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greenmonster304
10-30-2007, 08:16 PM
today i went to winterize a house we took over from another company a few weeks ago. when i went inside to unplug the controller i found that the previous company had ran an 18 ga wire to the clock for power (110 volts). this is not kosher but here is my question to you guys. should i call the old company and let them know that their amegos are doing things that could burn down a house? would you guys appreciate phone call if your guys were doing this or wold you tell me to mind my business?

Mike Leary
10-30-2007, 08:19 PM
Call the electricians & have them do it right....inform the client, don't dink
with the previous slimeball. Tho a call to Labor & Industries mite work.

Mike Leary
10-30-2007, 08:42 PM
when i went inside to unplug the controller

We leave the clock powered up, a little heat keeps the micro circuits happy.:)

Dirty Water
10-30-2007, 08:53 PM
I would be willing to bet that the company knew that was done.

I've used 18 gauge to bridge the 24v terminals in a pinch, but never to run 110.

What sort of hack install is that? Are you sure its 110? Did they splice a pigtail onto it?

Mike Leary
10-30-2007, 08:58 PM
I've used 18 gauge to bridge the 24v terminals in a pinch,

Elitist........

greenmonster304
10-30-2007, 09:42 PM
I would be willing to bet that the company knew that was done.

I've used 18 gauge to bridge the 24v terminals in a pinch, but never to run 110.

What sort of hack install is that? Are you sure its 110? Did they splice a pigtail onto it?

it went: 110 outlet>pigtail>15' of 18/4>ProC transformer

Jason Rose
10-30-2007, 10:48 PM
Is the amperage useage of the controler more than 10 amps? I sort-of fail to see the problem with using 18 ga. wire for a 110V. circut. Look at MOST lamps and appliances, most all use 18ga.

The hang-up would be if the wire used was not 600V. wire (normally used for 110V) or if the splices used were exposed.

greenmonster304
10-30-2007, 10:57 PM
Is the amperage useage of the controler more than 10 amps? I sort-of fail to see the problem with using 18 ga. wire for a 110V. circut. Look at MOST lamps and appliances, most all use 18ga.

The hang-up would be if the wire used was not 600V. wire (normally used for 110V) or if the splices used were exposed.

the connections were just wire nutted and hanging there and the wire was the 18/4 thermostat wire. i think most wire for 110 is at least 14 ga. what they did was move the controller from basement to out side and just used the old zone wire that was extra because of the move.

Jason Rose
10-30-2007, 11:06 PM
the connections were just wire nutted and hanging there and the wire was the 18/4 thermostat wire. i think most wire for 110 is at least 14 ga. what they did was move the controller from basement to out side and just used the old zone wire that was extra because of the move.

Ah, well i'm not going to lie, that's a bit sketchy!

No, not all wire is rated for use with 110 volts, things like thermostat wire and controler valve wire is NOT, it's low voltage only. Not to say it won't conduct the power, the insulation just isn't suited for the dangers of 110 + volts.

As for what size wires will handle 110 volts. Pretty much any gage wire will. I see 24 gage routinely used, more common is 18 and 16. The drawback to using smaller conducters like this is that they are rated for less "flow" then the breaker they are attached too. If there's a problem with the smaller wires, that are connected to a 15 amp breaker, then YES, there's a possibilty of a fire. anything smaller than 14 ga, should have a fuse on it based on the size of the wire.

Dirty Water
10-30-2007, 11:52 PM
Elitist........

Heh, usually I used it to do a quick and dirty solenoid/field wiring versus timer check on wiring issues. If I can fire the zone with a jumper wire, then its time to ditch the timer.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-31-2007, 08:17 AM
There are some home inspectors that will shoot down 110v runs of more than 3' permanently plugged in. I try to get the HO to get an electrician to set a new outlet.

greenmonster304
10-31-2007, 09:02 AM
There are some home inspectors that will shoot down 110v runs of more than 3' permanently plugged in. I try to get the HO to get an electrician to set a new outlet.

i guess they wouldn't like my desk lamp (6')

Wet_Boots
10-31-2007, 09:29 AM
Solid wire for a line cord is dumb, not to mention unsafe. Worst clock install I ever saw was a outdoor install of an outdoor controller, with the 1/2" MPT transformer 110 input. The 110 wires trailing from the transformer inlet were just twisted and taped to a line cord plugged into a nearby outlet. Wish I'd had a camera for that one.

FIMCO-MEISTER
10-31-2007, 09:32 AM
i guess they wouldn't like my desk lamp (6')

Yeah I don't know what the deal is. i think it is the sight of 110 stapled on the sheetrock and run 20' or so to a outlet by the garage door opener or the other side. The lamp you will just take with you when you move.

Wet_Boots
10-31-2007, 09:41 AM
Yeah I don't know what the deal is. i think it is the sight of 110 stapled on the sheetrock and run 20' or so to a outlet by the garage door opener or the other side. The lamp you will just take with you when you move.If the staples were replaced with hooks, then a long line cord (or maybe even an extension cord before the line cord) might not be considered improper.

Kiril
10-31-2007, 03:24 PM
If your hardwiring, it has nothing to do with the draw of the device, but what the circuit is rated for. A 20 amp circuit requires 12/2 or better, 15 amp 14/2 or better, and it needs to be GFCI protected in most areas (hardwired or not).

Mike Leary
10-31-2007, 05:05 PM
If your hardwiring, it has nothing to do with the draw of the device, but what the circuit is rated for. A 20 amp circuit requires 12/2 or better, 15 amp 14/2 or better, and it needs to be GFCI protected in most areas (hardwired or not).

