Direct Burial Transformer modification

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by NightLightingFX, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    I have an extra 600w Hadco DB transformer I would like to get rid-of / use. I also have a potential customer who's only usable socket is in plain sight. I would like to use my DB transformer that I already have on hand for this situation. I would install the DB transformer right below the socket and then install a plug to the DB transformer. Will I be doing something wrong? I don't want my work to look like some hack came around and modified a transformer to work in a situtation that it wasn't designed for. What do you guys think?
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I would suggest that you can probably do it cleanly, neatly and safely.... HOWEVER. I would hire an electrician to do the wiring of the DB transformer just to be completely safe and within code.

    As a rule, I don not mess with line voltage 'anything' here at INTEGRA. It is in the realm of the electricians and that is their domaine. Better safe then sorry.

    As for DB transformers... they aren't much of a hit up here... No point burying a transformer only to have it frozen in the ground and covered with 4 feet of snow! Makes service a real drag.

    Have a great day.
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    have the electrician look at it... Might be cheaper and easier for you to put in an outlet in a better location vs modifing the current situation. It can be done tho by a qualified electrician. Just keep in mind if you leave the outlet above ground and tap into power there whats going to happen when they plug a million christmas lights in there or something with a high draw ?

    I wouldnt go using the DB just for the sake of removing it from your stock. Is there any viable solution to concealing a standard trans ? Perhaps put a planting in front of it ? Just be sure its worth it before you do it
  4. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    sounds like your inviting trouble. A DB was manufactured for just that DB. It wasn't meant to be powered by a cord but hardwired. I'm also sure it's a code violation. When it comes to electricity, when in doubt leave it out.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    wow i really gotta agree with pete... I guess i missed it when you mentioned adding a cord... While it would probably be fine I just dont think its one of thoes real bright ideas.... If your going to use it then let the electrician put a kicker on the outlet and a conduit down with flex going into the trans and let him hardwire it. They are a real SOB and should be used only when absolutly needed.
  6. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Thank you kindly Bill, Ah Billy.
  7. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    Can I agree with Pete and Billy?
    Both of my suggestions will take an electrician.
    1. If you use the DB maybe the electrician can go below grade drill thru house wall and hard wire it since an outlet is near anyway. The only DB I have done was the big daddy Unique 1120w multi tap. The electrician wired it into a Crestron home system.
    2. Or just have the electrician add an outlet in a concealed area where you can use an above ground transformer.

    Keep us informered what you do! Good luck!
  8. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 580

    Thanks for the input. I won't use the DB Transformer. It doesn't sound like it is worth it to try to modify the DB transformer. I will just get the right Transformer for the situation.
  9. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    there is no problem whatsoever with what you want to do.
    simply use uf wire and wire it into the DB as normal, on the other end use a plug and make sure you have an in-use cover and a gfi outlet on the receptacle.
  10. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    No do not follow this advice it is dangerous and not to NEC. It should be deleted for insurance purposes.
    Along with other problems how are you to make the wire connection to the db water tight below grade?

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