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Thread: Frequent Pool Light Problems

  1. #1
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    Default Frequent Pool Light Problems

    I have had to clean my 300w 12v pool light bulb socket about once per year or my light quits working. I polish the socket and the bulb with emory paper, and simply replace the bulb, and it's good for about another year.

    There is no water or condensation in the fixture.

    I have a transformer that has three taps - 12v, 13v, and 14v. My wiring between the transformer and the bulb is estimated to be around 30 feet of 12g romex, and 15 feet of 8g(?) that is part of the light fixture. My contractor installed the light on the 12v tap.

    After reviewing the transformer's (T-79203-SR) spec sheet at http://www.acmepowerdist.com/pdf/Page_99.pdf, and given my wiring length and gauges, I moved it to the 14v tap hoping that this will solve my lighting problems. Will it?

  2. #2
    Poconos is offline SuperMod Emeritus Sniggle Mechanic Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars
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    Default Re: Frequent Pool Light Problems

    Looking at that transformer and what you said about the lamp, 300W, that's 25 amps at 12V. Total resistance of your run works out to be .1164 ohms. At 25 amps that's a 2.9V drop. If the lamp is indeed 300W then moving to a higher voltage tap won't cure your problem, just make the lamp brighter. 25 amps is a lot of current and localized heating at the lamp base contacts is probably what's killing the thing. I don't know anything about pool lights and am just making this comment based on knowledge of Ohms Law, and some physical characteristics like conact resistance issues thrown in.
    Al

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    Default Re: Frequent Pool Light Problems

    From the looks of it, you know more about electricity than me. But, I was thinking ...
    1. The voltage drop problem is the reason for the multiple taps on the transformer.
    2. By using the 14v tap, I would use fewer amps than at 12v, therefore producing less heat and leading to less socket corrosion.
    3. Low voltage (12v) lighting is, by definition, high amp (~25 amp) lighting, everthing else held constant (300w). Since many pools use low voltage lighting, I do not think my problem is not correctable by some fine tuning of my power source.

    When using the 12v tap on my transformer, and compensating for voltage drop, I suspect that my load was 30 or more amps. By moving to the 14v tap, compensating for voltage drop, my load should be ~25 amps, or ~20% less. That should positively impact my suspected heat problem.

    Rather than waiting another year, I was hoping that this would be an identified problem on this forum - someone choosing the wrong tap on the transformer leading to frequent bulb socket corrosion.

  4. #4
    Poconos is offline SuperMod Emeritus Sniggle Mechanic Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars Poconos 4 stars
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    Default Re: Frequent Pool Light Problems

    I think your argument about higher voltage = less current may be valid. Gets complicated because the lamp filament at lower voltage runs cooler, thus a lower resistance. Jacking up the voltage = higher temperature and higher resistance. I agree these thing have been around for a long time and do work. Unfortunately I have no experience at all with low voltage lighting. A V x I plot would be interesting.
    Al

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