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  #1  
Old 07-11-2013, 10:35 PM
Zohan Zohan is offline
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Transformer tripping

Installed a system 2 years ago, which includes a vista mt-300 transformer.
There is a circuit breaker on each tap but also a primary circuit breaker. The primary breaker has been tripping. It was reset and tripped again about a day later.
This is all info i am getting relayed to me before i go onsite which is about an hour and half each way, so id like to figure a plan of action beforehand.
First, anyone have info for a specific problem?
Second, any tips or tricks with this? Its been working 2 years...
First thought is disconnect one of the 3 zones, reset breaker and see if it trips, repeat process until i find the faulty zone then try to figure out from there. Problem is that its so far to go back day after day after day...so im hoping someone will have related experience that will shorten my process.....

Thanks
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:57 PM
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Classic Lighting Classic Lighting is offline
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Take amp measurements for each zone and assess if there is a short. Consider swapping out the tranzformer if you are stumped.
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Old 07-12-2013, 03:12 AM
Zohan Zohan is offline
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Thanks. Whats throwing me off is apparently it doesnt trip right away but the next day....
Will do
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Old 07-12-2013, 06:00 AM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is offline
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LED or no?
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:01 AM
Zohan Zohan is offline
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No, this was done just before I switched to LED
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:29 AM
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Lite4 Lite4 is online now
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Once you take amp readings on everything, and if they come up normal there a couple things to consider.

1. Does your client have an irrigation system? Does it only trip after they water or after a rain storm- indicates open insulator jacket- Has anyone been doing any digging since you noticed it started tripping?

2. If not, then the next thing I would consider is the fact that you may have a weak breaker in the transformer. I have had these from time to time (not very often, but it does happen), I was able to replace the breaker in the transformer and no problems after that. These were MDL transformers, so it was easy getting into the guts to replace it. Some transformers are not that way though. If all things check out normal on the amp side, I would be suspicious of the tranny and drop another one on there. (especially from an hour and a half away.)

Good Luck!
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:34 AM
Zohan Zohan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lite4 View Post
Once you take amp readings on everything, and if they come up normal there a couple things to consider.

1. Does your client have an irrigation system? Does it only trip after they water or after a rain storm- indicates open insulator jacket- Has anyone been doing any digging since you noticed it started tripping?

2. If not, then the next thing I would consider is the fact that you may have a weak breaker in the transformer. I have had these from time to time (not very often, but it does happen), I was able to replace the breaker in the transformer and no problems after that. These were MDL transformers, so it was easy getting into the guts to replace it. Some transformers are not that way though. If all things check out normal on the amp side, I would be suspicious of the tranny and drop another one on there. (especially from an hour and a half away.)

Good Luck!
Thanks. #1 is what I was thinking first. They have irrigation. I asked if anyone has been digging but haven't received a response yet.

Either way, it's a minimum of 2 trips unless I find something on first trip. Even if I test the amperage it might not show right away. This could be trying to find the needle in a haystack. Especially if it only trips when it gets wet.....
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Old 07-12-2013, 02:37 PM
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Lite4 Lite4 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zohan View Post
Thanks. #1 is what I was thinking first. They have irrigation. I asked if anyone has been digging but haven't received a response yet.

Either way, it's a minimum of 2 trips unless I find something on first trip. Even if I test the amperage it might not show right away. This could be trying to find the needle in a haystack. Especially if it only trips when it gets wet.....
True, I invested in a Pulser, ground fault locator years ago just for this very reason. It has saved me a ton of grief in the past.
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Old 07-16-2013, 06:18 PM
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LLC RI LLC RI is offline
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ZOHAN... long time no talk!!... So let me chime in here...
It's odd that the primary breaker is tripping without any issues on the secondary breakers. The scenario could be that there is something getting into the transformer- mouse, chipmunk, etc. that has eaten some insulation and is causing that to happen. Second scenario is that the secondary breaker is bad, not tripping when it should, and thus the primary trips, but only after the core heats up enough to cause the trip.

So as the other guys said.... check the amperage of each run and make sure you are within your range for the circuit. ( SOmeone could have put 50 watt lamps in where there should be 20's)

If your lines measure out ok, test the secondary breaker by creating a short with a loop of wire... see if that causes the secondary breaker to trip. If not, then the problem could be the secondary breaker.

Next, check the voltage at the outlet. I'm doing some math here and wonder if the transformer is being fed with lower than normal voltage on the line voltage side, if the current draw of the primary fuse/breaker would be elevated. ( Maybe their AC or something is kicking on and drawing the voltage down)

WHen you make the trip, bring a spare 25 amp breaker or fustat and socket... also.. bring a 5 amp buss fuse with holder to use on the primary side... in case you find either breakers not to be working properly.

As a test, you could disconnect the primary breaker and put the buss fuse in it's place.. see what happens.

I'm a little puzzled because you say it's a 300 watt transformer that has multiple breakers on the 12 volt side??

If you end up opening the transformer cabinet, check the push on terminal connectors on the breakers. I've had a lot of situations where that stay-kon connector gets loose, hot and eventually loosens over time which creates arcing... but then again.. that would result in the primary breaker tripping.

Well.. good luck... hope this helps.. keep us posted

George
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2013, 06:35 PM
Zohan Zohan is offline
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Thanks for all the info.....
I was onsite yesterday. I didn't have to troubleshoot much though....
Seems the irrigation guys cut the wire....an electrician fixed with romex running the line above ground, and spliced with wire nuts and wrapped in electrical tape. The splice was just sticking above ground and the whole area was swampy so I know there are sprinkler heads in the area, and most likely wetting the splice.....?

What do you think?
I ran new line and direct burial connectors.....I have not heard anything yet...
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