timer servicing

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    First, can someone refer me to a distributor that has astronomical timers?

    Second, when/if not using these, can someone explain to me how often I should plan to make service calls/timer adjustments per customer? (assuming I am using both timer and photocell).


  2. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

    I would make my adjustemnts 2 times a year when the time changes in spring and in fall. Both good times to perform maintenance and hopefully add tot he system before summer and before holidays.

    As for a distributor, I have to be carefull becuase I have a lot to refer. Talk to NyteTime on here......PM Doug, he can probably help you here for sure.
    If you cant get a strait answer email me or PM me.

    Joey D.
  3. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    If you are using a PC/Timer combo, then you really should'nt have to adjust anything (theoretically). The PC will alway turn it on at dusk, and the timer will turn it off at a predetermined time. The only thing that will change after DST is the off time, and that will be either backed up by one hour or moved forward by one hour. Just split the difference and make the off time X:30, and that will make everything peachy.

    Disclaimer: This is not how I do it, and it assumes that the PC will work properly from now on (which is not normally the case). I go back on several occasions throughout the year and make adjustments accordingly. A minimum of two visits would be expected, but I would anticipate 4-6 visits for the occasional burned out lamp, etc...
  4. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Home depot. Intermatic < $20
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I try to use the photo-cell and timer combo in the FX models, although I am testing some other trans lately that have a photo cell and a digital hour meter of how many hours on after photo-cell kicks in.

    Rather than worry about timers on time changes and power outages, I am leaning towards digital timers with battery backup and photo-cells. a visit of once per year to change out all bulbs, replace battery in timer, and move on.
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Aube (Honeywell Systems) here in Canada makes a fantastic Astronomic digital timer. Part Number TI-035 I believe. I like it better then the Intermatic as it doesn't have the same failure rate and they use Ni-MH batteries for backup that don't have a memory effect and can withstand freezing conditions, unlike Ni-Cad.
  7. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Chris, are these call backs or scheduled services or both? 4-6 service visits a year seems like a lot. I'd like to estimate the visits and offer a flat yearly service fee...?
  8. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    In my service agreement, I promise two scheduled service visits semi annually. Here is where the fun part begins: I also promise to come back (for any reason) within that year of service regardless of the problem. This means premature failure of lamps, cut wire, faulty photocell, whatever... I am all about service after the sale and I promote that when selling the client. It does mean a bit higher installation price, but I don't have to nickel and dime them throughout the year to make my money back. It seems to work well for the higher-end clientele.
  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    The Aube switch is only forty bucks, online retail. This would be a very nice switch to install indoors for the circuit the transformer is on.

    I'm surprised at present that the only plug-in astronomical timer is the Intermattic.

  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    FOLD carries the intermatic. Very resonable price tag. No need for photocell. Just be ready to flip the timer plug on some transformers. I dont know if doug has them but i think he is an intermatic dealer as well so should either have them or be able to get them.

    using the astro timers saves having to go back to screw with DST or the possibility of a failed photocell. It also cures the issue if your mounting the trans under cover or in a shady/well lit area and having PC issues from that.

    I like the hour meter idea... allows us to really gauge a bulbs performance.

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