Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spa Light Halogen Addendum

This is meant as an addendum to the previous Pool/Spa light bulb replacement write up. If your light does not look like the bulb in the example this article might apply to you.

Spa lights come in a few different forms: narrow flood, medium base halogen, a standard flood light or a thinner halogen JD bulb.

With any of the bulb types listed, the lens gasket is the same.

The installation difference is with the thinner halogen JD bulbs. Inside the light, after the lens and the lens gasket are removed, is a reflector.

At this point, the reflector can be pulled out.

Before a halogen bulb can be unscrewed, there is a metal brace that needs to be released by using one hand pull the two sides of the brace holding the bulb together.

While still holding the brace open, unscrew the halogen bulb.

When installing the new bulb, the brace will need to be held open. When finished, release the brace and it will hold the bulb in place.

Set the reflector back in the housing around the newly placed bulb.

Place the new lens gasket onto the old lens. The remaining steps are the same in the original write up found here
For reference the remaining photos of this specific job are below.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Swimming Pool Skimmer Equalizer/Float Assembly

Swimming Pool Skimmer Equalizer/Float Assembly
This article will explain what a Swimming Pool Skimmer Equalizer/Float Assembly is, how it works and what happens when one is missing.

Inside of swimming pool skimmers are either one or two open ports at the bottom.

Most modern pools have two with one connected to the system pump and the other utilized as an equalizer port. The equalizer port is connected to the main drain (at the bottom of the pool) or an open port on the side of the pool a few feet down from the skimmer opening. There is usually a float assembly unit covering both ports in the skimmer.

A float assembly is a saucer shaped device with a float inside and an adjusting flap on the bottom.

The flap is normally pushed to the side, leaving the center opening uncovered.

When everything is working properly and the water level of the swimming pool is at the correct level, water flows in from the upper opening down into the skimmer, through the float assembly and down into the back open port to the pool pump. See figure 1
(Figure 1)

If the water level drops below the skimmer opening, the float inside the float assembly drops which connects the equalizer and the pump ports. Water is pulled from the equalizer under the now closed float assembly and down into the pump port. See figure 2.
This ensures that the pool pump still circulates water, keeping the water filtering while cooling the pump motor (since it is water cooled).
(Figure 2)

The back port is used when connecting a vacuum hose to manually vacuum the pool. Not knowing what a float assembly does, it is common for swimming pool owners to remove these from skimmers and not replace them. Once removed, the system works as shown in figure 1. However, if the water level of the pool drops below the skimmer without a float assembly, the pump will pull air into the lines causing the system to lose prime (internal pressure pulling water from the pool and through the equipment). Most pool pumps cannot detect the loss of water flow and will continue to run dry. Since the pumps are water cooled, they can overheat, thus melting the connecting pipes and eventually burning out the motor.

If a swimming pool skimmer is missing a float assembly, these are not universally compatible and the makers name is needed to find the correct unit. To find the manufacturer’s name, check the skimmer lid to see which float assembly is needed. Some of the most common manufactures are Anthony Pools, American Products, StaRite, Pentair and Hayward Pool Products.