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Do I Need Gfics For Blow Molds And Inflatables?


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So far my display is mostly blow molds and inflatables. Do I need to bother with GFIC outlets for them? My wife's brother is an electrician, and he told me he doesn't really believe in GFIC outlets, so I don't use them. But people seem to talk about them alot. What do you guys think. I have my own thoughts, but I'd like to see what you think.

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An electrician who doesn't believe in the benefits of GFCI's..... really?????????

LOL... my thought as well. There are several other conversations on this and they all end in: absolutely, positively, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You need them.

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An electrician who doesn't believe in the benefits of GFCI's..... really?????????

He installs them because he has to, but when my display kept shutting off this year, he told me to go ahead and change them out for regular outlets. He said no one will be in the yard when it's raining to get hurt. Made sense to me and I was tired of resetting them for my show.

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This is a very dangeous practice (to not use GFCIs). You could easily plug something else into these outlets during the off season, or when the ground is just a little damp, or damp hands and feet...etc. Not to mention there are no allowances in the NEC for seasons OR weather.

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This is a very dangeous practice (to not use GFCIs). You could easily plug something else into these outlets during the off season, or when the ground is just a little damp, or damp hands and feet...etc. Not to mention there are no allowances in the NEC for seasons OR weather.

I only use these outlets for CHRISTmas stuff.

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Here are the facts, a gfci monitors the current traveling out the positive and back on the neutral, it ensures that the current is within 10mA I believe. So what happens when something goes wrong like a shock or water damage or an arc is that some or all of the current finds a path other than the neutral wire back to ground. That path could be a person! It takes less than 50mA to kill a person if the path is arm to arm! So with a gfci you are limiting the current during a fault to 10mA for a few cycles and without you are only limited by the upstream breaker or fuse in your panel which is likely 15 or 20A which is enough to kill an elephant 10 times over! So although you are capable of running without them the law requires that any receptacles in outdoor or wet environments require you to use them to protect you and anyone who might come in contact with them! Remember that electricity will always take the path of least resistance and 99% of the time that is a person!

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Remember that electricity will always take the path of least resistance and 99% of the time that is a person!

Just saying................Electricity flows best on the path of least resistance, but the more likely killer is that it attempts to flow on all available paths. Electricity is stupid and doesn't care what path it travels...........at least that's the way I see it and why the GFCI trips at only a few mili amps. I would shut down the lights before bypassing the gfci's.

Steve

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I'm going to take the unpopular and politically and electrically incorrect side of SantaJoes electrician. I hate GFICs. First of all, I don't believe that they are code in all states; so some folks do have a choice. In thirty years of decorating I have had one trip where it might have helped me avoid injury. Using a 25' aluminum pole to decorate a crab tree, the string of lights crashed against the pole, breaking a bulb and the GFIC tripped. Thank you GFIC. In my ideal world: after the lights are up, I would turn them off. I'm inside my house, there is no one in the yard and yet when it rains, they trip. So they are protecting the moonlight? Okay, there Could be a deer in the yard, but they are tough and can take it and besides . . .

But it gets worse. In my Big Government Can Solve Anything State (Minnesota), GFICs are now passé. The new code requires Arc Fault Interrupters, which apparently trip if you look at them sideways. Homeowners have them ripped out as soon as the inspection is done. When does it stop? I'm safe already. I vote for on during set up; then off for the season. Okay, have at me. :)

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Arc fault interrupters are for bedrooms only here in Ontario! And they are a different animal all together however again they are designed to save people's lives.

And the comment that electricity doesn't always take the path of least resistance is wrong and right! Ohms law proves this when you use it to solve parallel circuits! To make it simple the current will split in an inverse percentage of the resistance. So while electricity will travel on all paths your wet skin standing on a wet lawn is a better path than practically anything else!

As for complaining the trip when it's raining that is because your setup has wires, plugs or damaged lights that are allowing the electricity to go to ground. Now if you assume that somone in the yard finds that spot and somehow touches it, they will now get that shock! So managing your plugs, wires and lights properly, keeping them all away from water will prevent your gfci's from tripping!

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I'm going to take the unpopular and politically and electrically incorrect side of SantaJoes electrician. I hate GFICs. First of all, I don't believe that they are code in all states; so some folks do have a choice. In thirty years of decorating I have had one trip where it might have helped me avoid injury. Using a 25' aluminum pole to decorate a crab tree, the string of lights crashed against the pole, breaking a bulb and the GFIC tripped. Thank you GFIC. In my ideal world: after the lights are up, I would turn them off. I'm inside my house, there is no one in the yard and yet when it rains, they trip. So they are protecting the moonlight? Okay, there Could be a deer in the yard, but they are tough and can take it and besides . . .

But it gets worse. In my Big Government Can Solve Anything State (Minnesota), GFICs are now passé. The new code requires Arc Fault Interrupters, which apparently trip if you look at them sideways. Homeowners have them ripped out as soon as the inspection is done. When does it stop? I'm safe already. I vote for on during set up; then off for the season. Okay, have at me. :)

I hear your frustration but the requirment to use GFCIs is NOT left to individual states because it is called out in the NEC..the National Electric Code (unless the state does not use the NEC for its standard, but all do). Glad it was in place to protect you that one time in 30 years of decroating. That way you were able to continue decorating for 30 years. :)

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I stand corrected. My former boss retired and moved to one of those fly-your-plane-to-your-door places in Arkansas and the person building his new house did not put in GFIs. He called his MN electrician to ask for advice and that is what led me to think that maybe they weren't required in all states. Maybe he just had a bad electrician there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

They keep tripping so take them out?????

Isn't that like saying the fuse kept tripping so i by-passed it with a penny or some tin foil?

My display is surrounded by net light fence and I assumed no one would walk in the yard....

WRONG!

Some parent let her toddler go under a the caution tape and touch the pretty lights!

Better safe than sorry and please don't use that electrician to do any work.

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They keep tripping so take them out?????

Isn't that like saying the fuse kept tripping so i by-passed it with a penny or some tin foil?

My display is surrounded by net light fence and I assumed no one would walk in the yard....

WRONG!

Some parent let her toddler go under a the caution tape and touch the pretty lights!

Better safe than sorry and please don't use that electrician to do any work.

Well said.

Figure out why they are tripping and repair.

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