Direct Burial Transformers

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by SamIV, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    Do any of you have expereince with direct burial transformers. I have a job coming up where I have probably have to use direct burial transformers. Just no place to mount transformers anywhere. It is a nice commercial property.
    Just curious about the reliability of these units. I know I will have to have an electrician to get power to them. Looking at a Hadco model.

    SamIV
     
  2. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    We won't use a direct burial transformer unless all other options are exhausted. We personally haven't had any problems with them, but for accessibility reasons we prefer not to use them.

    You say that there are no places to mount a transformer? What exactly are you lighting up?
     
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I have a project coming up as well, that does not want any exposed transformers. I think this is going to be a maintenance nightmare, but this is a $2 mil. home and that's what they want. I'll probably use the Kichler MDL transformers.
     
  4. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    We get a lot of customers that are the same way. They don't want the transformer exposed. In most of those cases, we will hang the transformers in the garage or basement of the residence. We've found that when it comes down to maintenance issues and we bring up potential problems, that the homeowners tend to be a little more flexible with the issue.

    For example.....If I have a potential customer who doesn't want the transformer hung outside we go straight to maintenance and convenience issues for the homeowner. Obviously if we need to service the system and the transformer is inside the home, then someone will have to be there to let us in....(which most people think it's a hassle). We just try to make things easier for the customer. In most cases we'll have a dedicated outlet put in where it's not so noticeable and hang the transformer(s) there. Tell them to have their landscaper plant a shrub or something in that area, and then it's all good. Up here that works about 95% of the time.

    Back to the topic though.... the Hadco direct burial transformer is one that we've used in the past and have not had any problems with it thus far.
     
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,180

    I plan to try the kichler one out at a residence we currently maintain. Already dedicated 120 outlet there and its about 1000 ft from the home for a dock on a small pond.

    This is a good thread burt. I dont have the experience many of you do but I usually try and mount near the AC unit as there is already alot exposed on the exterior. I keep all my work super clean. Conduits into the ground (unlike other installers around here) and making sure everything is tight and clean and level. Next to phone and cable workers here our work looks far superior!
     
  6. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 324

    It is a commercial building and there is a walk way on three sides of the buiding which has windows on three sides so the restaurant patrons can see outside. The concrete walkway goes all the way up to the sides of the building which is stucco on the bottom to about four feet, then all windows. to the right of the concrete will be lanscaped beds. In the back of the property I can mount a couple of transformers right below a large elecrical panel. To get to the front it would take several runs over 300 foot each. Don't have a lot of alternatives. Would be much easier to mount transformers as normal for installation and maintenance. Thinking of mounting them in a very large valve box which would help maintenance. This project will be close to a hundred lights and several transformers. Four to five of the transformers will be direct burial and all controlled with astronomic timers inside the building.

    extlights, how many runs can you get out of the Hadco multi-tap 600 watt direct burial transformer. Is the outlet only one 3/4 inch or are there several.
    I have only seen one in a picture, and not in person.

    Paul, I also have access to the Kichler as Chuck has picked up this line. How are the outlets set up on the Kichler. I need to have several runs of 10 gauge coming from each transformer and they must be multi-tap.

    Thanks,
    SamIV
    Accent Outdoor Lighting
     
  7. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    extlights, if your working with an ourdoor low voltage lighting system you might want to avoid keeping the transformer out of the garage basement barn etc. these units are to be mounted outside only. anything else is putting your business in jeopardy. Anything electrical installed inside the house/garage/basement is electrical work and should be done by an electrician. I don't know of a low voltage transformer that is UL rated for this type of application.
    cm
     
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Chris, the Kichler pro series transformers are rated for indoor/outdoor use.

    Burt, I haven't laid eyes on the Kichler direct bury transformer yet but the above ground transformers have VERY large lugs. You could get 6, #10 wires under them easily. I really like your idea about the large valve box. I think I'll do that!!
     
  9. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    paul, travisty had some question about that..I pointed him in your direction. how's the thing going. was it to be finalized last week or this week. Still fighting this hive so I am on many meds..can't work outside right now...lot's of fun.
    chris
     
  10. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    Chris, it's a done deal!! Yehaw!!!
     

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