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View Full Version : Oppinions Please re: add-on to Nightscaping system


NightLightingFX
12-20-2007, 02:13 PM
I need some input on a Nightscaping system that I DID NOT install regarding design and engineering. My question on the design is see pics – The guy just wants me to highlight his waterfall. I figure about 5 fixtures. My question to you guys is would you use underwater fixtures to highlight the little waterfalls? My first thought is to use directional fixtures from the bank to highlight the little waterfalls. Do you think the waterfalls are too small for underwater fixtures? Since there is a retaining wall above the waterfall I can use directional fixtures without residual light trespass. Give me your input I am curious to hear other opinions. Regarding engineering - The installer was a landscaper that is kind of trying to get into the lighting business. The equipment used is pretty good all Nightscaping equipment, with the use of Ace connectors. However, there was no
As-Built left. How do the Nightscape faithfull wire? Do they recommend the “T” method. How do you think this system is wired. I personally use the “hub” method 95% of the time. My other obstacle is that the water fall is 200 feet away from the Transformer. There are some other fixtures near the waterfall. I didn’t check the voltage on the fixtures in the waterfall area. It seems to me that using a 15 volt max tap from the transformer and going out 200 feet is not going to work with 12 gage wire as the homerun, will 10 gage work at this distance? Thanks
~Ned
Night Lighting FX

NightLightingFX
12-20-2007, 02:14 PM
I don't know why my images are so small. I am working on it.
~Ned

NightLightingFX
12-20-2007, 03:20 PM
I think I figured out what I did wrong

ICT Bill
12-20-2007, 03:31 PM
I have seen several instance where lighting from under the falls look really good. There are a lot of great examples on koiphen.com, look under the construction tab. The problem is that the waterfall in question is hideous, I don't think you could make it look better, maybe with the lights off

Pro-Scapes
12-20-2007, 03:51 PM
first question you need to ask yourself. Is that nightscaping trans pool and spa rated for use with the underwater fixtures ? It there enough wattage left to even consider using it ?

On the lighting. How deep are thoes rocks ? Just a cover or could you pull back some rocks to get a light almost recessed into the rocks ? I gotta agree that fall leaves a bit to be desired. I would keep it very soft. Maybe 10w with frosted or spreader lens on it and try to conceal it in the rocks some below the fall with the light source hidden from view and as far under the lip as possible so there is no glare from above. Get a few underwater lights and see what the homeowner likes. I would really like to see some landscaping around it to soften the falls up and perhaps hide some pathlights above it with the water lights in it.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-20-2007, 04:09 PM
1: That waterfall is neither a pool, nor a spa. It is clearly not intended for human use, therefore the Nightscaping Power Center is fine to use for powering the application.

2: Ask the question: "Why Light?" Why do you want to light that particular feature, what are you hoping to achieve, where will it be viewed from, etc etc.

3: The waterfalls are a bit small for uplighting. Any good undewater rated fixture will dominate the view during daylight hours. Unless you were to dig up the liner and go to an ingrade application which may ruin the liner.

So, you could highlight and graze the actual waterfalls from the sides using a small fixture like the Mini Washliter, or the Constitution, or ??? Just be careful of viewing angles and glare.

Have a great day.

Pro-Scapes
12-20-2007, 04:38 PM
1: That waterfall is neither a pool, nor a spa. It is clearly not intended for human use, therefore the Nightscaping Power Center is fine to use for powering the application.

.

Sorry amigo. Any fixture in or within 10ft of a body of water must carry a pool and spa rating. Not sure how they do things up north and I know many contractors here dont do it but I just bit the bullet after the acceptance of a proposal because I had to purchase a pool and spa rated trans out of pocket for fixtures within 10 feet (3 something meters) of a spa and pool

NEC code section 680 I think it is states any fixture in or within 10 ft of a body of water including ponds, waterfalls and other types of water features must be powered by a pool and spa rated transformer and plugged into or wired to a GFCI outlet.

