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Low Voltage Problems

Having problems with low voltage? Need help installing new wiring? Though lighting may continue to work, receptacle loads may not work normally since low voltage equipment is not available or they are not compatible with systems available in the current day. One of the only main advantages of low voltage is that the possibility or risk of electric shock is low. To know more about low voltage problems, below are a few common questions answered by Experts.

What can be done about burning electric smell on an outlet with low voltage?

When the outlet was connected, if the wires were wrapped around the screws on the sides of the outlet or if it was connected to the outlet through the small push-in holes at the back, it is recommended to modify the connections by using the side screws. Since a hot electrical odor is emanating, the breaker to the circuit should be turned off at the earliest. Next the wire from the breaker should be removed after taking off the cover from the electrical panel. Once this wire is removed, the breaker can be turned back on. A voltage reading at the breaker needs to be taken by placing one meter probe on the breaker terminal while the other probe is at the neutral/ground bar. Unplug all equipment plugged in the outlets of the affected circuit. These outlets need to be opened to check for loose connections. If any splices are found, they need to be inspected thoroughly to ensure no wires have come off. If necessary they should be rewired utilizing outlet side screws. Voltage readings should be taken once changes are made.

Can a line voltage post mount light be rewired to a low voltage line?

This is possible, however the main drawback of moving from line voltage to low voltage is the requirement of a low voltage fixture which is compatible to low voltage lamps. The fixture and lamps for AC is completely different when compared to DC. This transfer can happen using a transformer similar to how the existing low voltage system is setup. The only difference is the use of low voltage system of lights. The other major challenge lies in converting a line voltage fixture to a low voltage fixture. This would consist of completely rebuilding the fixture with low voltage sockets. However this action voids the UL listing of the light fixture and is a blatant code violation.

Can 10 lights be installed on a 90 foot, 12 volt low voltage line where the lights are spaced 12 feet apart?

Wire possesses resistance and low voltage is influenced more by this length and resistance than higher voltage. However, one thing to note is that low voltage has more effect on motor capability than with lighting. Therefore there is a slim possibility of trying this low voltage lighting option.

If the wire running to the lights is low voltage, is it legal for it to run through the wall and connect through a wire nut in the wall without being accessible through a junction box?

Though low voltage cables are allowed to run inside the wall it is illegal to have them inaccessible with the absence of junction boxes. The 2x4 inch junction boxes, with blank covers, can be installed in higher cabinet areas, tucked away in a corner. Buried splices are not permitted inside walls/ceilings since it also prevents troubleshooting the cables in the event of any problems in the future.

As seen above, low voltage problems could deal mostly with wiring, lights and switches. While dealing with low voltage problems one may need to be aware of specific codes and requirements since it is not meant for normal use. Majority of instances the low voltage problems can be handled with guidance and information. An Expert can do so, by diagnosing the problem and providing answers, information and instructions to arrive at the solution.
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