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Everything was working fine and then after a snowfall and a huge rain and wind storm, 3 channels stay on at 50% and then out the blue "MURPHY" has to show up and trip my GFI. I tried several different things, restarted computer, checked channels on software, unplugged the affected channels and nothing.....Its a very sad day as I just turned off the lights and computer for tonight until I get this figured out. Any ideas?


Re-posted by LightoramaDan... Previous post got into a little bit too much fun and this guy is already bummed so will start again and try to help.

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You can try plugging the light strings one at a time into the power cord that is used by the LOR controller. See which if any of those are tripping the GFIC and wait for them to dry out. As far as the always on channels they may clear up as things dry out but it is hard to say.

Dan

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Guest Don Gillespie

Talons wrote:

Everything was working fine and then after a snowfall and a huge rain and wind storm, 3 channels stay on at 50% and then out the blue "MURPHY" has to show up and trip my GFI. I tried several different things, restarted computer, checked channels on software, unplugged the affected channels and nothing.....Its a very sad day as I just turned off the lights and computer for tonight until I get this figured out. Any ideas?


Re-posted by LightoramaDan... Previous post got into a little bit too much fun and this guy is already bummed so will start again and try to help.

Have you tried an amp meter it may tell you that you are overlaoded on a channel and may be the problem I at one time was using incadescent lights and they were drawing too many amps and constantly blowing the GFI
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Salvio had it right first. GFCIs are way too sensitive. A jump in amperage will certainly trip - it's guaranteed!

I was bummed just like you a couple of years ago... the slightest bit of rain - a drizzle - and my show was out for the night. Two of my relatives (one is an electrical engineer and the other is a mechanical engineer) told me to switch the GFIs for regular outlets.

I know, I know... you don't have to say it... but i tell you what - I have 4 controllers - 2 are on the same 15Amp circuit - the other two are on dedicated 15 amp circuits. I tested everything with a kill a wat meter - cheap and effecient - bought it at home depot. I also happen to have two boys 3 and 4&1/2 - they are very healthy, thank goodness.

I saw the original post - i know what the others said... and in part it's true... but maybe just for the holiday season you can switch the outlets to non GFCIs. The only Christmas Lights related death i know about is of a man who fell from his garage while hanging up lights... they weren't even plugged in.

So what are your choices?

a. leave the show off

b. turn the show on but take precautions

c. silicone ???

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iccarakid wrote:

Salvio had it right first. GFCIs are way too sensitive. A jump in amperage will certainly trip - it's guaranteed!




Let me clear something up, before you "think" you have the answer, let me be the first to say that you are wrong. A jump in amperage is not going to trip a GFCI. A GFCI detects a leakage of current fron the circuit that is being drawn from.

2ND. A GFCI can be your best friend in letting you know that you have a problem somewhere. Not only is it a safety feature but it will save a board from being destroyed due to a short circuit.
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Salvio wrote:

lol.. what is going on with this post? i think it got a bit outta hand.. i think i hit a few sensitive nerves.. proof that GFIs are for amateurs.. thanks iccara.. merry christmas to all


Now onto you, Im pretty sure its safe to say that your comment is backwards, obviously you have no idea what your talking about. I run a show at a local park with 63 boards, all of them connected to, Yep you guessed it GFCI's. only one of them gave me problems in rain but you know what that told me... Hmmm lets think about this one for a second. OH! yes thats right it must have tripped because there is an issue somewhere, what to you know it was a string of lights not pluged all the way into the socket and was shorting to ground. oh and now onto round three.... guess what! I am by no means an amateur what so ever. and if you are an electrician like you state that you are, if you are licensed you would know the nec code and you would know that it is against code not installing a gfci in an outdoor environment.

P.S.

merry christmas to all
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You do not call people who disagree with you names... Stop trying to scare new people into thinking their world will come to an end if they do not have GFICs...

GFICs only work if amperage has gone to ground... All of you who have cut corners with lamp cord (SPT) the only way a person will trip a GIFC is if they become the ground... Being exposed to the Hot and Neutral will not trip a GFIC...

Merry Christmas and Good will to all....

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melwelch wrote:


GFICs only work if amperage has gone to ground... All of you who have cut corners with lamp cord (SPT) the only way a person will trip a GIFC is if they become the ground... Being exposed to the Hot and Neutral will not trip a GFIC...


Not true, A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral, If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. Current is different than amperage, a line itself does not have any amperage whatsoever. you have to have something on that line to create amperage.
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Talons wrote:

Everything was working fine and then after a snowfall and a huge rain and wind storm, 3 channels stay on at 50% and then out the blue "MURPHY" has to show up and trip my GFI. I tried several different things, restarted computer, checked channels on software, unplugged the affected channels and nothing.....Its a very sad day as I just turned off the lights and computer for tonight until I get this figured out. Any ideas?