JoeyD
12-20-2007, 05:13 PM
I need some input on a Nightscaping system that I DID NOT install regarding design and engineering. My question on the design is see pics – The guy just wants me to highlight his waterfall. I figure about 5 fixtures. My question to you guys is would you use underwater fixtures to highlight the little waterfalls? My first thought is to use directional fixtures from the bank to highlight the little waterfalls. Do you think the waterfalls are too small for underwater fixtures? Since there is a retaining wall above the waterfall I can use directional fixtures without residual light trespass. Give me your input I am curious to hear other opinions. Regarding engineering - The installer was a landscaper that is kind of trying to get into the lighting business. The equipment used is pretty good all Nightscaping equipment, with the use of Ace connectors. However, there was no
As-Built left. How do the Nightscape faithfull wire? Do they recommend the “T” method. How do you think this system is wired. I personally use the “hub” method 95% of the time. My other obstacle is that the water fall is 200 feet away from the Transformer. There are some other fixtures near the waterfall. I didn’t check the voltage on the fixtures in the waterfall area. It seems to me that using a 15 volt max tap from the transformer and going out 200 feet is not going to work with 12 gage wire as the homerun, will 10 gage work at this distance? Thanks
~Ned
Night Lighting FX

Ned,

On a 200ft run you can power up 80watts with a 15v tap on 10ga wire. But chances are with a load the 15v tap on that NS TF is probably a 14v tap at best. So figure maybe 60watts at 200ft on a 15v tap.

As for that TF you have being able to power up underwater lights; you will probably not have a problem but Billy is correct that you do need to utilize a Pool and Spa rated UL 1563 transformer if you want to be up to code. Just becuase it is not a pool and or spa it is a body of water that someone could go into, water features and river beds fall under the pool and spa ratings. I make an 840w PST unit that has taps to 20v which would allow you to put 140watts at 200ft on 12ga or 210w at 200ft on 10ga.

Looking at the waterfall you could definitly utilize underwater fixtures. My Triton could be an option or you could go with say a Focus SL-40 brass MR11 underwater light which is smaller than my Triton which uses an MR16. The idea when lighting waterfalls is trying to highlight and capture the action of the cascade. I would try and get the lights directly under the cascade to get that sheeting light effect.

Another option would be fiber optics, it seems that there has to be a pump with power that you could tie an Illumin FX illuminator too. Just a thought.

Hope this helps,

Joey D.

Lite4
12-20-2007, 06:23 PM
Vista makes a 'hockey puck' style that is pretty good for tucking back in behind rock to light up the falls. It is pretty unobtrusive and the effects are not overpowering in small falls.

JoeyD
12-20-2007, 06:25 PM
Thats the effect you want. Slighly hot but I am sure that has to do with the camera.

Lite4
12-20-2007, 06:30 PM
Yeah it's the camera. It was a long exposure.

NightLightingFX
12-20-2007, 07:54 PM
I need clarification on the "rated for pool & spa" I thought you only needed a pool & spa transformer for pools & spas. I didn't know that also covered decorative water features. I have done a couple of water features without any special transformer - I guess I could get into trouble? So in the future, regarding any water feature I HAVE TO use a pool & spa transformer? I am kind of confused
~Ned
Night Lighting FX

NightLightingFX
12-20-2007, 08:14 PM
This issue regarding pool & spa transformer for fixtures in any body of water sucks! (I don't know how I missed that):hammerhead:I am right in the middle of a project - custom home completion, where there is a water feature in the front and back yard. I am using 2 Unique 1120 transformers one for the front yard and one for the back. I have 90% of the front yard done. I hate being out of complience but I can't afford to switch things out. I will have two 1120 transformers laying around. Not to mention the hassle of disconecting my homeruns from my transformer and etc, should I ignore the pool & spa issue for this job or should I replace my transformers? I hate to compromise my integrity on the other hand I am going to take a hit if I replace everything. What should I do???:cry:
~Ned

klkanders
12-20-2007, 09:04 PM
Hey Ned,
I agree with Tim and his application. I think the "less is more" saying applies to waterfall areas as much as anywhere. I am submitting this link to a pic I previously put on here showing a simple pondless waterfall we did. Since then I have used this same technique on other larger waterfalls with great results! I like my eyes drawn first to and thru the waterfall with no other light getting in the way of that. Then around the perimeter if needed or wanted add a few pathlights to highlight the landscaping. My advice would be to use one of these small puck size lights (10w) behind each waterfall first then add other light where needed.

