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Thread: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

  1. #1
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    Default AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    Hi everyone,

    I am having an issue with my lights tripping the GFCI when it rains. I have electrical tape over all open connectors (like on the back of the male plug of a mini light set) but I have not totally taped each connection 100%.

    I assume water is getting in one of these connections.

    I used to wrap all connections in a plastic sandwich bag and then tape the bag shut, but I quit doing that a couple of years ago.

    What do you all do to avoid this problem?

    Ken
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    I put a dab of dielectric grease on the connections that I know are in wet areas.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    Keep them off the ground. If you are using Tomato cages, or something similar, for mini trees, that are metal, make sure they do not sit directly on the ground.
    Matt

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    Shouldn't I be able to figure out which string is tripping the GFCI by turning on each one separately until it trips?
    2016 - Static Light Show
    2017 - 72 Renard Channels - Roughly 4,200 Lights - 3 Sequenced Songs
    2018 - Added Pixels to Rooflines
    Website: www.doyonlights.com
    You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQ8...yLJieEEwDto7xg

    Adding Pixel Arches, Snowflakes, and Singing Bulbs in 2019!

  6. #5
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    Take the tape off the light string connectors. Leave them open to the air so any water can drain out. They are made that way.

    Yes, keep them off the ground. elevate them slightly on something not conductive like wood. another option is add a tent over the connectors.

    My first year I did the tape thing and when taking to display down, all the tapes connectors had water, mold and rust, never did it again.
    Last edited by Dennis Cherry; 12-05-2017 at 09:45 AM. Reason: typos
    Inventor of the "LED Keeper"

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    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.


    2020 Full sized show reworked for the new location. Only adding (famous last words) 13 RBLs that I finally got converted to using pixels
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  9. #7
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    When I had this problem it was always leakage from the light stands themselves being wrapped around a metal object and staked securely to the ground. I added a plastic “spacer” so the metal support wasn’t grounded and the trips went away.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    At least you know GFCI is doing its job

  11. #9
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    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.
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  12. #10
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    Default Re: AC lights tripping GFCI when it rains.

    I fixed my issues by wrapping plastic around the bottom of my metal mini trees and I only use plastic tent stakes for hold downs of objects.
    No issues in my very wet environment.

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