09:37AM | 06/20/07
Member Since: 06/19/07
2 lifetime posts
I have installed 46 landscape lights 10w and 15 up lites 20w using 12/2 landscape wire.

I have two transformers one is 900w with multi taps the other 300W with taps.

My problem is the wire on one of the circuits keeps getting hot and starting the mulch on fire. It was fine for 4 months and has started the problem just recently. The transformers do not trip the breakers , they have electrical plus thermal breakers. Can anyone help me with this problem..


02:58PM | 06/20/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
You did not indicate how the circuits are broken up. But 900 watts is 75 amps at 12 volts.

Much too high for #12 wiring.


08:32AM | 06/21/07
Member Since: 06/19/07
2 lifetime posts
Thank you Bill Hart for your answer. I sould have been move explicit with my 900w transformer..actually it is 3 300w transformers and I have three different runs that have about 180w of lights on each run. They work fine. The one that I am having problems with is the 300W that keeps getting hot in various spots. I was thinking it might be too many lights on the 300w and thats what is causing it. I have 180W of lights on that run but it is about 100Ft run so maybe its too long for the transformer. Your thought are welcome


09:19AM | 06/21/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
That is along run and you might have problems with voltage drop that makes the light be dimmer than normal.

You might do a google on Voltage Drop Calcualtor. Most of them are based on 120 or 240. And you can use them and just look at the voltage drop number. But some also include 12 volts.

You might want to split it into 2 circuit and run 2 #12 with 1/2 the lights on each. Only join them at the trasnformer.

Or run #10 to the middle of the run of lights and then join it to #12 for the light runs.

All of that said the #12 should still work fine. 180 watts of lights is only 15 amps. If you have access to a clamp on amp meter you might want to check the current in case there are the wrong bulbs in the fixtures.

Is the problem at the connection to the lights? If so are you using the quick connects with spikes that just clamp into the cable?

I don't like those and that might be your problem. They can allow moisture ito the cable and possible cut strans in the cable.

While not cheap I like the wire nuts that come filled with a grease to keep out moisture.
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