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Old 07-10-2018, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Landscape Light Woes

13.3w each lights....12 lights on 10wire circuit
8 lights on other 10 wire circuit.

14volts to 8 lights. 15v to 12 lights

Breakers keep randomly tripping


Sometimes they stay on for a good while 10 mins or so, but when you turn timeclock off circuit 1 instantly trips. Reset and its fine again.



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Old 07-10-2018, 03:40 PM   #2
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Splice gone bad, fixture gone bad, wire got cut somewhere.
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTW View Post
Splice gone bad, fixture gone bad, wire got cut somewhere.
All that checked good...
About 100 feet to the set of 8 lights
And about 35 ish feet to the set of 12 lights

If you turn this each circuit on alone it's fine it only trips when you turn both on at the same time

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Old 07-10-2018, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trentonmakes View Post
All that checked good...
About 100 feet to the set of 8 lights
And about 35 ish feet to the set of 12 lights

If you turn this each circuit on alone it's fine it only trips when you turn both on at the same time

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did you try swapping out for a different transformer?
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:10 PM   #5
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Put an amp meter and see whats going on. I am guessing bad trany.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:14 PM   #6
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Check with an ammeter and see what they are actually pulling
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:31 PM   #7
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I've had this happen before. Box store landscaping kit that comes
with the transformer..."Malibu" I believe it was called.

I took the transformer back and just told the customer
service desk it was bad.

they opened up another one , i took it , hooked it up and
that was that.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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Thats what my thinking was, a bad tranny.

Did not use amp clamp, I'll do that tommorrow if Im there.



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Old 07-10-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
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Each circuit is rated at 300 watts. (so its really 2 300w transformers inside the box) They define a circuit by the wire on the com side (that's why there are 2 terminals each with one wire).
What does it say about using two different transformer taps. (pdf instructions are a little lite on information). I think that both sets should be taped at the same voltage or one transformer will try to power both sides. (i think that's why the taps have 2 wires to the top of the terminal block)

P.s thats just a wild arse guess.

If you have a meter that can go in-line you can check the dc current via the meter normally up to 10 amps. (meters are normally fused in case you go past 10 amps)
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Each circuit is rated at 300 watts. (so its really 2 300w transformers inside the box) They define a circuit by the wire on the com side (that's why there are 2 terminals each with one wire).
What does it say about using two different transformer taps. (pdf instructions are a little lite on information). I think that both sets should be taped at the same voltage or one transformer will try to power both sides. (i think that's why the taps have 2 wires to the top of the terminal block)

P.s thats just a wild arse guess.

If you have a meter that can go in-line you can check the dc current via the meter normally up to 10 amps. (meters are normally fused in case you go past 10 amps)
Yep its under the wattage...
We did put both commons under the same lug but not the voltage side. May be worth a try!

It would only stay on with the 12 lights on 15v and 8lights on12v, swapped they trip instantly or the lights flicker.

Theres the exact same setup on the other side with its own tranny and that one also trips here and there not nearly as bad as this side.

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Old 07-10-2018, 06:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by trentonmakes View Post
Yep its under the wattage...
We did put both commons under the same lug but not the voltage side. May be worth a try!

It would only stay on with the 12 lights on 15v and 8lights on12v, swapped they trip instantly or the lights flicker.

Theres the exact same setup on the other side with its own tranny and that one also trips here and there not nearly as bad as this side.

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I think you will find common is not really common. just looking at your picture and knowing that you have 2 transformers there is only one wire to each common and 2 wires to each tap. (top of the connection blocks)
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpop View Post
I think you will find common is not really common. just looking at your picture and knowing that you have 2 transformers there is only one wire to each common and 2 wires to each tap. (top of the connection blocks)
I disagree. There are 2- 300 watt transformer coils in that unit. There is a common for each and then you can pick you voltage. I believe the unit is correct
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I disagree. There are 2- 300 watt transformer coils in that unit. There is a common for each and then you can pick you voltage. I believe the unit is correct

The more i think about it the more i have to agree that you are right. Theres no reason you can not tie 2 transformers together on one side as long as the other sides are isolated from each other.

So maybe the question should have been weather the 2 circuits have accidentally been crossed over in the field. (if all 4 wires are disconnected is the ohm reading between the 2 commons low)
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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I had a Kitchler transformer just like that about five years ago. It did basically the same thing. I replaced it and it still works today. It was new and under warranty.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:03 PM   #15
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transformers can do strange and bazar things,
especially if they are the electronic types
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:13 AM   #16
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With such low voltage circuits you always have to sweat the distance of the run.

You can no longer neglect the impedance of your conductors.
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Old 07-11-2018, 01:14 AM   #17
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BTW, the odds overwhelmingly favor a center-tapped transformer.

This will appear, electrically, as if you've got twin transformers, but you really don't.
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Old 07-11-2018, 04:32 PM   #18
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Our solution.....

Add another transformer!


Sadly I never got a chance to check anything, but my guess is voltage drop over the distance. Shouldnt wouldnt think it could, but thats all I can come up with.

New tranny is same type...2 circuits but only 12 and 15v available

We used 15v on both circuits

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Old 07-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #19
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I deal with a lot of landscape lighting transformers. Frist thing to do is check that no wire strands are touching the other common. Next peal the sticker label with com and numbers on it. Tighten the screws, many times they are loose.
As others have said amp the common (AC).On the 12 light run you have 159.6 watts 159.6 / 15 =10.64 amps. On the 8 lights you have 106.4 watts 106.4 / 14 = 7.6 amps. If within spec I would take the plate off the transformer and check the connections on the breaker. They are just spade connecters and can be lose. It is a pain the first time you do it but not too bad just a lot of screws.
If all that checks out I would look into inrush current if you have a meter for that. If not, do you have a light with 10 feet of the tap on the transformer? That can cause inrush problems at times. If you have a light within 10 feet of the transformer rewire so you spilt the load. So you would take the wire from the transformer to light number 6 (midway) and center feed it.

Your amp meter is your friend, divide and concord. These breakers are 25 amps but i see up to 35 amps for 5 seconds before they trip. Dead shorts are found a lot were the light screws in the ground stake. Most of the time the cause is from too much twisting of the light wire when screwing the fixture to the stake.
If the lights are LED you do not have to worry about the voltage drop as much as halogen. LED has a wide range of voltage you can use 8 to 15, where halogens like to be at 10.5 to 12. Anything over 12 volts with halogens will decrease the life of the bulb. Anything under 12 volts will increase the life of the bulb. Putting 15 volts to a 12 volt halogen bulb you will be changing it soon.
Good luck
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