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Brad Bilger

GFI Question

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Ok.. got out this morning and tested each channel, each circuit, reset some of my GFI's that had tripped from the previous couple of days rain. I got EVERYTHING up and running. Perfect.. Then the bottom opened up and it poured rain.. All evening. Now, I have a question concerning GFI's. I know that when a minimum leakage occurs between the hot and the neutral, the GFI trips. BUT can the GFI last long enough to blow fuses in my lights? Heres my situation.... I have 6 LOR1602W's. Controller 01 has two, dedicated 20 amp circuits run to it. Each plug on Separate breakers. When I reset both GFI's, I get Channels 1,2,3 and 4 up and running, and Channels 9, 10, 11 and 12 running. (Top of 30 foot trees) Channels 5, 6, 7 and 8 along with 13, 14, 15 and 16 are out. (Standard Christmas trees, and ground lights) At least, they lasted a couple of minutes before tripping the GFI.

I can understand dropping the left side, or the right side.. but half of each board? I didn't get a chance tonight to go out there and dig deeper into it. (I have an allergy to Electricity and water) but plan on going out tommorrow and seeing what I can find.

So, anybody got an idea? Could the GFI last long enough to blow the fuse in a string of lights?? And by the way, it seems that my helper who strung some of my ground lights decided to hide the female end of all my ground strings by BURYING them in the ground. (now Mud) Good help is so hard to find now a days

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Quote: And by the way, it seems that my helper who strung some of my ground lights decided to hide the female end of all my ground strings by BURYING them in the ground. (now Mud)


I think you have already answered your own question about why they are tripping.

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Brian Mitchell wrote:

Quote: And by the way, it seems that my helper who strung some of my ground lights decided to hide the female end of all my ground strings by BURYING them in the ground. (now Mud)


I think you have already answered your own question about why they are tripping.

Oh, no doubt about that. My question was, will a GFI hold in there long enough to blow the fuse on 8 differant channels of lights?:D

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YES, GFI are designed to detect an imbalance of current flow between the hot and the neutral. As long as the current flow is between hot a neutral the gfi will not trip. The current flow must be to ground.

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Luckily, I got to them early today with a can of dust off and pulled all my connectors apart, blew them out, cleaned all the connections (Lord they were full of water) put everything back together and after working with them for 4 hours, I got EVERYTHING back up and running again. No blown fuses, just a lot of tired GFI's. I think I got a flat spot on my index finger from punching the reset button. :P Thanks for the help and the input guys..

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Jeff Millard wrote:

Donald Puryear wrote:
That's not altogether true. The current flow must be away from the "normal path" of a protected circuit. GFCI monitors the flow of current to and from a load as a simple differential circuit. In other words, a difference in the amount of current flowing to and from a load will cause an operation. A current leak that will trip it can be to ground, or it can be to the neutral or hot of another circuit. That possibility is very real in our displays. It is very common to end up with several circuits all intertwined and spread around the yard.

Jeff


Great reply !

Very accurate and easily understandable.

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Yeah, I wish they were called "current fault interruptors" or something else besides "ground", because there's a common complete misconception that the third "grounding" pin has something to do with the operation of a GFI outlet... For example, a coworker of mine was telling me he was planning on getting some of those grounded (3 pin to 2pin) adapters to try to eliminate his GFI trips... I had to spend a bit of time talking him out of it and convincing him that would be an exercise in futility...

It's also commonly (mis)stated on PC that you need to run 3-wire extension cords or "you lose your GFI protection"...

-Tim

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Tim Fischer wrote:

Yeah, I wish they were called "current fault interruptors" or something else besides "ground", because there's a common complete misconception that the third "grounding" pin has something to do with the operation of a GFI outlet... For example, a coworker of mine was telling me he was planning on getting some of those grounded (3 pin to 2pin) adapters to try to eliminate his GFI trips... I had to spend a bit of time talking him out of it and convincing him that would be an exercise in futility...

-Tim

Or those that try to defeat the purpose of the GFI by replacing them with standard outlets. As I said in an earlier post in another thread. If it wasn't for human error, Firemedic and I would be out of a job.. :D

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Brad Bilger wrote:

Or those that try to defeat the purpose of the GFI by replacing them with standard outlets. As I said in an earlier post in another thread. If it wasn't for human error, Firemedic and I would be out of a job.. :P


No worry Brad. There are enough idiots in the word to keep your job secure :?

This reminds me of a neighbor many years ago that had an outdoor appliance blow up in his face and I had to take him to the emergency room. He replaced a 240 VAC outlet in the garage (intended for clothes dryer) with a 110 VAC plug and then used it on a 110 appliance!

Duh..... the thinking was that he didn't need to 240, so he just converted it to 110 (still using both legs of the 220 lines).

Fortunately, this man is not in control of our USA nuclear missle program!

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It's really shocking (no pun intended) how little people understand about electricity...

My uncle just moved into a new house, and over Thanksgiving was telling me they were blowing a lot of breakers in their kitchen. "They're only rated at 15", he said, "so I'm thinking I need to replace them with 20's like in our old house".

I had to tell him, politely, that it would be a Really Bad Idea...

It's like "man I could sure pull a lot more power if it wasn't for those pesky fuses..."

-Tim

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Hey, I've been a firefighter for 32 years.. Everytime that I think that I've seen it all, or heard it all .... well, someone comes along with another great idea on how to shallow out the gene pool One of the best ones that I've ever seen was a guy whos fuel pump went out on his car. Stranded 200 miles from home.. so he got a 5 gallon bucket, wired it to the roof of his car, got a chunk of garden hose, and started a siphon from the bucket, into the car, and then out the window, and stuffed the hose into the intake on the carb. The passenger controlled the speed by kinking and unkinking the hose.. Mileage was terrible.. The strange part is, he made it.. 200 miles without a problem.. until he hit the driveway of his house and the passenger unkinked too much.. backfired and burned the car up. Honest story.. got the pictures someplace

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