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Old 08-03-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
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swimming pool light leak...


Hi! I am new to this site but need some info...We built a 15x30 in ground pool about three years ago and have been battling leaks for the last two of them (after the warranty ran out of course). The latest appears to have developed somewhere around the underwater light. We are basing this assumption on the fact that the soil located directly behind the deck where the conduit comes up through the ground seems to be washing out (there's a hole developing in the ground there).

First, is this an accurate deduction? And, second, what if anything can we look for and or do about it ourselves?

HELP!! Thanx!
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Old 08-03-2008, 12:44 PM   #2
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swimming pool light leak...


Welcome!
I think it would benefit you to call a leak detection company.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:39 PM   #3
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swimming pool light leak...


I would do a little carefull investigating yourself before calling a leak detection company as suggested. Unfortunately, I have seen several customers spend thousands of dollars on fixes that did not stop the leaks "found" by the detection service.
The disappearing soil is a fairly good indication of a possible problem in the area, but not a gautantee that it is with the light conduit. It is also possible to have pump lines running in the same area. I would take a small shovel and carefully follow the light conduit down into the ground (good idea to trip the light gfci first) , looking for an obvious increase in moisture in an area. If you reach a suspicious area, clean and dry the conduit and monitor it for a leak. Dig carefully , as you could also find suction/return lines buried in the area. Your local pool supplier should carry a "leak detection" dye product and be able to advise you also. If you are not comfortable with doing this or don't find anything obvious, go back to your supplier and ask for recommendations on hiring someone. It is much better than just pulling a name out of the phone book.

Sorry to hear of these ongoing problems with a new pool. but this just under scores the importance of dealing with an experienced pool builder , who will stand behind his product. Even though you say it is beyond the warranty period, this early onset of continuing leak problems indicates some obvious poor workmanship.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 08-03-2008 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 08-03-2008, 04:15 PM   #4
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swimming pool light leak...


Thank you so much for your rapid reply! I must say that I haven't been entirely happy with this whole pool construction/contracting company from the get go despite their having come highly recommended by our home builders and others! But, that's a horror story for another day...

Will take your advice and do some careful digging/detecting prior to hiring anyone. We're a bit gun shy of our local "reputable" tradesmen around here having seen and actually experienced their questionable workmanship/results. Don't want to correct one problem only to create another! Wish us luck!

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Old 08-06-2008, 05:21 AM   #5
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swimming pool light leak...


Check the obvious first:Are there any leaks at the equipment pad? Look closely at the filter, pump, heater and the pipe valves. Check the ground for moisture. Are there any wet areas around the pool? Walk around the pool, and by the pool and the equipment. Check for wet soil and sunken or eroding areas.

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Old 08-07-2008, 12:04 PM   #6
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swimming pool light leak...


Here is a simple way to find a leak. Let the water go down till you stop losing water, then fill it back up an inch or so - take some food coloring and go around the perimeter of the pool squeezing out drops every few feet. The food coloring will travel to-wards the leak. In your case you can prove if it is the light conduit, take the light out of the niche and rest it on the deck ( shut of the breaker for the light first) squeeze out a few drops of food color near the conduit if there is a leak you will definitely see the dye move in that direction! They all so make easy fixes for this common problem butyl tape is one it is a hand molded rubber sealant that will work under water they also make something called a cord stopper which is basically a plug which fits around the cord then gets pushed into the conduit like a cork in a bottle!
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:55 PM   #7
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swimming pool light leak...


I do leak detection for a living and if your pool is losing water from the light niche it will leak whether or not the pump is running so what yo want to do is find leak dye and pull the light from the housing look at the conduit and squirt dye directly in front of the conduit and move the dye back a half inch at a time and see if goes in the conduit if it does thats where it leaks. Remeber the light conduit is a static line meanig theres no pressure or suction to. If it goes out of the conduit then go to leaktools.com or your local pool store and buy some butyl tape and wrap it around the light to a slighty bigger diameter than the conduit and stuff the wire back in and the leak should stop. In the event its not in the conduit reply as so and i will give you more advice.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:23 PM   #8
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swimming pool light leak...


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Originally Posted by simplybluepools View Post
I do leak detection for a living and if your pool is losing water from the light niche it will leak whether or not the pump is running so what yo want to do is find leak dye and pull the light from the housing look at the conduit and squirt dye directly in front of the conduit and move the dye back a half inch at a time and see if goes in the conduit if it does thats where it leaks. Remeber the light conduit is a static line meanig theres no pressure or suction to. If it goes out of the conduit then go to leaktools.com or your local pool store and buy some butyl tape and wrap it around the light to a slighty bigger diameter than the conduit and stuff the wire back in and the leak should stop. In the event its not in the conduit reply as so and i will give you more advice.
Good advice. I might add that it would be a good idea for any DIYer to kill the circuit breaker serving the light. Low odds of getting a shock, but a good precautionary measure.

If you do take the light loose, do not try to remove the greasy looking potting compound that you'll see on the electrical when you remove the wet niche light to expose the housing. It is important stuff.

