Register free!

Reply
 
Thread Tools   Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-12-2013, 01:40 PM
Green Sweep's Avatar
Green Sweep Green Sweep is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 301
CAST Transformer burning

I have a sprinkler customer who asked me to look at his lighting. He said he has certain areas not coming on. He has a 1200W CAST transformer. After throwing breakers and checking, I figured out that the two legs going into the #4 common port were the ones not working. After I put those two legs into another common port, the lights worked.
I noticed that the #1 common terminal burnt and charred and pushed off to the side and that the common field wires were spliced directly into the transformer wire. I am assuming that the original installer did this.
So, I now decided to get the #4 common terminal out of there and this is what I found (pic). The wire was totally burned up. I pulled enough of the #4 wire down from the transformer to cut off the burnt wire and splice into the two field commons - all lights now work. However, I do not feel comfortable leaving it this way and the homeowner agrees.

Entire system is incandescent but it doesn't appear that the legs are overloaded - a couple of 35w mr16's and path lights per leg - no more than 5 fixtures per leg. System is less than 5 years old. I am going to give him an estimate on replacing the transformer (I use Kichler), and I will also suggest LED drop ins for his incandescent fixtures. The design is good and I have always been a fan of the CAST fixtures.

I am just trying to figure out what the hell is causing all of these common ports to burn up? Never encountered this before.
Attached Images
 
__________________


Rob
www.customturfinc.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:12 PM
irrigation man irrigation man is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: new hampshire
Posts: 78
cast transformer

someone didn't get a good tight connection on that leg at the transformer when they installed it I see it a lot with the wire or terminal block looks charred or blackened its from the wires arcing and it can be a fire hazard
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:36 PM
Green Sweep's Avatar
Green Sweep Green Sweep is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 301
Quote:
Originally Posted by irrigation man View Post
someone didn't get a good tight connection on that leg at the transformer when they installed it I see it a lot with the wire or terminal block looks charred or blackened its from the wires arcing and it can be a fire hazard
I have seen that too. The connection looked pretty tight when I pulled the wires out
Posted via Mobile Device
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-12-2013, 05:00 PM
Green Sweep's Avatar
Green Sweep Green Sweep is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 301
Here is a close up pic of the transformer wire that I pulled out of the terminal for common #4. Could that have caused arcing? Hmmm....
Attached Images
 
__________________


Rob
www.customturfinc.com
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-12-2013, 05:33 PM
Classic Lighting's Avatar
Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 358
According to your second pic, it looks like the wire was pushed too far up into the lug. The screw was making contact with the outer jacket. Therefore, the wire was loose inside the terminal resulting in arching.
I'd also recommend that you contact Steve Parrot at CAST, he knows the product inside and out.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-13-2013, 08:49 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 975
Yes, the problem is most certainly a loose wire or stray strands arcing in the terminal block - perhaps 2 of them with this transformer. We have a very prominent sticker that goes across the terminal blocks in new transformers cautioning installers to completely tighten secondary wires. Installers should also check that set screws are tight and inspect wires as part of their regular maintenance.

Call or email me with your contact info and I will send you replacement parts.
__________________
Steve Parrott
Communications Director
VOLT® Lighting

813.978.3700
stevep@voltlighting.com
www.voltlighting.com



Professional Quality at a Great Price
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-15-2013, 10:14 PM
LLC RI's Avatar
LLC RI LLC RI is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cranston, RI
Posts: 147
It looks to me to be the case, but the wire shown that has the crimp marks from the terminal block, the white wire, is the terminal supply line coming from the transformers core, not from out in the field. As such, I would say that the transformer, or at least new terminal blocks, should be covered under Cast's warranty on transformers. Steve, confirm this please, no sense in this guy dumping an otherwise good transformer and replacing it with a kichler one.

Also, maybe you'll want to have him send that back to the factory so they can see who assembled it, as they obviously didn't strip that white wire properly before installing it into the terminal block.

George
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-16-2013, 08:21 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 975
Good catch, I didn't notice that - the insulation was crimped inside the block. Yes, it's covered under warranty.
__________________
Steve Parrott
Communications Director
VOLT® Lighting

813.978.3700
stevep@voltlighting.com
www.voltlighting.com



Professional Quality at a Great Price
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-16-2013, 09:00 AM
Green Sweep's Avatar
Green Sweep Green Sweep is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 301
I appreciate the offer but the homeowner is adamant that he wants the transformer replaced. After seeing all of the burnt components, he told me: "I don't want my whole house burning down over a lighting transformer." I would be happy to send the transformer wherever once I have it off of the wall.
I in no way put this on Lawnsite to bash CAST. Although CAST doesn't seem to have a very big presence here in Western PA, the jobs that I have encountered with CAST products are well done and the products seem to be top notch. Just like all manufacturers, a bad unit can slip through the cracks.
__________________


Rob
www.customturfinc.com
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-16-2013, 09:24 AM
steveparrott steveparrott is offline
Sponsor
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 975
Rob,

No problem, bring the transformer to your distributor for replacement.
__________________
Steve Parrott
Communications Director
VOLT® Lighting

813.978.3700
stevep@voltlighting.com
www.voltlighting.com



Professional Quality at a Great Price
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump






Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©1998 - 2012, LawnSite.com™ - Moose River Media
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:25 PM.

Page generated in 0.09556 seconds with 8 queries