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irrig8r
04-19-2008, 06:08 PM
I did some lighting upgrades for a customer about 5 years back. At the time I installed a couple of lights in one of his ponds using his existing Nightscaping Powercenter. No problem.

One of a different brand of fixtures in another pond has gone bad recently, and he'd like me to replace it.

Since I was there last, his landscaper designer came in and made lots of changes, including some half-a**ed installations of FX fixtures (visible above ground splices and cables and other sloppiness.)

Somehow he also talked the customer into replacing his lifetime warranty NS Powercenters with 10 yr. warranty FX Potenza X TFs. :hammerhead:

Now, I'm not going to knock FX, but nowhere in the literature can I find any reference to using their PX with fixtures in ponds or fountains. They don't offer any underwater fixtures either.

The fixtures I ran to the previous transformer are apparently working fine. Should I be concerned? (There are expensive koi in these ponds.)

http://www.fxl.com/products/documents/1149893145139519.pdf

The Lighting Geek
04-20-2008, 12:11 AM
I believe that code requires your transformer to be pool and spa rated. But I would be hesitant to put my approval on something I didn't install or that has been altered by others. I don't believe there is an issue with one tranny over another if installed properly.

irrig8r
04-20-2008, 12:58 AM
My impression was that it just had to have a plate of a certain thickness that I don't recall between the primary and secondary side..

And (as I recall)the NS Powercenters have that, and a Pool and Spa rating isn't necessary. But I'm sure if I'm mistaken someone will correct me.

John Higo, can you shed any light on this?

Eden Lights
04-20-2008, 01:18 AM
My impression was that it just had to have a plate of a certain thickness that I don't recall between the primary and secondary side..

And (as I recall)the NS Powercenters have that, and a Pool and Spa rating isn't necessary. But I'm sure if I'm mistaken someone will correct me.

John Higo, can you shed any light on this?

Faraday Shield

irrig8r
04-20-2008, 01:33 AM
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-faraday-shield.htm

NightScenes
04-20-2008, 09:52 AM
If this is a water feature and not a pool/spa you can use a transformer that is rated for submersible fixtures. I don't believe that FX transformers are rated for submersible fixtures and I know that they don't make a pool and spa rated transformer.

irrig8r
04-20-2008, 03:47 PM
My impression is that the NS Powercenter™ is rated for submersible fixtures.

After all they do have that "Faraday Shield" alluded to earlier, and they do sell submersible fixtures, and have for a long time.

However, the only thing I can find so far literature-wise on their site is the following:


UNDERWATER LIGHTING FIXTURES GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

WARNING RISK OF ELECTRIC SHOCK: FOR USE IN LANDSCAPE WATER ONLY! DO NOT USE IN SPAS,
POOLS OR OTHER WATER THAT IS IN CONTACT WITH PEOPLE.

If used in water containing fish, DO NOT install copper fixtures.
They may form copper sulfate which is poisonous to fish.

When installing this Nightscaping® grounded underwater fixture,
remember:

• The fixture must be installed so that it can be removed from water
for normal maintenance and relamping.

• The fixture’s base must be stable and/or securely fastened in
place.

• The splice must be above water level.

• The Powercenter™ (transformer) used must be placed a minimum
of 10’ from the water. And, must be supplied by a circuit
protected by a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI).


Meanwhile, FX doesn't have a single word I can find on their site regarding submersible fixtures.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-20-2008, 09:52 PM
Gregg, I think if you check the Nightscaping Nightchat Archives you will find that Rob Dishino dealt with the whole pool / spa & water feature topic about a month or two ago, around the time that Vista announced their new ratings for transformers.

As I understand it, the NS Powercenters are properly rated for use in water features, ponds and such, just not for pools and spas (human use).

Regards.

Chris J
04-20-2008, 11:44 PM
Honestly, I don't understand why you Nightscaping guys stand behind this product as you do. I try to keep an open mind about manu's, but I have seen far too many NS systems that are falling apart. I mean no disrespect, but give me a break! NightScaping components are simply weak in their ability to withstand the elements. I have one customer that had a complete NS system installed less than 5 years ago, and it is in need of replacement. I told the customer this, and he concurs.

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 12:08 AM
Honestly, I don't understand why you Nightscaping guys stand behind this product as you do. I try to keep an open mind about manu's, but I have seen far too many NS systems that are falling apart. I mean no disrespect, but give me a break! NightScaping components are simply weak in their ability to withstand the elements. I have one customer that had a complete NS system installed less than 5 years ago, and it is in need of replacement. I told the customer this, and he concurs.

And those were all brass stainless, and copper fixtures, and connected with Ace Connectors, right Chris?

Yeah, Nightscaping has put out some junk over the years. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again.

But the Nightscaping fixtures that I use are the ones that hold up. I stand behind what I install, and so far Nightscaping has stood behind me too.

There are systems still in place with phosphatized steel fixtures. I think James would agree with me that these don't work long term in most environments, especially when irrigation is present.

Some of the aluminum Nightscaping products I've run across didn't hold up well either.

