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I have a low voltage light placed under a waterfall that keeps burning out. All along I assumed that water was penetrating the seal and would replace the bulb. Today, I decided to spend more time diagnosing the problem as I didn't see any water inside and the replacement bulb didn't work. I replaced the interior socket and after multiple trips to lighting store figured out the problem was also that the connection to other low voltage wires became loose. That was also a contributing factor. So, I replaced the wire nut and some fresh electrical tape and hope that problem is resolved on a more permanent basis.

However, when I went to the transformer to re-adjust the timer tonight (which I never do), the stainless steel enclosure holding the transformer was extremely hot to the touch. If I kept my finger on the enclosure it would have burned me. I immediately unplugged the transformer.

Here is what I know and don't know:

1) Is it possible that I reversed the wiring today on the low voltage socket such that it is causing the heat overload at the transformer? (my limited electrical experience says that if it works, then it isn't the problem but I would appreciate confirmation).

2) The original landscape installer cut corners on every part of the project and hosed me completely. He walked off the job after getting paid in full (my mistake). Everything he did has been replaced and I now question if he put in the wrong specs on the transformer.

I am running 17 low voltage 20W halogen bulbs.

12 bulbs: Halogen JC GY6.35 12V 20W
5 bulbs: Halogen MR16BAB/L/HX 12 V 20W

The transformer shows 300W max rating. Until now I never investigated/researched the transformer.

What should I do next?

If your suggestion is to buy another transformer, please tell me what brand/model?

If your suggestion is to replace the bulbs with non-halogen bulbs, please tell me what to buy?

Thanks in advance.

Anthony
 

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1 NO. Light don't care which way they are wired.
2. Transformer is too small. You have 340 watts of load on a 300 watt transformer.
What should I do next?
Buy lower wattage bulbs, perhaps LED?

Another transformer will also work. It doesn't need to be a larger one. Just move half lights to a different one, splitting the load.
 

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I'm not very good with math but 17 lights at 20watts equal 340 watts total. You are overloading that transformer every time the lights are on. You can buy another plug in landscape lighting transformer and split the circuit in half. Or change to LED lights The LED lights would be more energy efficient and lower maintenance cost. But the price of the second transformer would offset the cost of LED bulbs, or new LED fixtures.
 

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Can you find a bigger transformer ?
What's the next size up ?
300 w is the maximum size for 12v landscape lighting transformers. There are 600 watt and 900 watt but they're simply multiple 300 watt transformers in one housing and have separate 300 watt outputs.
 
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