Amerlite light fixture repair questions

firstpool3304

Member
May 28, 2019
23
San Jose, CA
A few weeks ago I went to turn on the pool like and the gfci tripped. Today I finally got around to pulling the light and saw water in it. After I dried it out with a heat gun and left it in the sun all afternoon, tested it and it tripped again. Tested the junction and there was something up with the wiring to the fixture, but it was dry on the inside. Hit it again with the heat gun, inside and outside, just because lol, and then it started to pass the tests. Tested the junction, then wired everything back up and put in a bulb and everything was good. So I got a new gasket and put it back in the pool. Once in water it worked for a second then tripped again. I pulled the light out and there was a little water in there. Since I tightened it so tight that I physically couldnt turn the nut anymore, I thought the light was just toast. I came here to look at light fixture options and saw this:


So I looked at power cord and saw what looks like a small crack in the cable.

IMG_1600.jpg

Previously the light was out of water for around 2 months (july to almost september) while the pool got resurfaced, and the light fixture (R400BCL) is probably at least 20 years old, so it must have cracked during that time. Anyways, the thread above mentions using epoxy, but I was wondering if I could use a few coatings of liquid electrical tape. I can buy that tomorrow, but a marine grade sealant that will work under the waterline will probably have to be ordered. Also, where the strain relief should be there is threading and a fastener...should I just cover that whole thing including the crack with whatever sealant I use?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
12,801
Northern NJ
Anyways, the thread above mentions using epoxy, but I was wondering if I could use a few coatings of liquid electrical tape. I can buy that tomorrow, but a marine grade sealant that will work under the waterline will probably have to be ordered.
Some places describe liquid electrical tape as weatherproof and others as waterproof. May depend on the product you have.

Let us know how it works.

Also, where the strain relief should be there is threading and a fastener...should I just cover that whole thing including the crack with whatever sealant I use?
I would cover it all. When you replace it you are going to pulling out the housing and the wire.
 

firstpool3304

Member
May 28, 2019
23
San Jose, CA
Just an update, I sprayed the crack in the hose and connection with Gardner Bender's Spray Liquid Tape. I applied it maybe 5 times over 3 days. It seemed like the dried coat was thin so I just did coat after coat to make sure, since I was in no rush. Last application I used the regular brush on liquid tape, just because I bought both. Anyways, its been a couple days and no more shorts so it looks like its holding up. The cable still has some flexibility

One thing in case someone else tries this, dont use tape to protect the surrounding area. I used tape around the area and did the first coat, but then realized the tape would be coated as well, and when I pulled it off it was tearing away the coat that stuck to the light. So I just pulled if all off and reapplied.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,673
Chandler AZ
I agree with JamesW - replace the light and cord. Not worth taking the chance on this "repair" holding up long term. Certainly not worth the risk to someones life if/when it fails - or the liability. If you are not in a position to replace the light and cord assembly, at least open the pool light junction box, disconnect and properly cap the wires to prevent possibly energizing the light. Safety first - especially where electricity and water are concerned.
 
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KDpoolguy

Bronze Supporter
Mar 5, 2017
593
Palm Desert, CA
We’ve all been in the same boat. I tried similar fixes this summer and had success with tub silicone caulk and re-epoxying in the inside fixture. Its almost always leaks from the cord after 10-20 yrs. The new lens gasket repairs is risking another broken light bulb—and most of us purchased $100 LED bulbs that get soaked and destroyed along with. I can tell yours is at least 20 years old from the cord interface of that American Products (now Pentair) Amerilite. Replace and pull a new fixture for sure.
My repaired one is still in the pool and shows a little bit of water (maybe 1/4”) on the lens which is good for 2 months submerged. I just needed to get it thru the summer and now I have a new Amerlite ready to install. It‘s my most dreaded pool repair by far.
 

firstpool3304

Member
May 28, 2019
23
San Jose, CA
wow, lot of feedback after I ready patched the cable and put the light back in the pool. lol

Re: replacing the light, thats what I originally going to do, but I'd thought I'd try the patch first. Its still on my list of things to do, but I dont feel like going into the pool to completely replace the light, as its fairly cold. Just reaching in the pool to remove the light felt like my arms were going to freeze off, and that was in the middle of the afternoon. The light has been off at the breaker, I just turn it on to check to make sure its holding up, then turn it off, and flip the breaker off. I think the conduit where the light cable is might be leaking as well, so long term I'll take care of the whole thing, but I dont have enough daylight time, and the water is a little too cold to do it now. Having new light does me no good if I get hypothermia.

I agree with JamesW - replace the light and cord. Not worth taking the chance on this "repair" holding up long term. Certainly not worth the risk to someones life if/when it fails - or the liability. If you are not in a position to replace the light and cord assembly, at least open the pool light junction box, disconnect and properly cap the wires to prevent possibly energizing the light. Safety first - especially where electricity and water are concerned.
I recapped the wires at the junction box when I was testing the wires. Out of curiosity, I didnt see anyone mention any of these kinds of concerns in the other threads like this, is it because I used liquid tape? Granted, its an old thread in archive mode, but I'm not sure why this is different if the liquid tape serves the same function as the expoxy.
 

proavia

LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Feb 6, 2015
1,673
Chandler AZ
I looked at it from a safety and liability stance. Obviously, no one wants anyone to get electrocuted/shocked. God forbid that someone is injured from the light after the owner has made repairs outside the scope of what the original manufacturer did or approved to be done in a field situation. From a pure liability stance, if an insurance claim was filed or the owner was sued, the insurance company would possibly deny the claim if the light and/or any repairs done to the light circuit were outside of the original manufacturers design specs.

So not only could someone possibly lose their life, the owner could possibly incure monetary loss and other civil penalties.

Again - safety first... and CYA second (and I don't mean cyanuric acid either).