wire comparisons

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,180

    I made my own wire spooler. I welded rebar into double A frames, and I use a concrete stake for the spool holder I can remove when I need to change spools. Thing works freakin awesome and will never get pulled over.
  2. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    Bah! too much work.

    We use have these Wire Spool Caddy's. They can handle a 500' spool and fold up nicely to fit your vehicle. They are better than the other vertical spool reels, which allow your cable to tangle.

  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I had one made that will hold 4-500' reels. The problem is that it takes up a lot of space but it more than makes up for it in time saved pulling home runs. Grab 4 and go.
  4. Mike M

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

    I have tried your tape measure idea for making leads and doing T's but it slows you down with all the trips back and forth.

    Thanks Billy, everyone. Holy crap, I have to stop and think about wire spools and pulling runs. I've been running back and forth, worse yet, I'm so cheap I've been bringing the spool with me while burrying it to make sure I use every inch. That's so stupid. It's why I was thinking of pre-measuring with the tape.

    By the way, I noticed the Cast tin-coat 10 gauge I was using yesterday was easier to work with than the generic 12 I have.

    If anyone remembers the landscaping olympics idea, I think you guys should have a lighting installer competition at aolp. The equivilent of lumberjack competions or tractor pulling, etc. Who can lay multiple runs the fastest, a splicing obsticle course, who can mount the highest tree light, and a 26.6 mile trenching marathon (haha).
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    wow mike that sounds like a ton of extra work. Pull your homeruns from a dispenser of some sort from the trans. since you have not had a ton of installs yet you can pull 1 at a time until your comfy with it. Then you will learn the advantages of routing so you only need a single artery line then viens breaking off from that.

    Not only does it speed up installation but its safer for your wires as well.

    If we are uplighting a home we usually dig our trench right up against the foundation first then pull the lines to the hub locations. If you have zero twists and everything is the same lenght you should be able to bury cleanly in a bundle.

    fir single or double runs in your soft sand just make a slit altho often you will find 2 guys really help with that as the sand likes to fall in
  6. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    Another method for measuring wire runs and not having to use your tape measure would be to purchase a roll counter. The same one they use when you buy rope, or wire products. The one I have is made by Olympic. Google it.
  7. Mike M

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

    Then you will learn the advantages of routing so you only need a single artery line then viens breaking off from that.

    Okay, let's say I have 100 feet for a main artery, with a few splits off of that before the end. Should I pull and cut all the the wires, place them near the trench, straighten/untwist wires and tie them together, then place them in the trench, and then place the veins in the trench after that? It's how I've been doing it, except I wasn't pulling off at the transformer, plus I was placing the wire in the trench as I went along.

    When pulling wires around sturcture and at curves or angles, how do you guide the wire along the run before placing it in the trench?
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    My advice to you at this point: Stop thinking so much about it and just do it.
    I flag the job, then hang the transformers, then dig all the ditches, then pull all the wire, then install the fixtures, then make the connections, check voltage at the fixtures, then bury it all up. When making fast progress with a grunt on the pick and shovel, I will have him bury all the wire except for the connections.

    By doing the installation in complete stages I have found it to go much faster.
  9. Mike M

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

    Thanks for the patience and great advice guys;

    I'm very much into details. I've been working on getting the pattern/routine nailed so I can focus better on the job.

    Just be glad I didn't ask for images!

    Mike M.
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I do it similar to how james does it.

    I usually place fixtures while I have the laborer start digging the mainsI then place hub boxes and fixtures and set the wires where I want them to go in the which hubs. He will bury em all and leave the wires hanging out of the hub for me.

    We did a tranch for the mains and a slit for any smaller things like leads or a single main.

    for pulling around curves...pull your main to the destination then walk back laying it where you want it pulling any needed slack from the spool side being carful not to yank your line away from your hub.

    If you have sharp corners like you often will with brick homes I like thoes hose handler rollers you stick in the ground... i get em at lowes or wal mart. little roller on a plastic stake. They will protect your wire and the clients home. Simply step on em or slam em in the ground then yank em up when your done.

    Rememeber to go extra deep around bed edges

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