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20 hours ago, TheDucks said:

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 ūüėõ

Yes, all 3 wires.  Never could get the green LED to turn on unless I wired each one to the load side, then of course, if one tripped, everything went dark,, but the green LED was on.  Definitely thought it was odd, but even though I didn't have the green, at least the red lit when the offending GFCI got tripped in TEST mode, and if it tripped during show time, still lit the red indicator showing it had tripped.   So at least that part worked and let me know it's doing it's job!

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don't know if you will ever be trip free but with careful planning you can eliminate most of the weak spots.  Last year in NC I think it was monsoon season, our front yard doubled as a swamp.  But with planning and knowing the weaknesses we were able to run our show even when the larger show down the road would shut down.  Between dielectric grease and waterproof electricians tape we got thru it.  Having said all this, tear down was a bit of a challenge.  Breaking down the extension cords and connectors I used dielectric grease on was like cleaning away snot.

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3 hours ago, rcktpwrd said:

found a decent article with good pics of how to wire multiple outlets and GFI's

https://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/wiring-multiple-outlets-diagrams.html

 

best money we spent both in NC and here was adding dedicated show circuits.  All GFCI as well as labelled. 

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2 hours ago, caniac said:

don't know if you will ever be trip free but with careful planning you can eliminate most of the weak spots.  Last year in NC I think it was monsoon season, our front yard doubled as a swamp.  But with planning and knowing the weaknesses we were able to run our show even when the larger show down the road would shut down.  Between dielectric grease and waterproof electricians tape we got thru it.  Having said all this, tear down was a bit of a challenge.  Breaking down the extension cords and connectors I used dielectric grease on was like cleaning away snot.

Yep, that dielectric grease does look a wee bit nasty after the season don't it?ūü§£ūü§£ūü§£

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One thing I found was called a cord protector. don't know about all of you, but I had a lot of cord junctions in my display and over the years I have tried a lot of things to stop gfi's from tripping. But here is one thing that I think made a big difference this year. I deployed about 18 of these in my cord junctions in the yard.

https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/electrical-cords-cord-management/extension-cords/twist-and-seal-cord-protect-outdoor-extension-cord-protection-green/tscp-g-bl/p-1526970610173-c-6410.htm

I put these on all my cords that had plugs close to the ground. There are different 2 sizes of the big ones. I used the bigger ones and was able to make 2 zip cord plug junctions in one protector.

Here is the mini version  

https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/electrical-cords-cord-management/extension-cords/twist-and-seal-mini-holiday-light-cord-protection-green/tsm-g-bl/p-1526970610029-c-6410.htm

Wayne

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Honestly, if you just get the cords off the ground they would be fine. I hang all connections if they are near bushes or trees and I raise the ones in the yard only a inch or two. As long as the water can run off and not puddle a bit around the cords you will be fine, never had any issues

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59 minutes ago, Wayne K said:

One thing I found was called a cord protector. don't know about all of you, but I had a lot of cord junctions in my display and over the years I have tried a lot of things to stop gfi's from tripping. But here is one thing that I think made a big difference this year. I deployed about 18 of these in my cord junctions in the yard.

https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/electrical-cords-cord-management/extension-cords/twist-and-seal-cord-protect-outdoor-extension-cord-protection-green/tscp-g-bl/p-1526970610173-c-6410.htm

I put these on all my cords that had plugs close to the ground. There are different 2 sizes of the big ones. I used the bigger ones and was able to make 2 zip cord plug junctions in one protector.

Here is the mini version  

https://www.menards.com/main/electrical/electrical-cords-cord-management/extension-cords/twist-and-seal-mini-holiday-light-cord-protection-green/tsm-g-bl/p-1526970610029-c-6410.htm

Wayne

I have some, of these and a larger brand. Mine have leaked AND they were up  off the ground. (I used these for round cords feeding my controllers)

OTOH I had  SVT prop cords, just held above the ground using these https://www.amazon.com/Commercial-Christmas-Hardware-9130-99-5635-Stakes/dp/B07G98PJ43?SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-ffsb-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B07G98PJ43 not as intended, to hold a C9 upright

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I bought sum of these green clamp thingys,  for monsoon season here in fort lauderdale," useless as [Foul Language Used] on a duck" , they all leaked, doing research to find gaskets that will do the trick , I have a year to get it done, keep yall posted ! 


David

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On 1/7/2020 at 8:05 PM, DLH lites said:

breast----dugh

Use Spikes to raise the plugs off the ground using zipties and then take a 5 gallon bucket (no lid) and notch the bottom wherever a cord goes through. Place the bucket over the spike/outlet and drill two holes in the lip of the bucket and secure the bucket with spikes. You should have no more water problems (with the extensions where they come together)

I just hide them behind my props.

JR

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Jr, I think the trouble stems from the net lites. There are thirty nets on the shurbs at the drive way and eighteen on the big hedge along the fence which is  thirty feet long , Look at my display DLH LITES, of course they are all plugged into each other . The monsoon storms soaked all the male/ female junctions, which were about four feet off the ground, even the plugs fuse holders had water in them.  We had three major storms in December,  nine inches of rain in four hours alone.   

