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Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Outdoor wiring

regarding LV burial question:

do you have a pool, spa, jacuzzi, pond, fountain, componants of a septic system, or burried oil or propane storage tank, snow melting equipment, well, pumps, etc. anywhere nearby?

most LV outdoor lighting systems are covered by a standard. manufacturers specify the wiring system componants allowed. most require rated self-sealing spt guage and length specified by drop and watts per foot. you have to meet all the specifications for the componants of your system design for optimum longevity, efficiency and safety.

there is a significant difference between professional grade cable and connection method from sea gull, etc. and retail grade spt and connector methods in reliable useful life.

i'd avoid using regular retail grade stuff if you intend to do an extensive system on the exterior of the house or deck and this more permanent install for the patio. but if you are checking out options and learning curve for minimal path lighting and having no burried lighting or pond lighting and willing to start off with something that might only last a few years you can get really cheap all in one kits from malibu for few dollars. if you're new to the whole thing you should start experiment with surface and slit installs and check things out before you start pulling permanent and conduit. also makes sense to have layered lighting schemes as the regular lighting ambient versus more intense lighting during certain periods of occupancy/use otherwise you might find you over light the area full time or underlight the area for certain times if you go with single "zone" control from single transformer. temporary surface tack stuff while you check out glare levels while you actually use the patio, deck, etc. sitting, standing, reclining, before you make any permanent actions. you can also experiement with different wattage and colored bulbs in different fixtures (lowering) and different styles of bulbs.

for more permanent install long term and much better transformer options and higher grade fixtures especially for deck, etc. with lenses and wet location transformers not just damp location go with sea gull, kitchner, etc. for multi taps so you can tweak output voltage etc. architectual grade intermatic has some decent deck fixtures but stay away from their transformers for the majority, but you can recycle one of their transformers for the occasional extra layer of light for tasks or occupancy on the patio or deck, LV cable, photo cells and timers if you want something that will last long term for the patio and deck. sea gull and kitchner have many more options of diffusers, lenses, filters for in the posts, steps, deck lighting, etc.

waltdeckhouse
Re: Outdoor wiring

nothing special. Just a path to some new stairs and a patio. I have dealt with walking on grass with no lighting for 6 years now...so anything is an upgrade.

I was planning on some low wattage, low-to-ground fixtures to help light the way. I am not sure about the patio....so I am running 120VAC to the outer edge. that way once I am inspired I can connect up at that point.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Outdoor wiring

what's your reasoning for conduit then? do you have a fountain, pond or pool, burried cable, telephone line, etc. in the area? SPT can be slip trenched pretty shallow.

waltdeckhouse
Re: Outdoor wiring

I got the impression from Kent that a quality installation is important for LV lighting systems to survive. I surmised that conduit was part of that....not so? Trust me....I would rather not bother with conduit if I don't have to.

No pond, no pool, no sprinklers, no snow melt, no nothing. It is just a path that I want a small amount of lighting on.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Outdoor wiring

conduit not necessary sometimes detrimental. THHN doesn't belong in the outdoor system. its the connection methods and sealing methods that are important and balance of right guage right transformer for the demand of your system as a whole and balancing it. also quality of materials. the hands on installation itself skill level is almost zero but with a few tweaks can last almost indefinately.

if you want and sketch out a diagram of the area with size, diagram where the power source would be and its conditions and distance, and snap a photo of the area..answer a few questions about use, and style/design and budget considerations i'll design an example system for you, answer questions as to why material choices, etc. and then you can launch from there.

bsum1
Re: Outdoor wiring
Blue RidgeParkway wrote:

conduit not necessary sometimes detrimental. THHN doesn't belong in the outdoor system. its the connection methods and sealing methods that are important and balance of right guage right transformer for the demand of your system as a whole and balancing it. also quality of materials. the hands on installation itself skill level is almost zero but with a few tweaks can last almost indefinately.

if you want and sketch out a diagram of the area with size, diagram where the power source would be and its conditions and distance, and snap a photo of the area..answer a few questions about use, and style/design and budget considerations i'll design an example system for you, answer questions as to why material choices, etc. and then you can launch from there.

