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Ok Yall , I have been plagued this season with lots of  rain and lots of GFCI (all new GFCI outlets) clicking, funny one controller of three that are plugged into the same outlet seems to be the trigger. I wore myself out trying all the plugs one at a time and nothing but this one controller still pops the breaker. So, I plugged it into a none GFCI and it works great, could this controller be more prone  to slight ground fault ??????  The other two controller work great  They are 16 channels ac that were built from kits , this one thats is causing the problem is two years old.  Controller number four ,nada no problem. Much a pain because my neighbors static display works in a monsoon  golly  

David

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Is this a DC powered controller? Those supplies can develop high leakage current in the EMI filter circuity. Not anywhere bad enough to blow breakers.

But be aware that the ground (green wire) must be very reliable, another user had one keep frying his RS485 adapters

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Duck, these are four  ac 16 channel  controllers, now that I have plugged the problem controller into a different circuit, all systems go even with all the rain we had today,  was gona start passing out snorkels  and wet suites so much rain  golly.

David

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DLH 

 

I have been having similar problems with my GFCI outlets. Normal rain of 1/2 to 1 inch is no problem but seems we are having more than normal this Christmas, we have had 3 periods of more rain and those are the days I had to move the plugs to non GFCI outlets or go dark. One night we had 3 1/2 inch's another over 2 inch's and both those nights I lost half the house.

 

I don't have any thing sitting in water, and no tomato cage tree's but something was triggering the darkness. I am thinking next year I was going to make more attempts to isolate the plugs from the ground. At least I have a lot of time for that thought process as we are without rain till Friday and we are going dark New Years day.

 

Keith

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We also have issues with popping the GFI's in the rain. I think our main issue is that I have 3 controllers all on the same outlet and the voltage leaks add up... I am planning on adding additional circuits to separate the controllers. I will also go over everything as we take it down to check for nicks/cuts in any of the wiring. Power/amp wise we don't need the extra circuits but spreading out the GFI load should help. I have the tomato cage trees off the ground on pvc pipe, all the plugs are elevated on stakes and any female plugs that are facing up have the outlet cover plugs in them.

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Keith,  

This past week we had so much rain it covered all my floods that are in holders in  the ground , the water mark was almost to the top of our tune to sign. Of course it was working great for the few hours before our Christmas party ,but one hour before it just poured and click  2/3 of the house was out .  Very frustrating .  I protected all the connections as best I could but still got shut down.    We have never had a December like this in 15 years.  I was out there till 1:30 in the morning trying to figure it all out . What a pain, but  what makes it all worth while is the smiles of wonderment that people have when they stop watch and listen to the lites , me included.

David

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David

 

I know what you mean of the smiles of all the people, especially the kids. Makes it all worth the sweat. I was out tonight thinking only one more night and a nice lady leans out her window to say thanks, I really appreciate those chance meetings.

 

 I was also thankful for a dry night, no issues is a good night. I do not like to move the power to non GFI circuits, I am going to do a little more investigating, like Joel or Rctpwrd stated, I haven't thought of the cumulative effect. I had 8 controllers on those 2 GFI circuits, all LED so I didn't think it was too much. I think I will put a wattmeter on those circuits tomorrow just to see. Maybe I'm pushing it and didn't know.

 

Keith

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If you don't need the AMPS: just put 2 or 3 GFCI outlets on the same branch circuit to distribute the leakage.  3 packs of these can save a few $

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5 hours ago, TheDucks said:

If you don't need the AMPS: just put 2 or 3 GFCI outlets on the same branch circuit to distribute the leakage.  3 packs of these can save a few $

So, if I understand you correctly all I need do is put 2 or 3 additional GFCI outlets wired to the same circuit, the cumulative effect is by outlet not circuit.I see the cumulative effect being changed that way, guess I just thought it was going to be harder or more complicated. Wiring in a new outlet next to another is vey simple, and then I can plug controllers directly instead of using 3 way adapters.

