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Thread: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

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    Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Old standard Amerlite, 120 incandescent, standard base, stainless steel shell, 8-3/8 in. prismatic tempered glass lens, and chrome face ring with uni-tension clamps.

    I haven't used the light for several years, long story why, but short version; GFCI cranky and I haven't needed to plug anything in to GFCI as have more convenient power sources. I, also, thought the bulb was burnt out. 2007 developed a major leak requiring many gallons a day to keep water up to level during human swim season (dogs can handle cold water year round though). I'm embarrassed to report my monthly water bill. I did have someone come out mid summer but he was unsuccessful and had trouble getting him back. Finally, late Fall 2007, got TWO different different pool guys out to find the leak. One had me do measurements and different things over a week period to try to locate where leak was. Long story short, it was not at equipment and I couldn't find any leaks throughout the summer using red dye even near the light. (Lesson learned ...... take light out of socket to check for leaks behind light, which I didn't do.)

    Early winter a retired pool guy, friend of friend, told me it sounded like the leak was behind the light as the water leveled out about 3" above the bottom of light. As it was getting into winter I let the water level go down, closed pool, and watched it fill with leaves and everything else, water going from light green, to dark green, to dark brown. Spring 2008 we had a very successful frog pond with thousands of tadpoles and then hundreds of leopard frogs, along with a sudden increase of copperheads which we are still battling. (We still catch 2-3 a week within 10 feet of house and Mastiff puppy just got his second bite last night on face. Each Labradoodle has had one each on paws.)

    I digress, as usual. Last summer, 2008, after all frogs had left pool, I drained the pool, fixed the leak behind light, and did an acid wash with the help of (girl) friend who was visiting for a few weeks. Right at the end of our "fun job" I slipped and fell, stupidly walking down slope to deep end prior to washing the baking soda off the decline (very slick), tearing a shoulder rotator tendon. We did get the pool filled back up and going but I was in no condition to do anything about the light.

    This summer I flipped the switch on light and low and behold it came on. Someone had used a flat bladed screw driver to push the button in on GFCI so power had been going to light. When I found this I immediately tripped it because I was unsure of it's safety.

    This week I replaced the GFCI and the new light gasket arrived (and an LED replacement bulb), cleaned up the stainless shell, lens, and soaked the brass clips and stainless clip screws in vinegar. Everything is sparkling except for the lenses faceplate. The ring looks okay on outside but was caked with all kinds of corrosion and pitting around the indention where gasket fits in to it on back side. The "pitting" is like tiny cracks in the finish going across the indention all the way around. BTW... the old gasket was fused tightly to the shell and face ring. It took me a couple of hours to clean the residue left using Krud Kutter and lots of elbow grease.

    I tried, unsuccessfully, to get everything back together but it is such a tight fit and I didn't use lube or locking wrenches.

    I've now located my lube and locking wrenches to clamp it while putting little clamps back on. I really want to get this back together and into niche as I can't run the Polaris with light out of pool.

    Question******* Will the lube and new gasket give a good enough seal until I can get a new face plate? I really don't want to put the effort in to assembling it if there is no chance that it will give a good seal. Pool guys make it look so easy. I haven't been able to "leave the ranch" all week to purchase one "locally" and may not be able to today.

    Another Question****** If the new gasket does keep water out will a few days in old face plate damage it enough so that I need a new gasket with the new face plate when I can get it?

    I just read here on board to put silicon around nut where line goes in to shell. So glad I found that. It seems that about 15 years ago I had the shell and cord replaced but I think this is the original face plate, circa 1981, and possibly original gasket. I've had pool guys replace bulb a few times over the years when they were out here doing some repair I didn't want to tackle but didn't watch them closely as they were taking light apart and reassembling. BTW... Light is very basic, no timer, but I did have a dusk to dawn "eye" added to it years ago. Until I started adding low voltage lighting all over the place, several years ago (on going project), we kept the light on all night but don't need that now.

