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My GFI's trip when it rains


FiveCents
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My GFI's trip when it rains, I know that is what they are designed for.
My question is does most LOR users have this problem, and want can I do to fix this problem or slow it down?

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We just had rain here while my show was running. Nothing tripped. I have 2 15-amp circuits with GFCI sockets (not breakers in the panel).

I still have to verify that my GFCI outlets will actually trip on a fault, but I'm going to save that task for a sunny day.

Here are some things I did that may have prevented a trip:

  • Plugs and sockets are always above ground, or at least on a non-conducting surface (like rocks).
  • All light bulbs are off the ground.
  • I have some custom splices, around which I slipped some heat-shrink tubing, then squeezed silicone caulking in each end before applying heat. (No, silicone caulking will not burn at temperatures used to set heat-shrink tubing.)
When it's raining, here's what I would to if I had a GFCI problem like your's:
  • Disable shows
  • Reset the GFCI
  • Does it trip now? If so, the problem is between the outlet and the controller.
  • If not, use the hardware utility to turn on each channel until the GFCI trips.
  • Fix the bad channel.
  • Repeat as necessary.

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Steven, Thankyou for the ideas, I have several blue lights on the grass as a lake.
but the GFI trips even when all lights are off (During rain) so I coudnot use the HU to find the problem channel, if I un plug the blue lights it works.
I did move all my plugs off the ground (grass) today.

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Steven wrote:

When it's raining, here's what I would to if I had a GFCI problem like your's:
  • Disable shows
  • Reset the GFCI
  • Does it trip now? If so, the problem is between the outlet and the controller.
  • If not, use the hardware utility to turn on each channel until the GFCI trips.
  • Fix the bad channel.
  • Repeat as necessary.



Great tips. It poured here tonight and I shut the show down until it stopped.

Around 9pm it seemed dry enough to give it a go and nothing hiccupped when I re-enabled shows.

Heat-shrink is good. Also bagging connections that are fairly exposed with ziploc bags tapped shut cannot hurt. The liquid electrical tape has proven very useful on my leaping arches as well...

Cheers,
Charlie
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No GFCI's here. Lots of stuff tripped them at the old house but we do not have them here.

How many people do have GFCI outlets?

Thanks Greg

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We wrap all of our connections with plastic packing wrap - kind of like saran wrap. We go up a little on both sides of the connection, and haven't had any problems I don't know if it would make any difference, but we are protecting against Sierra Nevada snow, not rain).

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Greg,

If you don't use GFCI's on your outdoor lights, you are risking serious electrical shock or electrocution. When it gets damp, the current can leak out of electrical connections. If conditions are just right, you could get hurt (or killed - more people are killed by 120v than any other voltage). You really need to use GFCI's on ANY outdoor connection. I have built temporary outdoor cords that I use to power my LOR's. They are long 12ga. extention cords that are hardwired into my panel. They have GFCI's for outlets. I don't and won't touch the cords until I throw the breakers at the end of the season. This is good advice and most of the folks here will agree. Be Safe!

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I put all my plugs and sockets on plastic "light stakes" to keep them off the ground and out of the water. I have run my show in pouring rain and haven't tripped a GFCI "yet". They look like the picture bolow.


Attached files 146450=8613-Light_Stake.jpg

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I see what you mean. It looks like I'll be out tomorrow attaching stakes to all those connections! But when I am working on the lights and wiring next year I will definitely use some of the other ideas you guys have to fix this stuff. If I do get some new GFCI outlets installed, I think I will get them with the little LED's in them so it's easier to tell what happened where.

Now, Am I safe if i have the channel switched off? I do find myself having to fix a LOT of connections and sets that break. Should I also unplug the box, even throw the breaker?

Thanks a lot.
Greg

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