Need Help Restoring Power After SAM Light Flooded

SteverinoSD

Member
Feb 20, 2017
12
Valley Center, CA
I realize that this is a recurring story, but I haven't been able to resolve the issue. One of my SAm lights flooded in my pool (2 in pool, 1 in spa) causing all 3 lights to stop working. A typical problem for a 15 year old pool, according to other accounts on this forum. After letting the light dry out and replacing the seal, none of the lights illuminate when I turned on their respective switches on my Intellitouch control panel. I checked the pool sub-panel and the "Pool Lights" breaker had not been tripped. I confirmed the lack of power to the lights by testing power-to-ground in the lighting junction box (photo). Other posts on this forum advise to look for a GFCI or GFCI-protected breaker. I can't find an outright GFCI between the sub and the junction box and I don't believe that the lighting breaker in the sub-panel has one (since there's no little reset button), nor does the main panel breaker (photo). Could there be a reset behind the sub-panel in the Intellitouch i7 housing (photo). Could there be a GFCI located elsewhere that is interrupting the power (where)? Also, there is a landscape lighting transformer nearby with 'reset' switches (photo). Could that be related to my issue (landscape lights have power)? My local pool serviceman want $125/hr to troubleshoot the problem, but I'd be pretty upset if he charged me that much just to hit a GFCI reset! Any help or insight would be appreciated.
Intellitouch i7.jpegPool Lighting Junction Box.jpegLandscape Lighting Transformer.jpeg
Main Panel.jpegSAm Light.jpegFlooded Pool Light.jpeg
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,798
Northern NJ
You found the light junction box. You have 3 lights. You should have 3 hot wires from the light plus a hot wire from the panel. You need to identify the hot line from the panel.

You then need to open up the IntelliTouch panel and identify the hot wire from the light relay going out the panel. Are they the same color?

Flip OFF the breaker to the IntelliTouch panel and use the continuity checker on your multimeter and see if there is continuity between the wire coming out of your panel and the wire coming into your junction box.

If the wires are different colors or there is no continuity it tells you there is a GFCI hidden somewhere.
 

SteverinoSD

Member
Feb 20, 2017
12
Valley Center, CA
Thank you, Allen, for that great direction! I believe I understand what you're telling me. I'll open the panel tomorrow and check it out. However, in the mean time, looking at these two other photos of the junction box, I'm guessing that the blue wire might be the power lead from the panel for the two pool lights (connecting to 2 black leads in separate runs) and the red one for the spa light (connecting to 1 black lead in a separate run)?

Junction Box 2.jpeg

Junction Box 3.jpeg
Pool Lighting Junction Box.jpeg
Also, if I understand you correctly, I'll need a very long test lead to test the continuity from the panel to the junction box, yes?
I'll give the troubleshooting a go tomorrow and let you know what I find.
Thanks, again!
 

SteverinoSD

Member
Feb 20, 2017
12
Valley Center, CA
Another thought that I just had; Since there are 2 switches (pool lights & spa light), wouldn't there be two light relays in the Intellitouch panel? And, since turning both switches 'On' at the controller fail to illuminate either of the lights (spa light doesn't work, either), wouldn't the power issue be somewhere upstream of the relays???
The fog is lifting now...
 

SteverinoSD

Member
Feb 20, 2017
12
Valley Center, CA
Progress made...
I removed the Intellitouch Panel and; Low and Behold! Look what I found! :p

Intellitouch Panel Internal.JPG

That sucker was hidden on the side of the panel obscured by a fence and a shrubbery!

Intellitouch Panel GFCI.JPG

I reset the GFCI and powered on the recently-flooded SAm light and the circuit tripped immediately. I removed the halogen lamps and the same thing happened. :(
At the junction box I was able to figure out which leads fed which lights (Blue for Pool and Red for Spa... Go figure!). After figuring which pool light lead was which, I isolated the flooded (and still shorted) one and was able to restore power to the other pool light and the spa light. :cool:(y)

My new issue is what to do with the malfunctioning SAm light. I Rear-u-me that it's FUBAR'd.
From what I've read --- and correct me if I'm wrong --- I have a couple of options:
  1. Try to replace the internals of the SAm light with Florida Sunseeker LED Upgrade Kit (Pentair® SAM® Light Color LED Upgrade Kit 16 Colors Shows Large pool size
  2. Replace the whole fixture with an incandescent/halogen fixture and then replace the light with an LED bulb (color-changing).
  3. Go for the direct-replacement with the Pentair Amerilight LED at $500+ per each! :oops: :LOL:
Any thoughts out there???
 
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Reactions: GDN

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,798
Northern NJ
With color LED lights you need them to all use the same color controls when on the same circuit. I don't know exactly how the color control will work with the different alternatives you list.

How do you change colors now on the SAM lights?

If you are willing to go for a plain white light it simplifies things.
 

SteverinoSD

Member
Feb 20, 2017
12
Valley Center, CA
I activated the color wheel on the SAm lights by cycling the power at the Intellitouch controller. It would cycle slow or fast and you could also freeze it on a color that you preferred. I think we enjoy the colored lights, but rarely, if ever, use it in color-changing mode. We pretty much just left it on a deep blue color. I don't think plain white is preferred.
Do you know anything about those Sunseeker LED inserts? Do you think the housing of the flooded SAM light might be compromised even with a new seal around the lens? Would you suggest replacing the whole thing with an Amerilight?
 

ajw22

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 21, 2013
19,798
Northern NJ
Do you know anything about those Sunseeker LED inserts? Do you think the housing of the flooded SAM light might be compromised even with a new seal around the lens? Would you suggest replacing the whole thing with an Amerilight?
I don't have experience to answer those questions.

I think you will need to change both pool lights at the same time to keep their color behavior consistent.
 

GDN

Bronze Supporter
Oct 17, 2016
450
Dallas, TX
In post 5 - your 3 options - number 2 and or 3 have options other than Pentair. It looks like Florida Sunseeker sells the LED color change bulb (screw in replacment normal bulb) as does a company Halco/J and J Electronics. I never had the older SAm sytle lights. I started with Amerlite fixtures with incadescent white screw in bulbs and have now replaced both with the J and J LXG color change LED bulb. Love them although the pool light has only been in a couple of weeks. Much better price points than Pentair and I think you can get the complete light housing from them.

As far as your situation with having to replace the SAm light with a newer style, I think they both control the same way, but if you needed to control it differently, you actually have a free relay in your IntelliTouch. If you could pull another wire from the unused relay to your light junction box and you could power each of the 3 lights individually instead of having the two pool lights wired together. Just daisy chain the load like they did to the spa relay to that free relay, then update the settings in the Intellitouch. I know getting another wire through there may be next to impossible without pulling them all together, but it is a thought.