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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have four outdoor post lights wired under the cement/sandwash into an outlet on the wall outside. All four lamps use a 7W LED bulb. There are 2 wires, one from the nearest lamp and the other 3 in series joining in the box. The installed put a night sensor in and it was working for over a year until just now the sensor blew out (turned black) and tripped the circuit breaker.

I went to the store and bought the same brand and model and wired it in and it was working for almost 3 hours and pop... same thing. Black and burned out which tripped the breaker again.

I got my multimeter out and took and turned the breaker off and set the meter to ohms and checked the two wires from one lamp and then the other two wires for the other 3 lamps and the meter showed "1". Nothing changed on the meter. I would think there is no short.

So I bought a new Panasonic TB178NE5T timer and put in a new big water proof box and wired it in. The lights work but when the timer is off all four lights are on but at a low brightness.

Can anyone tell me how to check and find the problem? I assume there is a short but i don't know.

Appreciate any help, thank you!
 

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That's a 220V 50 Hz timer, so you are some place that uses that type of power?

I believe you may have a fault to ground on one of the conductors. You can confirm it with a simple test. Turn off the breaker to this circuit and remove the connection at only the L1 terminal. Make sure the exposed ends of the loose conductors are not contacting anything. Restore power to the circuit. Are any lights still glowing?

If they are still lighting then immediately turn off the circuit breaker and remove the L2 connection until you can locate the fault.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a 220V 50 Hz timer, so you are some place that uses that type of power?

I believe you may have a fault to ground on one of the conductors. You can confirm it with a simple test. Turn off the breaker to this circuit and remove the connection at only the L1 terminal. Make sure the exposed ends of the loose conductors are not contacting anything. Restore power to the circuit. Are any lights still glowing?

If they are still lighting then immediately turn off the circuit breaker and remove the L2 connection until you can locate the fault.
Hello,

Thank you so much for the reply. Yes, I am in Thailand and they use 220V here. I disconnected L2 and turned the power back on and the lamps are all lit (low glow). I turned off the power and disconnect L2 as well now.

How would you suggest to test for the short? There are four lamp posts, the closest one has it's own wire directly to the box and the other four are wired in series to the box. So I have 2-2 wire connections in the box. I guess I will have to unbolt the posts from the ground and there would be 2 wire connections under each lamp post and then up to the lamp socket. Where do I start?

Thanks again for your help.
 

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To start with, when you ran the test were the conductors you removed from L1 separated from each other? If not, separate them and reconnect the L2 conductors. Then run the test one more time. This will at least start to isolate the problem. Either the single lamp or the set of three should light.

Was any landscaping, yard work, etc. done recently? Anything shift near the buried lines?

Is there an equipment ground run in the buried cables? And is your system 220V line to line or 220V line to earth? You'll have to pardon my ignorance of the details of your country's electrical system. Perhaps someone else here is more familiar with it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To start with, when you ran the test were the conductors you removed from L1 separated from each other? If not, separate them and reconnect the L2 conductors. Then run the test one more time. This will at least start to isolate the problem. Either the single lamp or the set of three should light.

Was any landscaping, yard work, etc. done recently? Anything shift near the buried lines?

Is there an equipment ground run in the buried cables? And is your system 220V line to line or 220V line to earth? You'll have to pardon my ignorance of the details of your country's electrical system. Perhaps someone else here is more familiar with it?
Hello,

It's night time here so I will check this tomorrow like you said with first the single lamp and then the 3 that are together on one line. There was no new work for the year that it was working but even with the night sensor i noticed there was a low glow always for the whole year. The wires are 220V line to line with no ground. The work here is very shoddy and I just cannot trust anyone to get things done right. Seems every time I have something done they break something else or do a half @ss job.

I will post what I find tomorrow. Thanks again for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To start with, when you ran the test were the conductors you removed from L1 separated from each other? If not, separate them and reconnect the L2 conductors. Then run the test one more time. This will at least start to isolate the problem. Either the single lamp or the set of three should light.

Was any landscaping, yard work, etc. done recently? Anything shift near the buried lines?

Is there an equipment ground run in the buried cables? And is your system 220V line to line or 220V line to earth? You'll have to pardon my ignorance of the details of your country's electrical system. Perhaps someone else here is more familiar with it?
Hello Again,

Okay this morning i separated the two sets of wires. The first set i connected one wire to the L2 and nothing. I then connected the other wire to the L1 and turned the timer to "ON" and the first lamp post lit up no problem. So it appears this one is okay. (Naturally the easiest one).

I then took the second set of wires and hooked up one to L2 and lamp posts 2, 3 and 4 started flickering. So the problem is in one these or all. What would be the best way to begin to find the cause? Thanks again!
 

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If you think that the fault lies in the wiring of posts 2,3 &4.
Then you can isolate each section at the posts and retest.
For instance go to post two, with the power off
seperate the wires that go out from post two and
then go into post three.
Then with only post two connected turn on power again.
if it works good, then turn off again
reconnected the wires at post two.
move to post three, do the same.

:vs_bulb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Just wanted to follow up. #2 post i dismantled and found a bare wire. The guy took the wire coming in and the wire going to the next post and connected that to another piece of wire and then connected it to the lamp socket wire and taped it them all up. One wire was exposed from the jacket. I cut off the extra wire and used wire nuts and taped them up good. Went to post #3 and #4 and did them the same way. Everything is now working good. Thanks for everyone's help.
 
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