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35 minutes ago, Kapkirk said:

So, if I understand you correctly all I need do is put 2 or 3 additional GFCI outlets wired to the same circuit, the cumulative effect is by outlet not circuit.I see the cumulative effect being changed that way, guess I just thought it was going to be harder or more complicated. Wiring in a new outlet next to another is vey simple, and then I can plug controllers directly instead of using 3 way adapters.

Just keep in mind that there are several ways to wire a GFCI receptacle depending on the type of protection you are wanting.

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I actually did have 1 GFCI trip this Christmas Season in the rain, and of course it was at a time when I was not home to find or correct it, so display was dark until I got home just before the show was supposed to end.  Wondered why the show wasn't still running, since it still had about 20 minutes left to run.  

A Neighbor told me it had shut down about an hour after I had left. 

So one night the show was completely dark until I got home and fixed the problem. 

First time in years I've had the GFCI click off. 

But I found the culprit, had a cord on one item that had gotten nicked somehow, used an X-Acto knife and separated the cords from each other, covered each side with Flex Seal, let that dry, then covered both together with Flex Seal and never had another issue the entire season, no matter how hard the rain got.

Was fortunate the cord was easy to get to and fix, and I didn't have to go through the entire display to find it.  Was lucky it was very near the CTB16PC V2 Controller that was controlling the item.

Edited by Orville

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8 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

Just keep in mind that there are several ways to wire a GFCI receptacle depending on the type of protection you are wanting.

I had several wired on the same circuit one year when I was having issues with the one tripping every time it rained, after I added the 2 additional ones, only the one that tripped would shut down only that part of the display and not the entire display.

But I usually don't have that issue any longer and only use one GFCI for my entire display.  Aside from what happened this year with my GFCI getting tripped in the rain {see my other post above}, I haven't had a GFCI trip in years now.

Edited by Orville

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8 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

Just keep in mind that there are several ways to wire a GFCI receptacle depending on the type of protection you are wanting.

Now you lost me, how can a outlet be wired differently to achieve different results?I am not an electrician but have wired up a lot of outlets and thought I knew what I was doing, now you have me second guessing. 

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7 minutes ago, Kapkirk said:

Now you lost me, how can a outlet be wired differently to achieve different results?I am not an electrician but have wired up a lot of outlets and thought I knew what I was doing, now you have me second guessing. 

Depending on how you wire the receptacle you either shutdown just the receptacle affected or the affected receptacle and everything past it. How the receptacle operates depends on how it is wired.

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Keep in mind that a GFCI receptacle has a line side and a load side. If you want all receptacles on the circuit to operate or shut down individually then all wiring is on the line side only, load side will not be used.

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2 minutes ago, Mr. P said:

Keep in mind that a GFCI receptacle has a line side and a load side. If you want all receptacles on the circuit to operate or shut down individually then all wiring is on the line side only, load side will not be used.

Ok now I remember the load and line, I had forgotten a non GFI outlet could become a GFI outlet when wired on the load side of the outlet, so to increase the cumulative effect we have been talking of you would wire the additional outlets from the line side to every outlet, otherwise the first outlet would handle all the load for the others and reduce the cumulative effect. Correct?

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1 minute ago, Kapkirk said:

Ok now I remember the load and line, I had forgotten a non GFI outlet could become a GFI outlet when wired on the load side of the outlet, so to increase the cumulative effect we have been talking of you would wire the additional outlets from the line side to every outlet, otherwise the first outlet would handle all the load for the others and reduce the cumulative effect. Correct?

You got it.  👍

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Mr P

 

Just like a muscle in the body, stop using it and it goes bad, the muscle on top of your shoulders also has to keep active also or it becomes bad. Now I just have to exercise the brain on how I tell my old shipmates a retired Army guy is teaching an old sea dog old tricks. LOL

 

Thanks Army, Navy

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8 minutes ago, Kapkirk said:

Mr P

 

Just like a muscle in the body, stop using it and it goes bad, the muscle on top of your shoulders also has to keep active also or it becomes bad. Now I just have to exercise the brain on how I tell my old shipmates a retired Army guy is teaching an old sea dog old tricks. LOL

 

Thanks Army, Navy

All one brotherhood.

