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NightLightingFX
08-29-2007, 08:02 PM
I am curious do any of you have a good system on managing the use of your wire. What do you do with your scraps? Any way to avoid scrapes? I always make sure I have a little more wire on home run that I accually need, but the scraps add up. Do you guys use the scraps for leads on future fixture installations? Right now all I ever use for home runs is 12 ga. and I will use 16 ga for leads that I need to add on fixtures that don't come with long leads. Some times I will use 12 ga. on a lead for a fixture if I am a long way a way from my hub. What do you guys do?
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

klkanders
08-29-2007, 08:18 PM
Same as you. Occasionally I will run a 10ga home run but its mostly 12. Since I am still a one man show I can throw in any left over 12 ga. and use it if possible. When using hub method with short line fixtures I add on with 16 or 18 ga wire using a waterproof end to end splice thats crimped then heated to shrink around wire. Very cost effective.

Chris J
08-29-2007, 09:05 PM
You could always take your scraps to a recycling facility.

NightLightingFX
08-29-2007, 09:30 PM
Chris,
I have thought about that. Have you done that? Can you get very much for landscape wire? and is it a hassle to do?
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx

NightScenes
08-29-2007, 10:35 PM
I donate my scrap wire to a local deaf/mute who sells it for scrap. I hear that copper is going for $3 lb. That's pretty good!!

JackTorsed
08-29-2007, 11:14 PM
I donate my scrap wire to a local deaf/mute who sells it for scrap. I hear that copper is going for $3 lb. That's pretty good!!

That's very charitable of you. I give all my recyclable bottles and cans to my helpers.

David Gretzmier
08-30-2007, 12:34 AM
that copper has got to be worth something, they are stealing it out of houses here on new construction.

ar-t
08-30-2007, 01:35 AM
This is the worst year I have ever seen for copper risers being stolen from irrigation systems. Churches.............private residences......they steal from all of them.

My scrap goes into a box in the truck. I cull out the good pieces for pigtails, the rest goes to the recycler.

JoeyD
08-30-2007, 09:29 AM
We have an offsite warehouse to house all of our raw goods and it has been broken into once this summer. They took a bunch of raw copper goods. We filed a police report and notified all the recycling plants around. We sent pictures of the parts stolen. They ended up busting the guy and recovering most of our goods in a few days about 40 miles from our factory. It was about $2000 worth of recycled copper.

It is getting ugly, I thinkt hey are giving $2.50lb here for copper.

Chris J
08-30-2007, 06:37 PM
Chris,
I have thought about that. Have you done that? Can you get very much for landscape wire? and is it a hassle to do?
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx

I don't currently do it, but I'm going to start. I hear you can get some pretty decent money out of it. We yank a bunch of jobs out of the ground, and I've just thrown it away in the past. To me, this is wasted money. At $3 per pound, this will add up quick. And it isn't a hassle; just keep dumping it into some type of container until it's full and take it in! The facility will do the rest.

Lite4
09-02-2007, 10:26 PM
Ned, I will run either 12,10 or 8 for my home runs depending on length and voltage drop accordingly. I always preplan my runs to my hubs and then measure the distance with a measuring wheel. I Then use a wire/cable metering device and will run out my wire plus about 5 extra feet for incidentals. I usually don't worry about scraps that are 5 feet or less. All my leads are 12/2 to the hubs and I just spool off what I need for each fixture plus a couple of extra feet for future movement arounds plantings. At the end of a job I usually have very little waste.

NightLightingFX
09-03-2007, 01:04 PM
Tim,
what is a wire/cable metering device? and how can I get one. I will measure the homerun distance with a measuring wheel but I just estimate the cable length by the amount of arm lengths the cable is. A metering device will give me more confidence not to have too much excessive wire. Thanks
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

ar-t
09-05-2007, 01:32 PM
They do make counters that will measure the amount of wire run through them. I think that is what he is referring to. Not sure where to buy one........maybe a large industrial supply house would be the place to start.