www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=129434&page=18

As for your transformer dilema.....Is it feasible distance wise and fixture wise to add another smaller pool and spa transformer between the two water features or just swap out one of the 1120's and add both water features to the new one?

Let us know.......this is interesting. Good Luck!

Chris J
12-20-2007, 09:07 PM
Ned, I believe these guys are giving you some incorrect info. If the body of water is intened for human use, then not even the pool and spa transformer is going to solve your problem; the fixtures would also have to be incorporated into the structure much like you see the lights that are installed into an inground swimming pool. There can be nothing in which a person can grab on to for leverage in order to pull on. I went through this a while back, and there is virtually nothing you can do "if" the body of water is intended for human use. In your situation, you will be perfectly fine if you use a transformer that is rated to be used with submersible fixtures. No need to be worried about code violations for a rock waterfall.
As a side note to the 10' rule: The interpretation is different from inspector to inspector. The way the UL interprets the NEC is that it is to be no closer than 10' if the unit is not GFCI protected. No closer than 5' if the unit is GFCI protected. I carry the business card of one of the UL engineers if I'm ever confronted by an inspector who says otherwise. I will ask the inspector to call him to figure it out.

pete scalia
12-20-2007, 09:12 PM
This issue regarding pool & spa transformer for fixtures in any body of water sucks! (I don't know how I missed that):hammerhead:I am right in the middle of a project - custom home completion, where there is a water feature in the front and back yard. I am using 2 Unique 1120 transformers one for the front yard and one for the back. I have 90% of the front yard done. I hate being out of complience but I can't afford to switch things out. I will have two 1120 transformers laying around. Not to mention the hassle of disconecting my homeruns from my transformer and etc, should I ignore the pool & spa issue for this job or should I replace my transformers? I hate to compromise my integrity on the other hand I am going to take a hit if I replace everything. What should I do???:cry:
~Ned

If your concerned about it go to the building dept at the city and ask them what their requirements are. You then risk opening up pandora's box though. However it's better to be safe then be sorry. Buona Fortuna

Lite4
12-20-2007, 09:16 PM
Ned,
I hear your dilemma bud, however if Washington is anything like Idaho; who is going to inspect it? On a finished house here you don't need a permit or license to install low voltage lighting and no checks to make sure you are in compliance. So again, who is going to force you to change it? I say finish the job as it is. You are not going to have any problems with the system. If it is plugged into a GFCI it will trip if your fixtures fail. You will know for the next time. I have many systems out there that are still working fine that are not in "compliance".

Lite4
12-20-2007, 09:18 PM
If your concerned about it go to the building dept at the city and ask them what their requirements are. You then risk opening up pandora's box though. However it's better to be safe then be sorry. Buona Fortuna

Ned,
I wouldn't open up that can of worms. You know how government agencies are.

"It is always easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission."

pete scalia
12-20-2007, 09:29 PM
Ned,
I wouldn't open up that can of worms. You know how government agencies are.

"It is always easier to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission."

WoW ! Hope you don't live in a sue happy state with that advice.

Lite4
12-20-2007, 09:39 PM
No Pete, I don't live in a Stalinist- (Hillaryized), Socialist occupied territory like you do. We actually give people the benefit of the doubt here in the West.

pete scalia
12-20-2007, 09:51 PM
No Pete, I don't live in a Stalinist- (Hillaryized), Socialist occupied territory like you do. We actually give people the benefit of the doubt here in the West.