I will be looking at making a gasket from rubber with double stick tape on both sides for all these plugs ,just maybe that will help. I will keep all posted.

David

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Dielectric grease will also help

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4 hours ago, DLH lites said:

Jr, I think the trouble stems from the net lites. There are thirty nets on the shurbs at the drive way and eighteen on the big hedge along the fence which is  thirty feet long , Look at my display DLH LITES, of course they are all plugged into each other . The monsoon storms soaked all the male/ female junctions, which were about four feet off the ground, even the plugs fuse holders had water in them.  We had three major storms in December,  nine inches of rain in four hours alone.   

I will be looking at making a gasket from rubber with double stick tape on both sides for all these plugs ,just maybe that will help. I will keep all posted.

David

Do you use those plastic child proof electric outlet caps on the female pass through outlets at the plug and at the end of the light strands?   

I have had torrential downpours and I have never had water get inside my power connections on any of my light strands using these plastic outlet cap covers.  Just got to make sure they are fully inserted with no gaps for them to work.

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flat Prong to flat prong leakage  WILL NOT trip a GFCI

Flat prong to Round prong will.

Flat prong to Earth WILL.

If everything is up off the ground (and not in any puddle, I doubt there is a Earth path. GFCI's work on a algebraic balance of White to Black. In must = out with a few ma allowed as unbalance

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Thanks Gents  for the info.  I do use the child protective caps on all the female connectors  as you suggested before.   This year I found several vampire plugs that were full of water ,they were in the middle of the big hedge well off the ground .  The only thing laying on the ground was  a lot of long spt1 cables in a bundle  across the drive way.  I do have a question , I had three controllers into a ac strip plugged into one GFCI   once I moved one to a none GFCI outlet things got better . All of the lites are LED  ,could three controllers just cause a slight enough imbalance to trip the GFCI. The fourth controller was into its own GFCI  and never triped  and was controlling four wire trees with c9's  sitting on pavers on the ground .   Any more suggestions would be great.  Of course the night of our Christmas party it poured and no lites for the first two hours then it all came back on.

David

 

 

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1 hour ago, DLH lites said:

Thanks Gents  for the info.  I do use the child protective caps on all the female connectors  as you suggested before.   This year I found several vampire plugs that were full of water ,they were in the middle of the big hedge well off the ground .  The only thing laying on the ground was  a lot of long spt1 cables in a bundle  across the drive way.  I do have a question , I had three controllers into a ac strip plugged into one GFCI   once I moved one to a none GFCI outlet things got better . All of the lites are LED  ,could three controllers just cause a slight enough imbalance to trip the GFCI. The fourth controller was into its own GFCI  and never triped  and was controlling four wire trees with c9's  sitting on pavers on the ground .   Any more suggestions would be great.  Of course the night of our Christmas party it poured and no lites for the first two hours then it all came back on.

David

Those vampire plugs must not have sealed too well.   I have several on a few things that I've had to change out bad plugs on. 

But one suggestion would be to get some of the liquid Flex Seal product and brush that around the areas where there would be a thin line gap.  Where the top slides over the vampire teeth in the bottom part.   You could try lightly coating the area on top of the bottom portion, then slide the top over it, but this may make it difficult, or impossible to ever take the vampire plug apart again, and may require cutting the plug off to replace it.   If just coated around the outer edges lightly enough to form a nice rubber water-tight/water-proof seal around where the top meets the bottom should be sufficient to keep water out of the vampire plug. Also lightly coat where the cord enters the vampire plug.   Then you'd just have to use an X-Acto knife to cut the plug open again to replace it if it ever went bad. 

These Flex Seal products work great for repairing frayed electrical cords that have been nicked on one side down to the wire or even both sides if each wire is coated separately, then coat the entire thing to seal it.  Sure has saved me having to buy new extension cords that have gotten damaged by some means over the years.  Works great for C7 and C9 sockets that have the end wiring exposed to seal them up and make them water-proof and water-tight too.

These Flex Seal products have been great for saving my display since they came out with them.   And they are usually available at Home Depot Stores.

Edited by Orville

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3 hours ago, DLH lites said:

I do have a question , I had three controllers into a ac strip plugged into one GFCI   once I moved one to a none GFCI outlet things got better .

David

 

 

I would say this is most likely the issue and similar to the issues we have had with our display. I also have had three controllers plugged into the same outlet. That is why I am going to be adding on additional GFCI outlets so I can spread the GFCI load out. As stated before there is a very small amount of voltage leak allowed before the GFCI trips and does its job. We are talking about milliamps, so a very tiny amount.

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At one point in my career I worked with a team that designed a GFCI circuit breaker.  The specification for them is that should not trip for leakage less than 4 mA but must trip for leakage greater than 6 mA.  So if you have 3 "legs" (controllers) off one GFCI they add together for the leakage.  One leg might have 1 mA, the other two 2 mA, having a total of 5 mA.  That may or may not trip the GFCI depending on the sensitivity of that device.  Now if each was on its own GFCI outlet none would trip as they are all below the 4 mA minimum trip point.

