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Kevin321 10-29-2010 04:25 PM

Brittle Low Voltage Wire
Situation: I have a low voltage transformer, output 12V, 200W in my basement. I have a 12 gauge wire running from that to outside of the house, and then another 12 gauge wire connected to that. From that wire I am drawing 199W over two 50W bulbs, and nine 11W bulbs.

Problem: The lights are no longer working, but the transformer is working fine. The wire at the connector seem to have melted parts of the connector, and the wire themselves have each become brittle and hard for about 4 inches on each side.

Question: Is my problem with my size wire gauge, an inferior connector, or the amount of watts I'm drawing?

McSteve 10-29-2010 05:00 PM

199W / 12V = 16.6 Amps, so you're probably good there. I'd say the connection probably got loose or corroded. That'll make the resistance of the connection go up, which in turn creates a lot of heat.

You'll have to cut off the heat damaged parts of the wire and replace the connector, use something rated for 20A @ 12V.

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