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What kind of hubs or timers do you use and how do you keep rain off them?


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I have 5 timers w/multiple outlets i bought from Lowe's/HD that I use throughout my yard display.  Each year, i suffer from CB pops.  Last nite, we got heavy rain from TS Eta.  and all my lights went off.  It popped the GFCI outlet that everything is plugged into.  I put ziploc bags over the timer/outlet stakes to keep water off them.  I wrapped all the connectors with layers of electrical tape.  I raised connections off the ground with bricks.  I even put some of the connection blocks, where I have a 3-way plug, in a ziploc bowl with the lid on.  It keeps those connections dry, so I know those aren't causing the problem.  maybe I have a faulty item in the display.  I have 14 ornaments from Sam's Club that blink, and 9 twinkling net lights.  Could those be drawing too much from all the blinking/twinkling?  I know about the 80% rule of thumb when it comes to loading circuits.  I also have the yard stuff on a 20 amp circuit, that feeds 3 outlet posts.  An electrician said I probably have too much on the circuit.  Any ideas would be appreciated...

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GFCI and outdoor Christmas lights were never designed to be a good match.  Lights are outdoor and in dampness... exactly what GFCIs are designed to prevent.

One hack the professionals use is to elevate all electrical connections off the ground with a wooden stake.  Now electricity can't sneak to ground and pop the GFCI.

Don't try to waterproof the connections... it just ends up retaining the water causing even more grief.  If you're in a cold climate then repeated freeze/thaw cycles will end up pushing the connection apart.

You might also consider repurposing that GFCI circuit to something a bit more indoors and power your outdoor lights another way.

 

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Chuck you are totally rights!

I live in Georgia which I think it rains almost everyday.

what helps me is to keep all plugs off the ground and use a very small amount of dielectric grease that seems to keep out the water. I found some pictures of what I did last year. I use plastic yard light stakes to keep plugs off the ground. I also sometimes tie the cord up on back of blow mold to keep plug off the ground. Also if you have blow mold make sure there’s drain hole. A few years ago I KeepEd having gfci trip found out that some of blow mold had filled up with water and shorted out.

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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it!  I like the grease and the stake idea.  i have plenty of those laying around i could use.  None of the connections in the pics have tape on them; you don't ever tape them?

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No, tape will hold in water and when it freezing up it breaks SPT plugs its not pretty. Also it will trip gfci breaker. Also keep you LOR controllers and plugs off the ground. One of mine is mounted on set stairs for choir and the other is on the back of manger. Also I have pigtails with C7 bulbs on A few channels to help with dimming LED light strings. So they don’t jump as much at lower dimmer settings. Chuck told me that trick:) I also use outdoor rated outlet box which also helps keep water out of main box’s that feed LOR controllers. Hope this help!

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Edited by Scott Rob
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wow!  that's a pretty intricate layout.  I have nothing close to that.  no blowmolds or LOR stuff, just glitter deer from Lowe's/HD/Sam's and a lot of lights.  I'll see about posting a picture.  i appreciate the input.  I like to see what people do with cords and connections behind the scenes.  I also suffer from some bad SPT plugs this year.  The ones i got are not like the ones you have.  I have some of those from a couple years ago; the hard plastic ones.  This year i got some of the light green, softer plastic ones that don't see as sturdy and don't seem to make good contact at times.

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