    Thanks for any advice. geekgranny
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    UPDATE

    The new rubber gasket being sold as "standard" for the old Amerlite is 1/8" thicker than the old one on my light. That is why my screws were too short. I discovered this before I left for pool place.

    Finally made it "off the ranch" yesterday and to pool place, owned by my favorite pool guy. In 23 years living here I've never visited his store.

    I took the old gasket, new gasket ordered on line, faceplate, and a clip with screw AND water sample (pool and tap) with me. The gasket they sell for my Amerlite is also the thicker version. Women there thought I really didn't need a new faceplate right now as long as I could get a good seal. Only option for now to use new type gasket is to purchase longer stainless steel screws. They didn't have any in stock so they or I would have to order them. Didn't have time to stop by hardware store(s) to see if I could get them locally.

    Came home, swam the puppies first, cleaned out some silt and proceeded to "make do". I cleaned the old gasket really well with 303 (non silicon) protectant, greased everything up really well with pool/spa lube, put light back together using all old parts, which was remarkably easy to do. Put light down in water, turned on as per instructions for "ColorSplash" replacement bulb and watched carefully for any bubbles coming out of light. There were none.

    Put light back in socket and, oh my doG, how wonderful and beautiful. Had to sit for any hour watching and playing with color and cycles before proceeding on to chores.

    Next step will be to order longer ss screws.

    BTW.... I can't express enough how wonderful the new bulb is. The pool is 30-36 ft with only one light at deep end. In past the incandescent bulbs have been too bright and glarey some times especially when swimming laps. The lighter colors and some of the darker colors in the Colorsplash Led bulb light up the whole pool better than a 500 watt incandescent but without any glare.

    I'm really curious about this change in gasket thickness. Pool owner/favorite pool guy wasn't there to ask about this but will try to get some info from him when I can.

    Happy geekgranny
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    Put light back in socket and, oh my doG, how wonderful and beautiful. Had to sit for any hour watching and playing with color and cycles before proceeding on to chores.


    Quote Originally Posted by geekgranny
    BTW.... I can't express enough how wonderful the new bulb is. The pool is 30-36 ft with only one light at deep end. In past the incandescent bulbs have been too bright and glarey some times especially when swimming laps. The lighter colors and some of the darker colors in the Colorsplash Led bulb light up the whole pool better than a 500 watt incandescent but without any glare.
    Can you please elaborate on the new light bulb? I'd love to replace my old incandescent if the Colorsplash would work. Also, is the pool store you referred to near the Dallas area?


    Dave
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    Can you please elaborate on the new light bulb? I'd love to replace my old incandescent if the Colorsplash would work. Also, is the pool store you referred to near the Dallas area?


    Dave
    Howdy neighbor. I'm in Cedar Hill, sw corner of Dallas Co, near Lake Joe Pool. The store is in Desoto which is due east of me. I take Belt Line east to get there. I-35 runs on the east side of Desoto. Store, Swim Ready, is several miles west of I-35 near older part of town, on N. Hampton just north of Belt Line. Owner/pool guy is Troy. I have American Home Shield coverage on my house/pool/spa so over the years I've had to use whoever they send out. Swim Ready has not been on their list for years but I use Troy for jobs I know AHS won't cover. He's trustworthy, SHOWS UP, doesn't try to "sell" any more than needed, professional, does a good job and willing to think "outside the box", and does good, fast work, good prices. BTW... I've even had him come out to fix something the other guys didn't or couldn't fix. Another BTW... I have never used any Pool Service all these years so I don't have any idea if they do that. Also he isn't a pool builder. I've never been disappointed with any work he has done for me.

    The LED light is ColorSplash. Mine is a standard Edison base, 120v, but it also comes in a 12v version. It has seven "exotic" solid colors and five different light shows. My light niche is the big one, old style Amerlite, so it will accommodate the large bulb which takes up all the space in the bulb shell. They may make one for smaller niches but not really sure about. You control the colors/shows by flipping the light switch off and then back on. I paid somewhere between $129 - $149, online. One of my best pool "investments", right up there with Polaris and Pool Blaster (Buster) It's been sitting here for a while so can't remember exactly. I shopped around.

