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Jacksback72

GFI Question

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I'm not trying to sound too uneducated but I have a problem with GFI's at my house. How can I overcome the GFI popping problem with moisture in the air even after replacing them? Example - When it is foggy outside or misting rain the GFI's will pop and not comeback on. I wrap every connection with electrical tape. What is sensing the moisture, the end of the extension cord that is taped or the outlet itself.

I have outdoor outlet boxes but I don't have the plastic enclosures for them. Should I install them on all circuits - would that help?

I use (16) 20 amp circuits, I properly size all of my extension cords accordingly, I tape each connection but I can not seem to get through a semi wet night.

Does everyone shut down their display if it is raining lightly?

Thanks for your help - I'm just trying to overcome some frustration.

Bill

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I think that you will find that most people will say not to wrap your connections in tape. The idea is that the tape will trap the moisture and cause it to create a short between the hot and the neutral and then trip the GFCI.

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This might help you understand how a GFCI works. http://www.doityourself.com/stry/gfci

Also, my first comment was a little lacking so please let me elaborate.

The short that is causing the GFCI to trip could be happening at the outlet or at a connection point of one of your cords or even on your LOR board. My guess is probably at one end of the cords. The trick is to find a way to keep the moisture out of your connections in the first place but then also finding a way to allow any moisture that gets in to quickly get out of the connection, this is why most people do not use the electrical tape approach because it keeps water out but also keeps any water in that finds it way in.

I would recommend putting the plastic covers on your boxes but watch for condensation if you have fog. I don't get much fog around my area but we do get a lot of rain/snow which can be overcome by simply keeping the connections off the ground and out of puddles. I also try to position the light plugs with the prongs pointing up so the water drips off them without causing a short. I think fog is a different story because it is water vapor that is airborne and it goes everywhere. Maybe someone else could comment on how to battle it.

btw, Last year my display was turned off twice because of GFCI problems due to very heavy rain.

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Tim, Thanks for the input - I live near the Chicago ARea, fog, rain, sleet, snow, etc.!

Do you run your display when it is raining out?

Have you damaged any of your LOR Hardware due too a GFI?

Last question - I run outdoor cords from LOR Controller to the area of item I am plugging in, from there I use the brown or green indoor/outdoor extension cords (they come in 6', 9' or 15' - two openings on one side and one on the other) - would those cords untaped be ok? Or should I use outdoor cords for everything?

Thanks for your input

Bill

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Bill Sawallisch Jr. wrote:

Do you run your display when it is raining out?

Have you damaged any of your LOR Hardware due too a GFI?

Last question - I run outdoor cords from LOR Controller to the area of item I am plugging in, from there I use the brown or green indoor/outdoor extension cords (they come in 6', 9' or 15' - two openings on one side and one on the other) - would those cords untaped be ok? Or should I use outdoor cords for everything?



Last year was my first year with LOR and I ran my display until the GFCI tripped, I did not experience any damage to my LOR boards. The GFCI tripped on two different occasions when it rained heavily for a couple of hours. Only one of my GFI's tripped each time and it was the one that supplied power to my mini trees which are very close to the ground. The next day after the rain stopped I shut off my power to my boards and went outside and shook all the cords to get as much moisture off them as possible. And even wiped some dry with an old towel. Other than that I didn't have any problems.

I know exactly what type of cord you are talking about and I would guess that they might be your problem. I personally use custom made cords from SJOW cord. All my cords are cut to length so I have as few connections as possible because the more connections you have the more chances you have to get moisture in them. I personally recommend using a cord that is rated for outdoor use.

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Does anyone know if GFCI outlets are more susceptible to nuisance tripping than GFCI breakers. I'm getting ready to build a panel and not sure which way I will go.

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rick gorman wrote:

Does anyone know if GFCI outlets are more susceptible to nuisance tripping than GFCI breakers. I'm getting ready to build a panel and not sure which way I will go.

I've used both and I personally don't see a difference.

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I had the same problems with my gfi outlets tripping. a friend suggested spraying my plugins with silicone wire dryer. (auto store) since than my plugs haven't tripped. spray every 6 month.

I also agree. tape may trap water, unless you use water proof tape, its different from electrical tape. its by 3m. its used for splicecasing in manholes.

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