If your GFCIs are tripping, it is because you are grounding out and leaking voltage. Check all wiring from your outlets to the controllers and then from the controllers to the end of the circuit. If you are ground out in a wet area, you will trip the GFCIs.

I have found that if you lift the plugs off the ground, it will reduce the probability of the outlet tripping.

Otherwise you will need to move to a non-GFCI outlet ---- and that is a source of great controversy and near heresy in the decorating community.

Good luck and hope this helps:

How I keep the plugs off the ground:

I took a piece of coat hanger, cut it into 10" lengths, bent it into a small "U" with a long tail. Put the long tail into the ground leaving the "U" about 5 " above the dirt. Put the plug in the "U". Do this on both sides of the plug.

Your hanger would look something like this:


U
I
I
I

Years ago, you could buy these in stores. The bag of 25 sold for a few $$. But a coat hanger would work just as well.
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Dale W wrote:

Talons wrote:
Everything was working fine and then after a snowfall and a huge rain and wind storm, 3 channels stay on at 50% and then out the blue "MURPHY" has to show up and trip my GFI. I tried several different things, restarted computer, checked channels on software, unplugged the affected channels and nothing.....Its a very sad day as I just turned off the lights and computer for tonight until I get this figured out. Any ideas?

If your GFCIs are tripping, it is because you are grounding out and leaking voltage. Check all wiring from your outlets to the controllers and then from the controllers to the end of the circuit. If you are ground out in a wet area, you will trip the GFCIs.

I have found that if you lift the plugs off the ground, it will reduce the probability of the outlet tripping.

Otherwise you will need to move to a non-GFCI outlet ---- and that is a source of great controversy and near heresy in the decorating community.

Good luck and hope this helps:

How I keep the plugs off the ground:

I took a piece of coat hanger, cut it into 10" lengths, bent it into a small "U" with a long tail. Put the long tail into the ground leaving the "U" about 5 " above the dirt. Put the plug in the "U". Do this on both sides of the plug.

Your hanger would look something like this:


U
I
I
I

Years ago, you could buy these in stores. The bag of 25 sold for a few $$. But a coat hanger would work just as well.

I used the plastic stakes you can get to hold down blow-ups...HD, and I'm sure others, has boxes of them for a reasonable price. Push the plastic spike into the ground, elevate the plug connection, and tyrap it to the plastic stake.

Have had zero GFCI trips so far...
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Well said Jeff and I think that the naesayers will have a hard time refuting your well thought out statements.

+1 to what Jeff said so well.

And I like the idea of using those plastic tent pegs. But in a pinch I think the coat hanger idea will work to. Just a small chance they too might conduct some stray current to ground still.

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Several places usually have plastic multi purpose light holder stakes. I think they are supposed to hold rope light, C7, etc. Something like 25 stakes for $4. Seems like I could not find them last year, but have seen plenty of them this year.

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I had some of those from years past, didn't see any this year. Was going to post the link for the ones I used this year, but can't see them on line. They are item 927-153...

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Guest Don Gillespie

Talons wrote:

I wish I had a Lowes near our town.....I might have to look up the product and build my own.....

easy to build something like this take a wood stake drive into the ground set your extension cords on top of it if you want you can make a notch on the top so the cord won't blow off in the wind
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kingsislandtechservices wrote:

melwelch wrote:

GFICs only work if amperage has gone to ground... All of you who have cut corners with lamp cord (SPT) the only way a person will trip a GIFC is if they become the ground... Being exposed to the Hot and Neutral will not trip a GFIC...


Not true, A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral, If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. Current is different than amperage, a line itself does not have any amperage whatsoever. you have to have something on that line to create amperage.


i'm no electrician... but you just contradicted yourself...

first you say "A jump in amperage is not going to trip a GFCI. A GFCI detects a leakage of current fron the circuit that is being drawn from."

Then you say "A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral, If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. "

Amperage is the unit of measurement of Current ... the presence of flowing current inherently means there is amperage. I know... i looked it up on google and compared it on yahoo and only then did i actually call to mind all i learned from my highschool major, physics. Thanks for the tip Jeff - but you might consider putting a GFCI on your train of thought, we wouldn't want you short your neurons.

What is an imbalance of flowing current result in? an imbalance of amperage... That i just figured out on my own. i promise i didn't google that...

