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Tripping GFCI

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13 minutes ago, Steven said:

....Any idea how I can solve this GFCI problem for next year?

Barely viewable at night $3 spt1 splices kits:

3 or 4 empty water bottles taped together to elevate

black cheapo wallyworld tub to cover 

4 ground spikes to secure in place

IMG_4402_zpsu6ssw5rw.jpgIMG_4403_zpspandabpv.jpgIMG_4404_zpsr3ujha2n.jpg

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1 hour ago, Steven said:

I have a row of 60 candlesticks that use C-7 bulbs that I modified into a 4-channel chase by cutting and splicing the SPT-1. The problem is the splices lay on the lawn. (It would be impractical and a trip hazard to elevate 60 wires off the ground.) When it rains, I unplug them to prevent a GFCI trip, but I'd like a more elegant solution.

The splices are 10 years old and are made with crimp butt connectors with silicone in an attempt to waterproof them, but that is clearly not working. Adding to the problem is the bundle of 4 SPT-1 wires is wrapped with tape every few feet to keep it together, which probably collects water. Any idea how I can solve this GFCI problem for next year?

You can buy watertight butt connectors or spade connectors. They have grease or oil in them once sealed the entire connection is encased it prevents any water.

or the cheaper way would be as Dan shows above.

That water sure comes in handy when setting up.

There are other ways and everyone will have their own. Whatever works. 

I Just raised my connections up on my trees, thought I had it kicked and then we had 2 days of torrential down pours so I just disconnected my trees for 1 of the nights.

lihht rain was no problem.

* Note to self 

Gotta build a bridge so the UPS and FED EX drivers can strap over the 32 cords all bundled and zip tied together. For whatever reason everyone wants to trip over what appears to be a big log.

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1 hour ago, Steven said:

The splices are 10 years old and are made with crimp butt connectors with silicone in an attempt to waterproof them, but that is clearly not working. Adding to the problem is the bundle of 4 SPT-1 wires is wrapped with tape every few feet to keep it together, which probably collects water. Any idea how I can solve this GFCI problem for next year?

Re-do the splices and dump the crimps.  Solder the splices and cover each splice with the heat shrink tubing that has the goo inside that fills any spaces when it melts.  After you have spliced each wire of the SPT, then slide a longer piece of heat shrink tubing that also has the goo inside over the whole splice and heat shrink and then shrink that.  Make sure to remember to put the heat shrink over the cable BEFORE you start soldering (don't ask me how I know to do that!).  Also remember to let the inner heat shrink tubing cool before trying to slide the outer heat shrink tubing over it (yea, I know that one from bad experience too).  The heat shrink over the individual wires should overlap the joint and the insulation on both sides of the soldered joint by at least a quarter inch.  The outer piece should overlap the inner heat shrink tubing by at least a quarter inch.  Note that if you have a situation where you are soldering in a three way connection (for example a tap for a single light onto a power cord for many lights), that means that one end of the splice will have one wire and the other end will have two wires.  On the end that has two wires, squeeze some extra silicon in between and around the two wires before you slide the heat shrink tubing over it.  You want to make VERY sure to fill any gaps.  This is one of those "take your time and do it right" items.

I have splices in my landscape lighting that are out year round and have been for years, so they get sun and rain (on the rare occasion that we get some around here), and the lawn sprinklers (far more often).  Never had one fail yet.

 

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1 hour ago, k6ccc said:

Re-do the splices and dump the crimps.  Solder the splices and cover each splice with the heat shrink tubing that has the goo inside that fills any spaces when it melts.  After you have spliced each wire of the SPT, then slide a longer piece of heat shrink tubing that also has the goo inside over the whole splice and heat shrink and then shrink that.  Make sure to remember to put the heat shrink over the cable BEFORE you start soldering (don't ask me how I know to do that!).  Also remember to let the inner heat shrink tubing cool before trying to slide the outer heat shrink tubing over it (yea, I know that one from bad experience too).  The heat shrink over the individual wires should overlap the joint and the insulation on both sides of the soldered joint by at least a quarter inch.  The outer piece should overlap the inner heat shrink tubing by at least a quarter inch.  Note that if you have a situation where you are soldering in a three way connection (for example a tap for a single light onto a power cord for many lights), that means that one end of the splice will have one wire and the other end will have two wires.  On the end that has two wires, squeeze some extra silicon in between and around the two wires before you slide the heat shrink tubing over it.  You want to make VERY sure to fill any gaps.  This is one of those "take your time and do it right" items.

I have splices in my landscape lighting that are out year round and have been for years, so they get sun and rain (on the rare occasion that we get some around here), and the lawn sprinklers (far more often).  Never had one fail yet.

 

To add to your comment about the 2 to 1 connection with extra silicone. I cut up a few pieces of Hot Melt glue to put around the wires and slide the shrink wrap tubing over it. When you heat the shrink wrap it melts the glue and squeezes the excess out of the end filling every nook and cranny. 

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I made wood bases for my mini trees, and dipped my stakes in Plastidip, and with that combo didn't have problems with my mini trees.  Next up is wood bases for my reindeer, and snowman!

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Amazon has a range of protections  for multiples, this might work https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006EUHT2W/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1QSVNVEPCFRRY&coliid=I942TNIVWLTU5&psc=1

I used the beer can shape with 2 plug-cords (in a single can) that would have been in puddles on the ground,.

My 120V tree ran in the rain with all the vampire plugs exposed to the rain. All were 1' above grade

GFCI's do age and get more false trips.(had to replace a few that would just trip turning on a nearby fan that was not on that device)   Newer GFCI outlets must have source power to reset.

 

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