Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums

GFCI Question


Recommended Posts

Hi All,
From time to time I have GFCI tripping issues.

Troubleshooting is a pain because the wall outlet is a short but frustrating distance from the display.

If I were to put a "portable gfci" plug on the extension cord closest to the display, would the one closest to the fault trip first or would it be random?

Do gfci's come in different thresholds so I could put a more or less sensitive one where I need it?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

From experience of being around boats, I can tell you that 1 will trip the other. and normally you will have troubl resetting the one that does trip

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I'll probably do is modify one of the two outlets in the GFCI so that it is not GFCI protected and use it with an extension cord equipped with a portable GFCI when I need to troubleshoot.

Maybe some additional care will prevent the trips to begin with.

Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having multiple GFCIs on a circuit will work, but it complicates things when it comes time to troubleshoot. Its best to have a single GFCI serve a circuit.

GFCIs are designed to trip with a fault current of 5-10mA. Without getting into a truck load of detail, the reason that the threshold is this low has to do with the way the body reacts to being shocked. In short, more fault current than about 12mA, and bad things start to happen. A GFCI device can get weak over time and if you have a device with a tendency to nuisance trip, then it might be time to replace it.

For strategic purposes, powering each side of the controller from a dedicated GFCI device will help with keeping the search down to eight channels. Should the GFCI trip on channels 9-16, the controller will go dark, but your search is still on channels 9-16 as it is the side that tripped. If you have a single circuit serving the controller(s), multiple GFCI devices in parallel will work fine.

As for troubleshooting, if you find a GFCI tripped, reset it and see if it holds. If not, then isolate the channel(s) that has the fault by plugging them in one at a time into the GFCI device directly. Once you find it, then trace out the issue on the display and make the appropriate corrections.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To troubleshoot a GFI tripping problem, plug your portable GFI into a non-GFI line and try your channels of 16 lights that are plugged into the controller, one at a time.

The portable GFI will trip on the one causing problems. Mark it and continue testing the rest of them.

The ones you have marked need help; chase down the circuit and see where the problem is. Probably getting wet somewhere.

Don't run your light show without GFI protection; it's very dangerous to you and your visitors.

Yes, it's frustrating, but troubleshoot your problems so you don't end up with "crispy critters".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...