pool is leaking around light. can the light be sealed?

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ac

pool is leaking around light. can the light be sealed?

Postby ac » Fri 10 Oct, 2008 22:32

i am a new home owner w/ a pool that is leaking in the light well. the light has not been hooked up to the electric, so i was wondering if it can just be sealed? my "pool" guy wants to drill into the cement to fix it for a couple of thousand dollars. i do not have the money to do this, there has to be a chaeper way!!! any ideas? the light is not important since it has never been functional.


Guest

There are always alternatives .... (long winded)

Postby Guest » Mon 24 Nov, 2008 12:52

Let me begin by saying that the most common leaks in the pool light pot are normally not in the pot itself. Light pots are made of thick stainless steel and, while it does sometimes happen, they usually do not hole through. Leaks in and around the pool light are most often either in the conduit line that the light cord will run through, or are in the plaster and gunite surrounding the light pot. NOTE: the following suggestion will not always be a permanent repair - however if done well, it should last up to ten years, giving you time. (The only really permanent repair is to break out the leaking line and either replace it or use a variety of methods to patch/fix it.)

In any event, there is a somewhat less expensive method that can be used to repair ninety percent of all light related leaks. It is called epoxy putty or sometimes just poxy putty or AB putty. There are different types of putty available. You want one that will work underwater, this way you will not need to actually lower the water level to apply it. Most pool supply store will sell epoxy putty. It comes in two forms, either in a stick form or in cans and tubs. The stick form is often easier for most people to deal with and use - it is stiffer, easier to measure and usually less messy. That in the cans and tubs is more creamy, a bit more labor intensive and requires a short curing or setting time before you actually apply it. It is, however more adhesive than the stick type and will usually last longer if done well.

STEPS - The first step, always, is to know exactly where the leak is, to identify it. Working around a light pot, the dye method is usually simplest. Someone will need to get wet though - as this method requires that the water in the pool be high enough that the leak is actually leaking (note here - the more water there is in the pool the stronger/faster the leak will be making it easier to identify). You will need goggles or a diving mask - to see clearly underwater. You will need some type of testing dye and the ability to place it only where you want it and do so by drops - food coloring works, I usually use the Ph testing dye from a pool water test kit.

Now for the fun parts - First, the water should be as still as possible, meaning the pool pump should be off for at least three hours before the test is done. If the water is circulating it has a current and the dye may try to follow that current rather than the much smaller one a leak generates. Second, if there is a lot of sediment and crud built up in the light pot - get it out. If it is under water, just stick in your arm and wave it rapidly around until it clears the pot. Then you will need to wait another thirty minutes to an hour for it to settle and allow you a clear view. It is a good suggestion to do that first, before turning off the pump. Practice: Most food colorings and the liquid ph dyes have dropper tips on their bottles, so they can be added by the drop. Practice gently squeezing the bottle so you dispense drops and not jets of the dye. Now, either get into the water, or hang down over the edge of the pool so that you can see directly into the light pot. Moving slowly, squeeze a few drops of the testing dye into the water directly in front of the tube opening at the back of the pot (not directly into the tube). Wait and watch and try not to disturb the water any more than necessary. The dye will remain clumped for long seconds before it dissipates into the surrounding water. During this time, if there is water going out of a leak, it will follow the water and you can see it happen. You have identified the leak.

If, as I suspect, it is in the conduit tube, use a rag and clean the surfaces around and inside of the tube as far as you can reach. Now, mix your epoxy putty according to the package directions. (remember, it can be applied and will set up underwater - so no need to actually drain the pool) The stick type you can knead in your hands until it is well blended (note - water dampened hands are a good thing here). The creamier types you will need to mix on a piece of cardboard or some other disposable surface using a popsicle stick, tongue depressor or putty knife. The creamy type will need to 'sit' and cure for eight to ten minutes before you actually apply it - is needs to be stiff enough that it will ball up in your palms - sort of like modelling clay. The stick type is usually stiff enough to use immediately. The reason for the thickness/stiffness is to insure that combination of the water pressure/leak do not "push it through".

For a conduit line, the idea is to literally fill the line opening with globs of the epoxy putty - sealing it. If there is a pool light (which I know you said there is not currently one) do not remove it. Push the putty into the conduit around the line, packing it as best you can. When the line seems 'full' and you cannot force more into it, use more of the putty to for a 'cap'. pressing it down atop what is there and out onto the pot surface surrounding the opening. Using your thumb or fingertips, smooth this as much as possible and blend the edges into the pot surface so there are no real 'ridges'. Moving water will eventually wear down ridges and weaken the bond. Once the area is well packed - do your dye test again to insure the leak has stopped.