    I don't see how anyone could be disappointed with this bulb especially after using incandescent. Have I mentioned how much I love the new light?
    Very Happy geekgranny
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Thanks for the info, I'll definitely check it out! Unfortunately, the store is probably too far from me(Richardson, North of Dallas) but like the idea of supporting an independent store.

    I'm not even sure what type of light I have, I just know it is big, and looks like all the other pool lights I remember seeing from years past. The pool was built in the late '70s...


    Dave
    20K gal IG plaster pool, Manually chlorinated with 6% bleach, 1.5 HP Sta-Rite Dura-Glas II pump, Pentair FNS Plus 48 DE filter, Polaris 280

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beez
    Thanks for the info, I'll definitely check it out! Unfortunately, the store is probably too far from me(Richardson, North of Dallas) but like the idea of supporting an independent store.

    I'm not even sure what type of light I have, I just know it is big, and looks like all the other pool lights I remember seeing from years past. The pool was built in the late '70s...


    Dave
    I, too, really like to support independents.

    Yeah, Richardson is pretty far. I am not in any way an expert on pool lights. My pool, IG plaster, was built in 1981. I doubt that there were very many choices for pool lights back then. And what I have read here on forums, I think 120v was pretty standard back then.

    Have you ever changed the bulb for your light? My Amerlite has a chrome faceplate (from searching seems like there are three different face plates, i.e., chrome, stainless steel, and plastic) that fits into the niche and held in place by one small metal bump on niche at bottom and one stainless screw near the top. It is very easy to remove lying on deck and reaching down into pool to take out the one screw and lift out. Also, if I remember correctly, when searching for Amerlite parts, listings will look like this sometimes "Amerlite/Pentair". The faceplate has other holes for additional screws if the niche required those that but mine doesn't.

    I think, again, pretty standard for these old lights.... there is an electrical box on two metal rigid conduit looking legs about 15' from pool, about 24" above ground. Sitting on top of that is an 120v GFCI outlet box. A solid metal conduit comes up from the ground and enters main box between the metal legs. This is the conduit for cord to light that runs underground then under pool decking. The light switch is in the bigger box. Running from my main box are two bare copper wires that I'm hoping are "bonding" wires. At least one of these runs under the deck to the pool equipment.

    Hope this helps. A Very Happy geekgranny
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    There are 4 Colorsplash lights:

    Pool, 35 W 120 V and 12 V

    Spa, 12 W 120 V and 12 V

    http://jandjpoolspa.com/dist_ledlighting.asp


    geekgranny, could you please post a night picture of your pool with the light on? I will start to build my pool next January and I'm planning to install one pool colorsplash light, but after reading your post and if your pool is aprox 1,000 sq ft, and mine will be aprox 250 sq ft, I'm asking myself if a 35 w could be too much light for my small pool and if should I change for a 12 W (spa) light.
    10' x 20' x 52" In Ground Pool 6,600 gallons, 2" piping, TFTestkit
    24" Sand filter / Espa Silen 0.8 hp pump

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by gumarogarc
    geekgranny, could you please post a night picture of your pool with the light on? I will start to build my pool next January and I'm planning to install one pool colorsplash light, but after reading your post and if your pool is aprox 1,000 sq ft, and mine will be aprox 250 sq ft, I'm asking myself if a 35 w could be too much light for my small pool and if should I change for a 12 W (spa) light.
    By my calculation my pool is between 500 sq ft and 600 sq ft. I took some pictures tonight but won't have time to post them till tomorrow. Watching delayed Cowboys game using my lttle netbook and want to use my main computer to do the posting.

    I started change over from ionization last night to BBB. Water color still same as before, nice blue, but lots of very fine particulates that do dim the light a bit. One thing I've seen mentioned about the LED lights is more even dispersion of light. I find this true with light spreading evenly across width of pool and even somewhat down the length. With 500 w incadescent the deep end was blarey and too bright with shallow end and side steps not lighted well enough. The improvment is quite impressive.