Is that how it works there. You burn down a house , say your sorry and it's no harm no foul. Wow. That's all I can say.

Chris J
12-20-2007, 10:10 PM
Any body here ever burn down a house?

Lite4
12-20-2007, 10:15 PM
Is that how it works there. You burn down a house , say your sorry and it's no harm no foul. Wow. That's all I can say.

Wow, I have yet to encounter that one yet. Pete, do you speak from experience here?

pete scalia
12-20-2007, 11:26 PM
Wow, I have yet to encounter that one yet. Pete, do you speak from experience here?

No comment. I may or may not have burned down 1 or 2. But whose counting?
Whenever you want to sensationalize you play the "burn the house down" card scare tactic. Seems to work on some.

Lite4
12-20-2007, 11:31 PM
Pete, You crack me up man.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-21-2007, 10:30 AM
I need clarification on the "rated for pool & spa" I thought you only needed a pool & spa transformer for pools & spas. I didn't know that also covered decorative water features. I have done a couple of water features without any special transformer - I guess I could get into trouble? So in the future, regarding any water feature I HAVE TO use a pool & spa transformer? I am kind of confused
~Ned
Night Lighting FX

I did some quick checking....

When installing LV lighting into water features, ponds and such (not intended for human use), it is acceptable to install UL1838 transformers as long as they are rated "for use with sumbersible fixtures."

When installing LV near or around pools and spas (human use), then you must use a pool & spa rated transformer and follow a number of other code and listing requirments.

Have a great day.

JoeyD
12-21-2007, 10:54 AM
On one end so many are all over UL1838 and how you have to be UL specific. Do not go over 15v becuase anything higher can hurt people. Anything not listed for the purpose is not to be used. But then you bring up lighting water features and your whole tune changes. Are you or ARE YOU NOT wanting to be up to code and UL requirements. Personally I know UL is a crock and just another labratory collecting a check. But becuase everyone cry's if they dont see a UL listsing we have products built to specific requirements. 1838 included. So why is it now that we tell you that you need to use a UL1563 unit when powering up a light in or within a 10ft BODY of water everyone wants to shun away from it. Are you not worried about that same old man or kid putting his hand into that water feature to get a toy or leaf out of it? I mean your worried about that same old man and or kid grabbing a loose connection while being in a puddle or having sweaty hands? Your UL1838 TF probably does not have the UL1563 required copper faraday shield to protect the 120v primary coil from the 12v secondary. If it did it would say UL1563 on it. I mean most untis built including ours all have some sort of shielding but unless your unit says UL1563 it is not listed for UNDERWATER LIGHTS!! Maybe lights within the water but not those in it! Some of you need to decide what side of the fence your on.

No offense Chris but I saw the way Steven Holmes of UL cracked once Nate brought up points he was not prepared for at conference last year regarding UL1838 and underwater lighting. He did not expect anyone to argue him on stuff and he did eat some statements in front of everyone. You were there, he admitted Nate being correct atleast 3 times and this subject was one he took statements back on.

Now the code is left up to the inspector and how he interpets it, YES. The NEC interpetted correctly will tell you that any FIXTURE IN OR WITHIN 10ft of a body of water needs to be an underwater rated FIXTURE being powered up by a UL1563 Pool and Spa rated transformer tied into a GFCI receptacle. On top of that you cannot put ANY TF within 10ft of a body of water. Whats a body of water? Its a huge puddle that never goes away, its a water feature, a pool, a spa, a pond, a lake........Its abody of water, we all know what a body of water is. Now how did they come up with the 10ft rule and some will say the 5ft rule? Like Chris said they are worried someone climbing out of the pool and spa could use the fixture to pull them self out of the water, thatis why they want the fixture to be underwater rated as well now. So dont just blow certain codes off becuase you guys havent followed them. mahjority of the industry does not know this, why? Becasue the other manufactures do not even make UL1563 units so they dont talk about them. Ask your favorite manufacturer why?

I still love you all!!!

