Christmas lights and GFI popping

Old 12-07-11, 09:25 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
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Christmas lights and GFI popping

I set up my outdoor Christmas lights about two weeks ago. They are on a timer that is plugged into an outdoor outlet. This outlet is connected to a GFI outlet in the garage. The lights have worked properly for the first two weeks. Today we have had a lot of rain and for some reason my lights were not on. When I checked the GFI in the garage it was tripped. Since there is nothing out of the ordinary on any of the outher outlets connected to the GFI, I assume the problem is with the outdoor christmas lights, a faulty GFI, or a bad outlet where the timer is plugged in to. Could water also be the culprit here? Any suggestions?
Old 12-07-11, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Not water, but simply moisture. Just a heavy dew or even fog can sometimes cause a GFCI to trip. Does your outside receptacle have an "in use" cover? Is your timer listed for outside usage? Do you have more than one string of lights connected "end to end" without coverings on the plug connecters?
Old 12-07-11, 10:12 PM
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Yes, sounds like water is the problem due to the rain. Any connections that get wet can cause the GFCI to trip and this is most likely what is happening. Need to go over and dry out every extension cord and or lamp string connection. If you are using flood lights are they 3 wire rather than with polarized plugs(with ground wire) and are they properly connected for example to a 3 wire extension? GFCI is very sensitive to any voltage leaks, and water is often the culprit with Xmas lights. Also make sure that all of your extension cords are rated for outside use, and try and keep any connection points lifted off the ground. Sounds like the GFCI is doing it's job and possibly also saving someone's life.

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