Low Voltage Landscape Questions


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Old 05-28-15, 09:45 PM
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Low Voltage Landscape Questions

I'm ashamed to admit this, but it's true. OK, so I had a low voltage set-up in place that worked fine, but the problem was that I was moving some of the lights around in preparation for running some more low voltage wire/cable to a berm I just put in. I was thinking of running more wire off the end of one of the existing runs, but I never even made it that far. I was moving the existing lights around a bit, used a utility knife to take a bit of the wire casing off so the light could make good contact, my timer went off, lights on, then sparks, smoke, etc., from the wire I was working on at the time. The lights went dim (but still on), I rushed over and unplugged the transformer. I couldn't tell if it was a fried transformer or another issue. I checked the outlet and there is power to it. I took the transformer and connected a single light to it, and nothing. I bought a new transformer and plugged it into the existing wire, and the lights don't work. I ran a piece of the wire (cut from end) to a single light, and that didn't work either. I guess my questions are:

1. Is it possible that I would need to replace all the cable (the cable went bad due to my mishap)?

2. Is there a way to test the transformer - or should I assume it's done dealin'?

Thanks in advance for any tips/help/advice.
 
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Old 05-28-15, 10:01 PM
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Sounds like you tripped a GFCI. Is the receptacle you plugged the transformer into hot. If you do not have a multimeter plug a light in. (A non contact tester won't work for testing.)
 
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Old 05-29-15, 05:29 AM
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Plug a table lamp or equal into the outlet to be sure it is live.
Geo
 
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Old 05-29-15, 06:52 AM
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Thanks. Yes, the recepticale is live. I plugged a drill into it and it worked. I'm just wondering what I need to replace from this ---- the transformer, the wire, the lights themselves, everything? I tried a different transformer hooked up to the existing set-up, and it didn't come on. However, when I tested the new transformer on a single light, it still did not work, so I think the replacement transformer might be bad, or the light I used to test might be damaged from the surge. Since some of my cabling runs under a sidewalk, I'd rather not run new cable unless necessary, but I'm wondering if replacing everything is the only fix.
 
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Old 05-29-15, 07:42 AM
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Do you have a multimeter?
 
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Old 05-29-15, 08:06 AM
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Don't have one but I can get one. Upon further reading, I need an analog one? Can you guide me through the steps to take with it?
 
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Old 05-29-15, 10:19 AM
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Yes, a cheap analog is best. First look for a fuse on the LV side of the transformer then check the voltage on the LV side with nothing connected. Be sure the timer is set to always on and if it has a photocell the photocell "eye" is covered with black tape.
 
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Old 05-30-15, 12:19 PM
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Thanks for the help. Tested everything and discovered that the problem was a section where some wires got crossed. Separated the wires and everything works fine. Thanks for the help working through it!
 
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Old 05-30-15, 12:23 PM
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Good job. Thanks for letting us know the outcome.
 
 

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