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When is it too wet to turn the system on? Does anyone have any past experience they can lay on me??????????

I'm worried it may sprinkle in the afternoon and then you would have to make that big decision at 6pm whether or not to let it rip.

Please let me know your thoughts on this matter. I am a newbie but I'm starting with 208 channels of LOR love!!!!! Yep, 22 days until lights on and I'm freakin' out!!!!!!!!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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What to do.... light it or not light it....Here is my plan that I have in place. My system is on a GFI breaker at the panel box. When it rains and the breakers start tripping-then no show. I have a "NO SHOW" blank sequence that allows the FM audio to play telling lookers that the show is cancelled due to weather. My Tune to sign is lite up so they can still tune to the correct radio station to get the message. I had 3 rainout days last year. :) If it rains in the afternoon, you might be lucky to get the connections to dry out before the show. I will test the show about 1 hour before the scheduled play time to make sure all is working. Play it safe, when not sure.

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I ran my show all summer long with several rainy days. I have several controllers inside but have one controller that is outside under some shrubs that ran lights to 5 trees and didn't have any problems at all.

Hope this helps.

Tom

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This really has less to do with LOR than general electrical safety -- assuming your controllers are properly protected, of course.

I stand strongly in the "Use GFCI's" camp. Sometimes, things get so wet they will trip. But if you weren't using GFCI's, and someone touched your lights, they could get a fatal shock. What's worse -- a no-show night or an electrocuted guest? Your decision...

If the GFCI's aren't popping, you should be fine to run the show.

-Tim

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During October, had two rainstorms of 1 - 2" each. No problems.

Weather shouldn't be a concern. Otherwise, those in snowy climates wouldn't get any use out of them.

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Hey dschwab and roadnut - do you guys use GFCI's on your circuits? If I have a touch of rain in Chicago it seems to trip the GFCI's instantly. I have never been able to figure that one out!

Bill Jr.

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I'm in the Chicagoland area too. I've always used GFCI outlets, and once in a great while the rain will cause one to trip. Just hit the reset button, and off you go. For this reason I do not have any outlets in the eves of my roof. Rain / snow and ladders don't mix too well.

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It rains every night in the winter in Seattle. If we ran the show only during dry nights - I would never get to run the show. My LOR boxes are protected by from the weather a little but the show must go on!

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In early October, the day after I set up my Halloween display, it rained about
3 inches in 2 hours. Everything continued to run. The next day, I was
pouring water out of the spotlight holders. A small amount had leaked
past the gaskets. The best part.. opened up my LOR enclosure.. Bone Dry.
That was enough to convince me that water probably will not be an issue.

Tim

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I wondered about that problem. My Halloween display ran through a massive 1" rainstorm and survived while hot and several large showers when not running. I did put the LOR box and plugs in a plastic garbage bag.

It came-up after I lost power three times the week before Halloween, due to bad switching by the power company. It also came-up once after the GFI tripped, not due to the display.

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G.....F.....C......I.....'s????????

Actually, no, I don't use them outside. Yeah, I know, I should, but I don't. Actually, I do have some other lights that I plug in out back in GFCI outlets for nighttime activities during the summer and never had a problem with them tripping either.

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This is what I think of GFCI outlets. Built my new garage with 400 amp main. Right now I have 24, 20amp GFCI outlets. I have eight more on the house. Then two more next to my water system. All are 20 amp and when the first one trips I shut everything off. First we have too many dollars invested in this hobby to let it get destroyed. Second, I have two many extension cords on the ground to want to walk arould.

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Thanks Robin,

Out of all the replies I think yours is the wisest. This is a big time investment and I certainly don't need controllers going up in smoke. I also worry that even though the controllers have grounds and should set off the GFCI's all the Christmas lights are only two conductors, no ground, and I don't think they will affect the GFCI's at all unless they actually get wet and pull current to trip the GFCI breaker (over 20 amps) and not neccessarily set off a ground fault.

Hmmmm, worries, worries. Well, at this point I just hope I get it all set up and it works. It's tough being a Newbie no matter how much homework you did!!!!!

Thanks for your reply!

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This is my first year with LOR, I have always used GFCI, and every year it shuts down once or twice. Very annoying, one year I had to wait until everything dried out to get it to reset.

This year I plan on sealing everything.

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It just poured today and My controllers have been energized, and even with my enclosures that do not have a rubber seal they seem fine.

As a note, I think it might be because they are mounted to the wall of my house and they don't quite get wet directly because of the soffits.

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Clyde,

GFCIs usual get tripped when a light sits in small puddle of water or a connection gets to wet. GFCIs trip whenever a small amount of current finds and alternate path to ground. In other words if power goes somewhere other then the neutral wire the GFCI trips.

So your mini lights can and will trip your GFCIs. I fight this every year.

I recommend keeping lights off the ground as much as possible and keeping all plug connections off the ground.

Scan the forums. This is an oft discussed topic.

Frank

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I'm going to try a new experiment this year. Most plugs laying on the ground will be protected in a very small encolure. It's the plugs on the ground causing the problem.

Sure maybe time consuming, but last year we had a very bad December with rain.

I will not run anything that is exposed to the public without GFCI. Sure, most won't be standing there in the rain, but is still is a safety factor.

Last year, after my five minutes of fame, there were people that would actualy start walking on my lawn to take pictures! I really didn't know what to do. Some people just don't think...

Do you own a pool? Is the pool on GFCI? If not, don't think I would want to go swimming at your place.

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Has anyone tried wrapping the plug connections in tape, plastic, a balloon, etc?

I plan on wrapping my connections with something this year, mine gets tripped every year. I think I might also wire up extra GFCI circuits, I may be overloading the ones I have.

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John Pidliskey wrote:

I'm going to try a new experiment this year. Most plugs laying on the ground will be protected in a very small encolure. It's the plugs on the ground causing the problem.

While I certainly don't disagree with this, I've had GFCI pops that I've tracked down to lights in trees/bushes with the plugs elevated. So it's not just the plugs on the ground.

-Tim
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