Water and electricity don’t mix!  That’s why we highly recommend that before attempting to change a light bulb in a pool yourself, you seek the help of a trained electrician.  Outlined below are the proper measures that should be taken to ensure the safety of the person performing the work and the integrity of the pool equipment.


1.  Turn off the power at the breaker.

2.  Lean into the pool and remove the face rim lock-screw (retaining screw) from the faceplate that holds the fixture to the niche. The top of the fixture will float outward; the bottom is hooked into the niche and can be lifted out.

3.  Uncoil the excess cord to give you enough slack to raise the fixture out of the water onto the deck.

4.  Remove the lens that is held in place by a clamp or a set of screws.  Gently pry the lens away from the fixture, taking care not to gouge the lens gasket.

5.  Replace the bulb. Inside some fixtures you will find a bare coiled spring wire. This is non-electrical but is designed to break a circuit. Notice that without a bulb in place, the spring lays to one side of the fixture.  Hold it up against the opposite side, and screw in the new bulb. The spring lies on the bulb itself.  If the bulb bursts when in use, the spring sweeps across the filament, cutting the electricity in the circuit.  In this way, if water has gotten into the fixture, electrical current is cut in order to prevent electrocution.

6.  Now, place the fixture on the deck and turn on the light to make sure your new bulb works.  Never operate a closed fixture out of the water for more than a few seconds to test it.

7.  Reassemble the fixture. Be aware that you may need a new gasket. After long use, heat, and harsh chemicals, the old one is probably compressed, and if it doesn't fail immediately, it might fail before the next bulb change.

8.  In reassembling the faceplate, if it has a series of screws, tighten them on opposite sides until you have done them all. This applies even pressure and prevents gaps in the gasket that will ultimately leak.

9.  Lay the fixture back in the water. Hold it underwater for several minutes to make sure it doesn't leak. A few bubbles might rise from air trapped under the lip of the faceplate, but a steady stream means the fixture is filling with water. Take it apart again and dry it thoroughly. Go back to step 4 and be more careful!

10.  If it passes the leak test, turn it on for a few seconds before putting the fixture back in the niche. During reassembly or testing you might have banged the unit around enough to break the bulb or its delicate filament, or you might have a bad bulb. Remember, the closed fixture depends on water for cooling, so conduct this test for literally no more than two seconds. Now, reset the fixture in the niche as outlined previously.


Return To DYI Pool Care Main