How to Change Swimming Pool Lights
Ideally you should change underwater pool lights during the off-season when there is no water in the swimming pool. Since pool lights add to the atmosphere of your pool’s landscape, you probably don’t want to wait to fix them if they go out during the summer season. The good news is you don’t have to. It is possible to change underwater pool lights while the pool is full. And with newer, energy efficient lighting available, you may not want to wait to start saving money on electrical bills either.
1. Find out what your local building codes are regarding electrical work on swimming pools. In addition to a permit, you may need to hire a licensed professional electrician to change the underwater pool lights. You can do this as a do-it-yourself project if you can get the permits and have the necessary electrical expertise. If you have any doubts about performing this task, be safe and hire a professional who knows how to work with electricity around water.
2. Choose the pool lights you want to use as replacement. If you want to just change bulbs, pick out swimming pool bulbs with the same wattage. Even though pool lights look like ordinary floodlights, they are different; so get bulbs specifically designed as pool lighting. If you plan to change the entire pool light fixture for an energy efficient model, select one that fits in the niche in the wall. No matter what you do with the light fixture, pick up a new gasket for the lens plate.
3. Turn off all electrical systems that operate in or around the swimming pool. Use the electrical test meter to make sure the circuits are truly dead before you enter the water.
4. Wear your underwater goggles. Use the screwdriver to remove the screw at the top of the pool light lens. An older fixture may have more than one screw, which should allow you to slide out the light fixture from the niche and bring it to the top. Most lights have enough extra wiring tucked in the back of the niche to allow this.
5. Perform a visual inspection of the wiring. Make sure there are no cracks or other signs of wear and tear. If there are, replace the wiring as well.
6. Change the light bulb if that’s all you are doing. If you are changing out the entire fixture, unwire the old fixture and wire the new pool light in its place.
7. Replace the lens gasket. Make sure it has a good seal around the light fixture so that no water can get into the light.
8. Coil the extra wiring into a bundle, and slide it into the back of the niche. Slide the light fixture back into place. Screw it back into the wall.
9. Set the ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for the pool’s electrical system. Turn the electrical system back on, and try the lights.