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steve f.

gfci outlet keeps tripping

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i have one outlet that keeps tripping my lights on the ground when it rains. i am not an electrician by any means, but when i plug these two cords inside on circuits that are not gfci, they will work. i know the gfci is to protect everything, but my question is, will it hurt to run these two cords temporarly inside. i have several large groups coming from out of town tonight, and i hate to let these people down, but i also do not want to short circuit anything.

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This is happening for a reason, IT IS RAINING! Running your show in the rain can be quite dangerous as it is. My opinion is to NOT ignore the warning signs and play it safe instead of trying to bypass a potentially dangerous problem. Post a 'Rain Date' for the show They will understand!

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Not using a GFCI cord may allow electricity to travel into the ground and be conducted into people that may be standing in water even a small amount. I would try using different cords to see if that fixes the problem. Do not use non GFCI outlets when using items outside.

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everyone watches show from parking lot 400 ft. away. nobody has access into my yard where the lights are. it makes it tough because i just called my contractor and he said since nobody can get to my lights to go ahead and it will not hurt anything, but yet other people tell me just the opposite.

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GFCI's are a safety measure that is required by code for outside use, that being said, proximity matters. If onlookers have no access to the display and you yourself keep your distance there should not be an issue. Run at your own risk. My biggest concern when it's raining, and the reason I shut down in the rain, is the chance that water may seep into connections and cause a short which in turn could cause a fire. I had a small fire one year as a result. A GFCI protected circuit may not trip during such an occurrence only a AFCI protected circuit would sense the arc and trip. Unfortunately, I can't see shelling out that kind of money for the AFCI breakers. It just makes more since to shut down. Just my two....

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Steve,

Your contractor must have really good liability insurance. Is the chance of someone being injured or killed worth running your show? This is a decision only you can make. In both my personal and professional opinion the show would be off because the risk outweighs the reward.

Tony

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thanks for responding. my contractor is at my house and we are running it for the group that is here. they came from a long distance and are elderly, but when they leave we are going back to the gfci's. if they do not work, we will just wait for the icy cold weather to come in tonight and this week.

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I have had numerous problems with GFCI outlets myself. I use a lot of cords that have multiple outlets along the cord and I find that when one of these outlets is not connected to anything water finds its way in to the outlet and trips the GFCI. The way I prevent this from happening most of the time is to put a cap on any outlet that is not connected to something.

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The rule in these forums is this, when it's raining, the show stops.That said, I hope your visitors enjoyed the show.

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show went great and we were able to go back to the gfci's and lights worked great. we had over 200 cars show up. these crowds are overwhelming for my mayberry town.

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tony i do understand what you are saying, but it is almost impossible to get into my yard where the display is. i probably will not do this again but this large group of elderly was already near my house and i truly did not want to disappoint this church group if possible. also, i failed to say that my electrician came by and after plugging cords into gfci's on my back porch, the lights worked. the electrician is coming back tomorrow to replace two outlets as he had just installed these a couple of weeks ago.

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The Northeast got hammered pretty hard with rain and wind. Had gfci issues last night with a low land area - only at full power, it was ok for 50%. Anyway, i created a bad weather no show sequence with just the house stuff on. Like previously stated, they should understand - they have to. We all spend countless hours on this "obsession/hobby" for us to jeopardize a human or electronics.

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thanks for the responses. since this is my first year,i know i am trying to please everybody. that is who i am as a person, not the best way to be, but i do thank you for the honesty to my question. i needed that more than anything.

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Definitely don't by-pass the GFI's, but here are a few suggestions.

Elevate any plugs off the ground (use stakes, etc)

Make "hoods" for over the spotlights (this is were my display is most vulnerable)

It's debatable whether you should wrap connections. I don't. Taping connections may just trap moisture.

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being a newbie is tough. when you are learning something you know nothing about, it is hard. you learn from experience and i am seeing that firsthand. so far today, we have 3 inches of snow. i have 15,000 lights 3 inches off the ground, which are covered. it looks like tonights show will be cancelled. i am disappointed, but my kids and grandchildren are in heaven. i have santa coming tomorrow and saturday, so i hope everything will be able to go.

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