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even the lightest rain is poping my gfi's


Ralph D

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Anyone have any ideas for me to try. I never have my gfi pop and not turn back on unless it’s raining really hard out. Now this year the lightest grizzle is setting them off. I taped every plug and outlet, which is always a big help but not this time. So is there something eals I can try? Could the gfi be going bad? How can I test it. Any other input would be great.

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I agree with Jeff. Taping connections is a bad idea. I also wouldn't recommend putting putting connections in plastic bags like a lot of people do. You want to keep the moisture away from the plugs, not bring it closer.

As long as you plug all your controllers into GFCIs, let them work as designed. They will trip even if they sense the slightest amount of water. I just wait for mine to go and than turn off the show for the night. It happens once or twice during the season and just something you have to deal with.

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I know..... it just stinks. I do have prmo's made for the bad weather. but like I mentioned this has never happened to me with a drizzle. yes i will un-tape everything on Sunday my day off this week. I do know its happening on my 3 controller only on channels 9-16 so when i get back home from work tonight and can track it down a little better. thanks so much guys. Ill let you know how i made out.

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Ralph D wrote:

I taped every plug and outlet


I did that with my static display before and it never worked, it always tripped it. Now I am using lor and I haven't taped anything and have open plugs. It's been pouring for the past 2 days and I haven't had a single problem.

Tim
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Cut a bunch of small blocks of wood and place them under any connections that are on the ground. That has helped me.

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Brian Mitchell wrote:

Cut a bunch of small blocks of wood and place them under any connections that are on the ground. That has helped me.

I bought a couple hundred ground light stakes from Target two years ago during their 90% off sale for the sole purpose of getting *ALL* of my connections off the ground by 3" or 4". It's worked out very well. The only time I don't use them is when I have over 8 or so connections in one group... then I just use some of that free field stone we have out back. :)

Good luck,
Jeff
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if you have light sets across the ground that could also be your problem

the moisture could be going up through the bottom of the light socket even outdoor light sets are not weather proof ( it is kind of annoying) I am currently having the same problem outside around 7 pm curising up a storm

taping connections might not necessarly make a gfci trip

as long as the conection is dry and you use the good electricial tape not the cheap stuff where you can get 10 rolls for 5 bucks you need the stuff that cost 2 bucks a roll

if it were to short from the hot to the netural it will not pop the gfci It will actually pop the circuit breaker

so the conection might not necessary be the problem any light set that is touching something that is wet could be the coulpret trees could be the ground conductor when wet

I discovered that light sets that are across the ground it takes 7 100 mini light sets to trip the gfci

the gfci normally trips at a 4 to 6 milli amp diffrence between the hot and netural

each set leaks just a little amout of power try isolating your sets from the ground a little better I use those stakes you can buy at walmart

currently I am still havin problems my self I am planing on using rope light next year as for this year I am not exactly sure yet what I am doing maby a little bit of electricial tape at the bottom of each socket that is just 1200 sockets that could be touchng the ground for me to tape

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Well, just like everyone said, i was outside for about 4 hours fixing wires that had been eaten by rabbits and drying as many cords and plugs as possible.

I was able to get the show on last night, and I nailed it down to my ice rink lights which lay on the ground and my river which does the same. Now is there anything I can do set up the ice rink and river to protect it a little better, does any of you do the same type of thing and have a little better way? I know the only cure is to not put lights on the ground, ........hey Jeff, what about a small platform? of some kind like made out of chicken wire or pvc I don’t know? I do remember one of us on lor having a huge river going down there driveway for years. There’s got to be a better way to keep the lights off the ground even an inch high to help keep the wetness out a little better, any thoughts? I’m off today so I’ll try anything

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I have to disagree with everyone here. My display used to pop gfi's all the time. Even it it got foggy outside. Last year I duct taped every female opening I had and not a 1 popped. Even during light rain or heavy snow. Ov course I had always made sure none of my connections were on the ground by elevating them with plastic yard stakes. I also always spread my controllers and lights on multiple outlets even though most are leds to minimize the effect if 1 should trip.

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I think a guy on PC used to put the lights on top of hardware cloth (home improvement stores) which is like a plastic grid to get them up off the ground for his river. I used it to attach my Halloween Singing pumkin face 3 years ago.

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Keith Adams wrote:

I think a guy on PC used to put the lights on top of hardware cloth (home improvement stores) which is like a plastic grid to get them up off the ground for his river.

I think I remember someone talking about that also. It'd be worth a shot.

Personally, where we live I could never even think of having anything on the ground... between the rain, snow, critters, etc. the lights would never make it. :(

Good luck,
Jeff
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Personally I've found the biggest issue for GFIs is the amount of power that you are pulling from that circuit. Since it only needs a few miliamps to trip, the more amps you are pulling the better chance of a few of those miliamps getting lost on the return trip. ( I think of the lost miliamps as ones in the family truckster that end up in the hood :) ) anyway, if i keep the GFI's to less than 10 amps per circuit I have far less issues than if i run them at 17-18 amps.

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Jim Saul wrote:

Personally I've found the biggest issue for GFIs is the amount of power that you are pulling from that circuit. Since it only needs a few miliamps to trip, the more amps you are pulling the better chance of a few of those miliamps getting lost on the return trip. ( I think of the lost miliamps as ones in the family truckster that end up in the hood :) ) anyway, if i keep the GFI's to less than 10 amps per circuit I have far less issues than if i run them at 17-18 amps.

I agree, this has been my problem as well.
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Jim,

I was going to post a question about GFI's today and read your reply. I have exactly that issue. I have one outlet that has a GFI on it that was running two controllers. One ran 32 strands in a megatree, one ran a bunch of other stuff. The two combined pulled 16amps. I have them in a 20amp GFI, but when it does a creshindo the GFI trips (not the breaker). So, I moved one of the controllers to the outside plug for the house (15amp GFI) and neither trip, so it had to be too much power through one GFI. I didn't know they were that load sensitive. Then again, I have a 30 amp breaker going to a GFI/20amp 110 outlet combination running 4 controllers (arches and minitrees) and it hasn't tripped once. Go figure.

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