NightScenes
09-05-2007, 04:03 PM
I buy my wire numbered every foot. I also have a spooler at the transformer which allows us to just grab the wire and pull it to the location. If we need to pull more than one run, we just put 2 rolls of wire on the spooler and go.

Pro-Scapes
09-05-2007, 10:33 PM
my old wire was numbered by the foot. This was nice. I have had 3 spoolers. One is the cast with the wooden turn table and the other is the new fold one which will be returned. It was just too stiff and the spools just dragged on them. The bearing really didnt work well at all. We also took an old dolly and fabricated a bracket on it to slip a rod thru to hold a spool or 2. Most the time the good old fashioned cast one works the best altho I had to remount the bracket to it twice. (screws pulled out of wood)

Chris J
09-06-2007, 06:42 AM
I guess I'm living in the past as a slave-driver. I make my helper walk behind me holding the spool while I feed the wire through the beds and such to get it where I need it to go. He is beginning to get really strong now, and can double as my body-guard on the weekends. :weightlifter:

NightScenes
09-06-2007, 07:56 AM
A friend of mine made my spooler for me when I was an electrician. It's big enough to hold 3-500' spools of wire. It's also built like a tank!! I've had it for 10 years and I know it will last forever. I'll take a picture of it and post it when I get a chance. Anyway, no guessing as to the length of wire needed when it's numbered and you can pull it as needed. I still end up with waste though.

Pro-Scapes
09-06-2007, 08:03 AM
I guess I'm living in the past as a slave-driver. I make my helper walk behind me holding the spool while I feed the wire through the beds and such to get it where I need it to go. He is beginning to get really strong now, and can double as my body-guard on the weekends. :weightlifter:

meanie.... get a spool chris. Also if you have multiple runs that go thru a winding area thoes little hose pulleys that stick in the ground they got for 3 bucks at lowes really help... keeps you from chafing wire on brick corners and such

JoeyD
09-06-2007, 09:33 AM
We have Paige make our wire, we now sell what we call Wire in A Box. It is 500ft of 12/2 Brown Direct Burial Low Voltage cable in a box on a spool and is numbered by the foot so you can keep track of how long a run is and how much wire you have used. It is really sweet!!! Once I confirm we are official with sponsering lawnsite I will post up some pics of it. On top of that you can stack the boxes to pull multiple home runs at once like Paul said.

Pro-Scapes
09-06-2007, 02:42 PM
when I used to do CATV we used to get cartons like that of rg6 and cat5.. slick until it gets wet :) Easier to store too in my opinion

I used to have a trailer that carried 8ft diameter spools of cable when I did fiber optics and UG construction for the las vegas HSD project.

sprinkler guy
09-07-2007, 01:43 AM
We have Paige make our wire, we now sell what we call Wire in A Box. It is 500ft of 12/2 Brown Direct Burial Low Voltage cable in a box on a spool and is numbered by the foot so you can keep track of how long a run is and how much wire you have used. It is really sweet!!! Once I confirm we are official with sponsering lawnsite I will post up some pics of it. On top of that you can stack the boxes to pull multiple home runs at once like Paul said.

Joey,

Is your wire also tin-coated? I switched to the Cast wire at the beginning of the year in part for that, but also for the footage markings. I like that I can easily identify which run is which when I have multiples in a trench or at the transformer using the markings. The no-ox tin-coating is a selling point for me with clients to help justify a higher price versus "the other guy".

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-10-2007, 09:21 AM
Have any of you had the problem of Squirrels or Chipmunks eating the outer jacket of the 12/2 in the winter months?

When I started out I used a brand of wire that was quite susceptible to this. Then I found a manufuacturer that was putting "Bitrix" (most bitter thing known to man... added to antifreeze etc. to stop kids from ingesting it) in their PVC for the wire jackets... This solved the problem.

