I have an Intermatic ML 200RT transformer. I have power through the transformer to the terminals. However, when I connect the wires, the terminals are no longer hot. I'm checking the current with a meter. Not sure why I'm loosing power?
Are you sure that bare ends or other parts of the wires don't touch one another where they should not further downstream causing a short circuit?
When cleaning anything including baby diapers, it is better to sweep off or scrape off as much solid and semisolid material as you can first. (1) Less cleaning fluid or detergent needs to be used, (2) Less of a mushy mess which in turn means that bleaches or disinfectants will be more effective.