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GCFI Problems


Westport Lights
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Westport Lights

It rained yesterday morning, well more like misting for this area. This area always has a higher than normal humidity level since we're on the coast. Anyways, last night one of the GCFIs kept tripping. That partucullar circuit runs 16 mini trees in the front yard. I've followed advise suggested in other topics here by staking the extension cords and the plugins at the minitrees to a downward angle to allow water drainage and drying.

After going through all 16 trees, unplugging them, blowing in the plugs to get any water out, they still trip the GCFI. One or two trees on will not trip it, only when 3 or more are on at the same time will this happen.

So last night, after blowing in all 16 connections and still having issues, I ran the minitrees at static 50% power for about a 1/2 hour. They worked after that and I was able to run the show once. After the show was off for about a 1/2 hour the problem reappeared when I restarted it. Any ideas? I'd hate to have the show off for 2 weekend nights in a row.

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Westport Lights

3 or 4 mini trees lit at one time was enough last night to trip them after it rains. It's been sunny today and it looks like there will be no problems tonight. I test ran them through one song this afternoon after bad bulb hunting. They ran for 2 nights already with no problems, but it hasn't rained until yesterday morning.

At current, running 2 16 channel controllers, the 16 minitrees run on channels 10-16 on both controllers and 2 more on channel 3 of each controller to even out the loads on each leg. Channels 1-8 of both controllers are plugged into 1 20amp GCFI outlet. Channels 9-16 are plugged into a seperate 20amp GCFI outlet (I did this to even out the loads also). Channels 9-16 of controller number 1 was causing the tripping last night.

Should I plug each controller into it's own GCFI outlet? I only have 2 20amp cicuits to work with. It's more than enough to run the show, but as you said, current leakage is the problem, not capacity. Or maybe I should split each circuit into 2 GCFIs making a total of 4, 1 for each channel of each controller?

My mini trees are constructed out of 42" tomato cages, the last ring is cut off and the length to the next ring is used as a stake in the ground. The upper portion is lightly spray-painted green, all that sticks above ground is also wrapped in garland. The lights were not stretched to the point of making them straight, but they we're stretched out some, we did not force it straight in any means though.

It sounds like a good solution is to break down these trees, wrap them in some sort of plastic sheet (what kind would you recommend?) and then put the garland and lights back on?

Thanks for your help on this, I've been stumped until your post.

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