If you discover that none of the lights in your system are working, there are few quick fixes to look at before you give us a call.   Often, when the entire system is not working it usually ends up being the easiest fix.

Below is a guide to troubleshooting the most common causes of the entire system not coming on.

If some of the lights are working, but some are not, then you will need to call us to schedule a service call.

  1. Locate your transformer
  2. Unplug, (primary transformer cord), from the outlet. Your transformer may be plugged into a timer, if so, then unplug the timer from the outlet.
  3. You will now check to see if there is power from the outlet.
    • If the outlet has a GFI reset, push in the test button and then push the reset button.  If there is power to the outlet the reset button should click and remain depressed when you push it in. There may also be a green or red indicator light on the outlet.  Green means the outlet is live and working, red means it isn’t.
    • If there is no GFI reset on the outlet, simply plug something into it to see if the outlet has power.
    • If the outlet does not have power and/or the GFI will not reset, you will need to check your circuit breaker panel for any tripped breakers.  If all breakers are on, then the other possible reason for not having power to the outlet is the outlet is on a circuit with one or more additional GFI outlets in the house.   Check all your GFI breakers on outlets closest to the outlet not working.  If you can’t find any tripped GFIs, then you may have to consult an electrician to troubleshoot why you have no power to the outlet.   Do not assume that a GFI outlet in an upstairs bathroom, (for example), must not be on the same circuit as an exterior outlet on the side of the house, it very well could be.  So, check EVERY GFI before you call an electrician.
  1. If the GFI was tripped and you have successfully reset it, plug everything back in and you should be good to go. GFI’s trip for many different reasons. Usually it has nothing to do with what is plugged into the outlet and it usually is not an indication of any issues with your transformer or lights.
    • Before you walk away after resetting it, make sure the tripping issue is not the transformer or lights.  Once you plug everything back in, manually turn your lights on through the timer, (refer to your timer model in the pictures).   Each type of timer has a manual on/off button.  Confirm your lights are on and the GFI has not tripped.    If all is good, turn the timer back to the correct on/off setting and you should be done.
    • IF THE GFI TRIPS AS SOON AS YOU TURN THE LIGHTS ON OR PLUG IN THE TRANSFORMER/TIMER, THEN UNPLUG EVERYTHING AND CALL US FOR SERVICE.  In very rare cases, a bad timer or transformer can cause the GFI or circuit breaker to trip.
  1. If the GFI is not tripped and there is power to the outlet, refer to your timer model in the pictures and manually turn your lights on through the timer.
  2. If the lights come on, then the issue is with the timer itself. Most likely the programming or timing is incorrect. Each model of timer includes an instruction link.   Please refer to this for resetting instructions.  If you have any problems, please call us.
  3. If your lights still do not turn on using the timer’s manual on/off button check to see if your transformer has a circuit breaker (toggle switch). See picture in Fig.1. Make sure that is not tripped.  Flip it on/off and see if the lights come on.   If it was flipped off and you were able to turn it on, then you should be good.   If it continually flips back off, you have a short somewhere in your system and will need to call us.
  4. If you have power to the outlet, the timer is on, the transformer circuit breaker switch is on and you still have no lights, you will need to bypass the timer to see if that’s the problem. To do this, simply unplug the timer from either the outlet or the transformer itself depending on your timer model.

If your timer is located inside the transformer, unplug the timer then unplug the secondary cord from the timer.   Plug the secondary cord into the same plug the timer was in.

If you have an exterior timer, unplug the timer from the outlet and unplug the primary transformer cord from the timer and plug it directly into the outlet.

Your lights should come on.  If they do, this means the timer is the problem….give us a call.  If they still don’t come on when bypassing the timer….give us a call.

FIG.1 is a picture showing the most common set up for the transformer, controller, and components.   Your transformer may look a little different and is probably mounted outside, in the garage, or in your basement.  No matter where it is mounted, it will have a similar set up utilizing a nearby outlet, (usually with a GFI reset), and some form of controller/timer.

In addition to FIG.1, you will see four pictures below showing each of the four most common types of timers/controllers in our systems.   Wi/Fi, Bluetooth, and two different models of Intermatic astronomic timers. 


Digital Outdoor

Digital Indoor