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6 hours ago, radioguy1007 said:

At one point in my career I worked with a team that designed a GFCI circuit breaker.  The specification for them is that should not trip for leakage less than 4 mA but must trip for leakage greater than 6 mA.  So if you have 3 "legs" (controllers) off one GFCI they add together for the leakage.  One leg might have 1 mA, the other two 2 mA, having a total of 5 mA.  That may or may not trip the GFCI depending on the sensitivity of that device.  Now if each was on its own GFCI outlet none would trip as they are all below the 4 mA minimum trip point.

I find this very interesting since I run 9 Controllers off 1 GFCI outlet.  5 older CCB-100D RGB Controllers and 4 older V2 CTB16PC Controllers and have been doing it since 2010 and never had any trip issues except the 1st year, but that was due to not capping off the Female plugs with Child Proof Outlet caps and water getting inside those.  I also cap off any unused channel dangles on the CTB16PC units.

So either mine is not as sensitive, to this or it was built with a higher threshold for tripping the circuit off.   It did trip once this year, but that was due to a nicked power cord, nicked just enough to lightly expose the wire on both sides, and when it rained and got wet, it tripped the GFCI off, repaired with Flex Seal and no more issues.

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Your CCB controllers use a DC power supply which effectively stops any AC leakage path at that point.  For the CTB16's your treatment of those light strings (didn't you say you treated every bulb socket with dielectric silicone in another thread?) really helps.  Capping the ends not so much, but again using dielectric coats the metal and keeps water from coming in contact with the electrical contacts.  Water is the enemy here for false trips.  You also may have a GFCI outlet on the upper end of the trip point range (6 mA).  I assume you do test it using the built-in test button on a regular basis to make sure it is still functioning.  If it is still the same one since 2010 it may not be 100% functional.  Here in Wisconsin my average outdoor life for a GFCI is about 5 years.  It contains electronics, and those circuits can also corrode and quit working or change sensitivity over time due to moisture intrusion. 

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22 minutes ago, radioguy1007 said:

Your CCB controllers use a DC power supply which effectively stops any AC leakage path at that point.  For the CTB16's your treatment of those light strings (didn't you say you treated every bulb socket with dielectric silicone in another thread?) really helps.  Capping the ends not so much, but again using dielectric coats the metal and keeps water from coming in contact with the electrical contacts.  Water is the enemy here for false trips.  You also may have a GFCI outlet on the upper end of the trip point range (6 mA).  I assume you do test it using the built-in test button on a regular basis to make sure it is still functioning.  If it is still the same one since 2010 it may not be 100% functional.  Here in Wisconsin my average outdoor life for a GFCI is about 5 years.  It contains electronics, and those circuits can also corrode and quit working or change sensitivity over time due to moisture intrusion. 

Yes, dielectric grease.  As for the GFCI, test button still does its job.  It is only used during holiday times, so it's not out in the weather but only for a few months of the year, and the outside outlet it is plugged into is also protected by a GFCI in the house since that outside outlet is on the bathroom/master bedroom circuit.  Outside one when tripped only affects the display area and all that's plugged into it and the extra outlets that it controls.  So it's still 100% functional.

But I am planning to replace it this year in 2020 since it is basically 10 years old.  But it still functions per the test button.

Almost forgot, I know the output is 5VDC to the light strands on the RGB Controllers, but they still plug directly into an 120V AC outlet to power them.  So I figured that would be a portion of the full load on top of the CTB16PC's since they all are powered by 120VAC and all my CTB16PC's use the dual cords as well.

Edited by Orville

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The Test button is a "Must Trip" value. (and the test should be performed with no other loads attached to 'protected ( including downstream) outlets. as their leakages might otherwise help trip an under performing (fail) test.

If you don't have Access issues. Put the GFCI inside and wire it to the 'Outdoor downstream  outlet (BTW They now have corrosion resistant outlets for  outdoor  locations at the bigger Home stores

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3 hours ago, TheDucks said:

The Test button is a "Must Trip" value. (and the test should be performed with no other loads attached to 'protected ( including downstream) outlets. as their leakages might otherwise help trip an under performing (fail) test.

If you don't have Access issues. Put the GFCI inside and wire it to the 'Outdoor downstream  outlet (BTW They now have corrosion resistant outlets for  outdoor  locations at the bigger Home stores

When I test it, it is plugged into a live NON GFCI outlet, since it is wired with a 3 wire grounded cord to be plugged into an outlet to power it.  So there is nothing plugged into the GFCI itself when tested.

The one I bought stated it was weatherproof and corrosion resistant at the time.  And I've taken it apart out of it's outdoor weatherproof box to make sure all contacts are still tight and haven't had any corrosion issues with it or the wiring ro it.  Just took it apart after Christmas tear down and everything still looks good.

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