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shg
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O.K. I thought I had everything waterproffed by using about 14 rolls of GOOD electrical tape on all my plug connections. I guess not!! 2 controllers down due to GFCI's tripping!! Iam i the only one with these problems? What does everyone else do to proctect their shows??:(

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No! you are not the only one with GFI tripping issues. We got rain so I just ran a static display with elements that i don't have problems with tripping. Now every thing is frozen so I don't expect problems tonight.

I think that wrapping everything is not a good idea. Mainly cause the water then gets trapped and take longer to dry out. I know that my problem is within my grove of mini trees. I will check them out someting if I can't run tonight.

Chuck

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There are several things you can do to help avoid GFCI trips. Keep plugs elevated off the ground. Insulate wire frames from ground, etc. I agree with not wrapping plugs in electrical tape. This will probably trap more moisture in than out.

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so i should unwrap mine and elevate all connections? we are getting rain tonight and i just got my show up and have not tried it yet. also installing GFI today. i think i'll unwrap them all and get some mini stakes where all connections are made. we usually don't get rain this time of year. hell it just was 10 degrees 2 days ago and now it's 60 and rain.

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Richard Hamilton

Folks who have seen my posts here and on other sites know I am a proponent of "covering" many electrical connections, BUT ONLY if you do it correctly. Most people don't. YES, take off that electrical tape! It won't work unless you are using it to just cover the flat side of a socket on light strings.

From about 1994 to 2000 (yup, we've been doing animted shows that long), I never covered anything. Every year I was replacing some portion of the lights and even some electrical cords because the connectors would rust out. Around 2000, I finally got a technique that works. Since that time, not a single show has stopped under any weather conditions, no GFCI issues, and I haven't needed to replace any light strings except for those crummy Home Depot LEDs with the poor sealing on the light sockets. I can't protect every light socket.

It's pretty common sense if you keep a mindset taht you are water trying to get in.

1. When I connect the sockets, I clip the sockets to a gutter, tree branch, (or whatever), so that the female socket always faces DOWN. Even if the back side of the socket isn't sealed well, at least the moisture won't collect in the socket.

2. On eves of the house, I route the connections up under the eve and put them on a hook or clip so moisture.

3. iresq makes a great point. Keep wires and connections off the ground and insulate wire frames. I do that too.

4. When I have a whole bunch of connections coming back to one point where there are triple taps or multiple sockets, I cover it with a plastic sandwhich bag and loosely put a rubber band at the bottom. The important thing is to have the bag upside down so it acts as an umbrella, not as a bag to collect water. I use rubber bands or a cable tie to keep it in that position. And there is enough opening at the bottom to give ventilation so that condensation doesn't build up inside the bag.

5. And finally, use a drip loop. In other words, the socket is never the lowest point of my connections. I always loop a couple inches of the wire below the point of the socket so water drips off the wire, not drains into the socket. This technique is probably most important than all the ones above. If you get in this habit when you are installing lights, it comes natural and does not take much of any extra time. Have you ever noticed that cable installers always use a drip loop before running wires into the side of a house?

Wishing you better success.

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I built boxes that look like presents and put my controller enclosures in them. This does a couple of things. Gets all your connections off the ground to the controller, looks nicer, and helps against theft because the boxes are anchored to the ground with rebar shape in an L and the top locked on.

I don't run my display in the rain, but if you gave your plugs on your lights a small shot of WD-40 it will help to prevent them from tripping.

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