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Tales from the field...

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Let There Be Light, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Let There Be Light

    Let There Be Light LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

    Well here's a good one...

    Tons of rain here recently. Homeowner calls handyman for "lights out problem" Handyman goes to home and determines that because the VISTA MT-300 Xformer keeps popping it's circuit breaker, that the circuit breaker is at fault. Handyman removes on/off switch-circuit breaker from transformer. Skies clear. All good for 1 week. Big Rain again. Homeowner calls handyman, says "now my GFCI pops". Handyman says "Sir, you have a bad transformer" Homeowner is now pissed and is referred to us. Over the phone I say "sir, it's not your transformer, it's not your GFCI, There's a short in the field wiring." Homeowner says: how much you charge, I say "One million dollars to keep your home from burning down." LOL. Go out and ask the homeowner, Sir, by the way has anybody been diggin' in the yard recently? Homeowner says "as a matter of fact, my irrigation guy just replaced some leaky line. " Where would that be sir" "well right over here".

    Where is my shovel?. Two minutes later, what do I find, a severed wire along with burned wire nuts. "heres the problem sir, as I expected, Wasn't your transformer, wasn't your GFCI. Turns out you've got a voltage/shovel problem.

    Enter waterproof "Ace connector" to the rescue. Problem solved except one thing. Now I need a VISTA rep to help me fix the transformer. Need a circuit breaker/switch assembly. Any VISTA guys out there?

    What's you're tale?
  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,187

    Thats a pretty good "and common one".

    I had one about 3 years back. I installed all the lighting on a new landscape going in. The landscapers had already planted the trees and set all the boulders, so I went ahead and put in all my cable and lights. I painted the ground where all of my wires were so the landscapers installling the shrubs would be able to avoid hitting my wires when they were planting. Well, evidently these Mexican fellas didn't understand the language of English or spray paint because they put holes in every single wire I had out there multiple times. Had to reinstall about 1000 ft of wire. Grrrr!
  3. The Lighting Geek

    The Lighting Geek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 886

    I had one where the homeowner ran out of money and decided to not install 2 lights over the bar/counter top area. All is good until the client calls me a month later with a party in progress upset because a section of lights went out.
    Being the nice guy I am I ran over to check it out and I notice cheapo lights on the overhead structure. I follow the 50' run of 16g wire over and down the post and find he not only wire nutted a splice in my fused hub box, he connected the 2-35w fixtures to the 16g fixture run. His connection was all melted and my fuse was blown, right next to a bale of hay used for decoration. I took him aside and explained that if I had not been so thorough and fused my hub connections, he could have burned the house down. I received a very expensive bottle of wine on my way out from his wife who informed me the couch would be occupied for some time...lol.
  4. Mataman

    Mataman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    I was referred to another landscaper that was having problems with a lighting system they put in. Here they sub'd out a $27k paver driveway/patio, sub'd out installing 20+ palms, sub'd out the irrigation and sub'd out 100+ shrubs/specimen trees. All they did was mulch and lighting but the lighting didn't work. After a couple mins of asking what they did, I was led to what was described as a hub. When I dug it up, I found all of the wires connected together then spidered out. I mean all the wires! All four 10-2 commons and all four 10-2 hots where spliced together and then a bunch of 12ga and 16ga making one huge connection with electrical tape.
    "what's this",
    "that's my hub" :clapping:

    Phunni thing #2. Two months later I was contacted by that same landscaper, "hey, I found me a backer and I'm expanding, would you like to come work for us? You can be my manager of operations"
    not serious but curious, "how much"
    whisper, whisper, "he wants to know how much",, "22 grand a year" :drinkup:

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    22K U SHOULD JUMP ON THAT :hammerhead:
    gotta love it
  6. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,463

    Some people just really make you scratch your head...
  7. Mark B

    Mark B LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    Since I have went full time plumbing (might bore you). I went on a service call. The lady had a list of small things to do. First rebuilt her kitchen faucet (delta super easy). Then she said my bathroom faucet does not have any hot water. So I checked it, then checked the stop, what would I find that the stop had been turned off so that problem was fixed. On to the next issue shower handle was loose. SO I whip out the 1/8" allen wrench a tighten that up. Then wrote out the bill for $145.00.
    Then I gave her a price on doing some lighting.

    The other call was. Lady says her washing machine has a leak. I check all the connections dry as can be. I run a cycle find that when the pump (spin cycle)starts water flows out of the bottom. I tell her get a new washing machine. So on to the next problem. She says we have a new shower valve upstairs (they installed). Off I go. I check for myself she is right. I turn the water off proceed to tear it apart. Then I find a little stopper that say hotter water turn this way. I turn it that way and guess what. She now has hot water for a shower. Gotta love it. Service call was complete wrote out the bill for $145.00. Off to the next one.

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