Help choosing pool and spa rated transformer

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by all ferris, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Guys, I need some help choosing a pool and spa rated transformer. I always use Kichler transformers but they do not offer a pool and spa rating on any of their transformers. In the past I have always stayed well clear of pools due to the NEC rules but now I have a customer that is insistent on placing lights closer to the pool. What companies make a pool and spa transformer. I know Vista has them but who else makes them? This is an small LED job so it could be done with a 100w transformer (200w would be better for future expansion). I need the transformer to have a photocell and timer. Stainless would be good too. Since the job is so small, I don't need to spend a fortune on one either.

  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I would stick with the Vista MT-300. It is a decent performer, is reasonably priced, and you can option it up as you wish with accessory timers and photocells. Instead of using the old-school photocell & timer combo, why not consider using a digital astro timer instead? Look at Aube (Honeywell) or Leviton for a couple of great astronomical timers that your clients will appreciate.
  3. Richie@

    Richie@ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Take a look at this one it's a 100 watt , they also have 300-600 watt.
  4. Richie@

    Richie@ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Sorry that one has no set up for photo-timer control so as James said the Vista would be the choice.
  5. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Thank you for the advice. I am not familiar with Vista transformers. I like your idea of the astro timer. Would any timer or photocell work with the Vista transformer? Reason I ask is because I keep Kichler timers and photocells on hand.
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    The Vista will accept most plug in style of timers and allows for the use of a photocell simply by wiring it in to the terminals on the transformer. Full instructions are included.
  7. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    A pool and spa rated transformer isn't needed for non-submersible fixtures. Unfortunately, fixtures closer than 10 ft. from a pool violate NEC, regardless of the transformer type. Why are you using a pool and spa transformer?
  8. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,628

    Unique has that fiber system that you should look into. That or walk away- liability my friend.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 849

    Gerry at TerraDek carries Stainless Steel Case Acme transformers that have the rating you are looking for in 100W, 300W and 500W. Not a fancy unit but does the job and probably within the budget you are wanting. You would however have to add an external timer/photocell. No big deal.
    I have accumulated quite a few used ones when updating lighting systems. They are good for small systems or for the purpose you are looking for.
    Good Luck!
  10. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,309

    Section 680.22(B)(4) permits luminaires to be installed within 5 to 10 feet horizontally of the pool’s edge only where a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protects the luminaires. Since low-voltage landscape luminaires are supplied by a low-voltage power supply, such as a transformer, providing GFCI protection on the primary side of an isolation transformer will not provide GFCI protection on the secondary side. GFCI devices will not operate at the 15-volts or less supplied by the secondary of the power supply. This leaves only two options: one is to locate all low-voltage landscape lighting at least 10 feet from the pool or fountain edge; or, two, to use a special power supply.
    There are low-voltage lighting power units that are marked “For Use with Submersible Fixtures or Submersible Pumps.” In this case, a special transformer is used that complies with the requirements in 680.23 for underwater luminaires installed below the normal water level of the pool. This transformer is specifically listed for this use and is an isolated winding type transformer with an ungrounded secondary similar to the low-voltage landscape lighting transformer, as required by 411.5(B). The low-voltage pool lighting transformer has one additional feature in its design. It has a grounded metal barrier or shield between the primary and the secondary. This metal barrier or shield prevents a direct internal short between the primary and the secondary of the transformer. If a short does occur on the primary side, it will short to the metal shield and the primary overcurrent protective device will operate. If a short develops on the secondary side to the shield, the secondary overcurrent protective device, if provided, will operate. If there isn’t a secondary overcurrent protective device and the primary is providing protection through the transformer, the primary device should operate.

    I copied and pasted this from another thread. It was posted by Richie@. The way I read this is that if I use a pool and spa rated transformer I can place lights in the 5'-10' range. Maybe I am wrong but it make sense that if a transformer can power a light in the pool it could power a light 5' away from the pool??? :wall

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