A Few warnings: FIRST - Epoxy putty will stick to anything, even your hands. You will be some time getting the lasts of it off of your skin. - BUT it also sticks to and tears rubber gloves so the only real way to work it smooth, it this type of space, is using your fingers. It won't hurt you and will eventually wear away or can be cleaned away with a stiff bristle brush. SECOND - Once applied, do not turn the pumps on for at least three hours - allowing it time to cure in place - Epoxy putty will set up like cement as it cures, but can be eroded away by moving water until it cures. THIRD - Twenty-four hours later, stick your head back down into the water and re-dye test the area to insure nothing has happened to re-open the leak. FOURTH - If there is a pool light, do not reinstall it or move the cord around until the putty has set. If you loosen the bond between the cord and the putty before it cures, you can reopen the leak. FIFTH - if you ever have a light problem that requires replacing the light itself, the epoxy has to be chipped/chiseled or drilled out by hand before the old line can be pulled out and/or a new one pulled in. Not having a light in the first place, if you ever plan to have one, the best idea is to install it now - then make this repair.

Epoxy repairs can be applied to surface leaks in the gunite areas of the pool as well, though once it hardens it usually yellows, so it never matches the surrounding plaster.

I have worked on pools for twenty-five plus years and have made many an epoxy putty repair in that time. It works, and will normally last for years. In most cases though, it will eventually fail. The only way to truly effect a permanent repair is by breaking concrete, digging out the leak and doing a replacement of the affected piece or cutting out the leaking area and splicing in a patch piece.

-- Ray --
david in Omaha

Pool is leaking around light. can the light be sealed?

Postby david in Omaha » Thu 16 Apr, 2009 17:18

Hi

I hope someone anyone can help me 1. We Have a pool.
2. This Pool had a light
3. I think was a Hayuward light Par/36 ?
4. I don't know why but the light is gone- the whole thing.
5 Only the Nich (is that right) in the pool is left.
6. I now need a new light to fit with cord in this nich, but all the lights
are to deep about 7"
7. Is there anyone who still makes one to fit, or a new kit?
8. HELP ME ! call me or e-mail me back Thanks so much
402-492-2660
sam, if you are there still: hot tub drained; adjacent part of 10,000 gal in-ground pool; drained is good?

There are always alternatives .... (long winded)

Postby sam, if you are there still: hot tub drained; adjacent part of 10,000 gal in-ground pool; drained is good? » Fri 23 May, 2014 11:18

Pool User wrote:Let me begin by saying that the most common leaks in the pool light pot are normally not in the pot itself. Light pots are made of thick stainless steel and, while it does sometimes happen, they usually do not hole through. Leaks in and around the pool light are most often either in the conduit line that the light cord will run through, or are in the plaster and gunite surrounding the light pot. NOTE: the following suggestion will not always be a permanent repair - however if done well, it should last up to ten years, giving you time. (The only really permanent repair is to break out the leaking line and either replace it or use a variety of methods to patch/fix it.)

In any event, there is a somewhat less expensive method that can be used to repair ninety percent of all light related leaks. It is called epoxy putty or sometimes just poxy putty or AB putty. There are different types of putty available. You want one that will work underwater, this way you will not need to actually lower the water level to apply it. Most pool supply store will sell epoxy putty. It comes in two forms, either in a stick form or in cans and tubs. The stick form is often easier for most people to deal with and use - it is stiffer, easier to measure and usually less messy. That in the cans and tubs is more creamy, a bit more labor intensive and requires a short curing or setting time before you actually apply it. It is, however more adhesive than the stick type and will usually last longer if done well.

STEPS - The first step, always, is to know exactly where the leak is, to identify it. Working around a light pot, the dye method is usually simplest. Someone will need to get wet though - as this method requires that the water in the pool be high enough that the leak is actually leaking (note here - the more water there is in the pool the stronger/faster the leak will be making it easier to identify). You will need goggles or a diving mask - to see clearly underwater. You will need some type of testing dye and the ability to place it only where you want it and do so by drops - food coloring works, I usually use the Ph testing dye from a pool water test kit.

