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W. Sorgen
W. Sorgen, ISA Ceritified Arborist
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 149
Experience:  Bachelor's degree in forestry, and owner of a residential/commercial tree service.
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I have a question about installing string lights in our

Customer Question

I have a question about installing string lights in our backyard. The job is mostly finished and its awesome, but there's one thing we haven't been able to solve. The string lights we used are commercial-grade which is great, but they're heavy. After lots
of reading, we used galvanized tension wire between the anchor points and then hooked each lightbulb onto the wire using quicklinks. Most of the anchor points are along our fence, but we also needed one mid-yard. There's a flower bed by the pool and I was
advised that using a metal electrical conduit pipe buried a couple feet into the ground would be a nice stable solution. So I bought one, did all the necessary modifications to the top end so I'd be able to attach the wires, drove it into the ground, and found
out that there is only a foot of soil there due to the pool's construction. The pipe is 10 feet long and it's pretty heavy duty, so 1 foot into the ground to 9 feet above ground didn't feel very stable. I was then advised to use quickdry cement to cement the
bottom foot into a ceramic pot, and then bury the pot in that foot of soil. It was easy to do and seemed to work well, definitely more stable...but still not quite enough. The way we planned the layout, there would be 3 lines of lights coming off the top of
the pole. Right now we have 2 of the three up and its fine, but when I put the third/last one on, the pole began to lean. This is what I need to solve. My thoughts so far: 1. Run another length of the tension wire going directly opposite that third/last line
in order to counter-balance the weight/pull of the last line. This option seems sensible, but we don't love the idea of one extra naked wire just running across; we considered adding lights to it, but it would be overkill and would mess up the overall look/effect.
2. Put some kind of leaning bracket type thing at the bottom of the pole to counteract the pull of that third line - visually this seems more appealing (avoids the extra wire up top), but it strikes me as less stable. Logistically, I'm not sure what to use
as this bracket (a length of wood?) and most importantly how I would securely attach it to the pole. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landscaping
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.

Please provide some extra details on the situation , as this is related to the safety aspect.

1. How far away from the pool itself are these lights encroaching to?

2. What is the height of the lights?

3. What is the voltage of these lights?

4. Are all 3 lines running in the same general direction to the joining pole?

Like a half moon covered area?

Let me know and we can continue,

Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,1. How far away from the pool itself are these lights encroaching to?
One line of the lights is hanging over a corner of the pool. About 5 bulbs are over the water. Other than that, they are over ground. These are commercial-grade, outdoor, weatherproof lights that are intended for permanent outdoor installation just fyi.2. What is the height of the lights?
All of the anchor points are at heights of 8 feet or above (~9 feet & ~12 feet). Due to the use of the wires, there is little to no slack in the lines so the lightbulbs themselves are all at around 7.5-11.5 feet high.3. What is the voltage of these lights?
I will have to check this when I get home...I can tell you that we have 3 strands that are each 48 feet long with 24 lights each (light bulbs are every 2 feet). The strands are meant to be connected and the packaging states you can connect up to 4 of them I believe. We have three. If this isn't enough info, let me know and I can look at the exact voltage.4. Are all 3 lines running in the same general direction to the joining pole?
No, the 3 lines running off the pole are going in different directions, almost like a 3-prong star if you looked down from above at the top of the pole. We planned it out so that they'd be heading off about equally spaced from one another, but I think because one of the three lines is quite a bit shorter (~10 feet) than the other two (~16 & ~18 feet), the weight/pull/tension is uneven.Like a half moon covered area?
The overall pattern is kind of a zig-zag. The anchor points are at a corner of the house (~12 feet high) that adjoins to where the fence begins, three of them are in the fence itself (its an 8 foot fence, inserted the eye-screws/eye-hooks at the very top), and then this infamous pole. Of the three lines attached to the pole, one goes to that corner of the house I mentioned and the other two to points on the fence.Let me know if this all makes sense! Thank you!
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks for the details.

If you can get the voltage of the lights when you arrive home, that would be great.

On the layout, is it possible for you to make a overhead view sketch on a piece of paper.

The you can take a picture of the sketch and get it to your PC. Iyt can then be posted right here using the paper clip symbol on the tool bar.

Include the light strings as they attach at both ends and all items that are pertinent to the layout, like the fence and pool area if possible.

It would help to understand and what may help to alleviate the weight factor at the pole attachement

Let me know,

Thanks

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