I have a feeling that the manufacturer of my wire has stopped doing this as I have found more wire this year eaten by animals. (Mostly on the wire leads that go up the trees to the downlights)

On another note... has anyone closely examined the "No-Ox tin coated" wire that CAST is promoting? I haven't put it under a microscope yet but I have a feeling that it might actually be aluminum wire and not tin coated copper. Any information or a technical specification from the manufacturer of this wire would be appreciated.

Have a great day.

JoeyD
09-10-2007, 11:42 AM
Joey,

Is your wire also tin-coated? I switched to the Cast wire at the beginning of the year in part for that, but also for the footage markings. I like that I can easily identify which run is which when I have multiples in a trench or at the transformer using the markings. The no-ox tin-coating is a selling point for me with clients to help justify a higher price versus "the other guy".

In response to tin coated wire. We had our wire specialist who is very recognized as an authority when it comes to cable give us his feedback on tin coated cable. We were looking at potentially switching but here was his response:

We have looked at your request to convert production of your Low Voltage Lighting Cable to tin-coated copper for the purpose of reducing corrosion. We would like to discourage you from making this conversion for the following reasons:
�� Tin coated copper is corrosion resistant when installed above ground, as when soldered onto printed circuit boards. It is not as corrosion resistant as bare copper when installed below ground. For example, galvanized fences are known to last a very long time without corroding because they are installed above ground. On the other hand, galvanized fittings corrode rapidly when buried. When installing backflow prevention devices, contractors wrap the galvanized pipe with corrosion prevention tape up to the point where
the pipe is above the soil level.
�� Even if tin-coated copper were more corrosion resistant, once the cable is cut, the bare copper is exposed on the ends of the wire strands which becomes concentrated points of corrosion.
�� Tin-coated copper does not solve the problem of improper splices. The real solution is to make a proper waterproof splice in the first place.
�� The resistance (and voltage drop) of tin-coated 12 AWG/2c Low Voltage Lighting Cable is about 7.7% higher than that of bare copper. See chart below, which is based on UL1581, Table 30.10 (attached):

D.C. Resistance (Ohms/1000') of 12 AWG LoVo Cable,
Single conductor, stranded (65) copper @77ºF (25ºC)
Bare Tinned
1.680 1.810

Please let me know if we can be of further service.

PAIGE ELECTRIC CO., LP
2683 W. Lake Van Ness Circle
Fresno, CA 93711
Phone: (559) 431-2346
Fax: (559) 431-2574
vnolletti@paigeelectric.com
www.paigewire.com

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-10-2007, 12:37 PM
Thanks Joey! Now THAT is some technical information that I can appreciate. It's nice to learn something new here now and then.

Have a great day.

ar-t
09-10-2007, 01:43 PM
We use tin-coated wire as its "no-ox" characteristic is implied to mean that it will not tarnish the way copper will. And therefore.........be easier to solder to. At least without using a mess of flux.

Sticking it into the ground.....and expecting that it will stay corrosion free forever......I have a real hard time buying that. My gut feeling is that someone is taking a known characteristic, and extrapolating it to something else without adequate research.

Even if the wire is not nicked, once the plasticisers in the jacket escapes into the surroundings (and who here has not seen old wire that is brittle and impossible to bend), the conductor is going to slowly corrode. Tin-coating may slow down the process, but eventually all are going to have their resistance go up.

sprinkler guy
09-11-2007, 01:59 AM
Joey,

Thanks for a great response to my question. I haven't noticed a measurable difference in my voltage drops, which I assume the higher resistence would do, but I size pretty conservatively.
Also, the local Cast distributor is careful to promote the wire as corrosion resistent, not corrosion proof. As I mentioned in my earlier post, my main attraction is the footage marking. When will your wire be available?

steveparrott
09-11-2007, 07:33 AM
OK guys, I need to respond again to this highly misleading memo that has been circulated widely.

In response to tin coated wire. We had our wire specialist who is very recognized as an authority when it comes to cable give us his feedback on tin coated cable. We were looking at potentially switching but here was his response:
Please note that this authority is a manufacturer who does not sell tin-coated wire. We do, of course, for good reasons.

