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Thread: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

  1. #11
    jeffathompson Guest

    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by gizmo View Post
    make sure you get a good seal aroung to end of the shrink tubing that goes into the earth.
    I was thinking of just putting a little silicone in the end before I shrink it. That's what we do with auto wireing to keep it from the weather.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    I was another victim of this. I have 15 tree in a triangle on a single LOR controller. If they are all fed by a single GFCI it trips when it rains. Take 1 tree away and it holds... I just split the controller and added another GFCI paralleled to the first one.

    One caveat to insulating the base of the trees: If you choose to do this, make sure you use GFCI. If you don't you will be placing an energized cage in your display that can easily shock someone...

    Jeff
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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    A brain fart jumped in while reading this thread.

    One of the common features of most minitrees is that the lighting wire is usually wound in one direction around the tomato cage - either right hand or left hand. Compound this physical construction with the on/off feature that animated lighting does and would this not in effect create a mini-inductor in the return ground wire that would be in imbalance with earth ground. Granted, the level of juice for each minitree would be miniscule... but when you start adding in more and more minitrees, all wound in the same direction.. a critical level might be reached where that one extra form is enough to create the imbalance between ground and earth ground that trips the GFCI.

    If this is the case, then wouldn't doing two windings on each tree, in opposite direction, cancel the effect and eliminate the problem?

    One caveat.... i am not EE. Just a hacker hoping to go serously live in 2009 (without very much magic smoke).

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Thanks for all the input and cautions. I guess the answer is the best we can do is not to make a direct connection to earth ground. But in climates with heavy snows and rains, it doesn't matter what we due. Eventually, the snow will pile up above the base of the cage and it will provide a travel to earth.

    If I came accross as implying I solved the problem, I didn't mean too. I'm just looking for ways to minimize it. I had read above the heat shrink and electrical tape and I felt I would rip, tear or damage that insulation as we have hard earth in my area and I knew I would have to hammer to legs into the ground. But I will had some sort of additional insulation to the legs.

    Tripping the GFIs last year was a problem due to heavy rains. I had single strings on the shrubs in my yard due it as there plugs were on the ground.
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  5. #15
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by vairmoose View Post
    A brain fart jumped in while reading this thread.

    One of the common features of most minitrees is that the lighting wire is usually wound in one direction around the tomato cage - either right hand or left hand. Compound this physical construction with the on/off feature that animated lighting does and would this not in effect create a mini-inductor in the return ground wire that would be in imbalance with earth ground. Granted, the level of juice for each minitree would be miniscule... but when you start adding in more and more minitrees, all wound in the same direction.. a critical level might be reached where that one extra form is enough to create the imbalance between ground and earth ground that trips the GFCI.

    If this is the case, then wouldn't doing two windings on each tree, in opposite direction, cancel the effect and eliminate the problem?

    One caveat.... i am not EE. Just a hacker hoping to go serously live in 2009 (without very much magic smoke).
    Interesting theory. I'm not an EE either, but since the light strings have the hot and the neutral wrapped around each other, wouldn't the field cancel out? This is the reason why in when you're running wire in conduit, the neutral is supposed to be run with the hots, otherwise you can have induced current.
    Don

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by vairmoose View Post
    A brain fart jumped in while reading this thread.

    One of the common features of most minitrees is that the lighting wire is usually wound in one direction around the tomato cage - either right hand or left hand. Compound this physical construction with the on/off feature that animated lighting does and would this not in effect create a mini-inductor in the return ground wire that would be in imbalance with earth ground. Granted, the level of juice for each minitree would be miniscule... but when you start adding in more and more minitrees, all wound in the same direction.. a critical level might be reached where that one extra form is enough to create the imbalance between ground and earth ground that trips the GFCI.

    If this is the case, then wouldn't doing two windings on each tree, in opposite direction, cancel the effect and eliminate the problem?

    One caveat.... i am not EE. Just a hacker hoping to go serously live in 2009 (without very much magic smoke).

    WOW that hurts my brain
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  7. #17
    jeffathompson Guest

    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmill View Post
    I was another victim of this. I have 15 tree in a triangle on a single LOR controller. If they are all fed by a single GFCI it trips when it rains. Take 1 tree away and it holds... I just split the controller and added another GFCI paralleled to the first one.

    One caveat to insulating the base of the trees: If you choose to do this, make sure you use GFCI. If you don't you will be placing an energized cage in your display that can easily shock someone...

    Jeff
    Ah Ha, Keep all the stuff on the ground in small groups. Don't load up a GFCI with all stuff that could trip a GFCI. That makes sense. Time to change the wireing diagram a little.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Has anyone though about just coating the cages with that rhino lining material they use to coat and water proof truck beds. They sell gallon can of it at the local auto parts store. If the whole cage is coating by an insulator that would protect it wouldn't it?

    http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/bedl...linerDIY_2.htm
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  9. #19
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    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by tconley View Post
    Has anyone though about just coating the cages with that rhino lining material they use to coat and water proof truck beds. They sell gallon can of it at the local auto parts store. If the whole cage is coating by an insulator that would protect it wouldn't it?


    I am actually going to try the spray can rubberized undercoating this year. I think it will help greatly.
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  10. #20
    jeffathompson Guest

    Default Re: Beating the GFI in the with Mini Trees

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne J View Post
    I am actually going to try the spray can rubberized undercoating this year. I think it will help greatly.
    With the Rihno stuff those cages would last forever. In fact that stuff is so tough the cage could rust away and the plastic would hold the lights in place.

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