So I been having a problem on several landscape lighting jobs and the Hadco Rep finally fessed up.
On four jobs, a lighting designer I do a lot of work with specd Hadco Metal Halide transformers for some yard/tree up lighting. On his plan per Hadco documentation, was wiring distances of any where form 3-18 or so feet, with a print note not to exceed 20 feet on wiring distances. So we install the fixtures, making sure that the distances do not exceed 20 feet [tried to keep it to19 max, wire end to end and set fixtures from there].
So the fire up day comes late November on several jobs and guess what. About a third [18 total] of the lights do not work.... After checking connections, changing bulbs, changing breakers, waving our magic wands etc, we narrow it down to a total of 4 lamps per job [12 total] don't work, the others were simple loose bulb, one no bulb [silly apprentice] etc...
After numerous go arounds with the rep and designer, changing ballasts on several and endless frustration, still no go on the non working lamps. So the Hadco rep finally comes to the job, inspects the installs etc. and states that yea, Hadco has 20' max distance in there paperwork, but it really should be 10'........Long angry pause here.....................................................
So, I just wanted to A. warn everyone of this newly found out issue and B. get some feed back as to how you guys think I should handle this. I am currently indebted to these jobs for roughly 46 man hours of trouble shooting and repair, plus the now known replace and rewire cost, not to mention the fact that one job is holding up a substantial final payment for a measly 5k. The lighting designer and I both agree that the client not paying is an issue and we are working together to get them to pay. But 46 man hours and some misc. material costs, yea I’ll se that from Hadco, sure I will…
Can you replace either a) the whole remote ballast unit to one that has a longer distance -or b)replace just the "guts" of your existing remote ballasts with a replacement ballast that will go the distance -or c) Make the fixure an integrally ballasted fixure (long shot).
What ballast/lamp are you using? I was always under the impression that it was 15' max for electronic ballasts, and 50' for magnetic core/coil uints.
Hadco=Overpriced garbage. In my experience, anyway.
First, if you have a choice, use Ruud lighting. They are a good company, and I've dealt with just about all of the thousands of lighting companies out there. Plus, they sell direct to contractors without the 3-5 "middle-men" that do nothing but take your money and bump up the price.
Next, bill Hadco for the troubleshooting and corrections. Their spec sheet is wrong. They know it. It's their fault, cut and dry.
If they don't pay, have a lawyer send a letter (cost you $50-$75) demanding payment (plus the cost of the lawyer). Next, sue them. Add to your suit legal and lawyer fees, your time dealing with filing the papers, your time going to court, gas to run around, everything.
On top of the headache of dealing with poorly made and/or spec'd products, it makes us look like bafoons to our customers. Who knows how much this will cost you in the long run? I know it's not your fault, and you know it's not your fault, but what does the costumer think?
Don’t sue right off the bat it’s counter productive to just get a lawyer before the vender has an opportunity to make this right.
Did you buy these directly from Hadco or through a local rep and supply house? The reason I ask is a local supply house should stand behind what they sell, and they will have a lot more clout with the manufacture than you will. Very few fixtures are sold direct from the manufacture, so I am assuming you bought through a local rep.
Take your bill and concerns to the vender you bought from, and tell them what you just told us. Ask them to make this right, if they tell you they can’t or won’t help you then you can have a lawyer write a letter, but save the legal wrangling as a last resort, anytime a lawyer gets involved everybody loses, it takes forever to get your money, and you end up alienating a supply house that you may need.
Most supply houses know they have some liability with what they sell and will stand behind what they sell because it’s cheaper than dealing with lawyers, so give them the opportunity to take care of their good customer…you.
I have had similar problems myself with igniting MH lamps at some distance from the control gear. A quick fix that works with inductor/choke ballasts (230V system) is to swap the MH igniter for a HPS igniter, preferably of the long-range type. This will not harm the lamp or control gear, but it does produce a much more energetic ignition pulse which will ignite the lamp despite the cable length. Do use an igniter for a lamp of the same wattage, ie a 400W HPS igniter for a 400W MH.
Alas, I cannot confirm if the same trick will work with 115V ballasts.
So I spoke to the lighting designer and he stated that Hadco is looking into its options and is likely to replace/add ballasts to cover the project. Also costs to cover time to replace. I asked him to also have them include some money to cover time spent troubleshooting an unfixable problem.
Well Tom, I think you should let us know the same day that they make this right. I also think that you should BUMP this up once a month with "No satisfaction yet!" if they don't. Please make sure that they know about this site and that thousands may be watching. Joe
Jobs 1 & 2 had major issues, jobs 3 & 4, just relocated some lamps closer and fixed the problem.
As far as the other two, Hadco now makes an ignitor that will function Metal Halide Lamps up to 50 feet away from the transformer. I changed out some ignitors on one job and it worked like a champ. I am now waiting on Hadco to ship some 35 watt ignitors for another project.
Only 6 months so far. Yeah for me.
As far as payment, they payed me a fee for each job to change out parts. I now no Longer use Hadco product. I now use Greenlee lighting and Rudd.