Tin coated copper is corrosion resistant when installed above ground, as when soldered onto printed circuit boards. It is not as corrosion resistant as bare copper when installed below ground.
This comes from a study that subjected bare tin-coated wire electrodes directly to soil. The highly corrosive acids in the soil, combined with an AC current caused localized pitting in the tin. The PVC insulation on landscape lighting wire protects the tin-coated copper from direct exposure to soil acids. The real corrosion that you are trying to prevent come from wicking at the fixture. Wicking causes migration of water and dissolved impurities (salts in many situations). This kind of corrosion is most similar to what you see in the electrical wiring of boats where salt water migrates under the wire insulation. Research has clearly demonstrated that tin-coated copper is far superior to copper wire in these salt water conditions - in fact, UL and NEC code require it, hence the designation, Marine Grade tin-coated wire.

For example, galvanized fences are known to last a very long time without corroding because they are installed above ground. On the other hand, galvanized fittings corrode rapidly when buried. When installing backflow prevention devices, contractors wrap the galvanized pipe with corrosion prevention tape up to the point where
the pipe is above the soil level.
Once again, this is the situation where exposure to soil acids causes pitting of the sacrificial coating - zinc, in the case of galvanized pipe.

Even if tin-coated copper were more corrosion resistant, once the cable is cut, the bare copper is exposed on the ends of the wire strands which becomes concentrated points of corrosion.
- Tin-coated copper does not solve the problem of improper splices. The real solution is to make a proper waterproof splice in the first place.
It's true, you're in trouble if you expose the bare wire ends of tin-coated wire. I can't imagine how that could happen if you make a good solder splice or some other solid waterproof connection.

The resistance (and voltage drop) of tin-coated 12 AWG/2c Low Voltage Lighting Cable is about 7.7% higher than that of bare copper.
This is true. There is a trade-off in using tin-coated wire. Initially you have a slightly lower conductivity than with bare copper. However, as both tin-coated and bare copper wire age, the surfaces of the wire strands oxidize - to copper oxides and tin-oxides. Copper oxides have very poor conductivity while tin oxides retain their conductivity. While I haven't found studies that have measured this. It seems quite likely that, in time, the two wire types will reach equity in conductivity and tin-coated will eventually be more conductive than the all-copper wire.

Aside from the technical points that are in dispute, there's no dispute about the perceived value (from the homeowner's perspective) of using marine-grade wire - especially on beach-front properties.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-11-2007, 07:44 AM
OK guys, I need to respond again to this highly misleading memo that has been circulated widely.


Please note that this authority is a manufacturer who does not sell tin-coated wire. We do, of course, for good reasons.


This comes from a study that subjected bare tin-coated wire electrodes directly to soil. The highly corrosive acids in the soil, combined with an AC current caused localized pitting in the tin. The PVC insulation on landscape lighting wire protects the tin-coated copper from direct exposure to soil acids. The real corrosion that you are trying to prevent come from wicking at the fixture. Wicking causes migration of water and dissolved impurities (salts in many situations). This kind of corrosion is most similar to what you see in the electrical wiring of boats where salt water migrates under the wire insulation. Research has clearly demonstrated that tin-coated copper is far superior to copper wire in these salt water conditions - in fact, UL and NEC code require it, hence the designation, Marine Grade tin-coated wire.


Once again, this is the situation where exposure to soil acids causes pitting of the sacrificial coating - zinc, in the case of galvanized pipe.


It's true, you're in trouble if you expose the bare wire ends of tin-coated wire. I can't imagine how that could happen if you make a good solder splice or some other solid waterproof connection.


This is true. There is a trade-off in using tin-coated wire. Initially you have a slightly lower conductivity than with bare copper. However, as both tin-coated and bare copper wire age, the surfaces of the wire strands oxidize - to copper oxides and tin-oxides. Copper oxides have very poor conductivity while tin oxides retain their conductivity. While I haven't found studies that have measured this. It seems quite likely that, in time, the two wire types will reach equity in conductivity and tin-coated will eventually be more conductive than the all-copper wire.

