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Thread: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

  1. #11
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinMueller2003 View Post
    That is one experiment. This experiment makes an assumption that may not be true: "A single set of cords is causing the issue". You might be getting leakage through a combination of cords connected to the GFCI.
    This is true...one year I was having an issue as I was testing it took 12 of my micro trees to come on until it compounded enough to trip the gfic
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
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  2. #12
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    I wrapped my tomato cages bottoms with pipe insulation to keep them off the ground. I then used tye wraps that have a hole for a screw to run stake through to anchor them.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
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  3. #13
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    Quote Originally Posted by yosemite View Post
    I take a small dab of silicone sealant and put it at the base of the male connector then plug them together.
    Then keep them off the ground.
    It just pulls apart at the end of the season. Also check the AC power cords, I found a small nick in the insulation
    that was causing a grounding problem.
    Can this be done after the plugs have been wet from rain? or During a rain... it is of course unplugged from power, if I can do this. Only wondering because I'm going to be taking the lights down Sunday and wasn't sure if it was going to be dry by then.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne J View Post
    This is true...one year I was having an issue as I was testing it took 12 of my micro trees to come on until it compounded enough to trip the gfic
    Wayne is right, I had the same problem when I was running 110V lights, what I did was to split up the power between as many gfi breakers as I could around the house. In my shed I had an AC line setup that had one gfi outlet and they taped off the gfi to set up a second regular ac that used the gfi function of the first outlet. What I did was remove the wire going to the second regular outlet and jumper it to the first gfi outlet but bypassed the gfi function of that outlet and removed the regular second outlet and installed another gfi outlet in it's place that way I was able to reduce the leakage on the one gfi outlet and share it between two gfi outlets and when I did this I cut down the the tripping by at least 90%.

    PS I mounted all my tomato cages on 1/2" pvc pipe that sat 2" above the ground.
    Gary
    Last edited by JP90; 01-06-2018 at 08:44 AM.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    The GFCI job is to detect current leakage by measuring current in and out, if there is a discrepancy it will trip because current has found an alternate shorter path to ground or earth other than its design path i.e. neutral line back to the neutral bus bar in the panel and it interrupts the circuit for shock prevention. Circumventing this by separating objects from earth that are being energized and carrying current is counter productive to a GFCI and you might as well remove the GFCI. Cure the cause not the symptom.
    Find the short that is transferring current to your objects, not the objects transferring current to earth. You can separate your props from earth but what if someone touches your newly energized but insulated from earth prop and grounds themselves...?

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  7. #16
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    GFCI is good. The moment you use the word "bypass" you are doing bad things and should stop. Add more GFCI outlets in parallel? Have at it. You are not doing anything bad as long as the power delivered to the props is through a GFCI device. Dont play games with AC power. The life you save by playing by the rules may be your own.


    2018 - Moving and going to visit my Daughter in New Zealand. Most likely I will be dark or nearly dark, Some static stuff that is simple to put up.

  8. #17
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    I keep my plugs off the ground. Raise the controller so the plug is off the ground, put a brick under the plug to keep it off the ground, I have put a loop in the wire with the plug on top, if it's along the house I take a little slack and run it up the house a few inches with the plug on top. This may help if your barely tripping.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    2009 - 48 channel MegaTree 4800 lights
    plus 3200 lights static display.
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    120 channel total about 10k lights total

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  10. #18
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    In my experience, it's luck. All you need is one socket that's facing up with a slightly exposed wire on the underside and you're done. I still do all the tricks, but that just reduces your odds, doesn't make them zero.

    --John

  11. #19
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    I have always taped my connections and will continue to do so. As they say "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". It's a tedious process but I don't trip GFCI's very often. If you pull the tape tight enough, the sticky side really bonds with the plugs and keeps all water out. I have never had an issue with water getting between the connections. Nor mold or rust. It's also a good theft deterrent. No one can simply unplug something and take off with it.

    Plastic bags is not a good idea. During temperature changes condensation can form inside of the bags and really cause problems.

    All the times my GFCI's tripped is because either water got into a broken bulb or a rabbit chewed into a cord. I've had many bulbs where strangely the very tip of the bulb broke off causing water to get in. These are really hard to find when you have a metal twig tree with 1000 lights. Or a mega tree that's 18 ft tall. I don't find the chewed cords till I take the display down and start rolling up the cords. Every year I find at least 3 chewed cords. This year I found 3 when setting up (that i missed when I put them away last year). I hope there's no more when I do take down in a couple weeks. I hate throwing money away.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNv4__V1LA8

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  12. #20
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    I've been running a display for 30+ years and I've only tripped my GFCI at any house once. I never taped any connections on my megatrees or tried to prevent water except for my power strips. I have power strips in my yard that I cover with food storage bags, but I always make sure the open end is down. A long time ago I used plastic wrap or bags pointing sideways - they always started filling up with water. All my controllers are also open on the bottom (ie: unsealed).

    As DarkDragun pointed out - GFCI's measure the leakage current to ground. Anything that can conduct electricity into ground can cause a problem.
    Jim H.
    Muskego, WI
    Falcon F16v3, PiCap, FPPs. Lynx Expresses, xLights

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