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7 hours ago, Mr. P said:

Keep in mind that a GFCI receptacle has a line side and a load side. If you want all receptacles on the circuit to operate or shut down individually then all wiring is on the line side only, load side will not be used.

That's how I had wired mine, each one was independent of the others on the same circuit.  Although I noticed that those that have dual lights, red for tripped and green for working, the green "working" lights did not function when there was no load wired to any of them, but the red light still lit when tripped. 

I thought that was kind of odd, as I had expected the green light to work to show it was functioning correctly.  But when tested, they did what they were supposed to do.  So I guess that's all that counts, doing what they were supposed to do when wired that way {Line only side}.

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28 minutes ago, Orville said:

That's how I had wired mine, each one was independent of the others on the same circuit.  Although I noticed that those that have dual lights, red for tripped and green for working, the green "working" lights did not function when there was no load wired to any of them, but the red light still lit when tripped. 

I thought that was kind of odd, as I had expected the green light to work to show it was functioning correctly.  But when tested, they did what they were supposed to do.  So I guess that's all that counts, doing what they were supposed to do when wired that way {Line only side}.

Yes, very odd. You did wire all 3 leads (Black/gold, white/silver and the Green)?

I had some that would not reset (latch) unless there was power on the branch. But I also agree that the TEST is still king 😛

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This is a helpful topic. 

I have one with only one 16 channel box hooked to 16 small 300 LED trees, which trips several times each night... Even when dry out. I think I will replace the controller next year and see if it works properly.

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20 hours ago, rcktpwrd said:

We also have issues with popping the GFI's in the rain. I think our main issue is that I have 3 controllers all on the same outlet and the voltage leaks add up... I am planning on adding additional circuits to separate the controllers. I will also go over everything as we take it down to check for nicks/cuts in any of the wiring. Power/amp wise we don't need the extra circuits but spreading out the GFI load should help. I have the tomato cage trees off the ground on pvc pipe, all the plugs are elevated on stakes and any female plugs that are facing up have the outlet cover plugs in them.

dielectric grease is your best friend.  We added 12 dedicated show circuits when we moved here and all are GFCI

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4 minutes ago, MikeERWNC said:

This is a helpful topic. 

I have one with only one 16 channel box hooked to 16 small 300 LED trees, which trips several times each night... Even when dry out. I think I will replace the controller next year and see if it works properly.

Mike

 

Think about swapping the controller out this year and see if it fix's it, then your good for next year, I hate taking something down without knowing the problem is fixed. I am on our last lit night tonight and had a issue where half the display was intermittent thru 4 songs tonight and was thinking oh no I don't want to take it all down with a problem. So I reset all the GFCI's and then rebooted the computer and that fixed it, I was very happy to know it was all working on last night.

 

Keith

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19 hours ago, caniac said:

dielectric grease is your best friend.  We added 12 dedicated show circuits when we moved here and all are GFCI

Completely agree with the dielectric grease.  After I started using it, along with child proof outlet covers on open female ends and pass thru plugs, my GFCI trips went away.  

But if a cord gets worn, or nicked where it can make contact with the other wire in some manner, it could cause issues, even if the nicks are only slight, but if both sides are nicked, even if they don't touch, water is a conductor, and that will trip the GFCI.  Then FLEX SEAL products can be your best friend too, as they are water proof and form a nice watertight seal when dry.  '

It really is great for saving a long extension cord that's seen lots of use and frayed, just cut or strip off the outer jacket that's frayed or split, cover with the Flex Seal, works great and the cord will be good for use again.  Flex Seal makes a hard, but flexible plastic water-proof and water-tight seal, so it's great for use on cords with nicks or cuts. 

Just make sure the inner wiring of the extension cord isn't broken or nicked, if so, {solder the broken wire{s} back together, same color to same color},separate and cover each of the nicked wires, one at a time with Flex Seal, let dry, then cover all with Flex Seal, makes a nice water tight and water proof jacket.

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