Also, if you end up with a new light, make sure that whoever puts it in for you properly connects it to the bonding grid (not grounding...bonding) that interconnects all the metal parts in and around your pool and pool area. It is a life and death issue.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:33 PM   #9
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swimming pool light leak...


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Originally Posted by simplybluepools View Post
I do leak detection for a living and if your pool is losing water from the light niche it will leak whether or not the pump is running so what yo want to do is find leak dye and pull the light from the housing look at the conduit and squirt dye directly in front of the conduit and move the dye back a half inch at a time and see if goes in the conduit if it does thats where it leaks. Remeber the light conduit is a static line meanig theres no pressure or suction to. If it goes out of the conduit then go to leaktools.com or your local pool store and buy some butyl tape and wrap it around the light to a slighty bigger diameter than the conduit and stuff the wire back in and the leak should stop. In the event its not in the conduit reply as so and i will give you more advice.

my water level from my pool leak stops half way in the casing of the pool light which is a good three inches of conduit pipe and the electrical wire i know that maybe the casing which is plastic could have a crack, but i cant see one, i done the dye test but nothing seems to be getting sucked in there. can it be the casing that meets the diamond brite leak
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Old 05-31-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
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swimming pool light leak...


so I just had a new pool construction but the pool contractor used the old cement walls and replaced one of the walls with a steel wall because we wanted the pool smaller. After the liner was placed the pool started leaking, to make a long story short, we found out the light niche was leaking. My pool guy told me he will try to repair the old niche instead of replacing the whole niche because there were too many risks involved in swapping the niche out (cement falling behind liner, ripping liner, blah blah blah) He told me my niche is made of stainless steel and copper and will not corrode .My question is : If he "repairs" this leak with epoxy or pool light niche cord leak plug, or some type of underwater sealant, will this be a problem again? He told me he guarantees it for over 10 years. Please if anyone can guide me on this repair I would appreciate it
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:38 PM   #11
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swimming pool light leak...


So you had an old gunite pool rehabed/resized to accept a snap-in liner?...........correct?

It sounds like your pool contractor is steering you in the right direction. The niche is heavy gauge SS and the odds of any problem developing there is very slim. The conduit(usually 3/4" copper) that theads into the back of the niche is another story, they leak often........BUT........that leak would be the pool owners fualt. If the PH drops to an acidic level for a long enough time it will attack and dissolve the soft copper conduit (happens all the time and is an easy fix)........that's the pool owners problem (voids all warranties when you dont keep your water "right")

If your pool is old enough to under-go this level of rehab and the niche doesnt already leak you must take care of your "chems" so I would'nt expect a leak anytime soon........but if you get one the rough repair cost would be $20-$30 for DIY.....or $100-$200-$250 to pay a pro who will have it done by the time you get off work.

I cant see many "fixes" lasting 10yrs..........more like 3-6yrs but if it only cost a hundred or two to fix it each time it still beats the cost of hammering out the old niche and installing a new niche + electrican $$$.

The cost to install a new niche during the rehab would run into the thousands as compaired to hundreds every decade to water proof your old niche.....win/win?

I didnt read your post well enough I guess..........I now see that the leak poped up after the liner was in. Chances are that it's a leak at the conduit but there's a chance that it's leaking at the liner/light niche seal point. Check with food coloring to find out where your leak is at.

How did they finish/trim the light in your pool?

Last edited by STL B.; 05-31-2011 at 10:23 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:09 PM   #12
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swimming pool light leak...


Quote:
Originally Posted by simplybluepools View Post
I do leak detection for a living and if your pool is losing water from the light niche it will leak whether or not the pump is running so what yo want to do is find leak dye and pull the light from the housing look at the conduit and squirt dye directly in front of the conduit and move the dye back a half inch at a time and see if goes in the conduit if it does thats where it leaks. Remeber the light conduit is a static line meanig theres no pressure or suction to. If it goes out of the conduit then go to leaktools.com or your local pool store and buy some butyl tape and wrap it around the light to a slighty bigger diameter than the conduit and stuff the wire back in and the leak should stop. In the event its not in the conduit reply as so and i will give you more advice.

I had someone come out for leak detection and was told that the Light Niche was cracked and had to be replaced. Since it is a gunite pool, the repair would be costly. Would the butyl tape help here?

Thanks
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #13
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swimming pool light leak...


Hi. I was wondering if a block off cover is available to eliminate a inground pool light that is leaking from the Niche. I would like to remove the bezel and just block off the hole with some type of cover. Thanks
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:53 AM   #14
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swimming pool light leak...


What type of pool construction do you have? What type of fixtures are they? Is the fixture failing/leaking or its between it and the pool?
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #15
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swimming pool light leak...


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take some food coloring and go around the perimeter of the pool squeezing out drops every few feet. The food coloring will travel to-wards the leak.
Food coloring will dissipate to quick. I used a product call tracer dyes to locate pool leaks.
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