Third thing... What do you suppose will happen when hot and neutral are shorted by moisture?... and let me remind you that the moisture on your plugs isn't distilled water - it's more like mountain dew - so don't give me the line about water not being an electrolyte, cuz when rain falls it's anything but distilled.
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Jeff Millard wrote:

This is a personal note to all the new people who join this forum, and stumble across this argument... GFCI has protected at least 4 people that chose to make unauthorized adjustments to my display over the years. While I'm not happy that the adjustments were made, and the culprits got away without being apprehended (or electrocuted) I'm very happy that some injury Lawyer hasn't brought suit against me for intentionally booby trapping my display to kill or maim his client (who was, in fact, the person making the unauthorized adjustments to my display)

The Google argument is plain rhetoric. A majority of intelligently functioning decorators use the proper safety devices to protect against a deadly, invisible killer. Which in turn, reduces the odds that there could be a laundry list of dead children to Google search related to this topic. However, it's typical to use the Internet to support a lack of facts. The "I read it on the Internet, so it must be true" or, "Do a Google search, there isn't anything there on the subject so it must not exist!"
Yaaaaawwwwnnnnnnn!

Some people are risk takers by nature. They are, in fact, a small portion of our society. Google it! ;-) If you choose to avoid the threat of the danger that exists, you are by definition a risk taker. And, because Google tells me that risk takers are a small portion of society (Anything Google points me to must be fact, right?!?) those of you who choose to electrocute the people who come to see your display are just a minor issue in this little thing we do.

So, to sum this up... Please do the right thing and don't take risks. However, if you do take risks... Good for you. When you die I'll come to your funeral. (not for the reasons you think...) When you kill someone because you did something stupid, I'll also come to your court hearings... along with the laundry list of arguments you made to the public telling them electrical safety is foolishness, and only for beginners and laymen.

The good thing about this thread is it exposes foolishness for what it is. Most, if not all, who choose to join in this fun hobby, will look at people like Jim and George (and me) and do the right thing. They'll come here and ask why, when they taped the connections and then laid them in muck, the GFCI is tripping. And a safe thinking person will tell them what they are doing wrong. And an unsafe person will tell them to leave the connections alone and remove the one safety device that will prevent them from killing themselves or someone else. And, rather than take a loaded gun and put it to their head, and pull the trigger at the advise of a risk taker... they will do the right thing and follow the advise of those who care about other people, rather than their own desire to take risks to find some type of twisted excitement in life. I read on Google that risk taking is like a drug... first you take risks... than you drag others down into your little pit of risk taking addiction...

Sad...

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Jeff



Then there are the middle ground guys who take calculated risks and appropriate precautions... But i wouldn't expect you to understand that... you're way too busy riding your rigid high horse...

I was just trying to help Talons put his light show up... I'm glad he got additional answers from other intelligent people on the thread who actually cared to look at what the thread was about, put their ego aside and gave some good alternatives to my suggestions... I happen to consider Talons an intelligent person who knows what the inherent risks are and i'm sure will take the appropriate precautions...

But you hijack this thread to plug your business and rant about google, drugs, funerals, gunshots to the head? Who does that? I'll come to your funeral? Who are you?

Who ever heard of people walking up to your display and putting their fingers in the plugs while walking completely barefoot on a damp grass-bed? Who gets electrocuted from touching a mini incandescent lightbulb? Maybe on the Jersey Shore, not by my nec of the woods.

Do you actually have something valuable to suggest to Talons' problem, if not... i suggest you stop taking up space.
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Jeff Millard wrote:

iccarakid wrote:
kingsislandtechservices wrote:
Not true, A GFCI monitors the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral, If there is any imbalance, it trips the circuit. Current is different than amperage, a line itself does not have any amperage whatsoever. you have to have something on that line to create amperage.


Thanks for the tip Jeff - but you might consider putting a GFCI on your train of thought, we wouldn't want you short your neurons.



Thanks for the tip Newbie... but you've crossed your posts and referred to the wrong person's post when posting a personal attack on my knowledge and understanding of Ohm's Law. It's not real friendly to attack someone (who has over thirty year's of experience in the field) in your second post.

Do me a personal favor... Keep your overbearing Planet Christmas like attitude and behavior on Planet Christmas. It's not well recieved here.

Jeff


I think you need to adjust your point of view and your professionalism...

if anyone got out of line it was you with the ranting on about all the death and so on... so you have thirty years of experience in the field and all you can do is talk about google and funerals...

you want to shut me up, give some Talons and answer.
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is the second GFCI thread that gone very much off course.

Everyone has stated their position on the GFCI situation.

If you have a solution for Talon, please contact him via Private Message.

Thank you.

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