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Vista CTS 900 watt transformer problem

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jjm, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. jjm

    jjm LawnSite Member
    from CINCI
    Posts: 10

    I have a bit of an issue with the vista CTS 900 watt transformer with photocell shutting off (I think it is the thermal auto-shutoff kicking in) every 3 months.

    It is not overloaded with wattage; everytime I get a new photocell (vista fpc 170), it works for a few months and then it starts shutting off for 15-30 minutes and then kicks back on only to then shut off after about 1 hr.

    I am not sure if it is the photocell which keeps going bad or a short somewhere but if it is a short, I am wondering why it works for 3 months and then starts shutting off.

    The transformer is only 1 yr old so I don't think it is the transformer itself.

    Do vista photocells have this short of expectancy???

    Any help would be appreciated!!

    JM
     
  2. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    First problem is your using a photocell. Hook up an astro timer for 1 year and see what happens......... Photocells are for landscapers and Electricians. Not Outdoor Lighting Professionals
     
  3. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 381

    HEY! IWhats up with that:laugh:. Any electrician worth his salt won't recommend photocells or motion detectors. We will however install them, we just won't provide or recommend them because they will be recurring service calls forever.
     
  4. S&MLL

    S&MLL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 751

    Sorry Bob, your the exception to that rule of thumb
     
  5. jjm

    jjm LawnSite Member
    from CINCI
    Posts: 10

    So you think it is the photocell causing the problem?
     
  6. Joey waid

    Joey waid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    Get a photo cell that will hold higher amps or use the cell to control a contact/relay. Use the cell to provide the power to the contact/relay then use the relay for the light voltage and not the cell it's self.
     
  7. jjm

    jjm LawnSite Member
    from CINCI
    Posts: 10

    What is the best photocell on the market (the one that holds the most watts)?
     
  8. Joey waid

    Joey waid LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    I do not know a brand off hand, but I would go to my nearest electrical supply house give them your info like volts to transformer, volts out and your max load.
     
  9. jjm

    jjm LawnSite Member
    from CINCI
    Posts: 10

    Thanks for the help!!

    All I know is that Vista photocells are horrible!!!
     

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