Amerilite Pool Light Leaks. A Fix and what I've learned

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Bobbystone

One of the first things i noticed on my first pool at teh house I just moved into was that the shallow end pool light was not functioning I did a bit of research and ordered the new gasket and lamp. Installed it and everything went well for about 3 minutes when "Blooouup" a big ol bubble arose. That left me into further research and investigation. I dried everything out for a day, and put it all together again, being more careful this time to make sure everything was in alignment. Once again, the bubbles arose. Yesterday I went through the procedure again, but this time I held the lamp underwater while it heated to see where the leak was actually coming from.

Eventually I saw a steady stream of bubbles emanate from the strain relief where the cord goes into the fixture. Here's the fix I devised.

I had some west system G-flex epoxy which is a 2 part epoxy that retains some flexibility and will bond do almost anything. I mixed up a batch and coated the juncture of the strain relief and cord, trying to get as much in the crevice as I could. Let it cure, and re-tested this morning. It worked like a charm! I was in too much of a hurry, but here would be my suggestion for doing a better job of the fix:

First I'd make some sort of ",old" around the cord to hold the epoxy in while it cures. You could to this with tape possibly or with some sort of plastic tube that you could hot clue to the fixture. Or you could even hot glue some cardboard to make a box around the cord, This would allow you to make a bigger chunk of epoxy around the leaking area. Mine is definitely not pretty, but it did seem to work, so I left it alone.

Other notes:

Before I tightened the retaining wire around the gasket assembly, I turned the lamp on and let it heat up the air inside a bit. I've read a lot about NOT doing this, but my thinking is that a big part of the problem is the expanding air inside the fixture which seems to leak out, breaking the seal and then invite water back in when the lamp cools.

When I put the lamp housing / gasket assembly back together, I did it with the lens facing up. This let the hooks hang down and was easier to get the wire around all the rings, and made it easier to get everything aligned. If you put it together lens down, the trim ring is hanging down below the curved lens and its harder to get back together.

Hope this helps someone in the future. Now I'm wondering if G-flex epoxy might be the answer for my leaking skimmer boxes
 
B

Bobbystone

Amerilite leak fix Photo

Last week, I repaired the deepend light in the same manner I did the shallow last summer. Here's a pic of thre repair. Read the previous post for info. Seems to work pretty well!
 

Attachments

csn

Silver Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 23, 2012
41
Houston, TX
Thanks, good to know. I epoxied the light cord last week with the same gflex epoxy (using the top of a bleach container as the mold). I reassembled the light with a new rubber seal today and let it run for a couple hours. Everything seems to be working great. Thanks again for the original post.
 
B

Bobbystone

In an update, I used the G-Flex epoxy last year to try to plug up leaking joint where the skimmer boxes inlet meets the tile. I cut a 1" strip of lightweight fiberglass cloth and pasted it in with the g-flex. Then dabbed in some more g-flex where needed. It's still holding strong!
 

Poolio7

New member
Sep 2, 2013
1
Wow! This blog is a great find! I had this same exact problem with my Pentair light and thought I was going to have to pull cords and all that. I had a two part epoxy syringe applicator (water proof after it sets). I let the light dry out for a day in the hot sun. The next day I injected the epoxy between the gasket and the cord. Then I built a mold around the base of the gasket with aluminum duct tape up to a 1/4 inch above the gasket around the cord. Then filled that with the epoxy. I let it dry for two hours. Presto! the light has been working for two days now and no signs of water against the lens. I'll give an update in of couple of months to see if I did it right. Thanks Bobbystone.
Poolio7
 

PhxSun

Member
Nov 4, 2013
21
Thanks for the tips! You never know when a post like this will be exactly what some poor soul is looking for...
Count me as another one. Just got my G/Flex, fingers crossed. I won't be able to know for a while if it worked or not though since my light would always super slowly fill up with water over the course of a season. Thanks to the OP for the tip!
 

cmoore99

New member
May 20, 2013
2
Hi I'm a new guy here and I think this is what I'm looking for. I replaced the gasket on my light and got it back in but now there is water in there again. The light still works but the water bugs the you know what out of me. I'm going to take it all out again, drain it and hold it under water to see if I can tell where the water is getting in. If it's getting in back at the cord I will try this epoxy fix. Good post and thanks for the suggestion.
 

PhxSun

Member
Nov 4, 2013
21
Just wanted to report back that it worked great, no water in the fixture at all. Thanks again!
 

prpowers

Member
May 20, 2012
6
Houston
I have read your thread and it is very informative. Thank you.

I have one question, you said, "Before I tightened the retaining wire around the gasket assembly, I turned the lamp on and let it heat up the air inside a bit. I've read a lot about NOT doing this, but my thinking is that a big part of the problem is the expanding air inside the fixture which seems to leak out, breaking the seal and then invite water back in when the lamp cools." I agree that it makes sense to do this and therefore create a vacuum inside the fixture. But, should you do this with a new light since the retaining wire is already tightened and if you do loosen the wire before heating it up should you replace the gasket before you heat it up?

Thanks, Paul R. Powers
 

eaamon

Well-known member
May 8, 2013
102
mid-TN
I too thought my repair would work too. but since my pool is a 20 year old salt.
the salt eventually caused the wires to corrode and socket to rust out.
eventually things need to be replaced, just a part of pool maintenance.
 

JVTrain

TFP Expert
Feb 3, 2014
5,081
Central Minnesota
I'm thinking of giving this a try on my light. I tried stuffing the back full of plumber's putty last year but I think I need to get more serious this time around. Tired of my defunct light taking up residence on my pool deck.
 

n240sxguy

Well-known member
May 17, 2014
1,802
Benton, KY
I'm thinking of giving this a try on my light. I tried stuffing the back full of plumber's putty last year but I think I need to get more serious this time around. Tired of my defunct light taking up residence on my pool deck.
At least yours will reach to the deck. The intelligent people that installed my worthless aqualumin light only left enough cord to barely get above the surface.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

cit1991

New member
Jul 27, 2010
4
I had the same problem. Gasket was fine, but the cord entry was the source of the leak. I applied silicone sealant liberally around the cord entry and that fixed it. Interesting that I'm not the only one.
 

DBB

Active member
Jul 8, 2015
33
Frisco/TX
Have replaced the SAL Amerilite in my pool a couple of times now. Apparently from what I've read, leakage around the cord entry was a common issue with these things. Maddening.
 

wjr75

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 6, 2013
889
IL
I just replaced mine with a Pentair LED. Had all sorts of GFCI issues with my SAL Amerlite.
 

Cybergy

Well-known member
May 23, 2014
112
Whitby, Ontario - Canada
Wish I had found this thread earlier but I searched for SAM and Pentair, not "Amerlite" - dang.

So people here are having positive results sealing with a liberal amount of either silicone or g-flex epoxy? I will pick one and apply it liberally before installing when my new Pentair Intellibrite light arrives later this week. I'm leaning towards the silicone, as the g-flex looks a bit more complicated to install.

I think my original SAM light didn't have enough silicone to seal (pictured here)

It's a shame Pentair can't make a light that doesn't leak. These steps should not be necessary.


I'll update my results later on.



Many thanks to all!