Aside from the technical points that are in dispute, there's no dispute about the perceived value (from the homeowner's perspective) of using marine-grade wire - especially on beach-front properties.


Hmmm how interesting! Steve: Any chance you would like to post the full technical specification for the "no-ox tin coated wire" here for all of us to see? I can easily find spec sheets on wire from a wide variety of manufacturers, and you have spec. sheets available for your fixtures.... so how about the wire? Things like strand counts, strand diameters, tin coating thickness, Jacket materials, Jacket properties.... all of these should be available in a technical specification.

Thanks.

steveparrott
09-11-2007, 07:47 AM
James, the forum rules prevent me from posting that info here, but I'll send you the specs in a PM.

NightScenes
09-11-2007, 07:50 AM
Would you send them to me as well Steve?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
09-11-2007, 07:54 AM
James, the forum rules prevent me from posting that info here, but I'll send you the specs in a PM.

Thanks Steve... that would be great.

What I would like even more is for your "Boss" to take a moment to reply to the email that I sent him in May, July and September! Nothing turn's off a customer more then being ingnored. (I am sure that I am one of CASTs largest customers in Ontario)


Have a great day.

JoeyD
09-11-2007, 09:42 AM
OK guys, I need to respond again to this highly misleading memo that has been circulated widely.


Please note that this authority is a manufacturer who does not sell tin-coated wire. We do, of course, for good reasons.


This comes from a study that subjected bare tin-coated wire electrodes directly to soil. The highly corrosive acids in the soil, combined with an AC current caused localized pitting in the tin. The PVC insulation on landscape lighting wire protects the tin-coated copper from direct exposure to soil acids. The real corrosion that you are trying to prevent come from wicking at the fixture. Wicking causes migration of water and dissolved impurities (salts in many situations). This kind of corrosion is most similar to what you see in the electrical wiring of boats where salt water migrates under the wire insulation. Research has clearly demonstrated that tin-coated copper is far superior to copper wire in these salt water conditions - in fact, UL and NEC code require it, hence the designation, Marine Grade tin-coated wire.


Once again, this is the situation where exposure to soil acids causes pitting of the sacrificial coating - zinc, in the case of galvanized pipe.


It's true, you're in trouble if you expose the bare wire ends of tin-coated wire. I can't imagine how that could happen if you make a good solder splice or some other solid waterproof connection.


This is true. There is a trade-off in using tin-coated wire. Initially you have a slightly lower conductivity than with bare copper. However, as both tin-coated and bare copper wire age, the surfaces of the wire strands oxidize - to copper oxides and tin-oxides. Copper oxides have very poor conductivity while tin oxides retain their conductivity. While I haven't found studies that have measured this. It seems quite likely that, in time, the two wire types will reach equity in conductivity and tin-coated will eventually be more conductive than the all-copper wire.

Aside from the technical points that are in dispute, there's no dispute about the perceived value (from the homeowner's perspective) of using marine-grade wire - especially on beach-front properties.


Steve I am not sure you explained where this study was mis leading. It seems you agreed with most of it but had some good input on why this particular wire may last longer. The person who provided this study does work for a manufacturer but anyone who knows Vince knows he is an honest and knowledgeable person. I could see where it could be a selling point to a homeowner but how about selling the homeowner on the fact that you make solid greased connections. It sounds like to me that you can spend the extra money on the the tin coated stuff, deal with working with the stiffer cable, but then if you make a faulty connection you may have well of used standard direct burial low voltage cable? I mean how many people really make a solder connection in Landscape Lighting anyway? Majority of the people out there still use pierce point or wirenuts unfortunatly. I think the most important thing here is the connection. If you make a really good connection then weather your using tin coated or standard copper cable doesnt really matter. I think it is a very good sales approach and does give the homeowner some added "percieved" value but beyond that I dont really see where it is worth the cost and the loss in conductivity. Just my opinion.

steveparrott
09-11-2007, 01:08 PM
Joey, I guess we'll need to agree to disagree on the science here.

