Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I use to waste my time wrapping cord ends, but learned it doesn't really help and the cords are made to be outside - leave them alone - but up out of standing water. It's rained here for the past few days and I see water in the plug ends - This isn't an issue at all - no tripped GFIs. Also Never permanently seal the ends - moisture will get in and needs to escape. Also I change my display around every year and would hate to have lights and cords with limited uses.

Edited by Tim Bateson
Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic seems to get so many people fired up. I was an inspector for 27 years and although I am still certified I am now in Project Management. One thing that I was insistent on when training new people was to tell them "If you are going to tell someone they are wrong, make darn sure you are right." There is very clear verbiage in the NEC codes for temporary operations which is precisely what a light display is. I have been putting up lights and running extension cords through wet grass and snow since 1984 and never once have I experienced so much as a tingle.  I have researched this quite a bit and found that there are about 100 deaths per year directly related to Christmas lights IN GENERAL. Only about 10% are related to electrical overall and of that 10% only half are related to GFCI's. So the other 95% can be attributed to overloaded circuits, falls from  ladders, roofs and other mishaps. Falls are the #1 cause.

Please note that I am NOT trying to make light of this. There is nothing more important than a human life. I just don't understand why some of seem to take it so personally. Do you walk next door when your neighbor is standing on the top of his ladder trimming a tree and yell at him? Do you stop at every construction site where workers are not tied off properly and lecture them? Do you yell at the kid down the street for riding her scooter too fast? The answer is no.

Here is another question...How many of those that are quick to reprimand a forum user for not using GFCI's have hooked more than 3 sets of lights to one circuit in spite of the written instructions, hmmmmm?

The point I am trying to make is that to each is own. We are all adults and will have to live with the consequences of our actions. Let it go and just follow the three simple rules of this forum.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have taken the precaution and lifted my cords.  Never had a problem till this year.  12 hours of continuous rain is going to hurt the display in one way or another.  Never saw so much rain before Christmas.  Good news is that the temp is dropping today and it has the possibility of changing to snow.  But overall, I'm pleased to see that my wiring job on 17 outlets is working as it should.  Since they never tripped before, I was glad to see them at work.  So what, the show doesn't light up.  Rather be safe then sorry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have around a dozen gfi's outside for my display.  This year, because I'm using SJO cord with cast aluminum boxes and covers, I have yet to have a trip.  If you're tripping, get your connections off the ground, and put some cover over them.  A plastic sandwich box should do the same job as my covers do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If people do take out GFIs, I'd hope it just doesn't mean you can throw caution to the wind.  Not having to worry about popping GFIs, can potentially lead to being a bit lazy when it comes to guarding against electrical leakage.  I know if I could guarantee no GFI problems, I wouldn't spend 2 hours propping up every single extension cord connection....and I agree with the others, best way to go.  I went from regularly tripping 5 outlets last year, to now just 2, and only in heavy rain.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that caution is the direct responsibility of the home owner. Granted I live in Florida now and the dry season is November through May or June. In that regard, the only real moisture problem I have is condensation in the mornings. I cut power to the entire system each night at 10 and turn it back on at 5 pm. I also don't sit in the house while it is running. I am in the driveway every night not only for traffic control and to greet people, but to make sure everyone stands on the other side of the street. Anyone that stands on the side adjacent to the lawn is asked to move. In fact, there have been a couple times when I get people that say. "I can stand where I want". My response is, "yes you can" right before I throw all the breakers, get on my microphone and announce to the other 100 people that the show will resume as soon as everyone is across the street. That usually leaves Mr. "I can stand where I want" feeling pretty guilty.

Yes, we have a responsibility for safety to others as well as ourselves. Each display and environment is different and we have to deal with what we have. Incidentally, I am working on a system with an electrician to try and isolate GFCI's for the main feeds rather than each circuit. Just to say that I did it. Right now I have 3 controller boxes each one containing 6 controllers. One of them has three 50 amp main feeds while the other have two and one respectively. Safety is NEVER a bad thing, but overkill (depending on individual situations) is just not practical.

Link to post
Share on other sites
... I just don't understand why some of seem to take it so personally...

 

I don't think anyone is or should.  We all have different experiences and are trying to pass that knowledge along.  In my case I hate hearing someone is rapping things in plastic or sealing them - from my own experience I know it's not needed and a waste of time (been there done that).  It's attacking a symptom rather than the problem.  If I can pass along my experience and only 1 person is listening, then it's a win.

 

My background - Licensed Electrician - no, but have wired (by code) countless houses/buildings.  In school - keep in mind we were dumb kids, we shocked each other all of the time with large capacitors and Jacob's ladder, even wired 110 current.  Worse case for me was being thrown 20 feet across a room.  I was only unconscious for less than a minute.  I DO NOT recommend that kind of experience, but having spent 3 years studying electricity I do know what electricity can and generally does not do.  I'm not intimidated by 110 volts..... unless standing on a concrete pad or wet lawn.  Both can be a bit over... stimulating

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic seems to get so many people fired up. I was an inspector for 27 years and although I am still certified I am now in Project Management. One thing that I was insistent on when training new people was to tell them "If you are going to tell someone they are wrong, make darn sure you are right." There is very clear verbiage in the NEC codes for temporary operations which is precisely what a light display is. I have been putting up lights and running extension cords through wet grass and snow since 1984 and never once have I experienced so much as a tingle.  I have researched this quite a bit and found that there are about 100 deaths per year directly related to Christmas lights IN GENERAL. Only about 10% are related to electrical overall and of that 10% only half are related to GFCI's. So the other 95% can be attributed to overloaded circuits, falls from  ladders, roofs and other mishaps. Falls are the #1 cause.

Please note that I am NOT trying to make light of this. There is nothing more important than a human life. I just don't understand why some of seem to take it so personally. Do you walk next door when your neighbor is standing on the top of his ladder trimming a tree and yell at him? Do you stop at every construction site where workers are not tied off properly and lecture them? Do you yell at the kid down the street for riding her scooter too fast? The answer is no.

Here is another question...How many of those that are quick to reprimand a forum user for not using GFCI's have hooked more than 3 sets of lights to one circuit in spite of the written instructions, hmmmmm?

The point I am trying to make is that to each is own. We are all adults and will have to live with the consequences of our actions. Let it go and just follow the three simple rules of this forum.

Nailed it. I agree more with the reprimand part than anything. Regardless of your degree of training and practical experience, should we always try to "one up" people for what we "think" is right? I'd rather try to be helpful and offer information in an encouraging way. We can all get out our NEC books and try to feel important...lol. Merry Christmas!

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to know how many amps SPT-2 cord can sustain.  I run all LEDs on my display too.  I am very creaful to only plug a few hundred lights and maybe at most 2,000 LED's which is 1.6 amps.

depends on the wire gauge used.  It should be listed on the insulation jacket in very fine print.  7-8 amps for 18 gauge, and about 10 amps for 16 gauge.  Most 16-3 cords with grounding plugs can handle up to 13 amps because of the thicker insulation.   Don't forget that long runs of any cord will also result in more resistance and voltage drop, lowering the number amps it can carry safely.  I have some 100 ft runs of 18 gauge that I keep under 6 amps.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I would like to know how many amps SPT-2 cord can sustain. 

It is important to note that the designation of SPT-1 or SPT-2 ONLY addresses the insulation and not the gauge of the wire. Typical SPT-2 wire is either 12 gauge or 16 gauge.

 

This link will give you the amp capacity for all wire sizes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...