes through the back of the niche?

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3603/3676751980_3e50ddda78_m.jpg
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3218/3675937105_c0545492ee_m.jpg
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Faulty Light Niche?

Postby Me... » Wed 01 Jul, 2009 10:49

There will usually be a 3/4" conduit going up to a deck box and it will all be open. This is the reason the deck box needs to be about 1' above water level, so the water doesn't backtrack down other conduits attached to the deck box. Possibly either the niche or the threads on the conduit are leaking. If it had water up past those levels you could dye test to see if water was flowing out of those areas.
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Faulty Light Niche?

Postby bigdavetru » Wed 01 Jul, 2009 13:10

Could I just put waterproof epoxy putty around where the wire goes thru the back of the niche? Will that hurt anything? I guess I should sand down the whole niche to inspect for cracks, it looks like its made of copper. If the pool still leaks after filling the hole with putty I guess a major repair is called for ie.. replacing the niche and conduit etc. ( I would prefer to do that in the winter ).

One more thing. This is what they call a "wet niche" right? - I notice that algae is covering the bottom of the niche.
Image
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Faulty Light Niche?

Postby Me... » Thu 02 Jul, 2009 07:38

Bad chemistry could have corroded a hole in the niche somewhere, maybe under the algae? If the light is on the heat will cause a convective current in the niche which could allow chlorine and/or algaecide to enter that area. If not, the chance of having treated water enter the niche area is low and therefore could contribute to algae. This would also apply to chemically balanced water to help prevent any corrosion.

Do a dye test, it will tell you pretty fast if there is a leak there.
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Faulty Light Niche?

Postby bigdavetru » Thu 02 Jul, 2009 10:02

Can't do a dye test right now - pool is empty. I'm still trying to find out if putting epoxy around the wire in the hole would do any harm. It seams like it would probably stop the leak if the its somewhere in the conduit ( like I suspect ). I don't have time to do a major repair right now.
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Faulty Light Niche?

Postby ChuckGeo » Thu 02 Jul, 2009 15:02

Putting pool putty in the conduit to seal it won't hurt anything, but there is a better way to seal the conduit. It's a product called Butyl Tape from Anderson Manufacturing in St. Paul MN. 800-348-1316. It's butyl rubber in a strip, you pack it around the cord, up into the conduit, as tight as you can get it. It will stay flexible and is easilly removable should you ever have to change the light fixture, just remember to repack the conduit after a light change.
As far as the niche, you need to clean it out real good and and inspect the interior, It's true that copper niches are susceptible to chemical imbalances (low pH) and have been known to develop holes. These can be patched with Pool Putty. Be sure that the area around the leak is nice and clean before you put on the epoxy.
Also, take a look around the outside edge of the light niche - where the plaster meets the outside of the niche, you should patch any gaps in that area.

Good luck
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Faulty Light Niche?

Postby Red » Sun 28 Mar, 2010 13:18

Hi, finally we have found a post where someone has a similar problem. We had a leak 2 summers ago which turned out to be the light. The pool repair man used waterproof epoxy and patched the back of our niche where the wires go through. We had been dropping 2 in/day until we finally came to this conclusion and checked other avenues. WELL, we winterized our pool, and when the ice/snow melted our pool level dropped to the LIGHT! NOT again! Ugggg. Does anyone know what is involved in changing out the niche? Is the niche located behind the liner? We are also worried our pool may cave in with the water level so low.

Thanks
Red
 

Faulty Light Niche?

Postby mike45 » Fri 02 Apr, 2010 19:24

i have repaired lots of leaks at the niche area i used aquamend just like before but also caulk around area replacing niche requires digging up line at back of niche, should check ring around light if you see gap put caulk around rubber also inside of niche for other holes
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Faulty Light Fixture?

Postby Gregan » Tue 13 Apr, 2010 03:21

Faulty Light Fixture?

I found that the conduit broke off about 2cm on the main fixture. Is there any way to fix this problem, without damaging the pool to remove the fixture.

Thanks
Gregan
 

Faulty Light Niche?

Postby Les » Tue 15 Mar, 2011 09:29

Me... wrote:Bad chemistry could have corroded a hole in the niche somewhere, maybe under the algae? If the light is on the heat will cause a convective current in the niche which could allow chlorine and/or algaecide to enter that area. If not, the chance of having treated water enter the niche area is low and therefore could contribute to algae. This would also apply to chemically balanced water to help prevent any corrosion.

Do a dye test, it will tell you pretty fast if there is a leak there.
Thewater line is at the light and the line has stayed at the same point. How can I tell if the leak is between the liner and the light or if the leak is in the niche? It will be difficult to see the outside of niche because it is covered by concrete for diving board deck
Les
 

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