Outside Circuit Problems

Old 11-07-03, 04:08 PM
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Question Outside Circuit Problems

I have 6 outlets outside my house that I use for flood lights to light up the trees and front of the house at night. They've worked fun since they were installed, over a year ago. They are all on the same circuit, ran off a time clock inside the house. Every receptacle is a GFI. The past few weeks, I have been having one GFI trip and sometimes the two downstream from it would trip also. I would reset them and a few minutes later, it would trip again. The one that kept tripping the most was replaced with a new one, figuring that maybe it was bad. The problem still happened, so I replaced all the spot light sockets, because some had collected water in them and the insides were turning green. It's been wet here the past few weeks and I am still having the problem. At this point I am stumped and don't know what to do next. The only thing that I was going to try was to keep the one GFI that feeds off of the timeclock and install regular receptacles in place of the downstream GFI's, but I'm not sure if this will solve the problem. Perhaps all the rain has dampened the GFI's and they just need to dry out? Any comments are appreciated. Thanks
Old 11-07-03, 04:55 PM
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The problem is likely moisture. But where?

The most probable place is in one of the boxes -- either a receptacle box or a fixture box. But it could also be in the wiring if this was wired with indoor wire outdoors.

Yes, perhaps they just need to dry out. But you should figure out where the moisture is and how to keep it out, or you'll just have this problem again later.
Old 11-07-03, 05:16 PM
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Thanks for the reply. The wire used was 14/2 UF, so that's ruled out. I guess I'll start by taking apart each weatherproof box. Still doesn't make any sense why it's happening now. In fact, these boxes were buried under a foot of snow last winter for awhile and I never had a problem. Oh well, at this point I guess I don't have many options. Thanks again
Old 11-07-03, 08:44 PM
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If you have 6 GFCI outlets then all connections at each GFCI outlet should be on the LINE side of the GFCI.

It sounds like whoever wired these made connections to the next outlet vie the LOAD side of the outlet. You should only use the load side of the GFCI if the downstream outlkets are not GFCI outlets and need GFCI protection.

I would start by correcting this mistake. This will help you determine exactly where the problem is.

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