View Full Version : Splice meltdown

05-30-2008, 11:40 AM
This was discovered on top of a wooden arbor that attaches to a garage.

150 W on this run of #14 wire. looks like there could have been some arcing.

Wire nut was melted to the point that the back side shaped to the wood grain. The oxidation on the wire makes it look like a portion of the conductors were exposed outside the wire nut...

Funny thing is, I saw a guy "fixing" this about two years ago. He was replacing tape and Scotchlok connectors with these. I was doing irrigation repairs on the job and the client didn't yet know I also did lighting work.


Wired in to a buck-and-boost transformer (which I replaced). Didn't look closely to see if there was a fuse or a breaker on that TF, but I'll check today.

All the splices were replaced w/ Ace connectors and wire changed to #12 to the first split.

Chris J
05-30-2008, 11:43 AM
I didn't get the picture.

05-30-2008, 11:47 AM
It's a big photo... to show details.

Refresh your browser maybe?

Chris J
05-30-2008, 11:52 AM
Nope. All I see is a small box with a little red x in it.

05-30-2008, 01:29 PM
I think it was too large to load on this site.

05-30-2008, 09:24 PM
Here's a second try. Click on the link.


Got the system up and running. Old 14 gauge went to ten gauge. makes me think the arbor lights used to be fed from the other direction at one time....

SUggested to the customer we re-lamp with 35 W instead of the 50 W he used. One circuit is running right at 25 A right now, and I'd like to reduce it. The other is only 10. Thinking of running a second cable out to pick up some of the heavier load... we'll see.

05-31-2008, 12:03 AM
That is the exact reason I went to inline fusing.

The Lighting Geek
05-31-2008, 07:17 PM
inline fuses and buchanan crimps. Sounds like the original person didn't know what they were doing and that makes harder to diagnose. Splitting your load and lower lamp wattage sounds like a good idea.

06-01-2008, 10:53 PM
Just for fun, my inline fusing. I have more pics with Unique I-Force trannys and fusing just for you Joey.

06-02-2008, 10:54 AM
That looks sick Tim! Great Job. I would love to see the other pics!

06-02-2008, 10:57 AM
This is the only one I had my camera with me on. I will shoot the others and send you the pics. Hey Joey, How come Unique hasn't made the I force in anything bigger than the 840 unit?

06-02-2008, 11:22 AM
Heat management. Although we have had an 1120 I Force running fully loaded 24/7 for over a year and not one problem we still believe it is warmer than ETL will allow. We are testing a few different vent and can designs for the 1120 Iforce. Expect us to utilize the higher wattage H-Force for options larger than 840w. We unveiled a prototype at lightfair. Although it wont be very "cheap" we are hoping to have the H-Force on the market by winter.

06-02-2008, 11:29 AM
Kind of what I figuired. Is the HForce top load also. Any pics and specs? After using the top wiring Iforce, it is hard to go back to the bottom wiring trannys.

06-02-2008, 11:36 AM
The HForce is completely different than any unit you have ever used. Although we are still playing with a few features and layout ideas the overall concept is done. It will be made so far in 2 different sizes, 1500w and 1838....watts that is! Yes I said 1838 watts!

Just as the I-Force reffers to the Inverted layout of the design, the H-Force will be reffering to its Horizontal layout. The wiring compartment will be dead center of the unit and will have 10+ common lugs that will each have there own secondary fuse so that you can fuse each common accordingly to the load that is placed on it. If I rememebr correctly we will have votlage taps ranging from 11 all the way up to 22v on each unit without skipping any taps. Obviously we will construct a 24v unit as well. There will be an LED light strip in the wiring compartment to light up the work area for night time adjustments. The size of the can being as large as it is will have no problem accepting any plug in timer or module you choose to use. Obviouly it will PC ready, hardwire capable, and will utilize a primary fuse for its primary protection. I will try and see if I can post some pics of it. Although the units we built to show at Lightfair and are testing are finished they give you a good idea.

06-02-2008, 09:12 PM
I saw the prototype h force at lightfair. The mounting bracket is a sweet Idea. You mount a stainless strip to the wall and then hang the trans on that. Not sure if the I force is like that or not. Either way great idea. It was a pretty nice unit altho this one wasnt pimped out fully yet. I did really like the inline fuses right at the commons inside the trans. Outstanding.

The problem with making huge transformers is not just heat issues. Its practicality issues. Do you really wanna wrestle with that many wires in a single box ? What about the inrush when that baby comes on ? I think something that large would be more practical in 24v as you would have a reduced number of runs. I used to use 1200 and even 1500w transformers but found it more practical to use multiple smaller units now. I would use 2x840 before I would jump to some 1680w box. Its just easier. BTW Joey whats that 1838 gonna wiegh in at ?

Back to the splice topic. I have seen a fair amount of these. Guys just toss in 50w lamps in everything and throw a wire nut on it and leave it be. Bad accident waiting to happen. Imagine if someone touched that while it was on. OUCH.

Glad nothing bad happened like a fire or injury.

06-03-2008, 10:25 AM
Not sure on the weight Billy. It will be heavy, probably 30lbs or so. The bracket supports it well, we have hung the fully assembled prototype we have on multiple surfaces. A stud will be required for the most part. We will maek this unit in both 12v and 24v. As for the in rush, we will most likely release our version of a soft start with this unit.