Troubleshooting Questions

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by irrig8r, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553


    Seems like the consensus is the GFI is bad. Which is exactly why I called out an electrician to replace it back in early November. When I emailed the customer to ask why he hadn't paid the bill yet he said he is still experiencing the same intermittent problem.

    The only reason I used the 10 y.o. transformer was that it was there already and I only added four fixtures, and it way under capacity to begin with.

    There is and has been a good in-use cover. I haven't actually been there since early November though, so I will swing by and see if he may have plugged Christmas lights in to the same outlet and propped the cover open. (I have seen that before.)

    Don't know where the breaker is. In a closet in the house I think. Probably more than 20 ft. away.

    I used the "amp clamp" of my Greenlee multimeter and didn't find a short. And as I mentioned to him, wouldn't the fuse have blown if there had been a short on the LV side?
  2. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Trying to attach some photos... one showing a 4.9 A reading, the other showing 0.9 A.

    These are the only two runs in the front yard. Customer ordered and changed out all the lamps on the 4.9 run himself... to retrofit LEDs. The smaller amperage run is the Kichler integral LED accent lights.

    In other words, before he changed them out over a year ago there was more current drawn than now.

    Last picture is the label in the transformer. Faded yellow label was stuck over the brighter colored one but the sticky backing wore out and it fell off.

    Faded one seems to say 3 A, one underneath said 9.33. Just weird.

    Hmmm...two of three file uploads failed...

  3. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553


    So, the faded label covered up bright one until it fell off. Kinda looks like moisture getting in there too. Maybe just condensation.

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  4. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380

    Well, two options I would think...ask the electrician if there are any wires attached to the GFCI receptacle on the load side. If so then you will have to trace those wires and most likely you will find your problem. If nothing is on the load side then it also is possible that there could be another GFCI device on that same circuit in which case having two GFCI devices on the the same circuit will cause nuisance trips. If all that is good then try changing the transformer as it could have a loose connection or a bad component that is causing this. Let us know how you make out.

    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    Thanks Ken. Going to call the electrician about that. Also going to try a "loaner" TF.
  6. irrig8r

    irrig8r LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,553

    The electrician says there was nothing wired to the load side of the GFCI. Time to find what else is on the circuit. If the backyard lights are on it too then I'm going to tell the client we need to ditch the GFCIs and replace them with a single GFCI breaker in the panel.

    Of course that means having to go to the panel to reset it when it trips, but I'm trying to get it to where it doesn't trip without cause.

Share This Page