"rust" on Kichler underwater lights

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by sprinkler guy, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    For those of you using the Kichler underwater light (15711), in a fountain or water feature that is serviced by the pool guy (chlorine), have you had a problem with the fixtures growing a rust colored algae on them? I've cleaned out this fountain a couple times, and the pool guy says he is only putting 1" chlorine tablets in the water now, but the "rust" is coming back. The homeowner swore they were rusting, but it seems more like an algae that is rust colored. Makes for a heck of a mess after a few weeks. After cleaning them off, it's obvious that the housing is not rusting, as even the text printed from Kichler is still on the side of the body.Talking to the local Kichler rep, who last month recommended switching to the chlorine tablets, is now telling me to try an algaecide. Anyone else have any experience with this? I've only used maybe 40 of these in the last year and half, but never had this problem.
     
  2. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,676

    Sean, I don't have an answer for you. But I can tell you I have this same rust-colored glop develop in a wall fountain on my house. The only water put in it is city water (with whatever chemicals). If you are questioning a possible reaction with the Kichler fixture, my fountain has no fixture in it.
     
  3. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    It's definitely a reaction to the fixture. There are stainless screws holding down the suction and return vents and they have nothing on them.
     
  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    I was in a day-long class put on by Kichler just a few days ago. They specifically said that this fixture is specifically NOT to be used in a body of water that is being treated with chlorine, bromine, etc.
     
  5. sprinkler guy

    sprinkler guy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    I've found out that's a recent development because of this issue coming up in other places. It's odd that a stainless steel fixture would have this kind of reaction. I'm waiting to hear back from Kichler what kind of stainless, and how are they treating it. Bums me out that I may have to change them, as I like the light output and the fixture size. Did the total clean out of the feature yesterday, CLR, scrubbing, 3 fill and rinses, the whole nine yards. Refilled it at the end of the day and put in an algaecide. We'll see how it does.
     
  6. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,676

    Jim, you oughta be teaching these classes by now!
     
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    Nah.... I still got plenty to learn. I took 4 pages full of notes that day.
     
  8. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,676

    So what's the deal with these fixtures and chlorine?........a chemical reaction, I take it?
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    I am not sure. They didn't get into it other than to tell us that we shouldn't use them in a situation where the body of water was treated with pool chemicals.
     
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,835

    I contacted Ron Carter, Kichler's Corporate Trainer, to get the low-down on this issue. Here is what his answers were:

    Why is it that the 15711 starts to rust in areas where chlorine / bromine is used?


    It doesnÂ’t rust from the chlorine/bromine, it turns white/crusty.

    When it rusted, it was from a slight, harmless electrical charge created from the internal riveting process used during manufacturing. That spread from the inside outward. We are past that now as that process has been corrected in manufacturing.


    So it sounds like there was an issue in manufacturing that has now been fixed. And knowing that Kichler has an outstanding counter-swap warranty, if I were you I'd get together with my Kichler rep. and make sure to get these fixtures replaced on warranty - but not just with whatever fixtures your branch has on the shelf. Make sure that the replacements you get were made AFTER this manufacturing problem was fixed. That way you don't have this happen again.

    And it sounds like you can expect some white/crusty matter on the light as a result of the chlorine/bromine as well. But you shouldn't get any more rust, with the new ones.

    By the way, Ron Carter isn't just the corporate trainer. He's also the engineer who designed the majority of the Design Pro LED fixtures. Smart guy. If you ever get a chance to go to one of his training sessions - do it! He's a wealth of knowledge and is a heck of a nice guy too. After the class, I went out to dinner with everyone from Kichler, including Ron, and got a chance to know him better. Great guy.
     

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