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This is a new one on me,. One of my 12 CTB16PC controllers is tripping the GFIC. This controller has 16 mini trees, each has 3 strings of red M6 leds with snubbers. This controller has run good for 3 nights without any problems. Tonight it would run about 3-5 min. then trip the breaker. I first looked for some type of short or grounding problem. I ran a power line to the controller and plugged each tree in and did not have a problem with the breaker. Next I ran a cat5 cable to the controller and tested it with the HU, I could not get the breaker to fail no matter what I tried. I did a reset on the controller and tested it again with the HU and no failure. Next I closed the HU opened up the SE and started a program that would run the trees, the GFIC tripped. Reset the breaker tried a different sequence, the GFIC tripped, reset the controller and the breaker, closed the SE opened the HU ran test again and the GFIC would not trip. Final try was close the HU open the SE, unplug all mini trees and run sequence with just the controller, result, GFIC tripped. Controller will be replaced in morning and inspected for problem.

Earle

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Sounds like the controller, but I had a wield gfi that kept tripping on me and ended up being a bad gfi. The reset would work just like designed but kept tripping after running for a few mins. Replaced the controller....kept doing it. Replace the gfi and problem gone. Not saying this is your issue...but in case replacing the controller doesn't work, try replacing the gfi.

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Thanks Kevin, but I even tried 3 different circuits, with same results. I agree sounds like the controller.

Earle

Edited by EARLE W. TALLEY

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There's been several forum users reporting tripping problems with mini-trees due to some capacitive coupling with the metal frame.

Their solution was to elevate the frames above the ground with a piece of wood, to provide some kind of insulation between the metal and the ground.

Worth a try, eh?

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The past cases where it has definately been the controller are usually cases where it is a dual inlet controller, and one of the neutrals was connected to the wrong side, creating a bridge between the two circuits. But if this controller has worked on GFCI before, this does not sound like the likely case here..

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Ken, Kevin, klb, doesn't explain why the breaker tripps when mini trees are not plugged in, also controller has single input power source and the mini trees are made of PVC.

Earle

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Sorry, I over read the part when the mini were disconnected and still trip so you can rule out the mini it anything past the controller is the problem.

Is it possible to run a temp line from a different gfci to see if it still tripps? You may have already done that??

Edited by CLD Kevin

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Guest Don Gillespie

Earle this happened to me last year, the question I have for you is the controller plugged in directly to the GFI or are you using an extension cord? my problem was the extension cord, I changed it out and my problem was fixed, might be worth a try.

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As Don said, it could be an extension cord. Especially if the cord is prone to being walked on, driven over, etc.

Foreign object in the controller maybe? Say a nesting insect or the like. You wouldn't be able to know if it were behind the board, but if it is on the front you might be able to remove it without disassembly. Wishful thinking on my part, perhaps!

Let us know what you come up with.

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Update on the controller and GFIC, first also been tried on different extension cords, GFIC tripped. As of this morning I did the same tests as I did last night and in NO WAY could I make the GFIC fail. This comes down to the amount of moisture in the air last night (high 80%). The controller has been replaced and inspected for bugs and the like, found nothing, when time permits will take controller apart and check the reverse side for any problems. Thanks for the help and your ideas and still open for any more.

Earle

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What's interesting is that your controller ran OK for three nights without any problems.

What changed that would make it fail?

Especially tripping without anything plugged into it.

Did you try a second controller?

You might have critters behind the circuit board, trying to keep warm and dry.

Keep us posted.

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Ken, nothing changed, when it started to trip it was on curcuit with 3 other controllers, moved 2 controllers to another curcuit, this controller and the 1 with it tripped the breaker, put each one of them on a single curcuit, then this one failed, all other controllers are running with problems. Backup controller installed and tested, will see what happens tonight.

Earle

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Maybe I read the original post wrong. But what was weird is that with trees plugged in and using the HU to test (which prompts a question) it would not trip. But with or without trees, it would trip during a sequence. By testing, did you turn all of the trees on at the same time?

But as it is Earle, looks like your troubleshooting was spot on.

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Not so fast MP, at 8:00 GFIC tripped, reset, tripped about 5 min later and so on. replaced ext cords, I used 4 different cords and 3 diffetent GFIC curcuits, it still failed. As of now looking at what Jeff said "divide and conquer" since I had the old controller #9 and put in another #9 this morning, I ran another curcuit for the old #9 and now have 2 - #9 controllers running . One with channels 1-8 and the other with 9-16, it has been running for about 15 min. Will update the results.

Earle

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The show ran without any problems and ended at 10:00. Going to check the mini trees for any lights that touch the ground and move them up. It just so happens that these trees also have the same number of green lights on them and are running without a problem. The thing that worries me is from last night when the GFIC tripped when nothing was plugged into the controller. Right now I have to look at what Jeff said about a power leak, but I would expect it in the green lights (3 years old) but the red lights are new for this year.

Will make more updates as things progress.

Earle

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This morning I checked each of the 16 mini trees, I found 5-6 that had wires touching or close to the groung, reworked all the trees so as no wires within 2" of the ground. Moved all channels to the old #9 controller (replacement #9 still in place if needed). Show started at 6:00 and as of this post all is running well. Will leave things as is for 2-3 days. Thanks to all for your help.

Earle

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