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Old 06-13-2017, 04:23 PM   #1
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Default Underwater lights

Our 'new to us' boat has two underwater lights - seen during survey haul out - and easily found when looking at the transom from inside the boat.

The lights appear to not work (turning rocker on helm on and off while dark outside).

Did not see excessive growth covering the lights during the haul out. So don't believe they're simply fouled.

My next step (next time I'm at the boat) will be to test voltage to the lights by removing the screw on 'cap' (#1 below) with wiring leading to the light (I don't believe this breaks a water tight boundary, but will certainly have spill protection ready and also be ready to screw it back on quickly.

If voltage check is ok, my next trouble shooting effort would be to check the lights themselves to ensure there's not an open in the filament (not sure if these are filament or LED).

It certainly appears that the hardware is set up to allow access to the light from inside the boat (#2 below). NOT SURE IF THIS BREAKS THE WATER TIGHT BOUNDARY or if the lens that covers the light is the boundary (which makes more sense in my mind since you don't want to get the bulb wet).

So question for those who have replaced uw lights before - can I do it wet, or need to wait for next time I'm on the hard?

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Old 06-13-2017, 09:36 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by PJHoffnet View Post
The lights appear to not work (turning rocker on helm on and off while dark outside).
Did you check to see if there is a breaker on the 12V panel for the underwater lights? Is there a breaker on the 12v panel for the helm where switch is located.

For example if I want to honk the horn at my upper station, I need to turn on the 12v panel main, then turn on the upper station breaker on the 12v panel, then turn the horn switch on at the upper station, then I can honk my horn. (WTF??)
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:19 PM   #3
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I would definitely check for breaker or fuse that blew. Is the light on at the rocker switch?
These thru hull lights are not cheap, so check everything leading up to the lights.
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Old 06-13-2017, 11:45 PM   #4
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Those are big fixtures so not LED.

I would first check for power at the switch then check near the fixture but not by removing the nut you point out. Trace that cable back and find an easy point where you can cut open the outer jacket to access the wires then pierce the positive one to check for power. Once done seal it up with a liquid wire insulator.
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thanks to all for the good troubleshooting guidance. When I'm down at the boat next week I'll start cranking through them and post what I find.
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