Joey D.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
12-21-2007, 11:03 AM
You are ranting and railing again Joey.

Take a breath my friend.

JoeyD
12-21-2007, 11:22 AM
LOL...........MUST... TAKE ...BREATH... AND... NOT.. ...SUFFOCATE...OUCH I JUST GOT SHOCKED BY 22v.............LOL Hey I can breath again, see its safe, it saves lives!!

Lite4
12-21-2007, 02:58 PM
LOL...........MUST... TAKE ...BREATH... AND... NOT.. ...SUFFOCATE...OUCH I JUST GOT SHOCKED BY 22v.............LOL Hey I can breath again, see its safe, it saves lives!!

I nominate this as post of the week. That was great Joey.

JoeyD
12-21-2007, 03:53 PM
Thanks Tim, I will accept the nomination!!

irrig8r
12-22-2007, 09:56 PM
.....<SNIP>.... As for that TF you have being able to power up underwater lights; you will probably not have a problem but Billy is correct that you do need to utilize a Pool and Spa rated UL 1563 transformer if you want to be up to code. Just because it is not a pool and or spa it is a body of water that someone could go into, water features and river beds fall under the pool and spa ratings.
....<SNIP>....

Obviously you know more about this than I do Joey, Because this is the first I've heard of UL 1563. So I thought I'd do a little homework.


I 've used Hadco, Vista and Nightscaping LV fixtures designed for underwater use. None of them say anything about Spa and Pool Rated Transformers that I can find on their sites.

Hadco says "UL Listed to U.S. safety standards for wet locations. cUL Listed to Canadian safety standards for wet locations..."

Nightscaping says "Note: Splice must always be made out and above water level. Do not use in swimming pools, spas, or other water features that can come into direct contact with people!"

But searching via Google on "spa and pool transformer" or "spa and pool rated transformer" yielded zero results, and searching on "UL 1563, pool and spa" turned up pages like this one which have to do with the temperature set points of hot tubs...and nothing to do with lighting.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NTB/is_20_44/ai_n15736719

Finally I went to the UL site, and did a search on "1563" and came across this:

http://www.ul.com/regulators/spaguide.pdf

Where it says:

"WHO SHOULD USE THIS GUIDE"

"This Guide is intended to assist installers, contractors and inspection authorities in determining the suitability of UL Listed and Classified swimming pool, spa, hydromassage bathtub and fountain products for use in specific installations."

Doesn't mention waterfalls, ponds...

I did find this though:

"SUBMERSIBLE LUMINAIRES (IFEV)"

"This category covers submersible luminaires intended for installation in accordance with Article 680 of
the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70, in fountains and similar water-containing vessels not intended to
accommodate the complete or partial immersion of persons."

And further along in this section it states:

"REQUIREMENTS"

"The basic standard used to investigate products in this category is UL 676, “Underwater Lighting
Fixtures.”"

So, it would appear to me that UL 676 is more applicable than UL 1563.
What do you know about it?

I found out more here:

http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/template/LISEXT/1FRAME/showpage.html?name=IFEV.GuideInfo&ccnshorttitle=Submersible+Luminaires&objid=1074097100&cfgid=1073741824&version=versionless&parent_id=1073988178&sequence=1

If you click on the upper left where it says "View Listings" you'll find names you'll recognize:

Cooper, Hadco, Intermatic, Kim, Kichler, Lumascape and RSL are among them.

