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pete scalia
09-18-2007, 01:55 AM
I get this call today from a guy who makes it clear over the phone that all he needs is a better grade of light fixture to replace all the rusted and broken ones. "All the wiring works"! system is 8 yrs old. Guaranteed when I get there he's gonna need a completely new system but is not gonna wanna spring for it cause he's thinking he's gonna get away cheap cause "All the cable works"!
If the lighting association wanted to take on a worthwhile project it would be to educate the millions of homeowners like this one to not have unrealistic expectations this way when we get them they are prepared to buy. Any interest association in public education?

Pro-Scapes
09-18-2007, 09:40 PM
So go look at it and educate him. You never know what he has til you go look. He is obviously interested in lighting... He obviously is looking to buy new lights. The hardest part of selling is getting in front of the interested people.

Tell him it will take XXX to troubleshoot and verify that his cables are good still and take time to ensure his trans is still safe and not corroded like his fixtures and also provide him a quote on a hassle free turnkey system installed by you.

Lite4
09-18-2007, 10:06 PM
Pete,
I ran into this exact scenario about 3 months ago. Guy called me about some of his lights not working. He has a little over 100 lights. He tried to replace some of the bulbs but, they still were not working. I was thinking the same thing as you, Oh great a cheap homeowner who is looking for a patch. I got to his house and he had a vista sytem that had been in for about 5 years. Most of it was still working however. I suspected wire oxidation from poor connections, sure enough. Wire was black all the way to the sockets. I showed the homeowner the wire and we also voltage tested some random fixtures and discovered many to be running around 8.5-9.5 volts. I explained the halogen cycle to him and why the voltage needs to corrected at these fixtures. Also that if rewiring was not performed with good waterproof connections he could expect the rest of his system to fail as well. Long story short, He loves his lighting system and he wanted it to perform properly so he contracted with me to rewire and relamp everything. When I finished he couldn't believe how much brighter and more consistant the quality of light was from fixture to fixture. I did half of it initially and he is going to have me do the other half in about 2 months. I think the main thing is to spend some time and educate the client and actually show them the damage. Usually once they have had their lighting system for a while they won't be able to live in the dark anymore. And will usually pay to have it done correctly. Hope it works out for you.

pete scalia
09-18-2007, 11:03 PM
Thanks guys those are some encouraging words. I'll let you know how it turns out.

steveparrott
09-19-2007, 01:50 PM
Tim, I was intrigued by your post that showed fixtures running at 8.5v - 9.5v after 5 years. If the initial voltage was 11.5v to 12.0v, that means there was an increase in wire resistance somewhere between 17% and 29% presumably due to wicking-induced oxidation (the wire was black).

This is interesting in light of the tin-coating discussion. One argument against the tin is the initial increased resistance of 7% compared to all-copper. Given the fact that tin-oxides retain conductivity better than copper-oxides, I'm guessing that after five years tin-coated wire would show far less voltage loss.

Pro-Scapes
09-19-2007, 07:41 PM
excellent point steve.

Tim I ran into the same situation but after my caluculations there was no way this guy even had close to in spec voltage from the start.

Unfortunatly the homeowner would only let me do a limited rework of the system when I installed 14 new lights. They will have me replace the rest later. They were thrilled they never had to replace a bulb 5 years. Same thing... VISTA system all running 8 to 9 v. Now its in spec with 3 sockets replaced due to wicking and corrosion. Also disconnecting the furthest fixture which was run with romex aided big time in bringing the system back in spec.

pete scalia
09-20-2007, 12:44 AM
Didn't pan out. Went out to the site to find a real mess. Single cable run feeding a bunch of broken lights scattered around the yard. regular wire nuts and taped connections. Made it clear all he wanted was new lights . No new cable-said It didn't need it even after I educated him. Told him he'd be better served by a handyman

Lite4
09-20-2007, 01:11 AM
Sorry to here that pete, sometimes it goes that way.

Steve, the initial voltage was probably no where close to what it should have been. The whole sytem is daisy chained with some pretty long runs. there are a total of 6 transformers all single tap. Needless to say I used a lot of 8 and 10 gauge on this one to get the voltage corrected with single taps.

steveparrott
09-20-2007, 10:12 AM
I withdraw my conclusions.