Finding a damaged wire

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by steveparrott, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Messages: 1,272

    I'm interested in knowing what you guys are using to locate damaged wires. Especially ones that are not in the obvious locations - planting beds, turf edges, etc.

    I've heard that the Amprobe Advanced Circuit Wire Tracer (Model AT-4001) works well, but it's pricey.

    I've also heard that dowsing works to locate buried wire. I'm thinking that a skilled dowser could also find a damaged section of wire.
  2. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Messages: 326

    It is easy to locate between which fixtures or between transformer and home run that there is a break. If it's not at the transfomer or fixture connection then there is No use in finding it unless it's a short run and you can pull up the cable. Otherwise just install a new cable run between those 2 locations. You don't want a splice anywhere except under a fixture or inside a distribution or junction box anyway. If you are using UL transformers, your cable runs should not be that long so replacing a wire should not be a daunting task. Ask me why I use UL transformers (15V max) only and i'll give you a pretty convincing list of compelling reasons.
  3. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I agree with Mike. Replace the wire and charge accordingly. I sure dont wanna be called back for a second failure because I tried to save the client some money and splice (alot of times it would be 2 splices if the wire wasnt long enough) it all back together. If you note your systems and document them properly it shouldnt be much problem to fix it. Sometimes what I have done with someone elses system where you dont know how it was wired is use a test jumper to diagnoise the system

    If a wire was cut from digging you cant be sure it wasnt nicked ensewhere besides the cut. Again replacing it would be the best choice in my opinion. This just doesnt come with my (limited to alot of memebers here) experience with lighting but from my telecommunications and CATV career in the past as well.

    After all a lighting proffesionals systems should be the most reliable systems avalible. I dont want a client calling me back time and time again to correct the same problem. A real proffesional in my opinion should be able to or replace as needed and put clients mind at ease.

    If it was simply a failed splice then a decision should be made to just repair the splice or redo the system if it was installed with sub-proffesional standards (ie regular wirenuts or just twisted inside grease tubes)
  4. nc-native

    nc-native LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    Ditto. Replace the wire.
  5. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    An as built plan should help find were the wire runs are if a pro installed the job.The area around cut wires is seldom unnoticable.
    Sean C.

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