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Installment 6


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What would you suspect if you saw this?

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Do you know the requirements for placement of underwater swimming pool lights?

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif LIGHT CLOSE TO SURFACE.jpg

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This is my favorite pool light.

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What kind of stain is this? What caused it?

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1)I'm guessing the bubbles are from a leak in the pump suction line, or the water level is too low and air is entering the skimmer.

2)The lights will overheat and break the lenses if not fully submerged?

3)I don't know what the photo is w/ the clamp light in it except I can see heavily corroded galvanized pipe. Chlorine is a potent oxidizer and would greatly accelerate the deterioration of exposed metal.

4) I have no idea what caused the dark stain. My first guess would be that area is protected from sunlight and the rest of the liner faded.

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First photo. The one with the air bubbles. This usually indicates one of the following: 1. a leak in the suction side of the recirculation system. Could be piping or valves. If there is a pool vacuum in use the hoses may be drawing in air. It could also be the "O" ring at the pump hair trap. 2. a leak in the return side of the system. Could be at the filter "O" ring, return piping, or valves. Very seldom is this due to a leak in the underground piping but it's not impossible. If the cause isn't obvious the various components of the system must be isolated and put under pressure in order to locate the source of the leak. If the water level drops below the skimmer this will occur followed by loss of pump prime.

Second and third photos. Wet niche lights. The NEC requires the top of the light lens to be at least 18" below the normal water level unless, as in the third photo, the light is listed for installation at lesser depths. In no case can the light be less than 4" from the normal water level.

Fourth photo. Dry niche light. This is usually seen in older pools and consists of a compartment seperated from the pool by a sheet of plexiglass or other shatterproof material. There is an access cover located on the deck for servicing the light. The liight assembly must be listed for the intended use. I report these as potentially unsafe and recommend upgrading to a low voltage system or fiber optic lighting. No way is this photographers clamp-on light listed for use as a swimming pool light.

Fifth photo. Stain. This inground pool is about two years old. The homeowner recently installed a 118,000BTU heat pump heater at a cost of +/_ $4,200.00. He sent his teen-age to the pool supply store to have the water analyzed. He was told he needed to add 1 1/2 cups of muriatic acid and 2 1/2 gallons of liquid chlorine. The teenager returned home and proceeded to add 1 1/2 cups of liquid chlorine and 2 1/2 gallons of muriatic acid. The highly acidic water leached the copper out of the heat pump coil and deposited it on the floor of the pool. Thus the blue stain. They were able to clean up the stain but had to sacrifice what was left of the heat pump.


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I'm bettin the kid now has to deal with an unheated pool. Oh, the woes of the working class.

Now, I think I only had one of the four problems identified correctly. That's exactly why I didn't expose my soft white underbelly on the earlier pool questions.

Give us more Norm; being wrong only sucks about half as bad as I thought it would.

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As I understand it from a past Client, the pool contractor constructed the steps wrong and now they are saying they can just rebuild them without destroying the integrity of the rest of the pool.

I'd guess they are going to tear them out and redo them.


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If the contractor removes the steps and then reconstructs them there's a good chance for trouble down the line. Even if the rebar for the new steps is doweled into the existing gunnite shell with epoxy you will have a cold joint. I have yet to see a cold joint that didn't exhibit cracking following the curing process. The crack in the shell will eventually transfer through to the plaster surface. Not only is the crack un-sightly but it could allow leakage. On the other hand if the contractor leaves the original steps in place and reconfigures them using a bonding agent a satisfactory result can be obtained


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