But I've rarely had a problem with their Powercenters, and the few times I have, they've backed me up on every one, including the ones where I wasn't the original installer.

Are you gonna tell me your favorite (whoever that may be) manu. does that?

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 12:09 AM
Gregg, I think if you check the Nightscaping Nightchat Archives you will find that Rob Dishino dealt with the whole pool / spa & water feature topic about a month or two ago, around the time that Vista announced their new ratings for transformers.

As I understand it, the NS Powercenters are properly rated for use in water features, ponds and such, just not for pools and spas (human use).

Regards.

Thanks for the reminder James.

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 12:16 AM
I hope John Higo doesn't mind me quoting him from that discussion back in January:



"... to my knowledge, the Nightscaping transformers are not “Pool and Spa” rated. They are rated “for use with submersible fixtures” which is different. The UL1838 listing allows for transformers rated “For Use with Submersible Fixtures” and this limits the use to decorative fountains and pools not intended for swimming or wading.

...This is in compliance with section 680.23(A)(2) of the NEC. The NEC actually prohibits “Pool and Spa” rated transformers from being used for landscape lighting, unless they meet both standards.

...See the article from the IAEI here:

http://www.iaei.org/subscriber/magazine/07_a/07_January.pdf

...Quote from the article "A UL Listed swimming pool transformer (fountain transformer, spa transformer, or any combination) is not Listed for use to supply low-volt*age landscape luminaires, regardless of luminaire dis*tance from the swimming pool, spa, or fountain."..."

Thank you John!

Chris J
04-21-2008, 12:27 AM
Gregg, calm down dude. It's not like I'm talking about your Mama! Back on topic; yes, the fixtures I have seen falling apart were of the copper fashion. And by the way, I never made mention of the power centers. I have had no issues with NS power centers thus far. Then again, a transformer is a transformer. Any monkey can make a transformer that will continue to work for 10-15 years. Wouldn't you agree?
Sorry if I hit a sore spot with you Gregg; didn't mean to.

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 12:42 AM
Gregg, calm down dude. It's not like I'm talking about your Mama! Back on topic; yes, the fixtures I have seen falling apart were of the copper fashion. And by the way, I never made mention of the power centers. I have had no issues with NS power centers thus far. Then again, a transformer is a transformer. Any monkey can make a transformer that will continue to work for 10-15 years. Wouldn't you agree?
Sorry if I hit a sore spot with you Gregg; didn't mean to.

It's cool Chris. I'm totally calm.

Ten to fifteen years? ... I dunno... but Nightscaping warranties theirs for life... whatever that really means... but so far, so good.

In fact, better than good actually, great.

No sore spots here either Chris... http://www.yourdailygirls.com/forum/images/smilies/cheers.gif

I'm about ready to join you in a chorus of kum-bay-ya dude...

johnh
04-21-2008, 09:45 AM
I hope John Higo doesn't mind me quoting him from that discussion back in January:


Thank you John!

I don't mind at all Gregg!

John Higo

JoeyD
04-21-2008, 10:50 AM
Farady Shield, it is a copper shield that is grounded between the primary and secondary winds. If FX was Pool and Spa rated they probably would advertise it as loud and as proud as they do the fact they are UL1838 compliant.

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 03:36 PM
I just talked to my local FX rep.

They have been working on releasing two submersible fixtures going back as far as 2004.
(The brass LagoBrillante MR-11 and PitoneScintillo MR-8 are in their 2005 price book if you have one lying around.)

Sounds like they're going to be along very soon, and that their standard transformer design is being upgraded with that Faraday Shield for use with them.

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 03:37 PM
Farady Shield, it is a copper shield that is grounded between the primary and secondary winds. If FX was Pool and Spa rated they probably would advertise it as loud and as proud as they do the fact they are UL1838 compliant.

Remember Joey, there is a difference between "Pool and Spa" rated and submersible rated.

JoeyD
04-21-2008, 03:39 PM
Remember Joey, there is a difference between "Pool and Spa" rated and submersible rated.

I still haven't seen any any information from ETL, UL, or the NEC that supports that. Only hear say and a magazine article.

dwightschrute
04-21-2008, 04:04 PM
http://ulstandardsinfonet.ul.com/scopes/1838.html

1.6 This standard covers luminaires and low voltage system components intended for use submersed in or floating on:

a) portable self-contained fountains; and

b) ponds and other natural and artificially made body of water within the scope of Article 682 "Natural and Artificially Made Bodies of Water" of the National Electrical Code, NFPA 70.

JoeyD
04-21-2008, 05:26 PM
Thanks Dwight...You have made me a believer!! But does that not take effect until Aug 7, 2009? Or is it included today?

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 08:00 PM
OK now.... who is the wise guy posing as Dwight Schrute (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_Schrute)?

NightScenes
04-21-2008, 09:25 PM
Now who would want an MR11 or MR8 underwater light?

irrig8r
04-21-2008, 10:17 PM
Now who would want an MR11 or MR8 underwater light?

I was kinda wondering that myself about the MR-8... but MR-11s might work well in a lot of the cast concrete fountains I've installed...