Now for the fun parts - First, the water should be as still as possible, meaning the pool pump should be off for at least three hours before the test is done. If the water is circulating it has a current and the dye may try to follow that current rather than the much smaller one a leak generates. Second, if there is a lot of sediment and crud built up in the light pot - get it out. If it is under water, just stick in your arm and wave it rapidly around until it clears the pot. Then you will need to wait another thirty minutes to an hour for it to settle and allow you a clear view. It is a good suggestion to do that first, before turning off the pump. Practice: Most food colorings and the liquid ph dyes have dropper tips on their bottles, so they can be added by the drop. Practice gently squeezing the bottle so you dispense drops and not jets of the dye. Now, either get into the water, or hang down over the edge of the pool so that you can see directly into the light pot. Moving slowly, squeeze a few drops of the testing dye into the water directly in front of the tube opening at the back of the pot (not directly into the tube). Wait and watch and try not to disturb the water any more than necessary. The dye will remain clumped for long seconds before it dissipates into the surrounding water. During this time, if there is water going out of a leak, it will follow the water and you can see it happen. You have identified the leak.

If, as I suspect, it is in the conduit tube, use a rag and clean the surfaces around and inside of the tube as far as you can reach. Now, mix your epoxy putty according to the package directions. (remember, it can be applied and will set up underwater - so no need to actually drain the pool) The stick type you can knead in your hands until it is well blended (note - water dampened hands are a good thing here). The creamier types you will need to mix on a piece of cardboard or some other disposable surface using a popsicle stick, tongue depressor or putty knife. The creamy type will need to 'sit' and cure for eight to ten minutes before you actually apply it - is needs to be stiff enough that it will ball up in your palms - sort of like modelling clay. The stick type is usually stiff enough to use immediately. The reason for the thickness/stiffness is to insure that combination of the water pressure/leak do not "push it through".

For a conduit line, the idea is to literally fill the line opening with globs of the epoxy putty - sealing it. If there is a pool light (which I know you said there is not currently one) do not remove it. Push the putty into the conduit around the line, packing it as best you can. When the line seems 'full' and you cannot force more into it, use more of the putty to for a 'cap'. pressing it down atop what is there and out onto the pot surface surrounding the opening. Using your thumb or fingertips, smooth this as much as possible and blend the edges into the pot surface so there are no real 'ridges'. Moving water will eventually wear down ridges and weaken the bond. Once the area is well packed - do your dye test again to insure the leak has stopped.

A Few warnings: FIRST - Epoxy putty will stick to anything, even your hands. You will be some time getting the lasts of it off of your skin. - BUT it also sticks to and tears rubber gloves so the only real way to work it smooth, it this type of space, is using your fingers. It won't hurt you and will eventually wear away or can be cleaned away with a stiff bristle brush. SECOND - Once applied, do not turn the pumps on for at least three hours - allowing it time to cure in place - Epoxy putty will set up like cement as it cures, but can be eroded away by moving water until it cures. THIRD - Twenty-four hours later, stick your head back down into the water and re-dye test the area to insure nothing has happened to re-open the leak. FOURTH - If there is a pool light, do not reinstall it or move the cord around until the putty has set. If you loosen the bond between the cord and the putty before it cures, you can reopen the leak. FIFTH - if you ever have a light problem that requires replacing the light itself, the epoxy has to be chipped/chiseled or drilled out by hand before the old line can be pulled out and/or a new one pulled in. Not having a light in the first place, if you ever plan to have one, the best idea is to install it now - then make this repair.

Epoxy repairs can be applied to surface leaks in the gunite areas of the pool as well, though once it hardens it usually yellows, so it never matches the surrounding plaster.

I have worked on pools for twenty-five plus years and have made many an epoxy putty repair in that time. It works, and will normally last for years. In most cases though, it will eventually fail. The only way to truly effect a permanent repair is by breaking concrete, digging out the leak and doing a replacement of the affected piece or cutting out the leaking area and splicing in a patch piece.

-- Ray --
juangeorge

Re: pool is leaking around light. can the light be sealed?

Postby juangeorge » Tue 05 Jan, 2016 22:56

I had a somewhat similar issue with the swimming pool at my house where in there was a leak around the underwater lights. Initially i couldn’t rectify the issue but then later I found it out and then I had called swimming pool people in Toronto where they had come and resolved the issue by filling the gaps formed around the lights and sealing it. Only thing is that, the complete water in the pool had to be drained off before any work was started or else it could create health issues as the water will contain the particles of the materials used to seal the gap.
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Larry
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Re: pool is leaking around light. can the light be sealed?

Postby Larry » Wed 06 Jan, 2016 11:45

Hi Juan

Some simple pool repairs can be done without draining the water, but very often the pool needs to be empty for structural repairs.

Glad you got the problem sorted

Larry

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