No Unique, No Vista, No Nightscaping. Strange, huh?

johnh
12-23-2007, 12:01 AM
You will also find this paragraph in .... wait for it....UL 1838
For power units marked "For Use with Submersible Fixtures or Submersible Pumps," the transformer complies with Section 680.23(A)(2) of the NEC. These power units may be used to energize low-voltage submersible fixtures and pumps identified for use in decorative fountains or ponds not intended for swimming or wading in accordance with Section 680.50, Part V of the NEC.
The link if anyone is interested is; http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/template/LISEXT/1FRAME/showpage.html?name=IFDH.GuideInfo&ccnshorttitle=Landscape+Lighting+Systems,+Low+Voltage&objid=1074096561&cfgid=1073741824&version=versionless&parent_id=1073988149&sequence=1
And for the record, Nightscaping Powercenters do have the required copper grounding shield between the secondary and primary windings, you can watch them make one on IOD.
Hmmm, looks like James was right after all.
JH

irrig8r
12-23-2007, 12:29 PM
You will also find this paragraph in .... wait for it....UL 1838
<SNIP>
Hmmm, looks like James was right after all.
JH


Well John, looks like you are both right a far as current standards....

However if you look on the following page, certain aspects will change effective 8/7/2009. That seems to include 1.8 regarding "permanent fountains" and UL 676. Looks like other sections were revised this past August.

http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/scopes/scopes.asp?fn=1838.html

Pro-Scapes
12-23-2007, 04:44 PM
i dont take chances. Ned you can do what you want but it sounds like you need another trans anyways for your project(original post)

I had fixtures about 1 ft from the base of the portable spa to uplight the trees adjacent to the area. I bit the bullet. forked out the expense of adding another trans to power this area and dont regret (never have) building my systems to be the best they can be.

Im protected now... my clients and thier family are safe with a properly powered system. Kids love to play in water features. Is a lawsuit or worse yet a childs life worth saving a couple of hundred bucks ? Do the right thing... Code or not its safer.

irrig8r
12-23-2007, 07:24 PM
Billy, I've never considered putting a fixture that close to a spa or pool. However, kids do like playing in fountains and by ponds...

I got a shock myself next to my grandfather's fish pond when I was a kid... I grabbed a cable of some sort (romex I think)... I'm sure something wasn't properly grounded. Wasn't in the water at the time... and it was during the day so the lights weren't on, but something was juiced.

I may have grabbed onto it while leaning over the pond to look at his koi. All I remember was the jolt ... probably about as strong as when I backed into the electric fence now and then at the dairy where I worked years later.... cows seem to faster learners than people when it comes to electric fances...LOL.

Pro-Scapes
12-24-2007, 10:04 AM
Its an above ground spa surrounded by a bed containing ligustrums and palms. Unless someone were to jump out of the spa over the folding cover and into the flower beds vs a spanish bayonet and a ligustrum tree I dont think it will be an issue.

Code requires me to use the pool and spa rated. I needed a trans anyways so I used a cast 600w cj600ssmt and its covered. Its further plugged into a gfci circuit

nate mullen
12-24-2007, 11:29 AM
Its pretty simply ..................Art 680 scope is for a body of water that is intended forswimming and wading. which includes pools, spas, fountains, and hot tubs. Its does not every say waterfalls( that could be left up to the inspector not UL) Now for pools and spas its clearly states under 680.22 B1 there can be no fixture within 5 feet of the inside wall. ART 680.22B4 says Between 5 and 10 feet a fexture must be on a GFI. As of today there is no 12 volt GFI. So NO L /V fixture within 10 feet. Only 120 volt between 5 and 10 on a GFI...after 10 feet even a 22 volt tap is good...................

The reason for the 5 foot rule is so no one can reach and grap the fixture from the inside of the water. all under water fixtures have to be a min of 18 in's from surface and be a wet ninch. this is for pool and spa ..............Merry X mas everyone

To a brighter 2008

Nate

Pro-Scapes
12-24-2007, 02:27 PM
funny... i can put a 120v fixture there but not my set up of

600w pool and spa rated trans.
2 fixtures
12v tap
secondary breakers
gfci outlet at the panel protecting the whole run
gfci mounted to my post where the trans is plugged in
I even went so far as to install the inline fuse at the hub Joey sent me. I cut my splice apart just to install it.

If that isnt safer than a 120v on a GFCI curcuit I will go right out tmrw and redo it it all. Funny his 120v lights in the pool are safer tho right ?

