How to Detect & Solve Pool Light Leaks

When you have a pool, there are a number of things that can go wrong and cause costly damage — that’s why pools require constant vigilance. One problem to watch out for is pool lights leaking. It’s essential to keep an eye out for leaks and take preventative measures before it’s too late, or you could end up in a tight situation.

If the water has dropped to the top of the light, the light may be leaking. You can test for a leak by shutting off the pump and seeing where the water level stops (if it falls at all). You can fix a leak quickly with duct seal compound, rubber tape, or a cord stopper. (as long as you can find it).

Let’s take a closer look at pool lights and the potential issues that can occur with them. It’s important to do your research when dealing with any part of the pool so you don’t cause any further damage. Diagnosing a leak is pretty easy when it’s at a fixture like a light.

How Do You Know if Your Pool Light Is Leaking? 

Lights reflected over a resort pool

It can be very hard to know if a pool light is leaking. If you suspect it might be the case, dropping the water level is the only real way to verify. You’ll then have to shut off the pump and block the lines to see if water keeps calling, and you may need to leave it overnight or for a few days to tell.

This works because if water leaks, the pool level will fall to the height of the leak, so, if it falls to the level of the light and stop, you know it’s the light. On the other hand, if the water level goes past the level of the light and keeps falling, you know the leak must be lower on the pool. If you’re still not sure, have a professional take a closer look.

How Do You Fix a Leaking Pool Light? 

In terms of quick fixes for a leaking pool light, there are a few things you can do that don’t require too much maintenance. Some are temporary fixes that may not last forever, but they’ll come in handy if you’re in a tight spot.

Duct Seal Compound

Buying a duct seal compound (on Amazon) is one of the best ways to fix a pool light. You can place it around the light and push it in there to stop the leak, and though it’s not the most sturdy fix, it’ll likely last a while because the texture means it doesn’t crack.

Rubber Tape

Rubber tape (on Amazon) is another fix you can use in a pinch since it’s waterproof and tends to be very sturdy. Make sure you pack on a few layers so the water can’t escape anymore.

Cord Stopper

A cord stopper (on Amazon) is a slightly more permanent fix, though you’ll have to work with the specific size of your pool light’s cords to ensure it plugs up the leak properly. You’ll have to pull out the wire to get the cord stopper on it and put it back in again.

As this is the more challenging of the fixes, it might be worth replacing your pool light at this point or having a professional take on the challenge.

There are some cord seal gaskets available with a split in them to make the process less complex, as you can slide them on a lot more easily without having to pull out the whole wire.

Do You Have to Drain Water to Replace a Pool Light? 

Small swimming pool

If you’ve decided you need to replace the entire pool light due to a leak, you might be worried that you have to drain the entire pool to get the job done. Don’t worry — although you might get wet, there should be no need to rid the pool of all its water. The following steps should help.

1. Shut Off the Circuit Breaker

The first thing you should do is make sure you shut off all electricity to the pool, as this process could be dangerous otherwise. 

2. Remove the Screw and the Pull Out Light Housing

There will be a single screw holding the light housing together, and you need to take this out. Once the screw is gone, you’ll be able to pull the light housing away entirely.

3. Remove the Other Screws

There should be a number of other screws holding together the lens to the housing and the gasket. Remove these too. 

While you’re here, check for signs of erosion. If the screws have eroded over time, you should replace them before putting everything back together.

4. Replace the Bulb

Unscrew the bulb and replace it with the new one. Make sure your bulb is compatible with the pool before you begin the whole process.

Make sure you screw the new bulb in properly. If you leave it slightly loose, the electricity could end up getting into the water and cause shocks!

5. Put Everything Back Together

Now you’ll have to screw the light housing back together. Don’t forget to replace eroded screws. Once you’ve done that, you can turn the circuit breaker back on and see the new bulb light up.

If you have doubts about your ability to do any part of the process — or aren’t even sure you need to replace the light entirely due to a leak — then it’s best to hire a professional. They’ll be able to replace the light in a short amount of time and if it’s just a single light, it shouldn’t be too expensive. If you’re not even sure the light is leaking, a professional can diagnose the issue too.

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