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How to Replace a Pool Light

on July 7, 2017

How to Replace Pool LightingOutdoor lighting has always been about beauty, but every light doubles as a matter of safety.  While path-way lights can range from haunting and mystical to strictly utilitarian, they serve as guardians of safety in the dark.  This is true of all the lights in your yard, from porch and security lights to accent lights on trees, flagpoles, and your flowerbed.  But nowhere else do your landscape lights serve this split purpose of aesthetic and safety than when it comes to your pool.

Of course, during the summer your pool is more than just a gorgeous sight.  The ability for private relaxation amidst the heat and fury of the sun is a welcome relief.  At night, pool lights keep you from taking an accidental midnight plunge as you’re walking through the yard.  For this reason, it’s important to replace lights as soon as they burn out.  Of course, you can hire an expert electrical and lighting company like Mainstream, or you can try replacing the lights in your pool yourself.

Easy Pool Light Replacement

How many homeowners does it take to replace a pool light? Just you.  you don’t even need to drain the pool first since pool lights are designed to be removed while the pool is full of water!  The best news is that this is a fix you can do not just by yourself, but in the heat of the day when all the other outdoor tasks (mowing the lawn for example) are just too tiring.

Turn Off All Power – There is no way to stress this step too much.  While this is also recommended for replacing light bulbs at home, many people ignore it there.  Do not skip this step when replacing a pool light.  Even with drying between each step, working around water and electrical connections is dangerous.  Turn off the power.  Start at the electrical breaker and make sure the entire circuit is de-energized.

Test Your Pool Lights –  Turn the lights on and off.  While you won’t be able to see if the burnt-out bulb is turning on and off, check the neighboring lights and make sure they aren’t turning on.  If your pool has only a single light, check to see if the pool pump is powered as they should be on a similar circuit.

Remove the Light Cover – Using a screwdriver, remove the screw at the top of the fixture.  This is the mounting screw that holds the housing in place.  You can reach it be either leaning over the edge of the pool or simply by standing in the pool (keep a towel handy).

Pull the Housing Free – Use a flat instrument (such as a flat-headed screwdriver) to pry the housing free once the screw is removed.  Most housings will have a flat tab at the base of the light fixture which you can use to pry the housing free.  Once the fixture is removed, pull it up onto the deck and carry it a couple of feet away from the pool (or as far as the cable allows).

Dry Surfaces – Dry off your hands, arms, and the housing with a towel.  The housing doesn’t need to be desert-dry, but you do want to limit the amount of water available.

Remove the Lens – Depending on the model of fixture, the lens will either snap into place with tabs or require the removal of screws.  Whichever version you have, remove the ring cover, lens, and gaskets (the rubbery rings between the lens, ring, and cover) and remember what order they were removed in.

Replace the Lightbulb – Congratulations, this part is no different from replacing any other light bulb.  Unscrew the bulb and replace it with the next bulb.  Turn the power back on to test the light and make sure it works, then disconnect power again.

Replace the Lens – Put the cover back on in the reverse of how you took it off, making sure to get a tight seal.

Test for Leaks – Once you’ve tightened everything up, submerge the fixture in water and watch for bubbles escaping from the housing.  If you see bubbles coming from the fixture, pull it out, drain the water, and reseal it.

Insert the Fixture Back into the Housing – Replace the fixture in the housing and return the top screw to its proper place.  Once the fixture is securely nestled into place, restore power and make sure that everything is working correctly.


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For more information on home and business electrical inspections, HVAC and furnace services, or plumbing service throughout Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, visit Mainstream Electric, Heating,  Cooling, & Plumbing online.

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