I consider a body of water any thing a child or person could enter at any time. This would include your waterfall. I assume do the job the best I can and charge accordingly.

Chris J
12-25-2007, 10:21 PM
Welcome to the world of "interpretation". I have spoken to numerous individuals on this subject, including Nate. All of which who bring an enormous amount of field experience and knowledge of the trade, yet none of them seem to agree. One can argue that you could simply read the articles for yourself, yet the NEC manual will have you chasing you tail for hours, if not days, trying to figure it out. It is frustrating to say the least, but even when you think you have it all figured out, you willl encounter some snot nosed, college educated geek inspector that will shut you down. The industry standard, as a whole, leaves a lot to be desired. My wish is that there will come a day that everyone will know and acknowledge the same set of rules and standards.

Pro-Scapes
12-26-2007, 08:58 AM
well said Chris. Until that happens I will install the best of my ability and knowledge. From what I hear and understand I needed a pool and spa rated trans. Thats what I used.

I never heard I had to be 5 or 10 ft away from a spa. Its a ground mounted fixture several feet below the edge of a spa. Its not like I put a 4 ft tall pathlight right by the stairs someone is going to use as a hand hold.

I thought the whole idea behind the PST trans is you could place fixtures within 10 ft of a body of water. With that being said I do not do any underwater lighting for things that are meant to be used by people like spas or pools.

I firmly beilive my system is as safe as it can possibly be without being 100% composit or plastic fixtures.

nate mullen
12-26-2007, 11:21 AM
Welcome to the world of "interpretation". I have spoken to numerous individuals on this subject, including Nate. All of which who bring an enormous amount of field experience and knowledge of the trade, yet none of them seem to agree. One can argue that you could simply read the articles for yourself, yet the NEC manual will have you chasing you tail for hours, if not days, trying to figure it out. It is frustrating to say the least, but even when you think you have it all figured out, you willl encounter some snot nosed, college educated geek inspector that will shut you down. The industry standard, as a whole, leaves a lot to be desired. My wish is that there will come a day that everyone will know and acknowledge the same set of rules and standards.

If you read the NEC carefully art 680 is pretty clear...............even when you have the young inspector he alway has a older wise boss. I will bring my NEC book to the ALOP. see ya..............

nate mullen
12-26-2007, 11:26 AM
well said Chris. Until that happens I will install the best of my ability and knowledge. From what I hear and understand I needed a pool and spa rated trans. Thats what I used.

I never heard I had to be 5 or 10 ft away from a spa. Its a ground mounted fixture several feet below the edge of a spa. Its not like I put a 4 ft tall pathlight right by the stairs someone is going to use as a hand hold.

I thought the whole idea behind the PST trans is you could place fixtures within 10 ft of a body of water. With that being said I do not do any underwater lighting for things that are meant to be used by people like spas or pools.

I firmly beilive my system is as safe as it can possibly be without being 100% composit or plastic fixtures.

The PST has nothing to do with 5 or 10 feet...............It has to do with fixtures under the water.The 5 foot and 10 foot rule have been in the code for as long as I can remember. Which is way to long. thanks

Pro-Scapes
12-26-2007, 06:55 PM
now why have I heard from a certain unnamed manufactures tech support than any fixture in or within 10 ft of a body of water MUST be powered by a PST ? Are you saying I wasted my dough on a PST or you saying I need to go back and move my fixtures 10 ft away from the spa which will kill the romantic mood I set ?

I dont see any diff between guys installing dock lights and me installing a fixture outside of a portable spa on the side where no one can enter or exit the spa.

Did I not need a PST trans this close to the spa ? I see fixtures this close all the time!

JoeyD
12-27-2007, 12:54 PM
I cant imagine who your talking about here Billy...lol......If you read what Nate states he makes clear the 5 to 10 foot rule has been in place for a long time but it is the Underwater lights that the PST was created for. Again, it comes down to inspector interpetation and you are well within code and utilizing those extra dollars for good by installing the PST for the lights in or within 10 feet of water.

