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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 27
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Hello everyone and happy New Year!

I had a problem with a some site lighting at a residence a couple days ago where the owner said he could not get half of his walkway lights to work. It is a 12 volt system and when I check them out 3 of them are working but the other 7 are not. I figure there is a bad splice so I re-splice a 3-way connection after the 3 light (the farthest one from the x-former that worked) and when I turn them on I get 12 v at the connection for the next light but when I hook that light up the votage drops down to zero at that connection but the first three lights are still working. There were ten 25watt fixtures on a 250 watt x-former so I am assuming that I need to replace the x-former but I don't see an explaination on the voltage differences on the same system. Anyone out there have any input on this.

Thank you
John

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 156
D
Member
John, the transformer is not the problem. You still have a continuity problem between the 3rd and 4th light. You are seeing high resistance, so you see 12 volts with no load but 0 when load is applied. Sounds like it is time to dig things up and find the bad connection.

Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 267
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Also some of these LV lighting systems transformers are designed to run no lower than 50% and no higher than 80% of computed light load.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 86
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I did an installation where the owner called me back a couple of monthes later because half of one of the branches were not lighting (I think he thought I didn't do it right). I went for the wire after the last working light and snipped out the piece where the gardener's shovel got a little too close. He wanted that to show to the gardener.


Sam, San Francisco Bay Area
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,419
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John,
What you have is a Dead-Short in the 4th fitting.
It sounds to me like these lights are in Parallel, not Series.
The short is preventing any current flow to the other fittings further down the track. [Linked Image]
If the guy keeps running the system like that he will need a new transformer.

{Message edited to add last bit} [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 01-03-2005).]

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
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Quote
What you have is a Dead-Short in the 4th fitting.
Mike,
How do you figure that? If there was a dead short the other lights would go out.

I go with Dereck's answer: There is a bad (high-resistance) connection somewhere. When you just put the meter at the 4th lamp terminals it's drawing very little current, so you see the 12 volts. As soon as you connect the low-resistance of the lamp, the high-resistance of the bad connection becomes the dominant part of the circuit, so the voltage at the lamp drops to zero (or very nearly so).


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