JoeyD
09-11-2007, 01:14 PM
I suppose your correct there. I am not against it just trying to determine why I would want it over standard LV Cable. Bottom line I guess it will be a slight bit different in resistance but does offer some potential long term benefits over standard.

I am sure there is plenty we do agree on!!!

steveparrott
09-11-2007, 02:13 PM
That's very fair. Thanks.

pete scalia
09-11-2007, 08:58 PM
looks like the guy from paige didn't want to lose an account since they don't manufacture tin coated cable. The response is obviously biased and should be thrown out of this courtroom and stricken from the record.

JoeyD
09-12-2007, 09:30 AM
Pete, you should be thrown out of the courtroom for speaking on someone you know nothing about. This report is honest and believe me we do not let our vendors control our decisions. We do however look to profesionals and experts to offer insight, it's called R and D. Just becuase you dont sell something doesnt mean you dont know anything about it and you havent researched it. We have spoken to vendors of tin coated cable, and I think that if Paige wanted to sell or manufacture tin coated cable they could. Something tells me Paige is a bit bigger then you might think when it comes to manufacturing cable. I myself after hearing and reading more from Steve on this wire can see the long term benefits but I think there are some negatives. It's not all peaches and cream with Tin Coated Cable. There are some negatives just like there are negatives with standard copper cable. Lets not forget having these discussions and hearing both sides is what we are here for.

pete scalia
09-12-2007, 07:21 PM
Let's not forget that everyone is entitled to their position without getting slammed for it to Joe.

JoeyD
09-12-2007, 07:25 PM
I'm sorry I was a bit cranky this morning...I was trying to be sarcastic with my opening statement ;) Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I should have respected that but you seemed to be quite harsh with your comment as if the report I posted was completely bogus!! I provided more than opinion, it was fact based.

But it is all good, I shouldnt type so early in the morning!!!*trucewhiteflag*

pete scalia
09-12-2007, 07:31 PM
I was also trying to be funny with the court room reference but I guess it got lost in the translation. I still believe the answer may be tinged with bias. If a customer of mine wanted something I didn't sell and wanted my opinion on something and my opinion may result in my losing said business I'm not stupid I'm gonna either refrain from answering or give an answer that's biased in my favor it's only human nature. Anything different would be suicide.

JoeyD
09-12-2007, 07:45 PM
I understand, and it is possible it was slightly biased, but bottom line is if we wanted to get tinned cable we would get it from Paige anyway. We have more than just a buyer seller relationship with Vince N, his information is always fact based and not just something he pulls from his you know what.

I want to learn more about this tinned cable, I have to go off of facts since I personally have no experience with it. I would like to see some other facts and reports on this Tinned cable, they must be out there. I cannot be the only one with reservations.

NightScenes
09-12-2007, 08:59 PM
Joey, this horse has been beat to death on this forum. I see Steve's point but when I measure cost and resistance vs practicality, I just can't see why I should use it. Maybe if I were running exposed wire on the coast, it might be worth it.

sprinkler guy
09-13-2007, 12:50 AM
Joey, this horse has been beat to death on this forum. I see Steve's point but when I measure cost and resistance vs practicality, I just can't see why I should use it. Maybe if I were running exposed wire on the coast, it might be worth it.

Paul,

All of the tech-spec argueing aside, I find the tin-coated seems to strip easier. The footage marking is real handy too. Other wire companies probably offer marked cable, but Cast was the first to bring it to me, so I tried it on a couple of jobs, and haven't looked back. I adjusted my pricing to compensate for the cost. Occasionally I have a need for white or brown jacketed wire, so I use a non tin-coated, and feel a difference in the above mentioned stripping. I also noticed that most of the fixtures I use have tin-coated wire for their socket leads.