    I'll betcha there are some people on forum who have seen these bulbs in many different shapes and sizes of pools.
    geekgranny
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by gumarogarc
    geekgranny, could you please post a night picture of your pool with the light on? I will start to build my pool next January and I'm planning to install one pool colorsplash light, but after reading your post and if your pool is aprox 1,000 sq ft, and mine will be aprox 250 sq ft, I'm asking myself if a 35 w could be too much light for my small pool and if should I change for a 12 W (spa) light.
    I haven't forgotten about pics. I've taken the pictures although they were taken soon after I started BBB and after puppies had swim time so there is a lot of silt still in suspension.

    After a few hours, sitting out there watching the shows, I'm really doubting that the larger light will be too bright. Throughout most of the length of pool (32 ft) the light is pretty evenly dispersed and evenly lighted. It doesn't seem any brighter near the light than it is 25 ft away. It is pretty amazing. My 13 yr old plaster was originally a light blue but is much lighter now.

    BTW.... I'm beginning to like the green when it briefly cycles through the "tropical" show. Otherwise who would want a green pool.

    Plan to get pictures posted soon.
    geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Thank you alice,

    So, I should go for the big one (35 W)
    10' x 20' x 52" In Ground Pool 6,600 gallons, 2" piping, TFTestkit
    24" Sand filter / Espa Silen 0.8 hp pump

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Quote Originally Posted by gumarogarc
    Thank you alice,

    So, I should go for the big one (35 W)
    Boy, I'm certainly not one to give advice on that.

    What you might want to do is start a new thread, giving the dimensions, depth, etc., of you planned pool and ask for suggestions. I'll bet you'll get a lot of input.

    One 35w might serve you better than, say, two or more spa lights. Is there any reason you are thinking of 120v instead of 12v? BTW.... I have a 120v spa light (new and unused) with long cord that I ordered by mistake two years ago. I waited too long to send it back. I think it was somewhere between $300-$400. I'm still vacillating on whether to sell it or have someone install it in my free standing spa, which has a 12v incandescent fixture/bulb and certainly doesn't give adequate light in my "up to eight people" dark grey spa.

    When I was looking at light replacements, the whole light and cord, I saw offered in the Pool light 120v and 12v. If I had a choice I certainly would put in 12v. Just seems safer to me.

    geekgranny=alice
    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    Well finally got to uploading some pic to Photobucket. Please keep in mind all photos are take after Puppy Swim Time so still a lot of silt in pool. When silt is vacuumed up and filtered out it is not very much brighter. Light is pretty evenly dispersed whether clear or silty.

    Pool during day Overcast and late afternoon.


    Night Pictures Shot of steps to show how even they are lighted enough for safety.









    1981, 25K, IG, Blue Plaster 1996, somewhat oval, widens a bit at shallow end, 1.5" pipes, 2" at Pad, 1 separate main drain, 1 skimmer, 4 returns + dedicated cleaner return, 10 ft deep end with very fast decline from shallow, Pentair Quad 80 DE, Pentair Intelliflo VF, 3/4 HP Booster Pump (equipment pad about 8 ft below top of pool), Challanger 3/4 Trash/Emergency Pump 120v, Polaris 280 (pressure), iRobot Verro cleaner (robotic), Aquabot Turbo (robotic), Jacuzzi Tracker 4X (vacuum) Pool Blaster (Buster), Two (2) PoolSkims, Solar Breeze (solar powered top skimmer) (beta to ver. 2, release date 2010), ColorSplash LED replacement bulb. Aries 550 gal separate spa, 2002 (our 3rd and BEST spa) , BBB-Bromine

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    Re: Do I HAVE to Get a New Light Faceplate Right Now?

    That's great alice,

    Seeing your pool, I can say now that I will use a 12v 35w and I hope it looks as beatiful as yours.

    Thank you very much for the photos
    10' x 20' x 52" In Ground Pool 6,600 gallons, 2" piping, TFTestkit
    24" Sand filter / Espa Silen 0.8 hp pump

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