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Mini Tree question


boborino

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Ok, I'm adding 8 mini trees with 3 strands (Red/White/Green) using the old tomato cage design. I read some other threads talking about possible issues with grounding etc. Has anyone thought of wrapping the cage with saran or plastic wrap before wrapping with lights? Is it even needed? Just fishing for the 'old timer's' out there that have had mini trees up for a few seasons.

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I've had incandescent mini-trees out for 5+ years now, and not had a single issue.

I've used LED's on the roof/house for 2 years now, and did nothing special, grounding wise. Just plugged them in and let 'em go.

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I’ve never had issues (even in the rain) but some people do. There’s no way to tell if you’re going to have problems. It seems to be a little bit of voltage leaking to the metal cage. It’s no big deal until you have several mini trees and the small leakage adds up to be enough to trip the GFCI breaker.

The leakage is voltage coming from the metal cage and going into earth ground. It will also be dependent on how conductive the ground is in your area. If you find that you’re having problems, try to get the cage off of direct contact with the ground by setting the cage on something that’s non-conductive or suspending the tree on a PVC pole.

Since you’re in Texas, I would do anything unless there’s a problem. You can fix it later if you need to.

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If you are using cable ties and you over tighten them one will not make much difference in damaging the light wires, but do several hundred cable ties over tightened and you have the potential for a ground fault when it rains or snows.

One way to help prevent a ground fault trip is try to add insulation to the cage legs before inserting them in the ground. Also could use wood stakes with holes drilled for the cage legs.

KLB is correct about polarity, defeat the purpose intended and you might not be around to say "I screwed up".

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THis is my first year, but after experimenting a bit, I found my trees to be much more "rounded" if they were wrapped (I was not wanting to do dual cages, which is another option), and would expect that will also help a great deal with the issue you mention. Home Depot has what is essentially plastic chicken wire in stock, itsd worked pretty well for me.

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DonFL wrote:

THis is my first year, but after experimenting a bit, I found my trees to be much more "rounded" if they were wrapped (I was not wanting to do dual cages, which is another option), and would expect that will also help a great deal with the issue you mention. Home Depot has what is essentially plastic chicken wire in stock, itsd worked pretty well for me.


I bought a roll of wire (used to hang drop ceilings) and ran it from bottom to top in between the tomato cage stakes and it helped to support the garland and lights I wrapped around it and it stayed pretty round. I was happy with the way it came out.

Mike
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I posted it in another thread, but WalMart has 2' pre-wrapped (with tinsel) minitrees for $6/ea.. the frames are plastic and look like they've got stringers running thru it to keep the frame round.. so you could get a bunch of those, either strip off the tinsel or just wrap with lights, leaving the tinsel on for daytime appeal.. and being plastic-framed, no fault path to take..

Two years I've had 8 tomato(e) cage mini's outside, steel wire framed, not staked into the ground, and no GFI faults, but then AZ doesnt get a lot of rain (uh, or snow) to ground out the frames. wrapping with plastic might be more conducive to trapping in the moisture. I'd say leave them unwrapped to allow them to breathe, like a fine whine (misppelled on purpose) :)

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Thanks TeeJ. Probably going to pick up the cages this week. I might go check out the plastic trees. Not sure if 2ft is tall enough. I know I should already be putting them up, but I just haven't had time. So, I've been taking time to expand my sequences and add the channels. We (read that I) tend to forget that for every new string of light or cool new decoration, you have to go back through all your sequences and add them in. Man, sure would be nice if they added the "Hey, I've added new lights.. make them look cool" button to LOR!

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Anytime Bob-o... your Monster Mash really helped me out of a jam..

The WallyWorld mini's are cute, even at 2' high.. come in different color tinsel (for that daytime appeal).. if they were a couple bucks less, I'd replace my 24 candy canes lining the lawn..

Yep, there needs to be a button labeled "Add ___ MiniTree's, make them Auto-Chase, Auto-Fade".. Last year I piggy-backed the mini's on several MegaTree channels so the MT spun, and the mini's chased together.. looked pretty good. This year even tho I added another 64 channels, I'll probably do it again, havent decided..

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