Joey D.

nate mullen
01-02-2008, 01:23 PM
now why have I heard from a certain unnamed manufactures tech support than any fixture in or within 10 ft of a body of water MUST be powered by a PST ? Are you saying I wasted my dough on a PST or you saying I need to go back and move my fixtures 10 ft away from the spa which will kill the romantic mood I set ?

I dont see any diff between guys installing dock lights and me installing a fixture outside of a portable spa on the side where no one can enter or exit the spa.

Did I not need a PST trans this close to the spa ? I see fixtures this close all the time!

Its a good Idea to have the fixtures on a PST..............Some inspectors will allow that to supersede the code. dock lights are in a envierment not meant for wading but to drive a boat to......I am just telling you that the code say no fixture within 10 feet period unless on a GFI................12 volts will not hurt anybody...........I have installed a lot of fixtures with in 10 feet...........

NightLightingFX
01-03-2008, 01:42 AM
Getting back to this little add-on project.
Tim you mentioned that Vista makes a hockey puck type light would that be the #4217? It kind of looks like Hadco's UWL1 composite which is a big piece of CRAP! I have had the Hadco's UWL1 continue to fail on me I got tired of pulling it out and sending it back. Tim if you have had good luck with Vista's fixture I will give it a try. I am just a little paranoid after Hadco's peice of Sh-t.
I don't want to turn this project into a big fiasco for just a stupid water fall. I think I will just put 3 of those vista puck fixtures with 10 watt bi-pin. With such low wattage I probably can tie in to a homerun that has already been established.
Do any of you guys have an electronic "cable locating system?" I just got a Tracker II 501 for my other business. I am also Petstop dealer installing pet fence systems. Have any of you used a cable locating system when it comes to adding on / working on a system that you didn't install and an as-built isn't available? I am guessing this tool can come in handy for this project. Thanks for the input
~Ned

Pro-Scapes
01-03-2008, 10:46 AM
cable locators can come in real handy. I dont have one yet but looking to test some models to see if i can swap the speaker to a light or something that vibrates instead of the tone

On the subject of deck lights I have found nothing tougher or more cost effective than the cast. Its much more bang for your buck over most.

irrig8r
01-03-2008, 11:19 AM
cable locators can come in real handy. I dont have one yet but looking to test some models to see if i can swap the speaker to a light or something that vibrates instead of the tone



That's an aspect I'd never considered Billy. The PEI / Tempo 521 has an analog meter, but the sound in the earphones reinforces what you're seeing.

Maybe a row of bright LED lights, like on a Zircon stud finder? I bet someone could come up with a small unit that could plug in to the headphone jack.

Vibrations would be annoying... and could you make them vary in intensity?

Chris J
01-03-2008, 03:45 PM
I have a 521 locator and it has saved me huge amounts of time when tracking down cut wires, runs, etc... The only thing I don't like about it is that it "nulls" when over the wire. I would rather have the tone when on top of the wire like the pet fence guys use (501? or 512?)

sprinklerchris
01-03-2008, 08:09 PM
Vista told me today that all of their transformers are now going to be "pool and spa rated" beginning January 1, 2008.

Units manufactured after that date will carry a label indicating this and will have specific instructions supplied with them that help the installer meet the requirements of the code.

They said they would be updating their web site shortly with this info as it was "hot off the press"

irrig8r
01-15-2008, 02:15 PM
From today's Vista Lighting Newsletter:

The industry's best selling family of transformer products now carries the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) submersible fixtures (pool and spa) rating. This special section of the code is applied to transformers that are used with submersible fixtures.

Now you can choose any Vista transformer with confidence, knowing that it will meet the requirements of electrical inspectors that are requiring this specific rating.

With the Vista transformer line, there is no need to order a different model or style to receive the pool and spa rating. Beginning January 2, 2008, all units are shipped "pool and spa field-ready" to allow you to modify them in the field to satisfy the requirements.

Complete instructions are provided with every transformer for pool and spa use.