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Thread: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

  1. #1
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    Default Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    I can't find the thread, but I remember a discussion on mini trees tripping GFIs because people were inserting the tomato cages directly into the ground. I have developed a wood base for my trees to insulate the cages from earth ground. The base is 1/2 inch plywood. The cages are attached to the plywood with plastic cable brackets. The wood has four 6 inch 1/4 inch bolts which are pressed/pounded into the ground. In my tests (in the rain), I never had a failure.
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    Last edited by dnesci; 07-07-2009 at 07:57 AM.
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  2. #2
    jeffathompson Guest

    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by dnesci View Post
    I can't find the thread, but I remember a discussion on mini trees tripping GFIs because people were inserting the tomato cages directly into the ground. I have developed a wood base for my trees to insulate the cages from earth ground. The base is 1/2 inch plywood. The cages are attached to the plywood with plastic cable brackets. The wood has four 6 inch 1/4 inch bolts which are pressed/pounded into the group. In my tests (in the rain), I never had a failure.
    Hmm, I never had a single one trip last year. That looks like it would insulate though

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    im not an electrician but once the wood got wet would it not conduct electricity and thus no longer insulate?

    scott
    05 1000 mini lights with factory controllers on string
    06 added 1200 mini static in trees
    07 added "Mr Christmas" 100 C9 & 1100 more mini
    08 With a lot of help from DIYC will add a GRINCH 48 channel mega tree (9600 mini) DIY 3 channel 6' dia wreath (1800 mini) & 14 snowflakes on roof

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Bingo ...
    wet wood , is just like water ..... VERY conductive .
    Good thought though .
    I also was having some thoughts about what to use and thought about those cheap gasketing rings ( not the wax ones ) for the bottom of a toilet when installing a new one .
    I , personally think , that the problem those other fellows were having with the GFI tripping had to do with the fact that they "might" have had their wires pulled too tight around the cage which , of course , would cause it to be a direct ground to the tomatoe cage . ( think of how thin those mini lights wires are )

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by TERBObob View Post
    I , personally think , that the problem those other fellows were having with the GFI tripping had to do with the fact that they "might" have had their wires pulled too tight around the cage
    You aren't the only one who thought that may well be the case.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by TERBObob View Post
    I , personally think , that the problem those other fellows were having with the GFI tripping had to do with the fact that they "might" have had their wires pulled too tight around the cage which , of course , would cause it to be a direct ground to the tomatoe cage . ( think of how thin those mini lights wires are )
    I was one of those fellows....... and no, IMO the wires were not pulled tight. I don't think the issue will ever be nailed down as to why it happens. It is a small voltage leak, and in my case, it took 4 trees ( 12 strands of 100ct minis), if my memeory is correct, to trip the GFI, and it didn't matter which 4 of the 15 it was. I do find it strange that some have issues, and others never have an issue. What I do know, is that insulating them from the earth fixes/prevents the problem. ;)
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    That is a good ideal dnesci, although, I tend to sway to the point made above, if the wood get wet, or it pools on top of the wood, the monster could show it's face. Maybe just some electrial tape around the ground spikes will do. That is what fixed mine.
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
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  8. #8
    jeffathompson Guest

    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne J View Post
    That is a good ideal dnesci, although, I tend to sway to the point made above, if the wood get wet, or it pools on top of the wood, the monster could show it's face. Maybe just some electrial tape around the ground spikes will do. That is what fixed mine.
    Hey I accidentally bought a 100' roll of shrink tube. I just found a use for it. It's just the right size for 3/16 rod, but way to big for any of the wireing.

    You guys are great.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffathompson View Post
    Hey I accidentally bought a 100' roll of shrink tube. I just found a use for it. It's just the right size for 3/16 rod, but way to big for any of the wireing.

    You guys are great.
    make sure you get a good seal aroung to end of the shrink tubing that goes into the earth.
    05 1000 mini lights with factory controllers on string
    06 added 1200 mini static in trees
    07 added "Mr Christmas" 100 C9 & 1100 more mini
    08 With a lot of help from DIYC will add a GRINCH 48 channel mega tree (9600 mini) DIY 3 channel 6' dia wreath (1800 mini) & 14 snowflakes on roof

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    i was wondering if the fact thet a lot of the cheep minis have lead in the insulation might have something to do with it and when you get a lot of contact with the tom cage it is enough of an assitive effect to trip the GFCI.

    scott
    05 1000 mini lights with factory controllers on string
    06 added 1200 mini static in trees
    07 added "Mr Christmas" 100 C9 & 1100 more mini
    08 With a lot of help from DIYC will add a GRINCH 48 channel mega tree (9600 mini) DIY 3 channel 6' dia wreath (1800 mini) & 14 snowflakes on roof

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