#7 08-31-2008, 11:26 AM
Blue RidgeParkway
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328

Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

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is this the same 1940s condo with the 20 amp 250v air conditioner outlet in the living room? seems weird that the two hot wires for the 20 amp 240 circuit aren't the same size.

don't buy until you've had an electrician in. even if you have a main at a central location for the building with a meter this panel should be able to completely shut down all the circuits with less than seven switch motions no main in there.

not an electrician here but it looks like trouble on the 240 with 20 amp circuit breakers skinny wires and at least where we're at wire nuts aren't allowed in a panel but a gray nut on hot wires seems really bad thought those were just like green ones only for grounds? and the wall finish to the panel and where the wires all enter knockouts don't see the bushing lock nut romex clamp things that keep the romex cable from being pulled out and keep the panel sealed. how is this thing mounted? i don't see any mountings and the holes for mounting are all open! looks like spackle is the only thing holding this thing up? the other thing that that seems strange is white wires under one of those wire nuts that has been taped up with black tape like to change its color? ask an electrician here or there but i think that might only be allowed to do on switch paths not in a panel? doesn't seem right that two wires are on each lug feeding the panel for a residence, converted condo or not, like kentvw said and stranger that the colors are crossed, i pretty sure that not called entrance that called a feeder instead. seems weird that there is no big lug on the neutral for the feeder cable too. the bits of trim copper and brass screw sitting in the bottom of the subpanel isn't good either i think.

your inspector if he doesn't know or questions something should be telling you in his report to get a licensed electrician in to inspect the panel so you have to notify your realtor and the seller that you do not accept the inspection and want a specialty inspection immediately or else withdraw your offer so you can get estimate to make corrections if you need to do. if the inspector you hired took off the panel cover he should be able to tell more about the panel to you or else he had no business opening it up in the first place.

#10 08-31-2008, 12:53 PM

Blue RidgeParkway
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 328

Re: Is the entrance cable undersized? (distribution panel)

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i don't say things clear one of the yellow nuts you didn't point to has white wires on the left that are retaped black. there looks like two fat neutral wires on the bar prolly one for the feeder and one for the 220 circuit but don't see the big lug on top of the bar that takes two little screw positions thats what i ment. i don't think you can have parallel feeder for residential at least not here never flies esp cuz you have a 240v circuit so cant be 120 service right? two wires on one lug even if allows needs special kit piece either plate that has nested for each wire or a connect lug thing. the electricians on the site will know the right words for it when double luggling or double taps are allowed, dont know where you are but here is not allowed the wire nuts or double tapping except a double tap on grouwnd wire. the wires going in for hot dont look big enough and that the possible main is in a locked room not accessible to you makes the need for a main in your feeder panel since you can't turn off all the power to this residence with less than seven or six flips.

now you say they are going to add even more from this panel to make your deal so it seem you should get electrician now not later to tell you what to demand cuz this do not look good. how is this panel secured for installation cuz dont see any mount holes were used. big space in the wall to the right bottom edge where spackle fell off to.

remember i am no electrician one thing i do know for sure is that the panel schedule list must be complete and right your new picture of the list is a no brainer fail.

All due respect to the original poster I think you might reconsider who is offering, working with Kent or anyone else would be a better option.

havanagranite
Re: Outdoor wiring

I thought I remembered posts like that. interesting

havanagranite
Re: Outdoor wiring

you did forget though that there has been some time to get the google diploma since those posts

bsum1
Re: Outdoor wiring

By golly you're right,that would mean she would be a virtual expert.

kentvw
Re: Outdoor wiring

Okay, will take the time for this post and that’s it.

Do what you want Walt. If you want a little cheap lighting system then go for it. Hey. I installed one in my own back yard at one time. Five to ten years and you will be replacing it…….. Just fine if that is what you want, nothing but great if that is what you want.

I’ll admit, I am biased at do not deal with resi L/V lighting systems at all. To me it seems like semi-permanent Christmas lighting.

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