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rain and GFI....ugh!


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Hey Everyone,

I know this has been asked before and probably too much, but I just wanted to get your thoughts on pulling out the GFI's for the light circuits. I have two dedicated runs outside and also one more that's on a low-use basement circuit will all three protected by GFI's. Even though I'm in NW Indiana, it's been quite warm this season, and like before, whenever it rains, the GFI's blow instantly. Yesterday even though it rained during the day and had stopped by sunset, it was still so wet that it popped 2 of the 3. I thought about covering the connections but I just have too many plugs to do that with and have these candy cane lights that you have to connect at ground level in the grass that makes it impossible to prevent moisture on them. What are the latest feelings about removing the GFI's from the circuits so that this doesn't happen? I'm curious because the frustrating thing is everyone else in the neighborhood who puts up the standard string on the shrubs has no problem when it rains, but yet mine have to stay off (or else they just turn themselves off via the GFI). I'm just curious how people in really wet climates like Seattle or down south make it work with the wet weather. Thanks for any info.

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Years ago people used to put pennies in their screw in fuses because they kept blowing and that was inconvenient Then houses started burning down and people realized it may not be a good idea. Personally, I try not to electrocute people during the holidays so I use GFCI's.

Get your plugs and connections off the ground, point open female ends down.......

Edited by Jim Hans
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I have 48 channels and when it rains I have a GFI fault. I first made sure that each controller was plugged into it's own GFI, that then pointed having a problem only on one controller (of 16 channels).

When the rain stopped, I inspected the plug/socket connections and found several that showed obvious signs of water/debris - fixed those locaitons and waited for the next rain.

During the next rain I unplugged those items I suspected as being the source of the GFI fault - and sure enough, after a few tests I did find one or two "tomato cage tree's" that were the cause. Once I unplugged those items the controller did not trip the GFI any more.

When it it dry again, I will inspect those two items and see if I can spot what the cause is.

However - I have ALL controller circuits on GFI - and with outdoors / wet conditions I would not do it any other way. Hope this experience helps others.

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Always use GCFI protected outlets anytime electricity is near water or wet areas. The tripping of the outlet is much preferable to a trip to the hospital or morgue.

I have an issue with one item in my display whenever it rains and, being in Oregon where rainy weather is standard this time of year, means I always need to unplug this item. It is a non-LED version of this, http://www.christmasdonebright.com/lighted-displays/the-sign-shop/CANDY-CANE-ARCH-12FT-MERRY-CHRISTMAS-LED. I have checked all the plugs, every plug is off the ground, I have sealed the exposed female ends with dielectric grease but still it trips the breaker whenever it is wet. I have checked all of the wires and the insulation is fine and I just do not know what else to do. The only other thing I can think of doing is sealing the bottom of each bulb socket with the grease and drying out the sockets before replacing the bulbs. Would this work? I have also thought of using plastic dip coating on the legs that stick in the ground to isolate the frame from the ground. Any thoughts out there? It is a really nice sign but it is useless at night.

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Never bypass a safety device because if you do and you have a fire or an electrocution then you will be entirely liable. GFCI are used for a reason and if you are having tripping issues then you have current that is flowing where it shouldnt. You need to address the cause of your tripping, not bypass the device that protects you and others.

The best long term solution is not to use AC mains lighting and use low volatge DC lighting instead, you will never have a tripped GFCI again due to rain.

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