New landscape lighting

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  #1  
Old 06-07-11, 11:13 PM
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New landscape lighting

I'm installing paving stone in the backyard, but need help with the preliminary work for future install of landscape lighting. There is a dedicated 15A circuit switched from inside the house, and i need to take the cable outside for use with the landscape lighting that will be installed AFTER the paving stone.

Questions:

- best tool to use to drill through wall?

- do I hang a LV transformer on exterior house wall and connect wire coming through wall to this, or some type of junction box and hang transformer elsewhere?

- wire will have to be buried beneath paving stone base, and will probably need to run two or three sets of wire to different parts of the yard. What type of wire is best for buried usage, and do I need to enclose it in conduit or anything like that?

- if I want to also run a water feature (like a small bubbler) off of same circuit (total wattage permitting), any suggestions how to add this in as well?

Thanks for any help!
 
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  #2  
Old 06-07-11, 11:39 PM
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- best tool to use to drill through wall?
Electric drill. Depending on what material your wall is made of you might need to use a spade bit (wood) or masonry bit (brick or concrete). If you have wooden walls with brick or stone veneer you might need to use several different tools.

- do I hang a LV transformer on exterior house wall and connect wire coming through wall to this, or some type of junction box and hang transformer elsewhere?
Most, maybe all, low-voltage transformers for landscape lighting are "listed" (by a "Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory" or NRTL such as UL for mounting outside only. The ones that I have seen mostly have a regular cord for connecting to a standard receptacle although some high-end models may be direct wired. Unless you already have decided upon a model that has the capability of hard wiring I would suggest a standard receptacle with Ground Fault Interruption protection either from the circuit breaker or integral with the receptacle (GFCI receptacle) mounted in a weatherproof box and fitted with an "in-use" cover.

- wire will have to be buried beneath paving stone base, and will probably need to run two or three sets of wire to different parts of the yard. What type of wire is best for buried usage, and do I need to enclose it in conduit or anything like that?
If using low-voltage lighting then you would use the low-voltage cable made for the lights you are installing. Heavier gauge (smaller number) wire for longer lengths from the transformer OR for "runs" with more light fixtures. Whether or not it needs to be in conduit is a matter for your LOCAL code but generally as long as it is protected against physical damage low-voltage landscape wiring does not require conduit. I would use conduit for the run between the transformer and where it enters the ground.

- if I want to also run a water feature (like a small bubbler) off of same circuit (total wattage permitting), any suggestions how to add this in as well?
Depending on just what kind of "water feature" you might be able to simply plug the pump cord into the same GFCI protected receptacle that you install for the lighting. If the water feature is some distance from the house then other rules may come into play.
 
  #3  
Old 06-08-11, 08:28 AM
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Wood framing on the inside and stucco on the exterior, so I guess spade/masonary bits make the most sense. I like the idea of a switched exterior GFCI outlet and can install that at a later date. I just found out that the guys are coming tomorrow morning to remove soil and grade the yard, so for now I need to figure out what wire to lay down that will be covered by the crusher dust base material.

The type of lighting I was thinking of using are those 12-volt 7-watt deck lights that you see mounted in steps and retaining walls, etc. that light up walkways and steps.
The location of lights are a follows:
1. two lights in a retaining wall within 10 feet of power source
2. four lights in a retaining wall approximately 20-25 feet away from the power source
3. two or three lights in the back steps approximately 20-25 feet away from the power source

There is already an exterior outlet but it is on a different circuit and not switched from the inside as the other one is. I suppose I could plug in the bubbler to this outlet, but it is located approximately 35-40 feet from the location of the water feature. What should I lay down under the base material for this? First thing that comes to mind is an outdoor extension cord, but that is probably a bad idea?

Any help is greatly appreciated as I am on a time crunch right now!
 
  #4  
Old 06-08-11, 08:58 AM
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I would recommend running ENT (blue smurf tube) conduit under the slab anywhere you want low voltage cables to run at a future time. Once the slab is installed, you can then take your time to pull the wires you need for the job.

You'll need a carbide or diamond tip bit to drill through the stucco.
 
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Old 06-08-11, 09:12 AM
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That's an excellent suggestion, is ENT conduit readily available at the major hardware stores? I assume it's rigid enough to stand up to all the crusher dust, tamping, sand and stone pavers that would be placed on top of it?

I'll definitely use a durable bit for going through the stucco, don't want to make an ugly mess of that!!
 
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Old 06-08-11, 09:50 AM
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ENT is approved for use under a slab in a sand/gravel base. I'm pretty sure I saw ENT at one of the big box stores in 10' lengths or 100' rolls. It has special push on connectors or it can glue directly into schedule 40 rigid pvc conduit fittings.
 
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Old 06-08-11, 09:54 AM
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Perfect, and I saw the 10' lengths and fittings online at a local Hardware store so off to pick those up at lunch. What diameter ENT would suit my needs best, 1/2" or 3/4"?? Assume it would be easier to pull wire through a larger diameter, is there a reason to go smaller diameter other than cost?
 
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Old 06-08-11, 10:14 AM
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I agree with using the ENT. The cost difference between 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch is so small I would just use the 3/4 although the 1/2 is probably adequate.
 
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Old 06-08-11, 10:18 AM
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Ok found some at Rona so I should be good to go. Thanks for all the help!
 

Last edited by rudeboy; 06-08-11 at 10:35 AM.
  #10  
Old 06-10-11, 01:15 PM
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When I lay the ENT conduit down and cover it with material, how much
extra length do I want protruding above ground and how do I finish the
conduit? ie. are there adapters that allow you to connect it directly
to an outdoor electrical outlet or to pvc electrical conduit pipe?
 
  #11  
Old 06-10-11, 01:29 PM
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Usually you would convert to a short piece of rigid PVC for the stub coming up out of the ground. ENT will glue directly into any female PVC fitting of the same trade size. Use the grey Carlon PVC electrical conduit glue exactly like you would with rigid conduit. Cleaner and primer is not required.
 
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Old 06-10-11, 01:32 PM
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Will do, thanks for the help!
 
  #13  
Old 06-10-11, 02:12 PM
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Just a reminder buried ENT can only be used for low voltage. It is not aproved for line voltage use for direct burial. NEC 362.12-5 Also you should use the orange smurf though probably no rule against blue.
 
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Old 06-10-11, 02:24 PM
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The only ENT I could find is grey, hope that will suffice. What is used with line voltage for direct burial?
 
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Old 06-10-11, 02:36 PM
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The color doesn't matter; they make a rainbow of colors depending on manufacturer, etc. ENT is actually approved for line voltage burial under a slab. Whether a paver brick slab stands up to the code requirement of "slab", I couldn't say for sure. However, the intention is to use it only where the ENT won't accidentally take a shovel strike and it seems like the paver bricks would be adequate protection in that regard.
 
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Old 06-10-11, 02:39 PM
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I'll check into what is code for my region and proceed accordingly. Thanks guys!
 
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