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cmd1971

Gfi's Tripping

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I know that this is a problem for most of us with displays. Besides putting normal outlets outside on my circuit breakers (which I can't do as it is absolutely not a safe practice and not code) what do you all do to keep breakers from tripping? I have approximately 10 outlets (5 outlet boxes) all wired with GFI's per code. Problem is everytime it rains (not snows) I have to shut down the display because so many lights are out. I know I can't wrap the connections because that just gets condenses moisture and they'll trip more often. I can try covering them but it's always something that trips the GFI. How do you all put up with the tripping of the circuits? Any other tricks I'm missing? Everything is staked and I'm going to cover everything this weekend (loosely cover everything).

Any thoughts?

Chris

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You need to determine what item is causing the trip. It is a combined draw of all 16 channels that will trip the gfci. If you use the control panel start turning on channels until it trips. Once you determine what is causing it, try and bring up the display with out it. I know that i had a deer that seem to be causing most of my headaches. Now I just shutdown that display and have a voiceover for it and just the house lights on. I now also use wooden blocks under my tomato cage trees and deer. That has helped a lot.

Edited by NH - Dave

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Dave has got a good suggestion. Find the trouble item and just go without it. Normally it's just one or two things causing problems. I elevate all my connections off the ground with bricks, but all of that work is only going to help in a light drizzle. Anytime you get a heavy rain, you will more than likely have to turn it off. Electricity just isn't meant to work with water everywhere, nor is it safe. There are several other GFI related topics on here that you can search through for more ideas too.

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no lights or connections on the ground.

cover the connections with something to shield them from direct rain.

I had GFCI trips all the time on my static display until I got my plugs off the ground and covered. Now it has to be a torential rain for it to trip.

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Diagnostics is about eliminating possibilities. Mix things around. Separate out items. See if you can narrow down where the problems are.

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My problem is usually the Mega-Spiral Tree. I have 32 strings of 150ct lights on 16ch (LOR) which I converted to 20A with a 12 gage power cord. With all of them on I draw 17.33A. This is usually enough amps that if my connections were damp it would pop the GFCI (even if they were elevated and in a box). So this year I put window silicone sealer from a caulk tube in and on the outside of my extension cord connections and so far no GFCI's tripping!

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If I'm not mistaken GFCIs trip when a certain level of amp leakage is sensed. The more amps you pull through 1 GFCI, the more possibilities for it to leak somewhere and trip. If you could separate one item pulling 17 amps onto 2 or more separate GFCI outlets, it might help. You would end up spreading your electricity leakage over 2 outlets that may not trip either one, compared to everything on one. Just a thought that might help. Logistically speaking, it may not make sense though. I already have 22 GFCIs in use, no way could I add more.

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