If something is hardwired, I fail to see the reason for a GFI, if you've got
outlets on the same circuit, o.k. GFIs are nortorious for low end clocks,
even our stuff, I have the electricans by pass the GFI, which our code permits.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-01-2007, 08:18 AM
If something is hardwired, I fail to see the reason for a GFI, if you've got
outlets on the same circuit, o.k. GFIs are nortorious for low end clocks,
even our stuff, I have the electricans by pass the GFI, which our code permits.

Ditto. I've noticed on the newer houses they install an outlet 7-8' or so which is non gfi. Intended for the irrigation system. I'm not sure on the code but all the plugs in new houses at waist height or lower in garages need to be gfi. I had a timer outside on a plug that I could not get power from. Found out it was on a gfi plug in the bedroom closet.:dizzy:

Kiril
11-01-2007, 12:51 PM
Circuits feeding outdoor receptacles need to be GFCI protected, I'm not sure about garage circuits.

I have seen inspectors hit a controller installed in a garage on a GFCI circuit, for not being GFCI protected at the receptacle. Absolutely idiotic, but it happens.

Mike Leary
11-01-2007, 05:12 PM
That is another reason I don't like clocks in garages..too many variables on
what could be on your circuit. We all know (wish) it should be dedicated, but
if we show after the sheetrock, it's a crap shoot. I've had clocks blow on circuits with freezers, garage door openers. Odd that almost everything in
new construction is planned for, except us.:cry:

Kiril
11-02-2007, 12:20 AM
That is another reason I don't like clocks in garages..too many variables on
what could be on your circuit. We all know (wish) it should be dedicated, but
if we show after the sheetrock, it's a crap shoot. I've had clocks blow on circuits with freezers, garage door openers. Odd that almost everything in
new construction is planned for, except us.:cry:

I don't know if I totally agree with this. I think it speaks more to a crappy clock than it does poor circuit design. Granted, refrigerators and garage door openers should be on their own circuits, but I just can't see an irrigation clock justifying that need unless we are talking about a controller worth several thousand dollars, then it most certainly should be on it's own circuit.

FIMCO-MEISTER
11-02-2007, 07:05 AM
I don't know if I totally agree with this. I think it speaks more to a crappy clock than it does poor circuit design. Granted, refrigerators and garage door openers should be on their own circuits, but I just can't see an irrigation clock justifying that need unless we are talking about a controller worth several thousand dollars, then it most certainly should be on it's own circuit.

I bet you'd give a Calsense its own circuit. Shoot you'd probably build a gazebo to house it and have Hare Krishna dancers singing praise to it 24/7.

Kiril
11-02-2007, 10:33 AM
I bet you'd give a Calsense its own circuit. Shoot you'd probably build a gazebo to house it and have Hare Krishna dancers singing praise to it 24/7.

You said Calsense. http://www.websmileys.com/sm/love/641.gif

You can bet YSA it would get it's own circuit, and it would be housed in a gold plated cabinet.

WalkGood
11-03-2007, 12:24 AM
it went: 110 outlet>pigtail>15' of 18/4>ProC transformer

It woulda been a bit safer if they used that 18 gauge wire to run the 24V, with the transformer plugged into the wall outlet although it's still questionable.


Last Summer I went to replace a controller in the utility room of a basement. The original 24v transformer was plugged into a ceiling outlet above the dropped ceilings 60 feet away, 2 rooms away. Zip cord maybe 18 gauge was used. I told the homeowners that it wasn't a good idea, and I wouldn't hook up the new one that way. They did agree; they had no idea since they bought the house that way a few years ago. Not sure if their home inspector caught that one. Anyway they said they'd get a new outleft installed near the controller. I left them with the transformer plugged in via a 14 gauge extension cord to an outlet in the closest room.

greenmonster304
11-03-2007, 08:07 AM
It woulda been a bit safer if they used that 18 gauge wire to run the 24V, with the transformer plugged into the wall outlet although it's still questionable.


Last Summer I went to replace a controller in the utility room of a basement. The original 24v transformer was plugged into a ceiling outlet above the dropped ceilings 60 feet away, 2 rooms away. Zip cord maybe 18 gauge was used. I told the homeowners that it wasn't a good idea, and I wouldn't hook up the new one that way. They did agree; they had no idea since they bought the house that way a few years ago. Not sure if their home inspector caught that one. Anyway they said they'd get a new outleft installed near the controller. I left them with the transformer plugged in via a 14 gauge extension cord to an outlet in the closest room.

why dont you think its good to run 24 volt at that distance? the thermostat wires in houses are 24 volt and they run alot further than that and they are just stapled to the floor joists.

Mike Leary
11-03-2007, 06:07 PM
All this diatribe may be helpfull to you guys, but the bottom line is all this
stuff should be done by a electrician, it frees you from liability.."you touch it, it's yours". A friend (irri contractor) installed his own system in his new house,installed a booster pump & wired the pump start relay, house caught fire,total loss, fire marshall pinpointed the cause to the pump start wiring, suggested to my friend he sue the electricians. Friend (ex contractor) now a greeter at Wall Mart. True story.:cry: :hammerhead:

londonrain
11-03-2007, 06:26 PM
All this diatribe may be helpfull to you guys, but the bottom line is all this
stuff should be done by a electrician, it frees you from liability.."you touch it, it's yours". A friend (irri contractor) installed his own system in his new house,installed a booster pump & wired the pump start relay, house caught fire,total loss, fire marshall pinpointed the cause to the pump start wiring, suggested to my friend he sue the electricians. Friend (ex contractor) now a greeter at Wall Mart. True story.:cry: :hammerhead:
When we do a pump systems, I get the homeowner in touch with an electrician for the wiring.....