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Problems maintaining an outdoor spotlight, looking for suggestions

Problems maintaining an outdoor spotlight, looking for suggestions


Old 05-29-14, 01:26 PM
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Problems maintaining an outdoor spotlight, looking for suggestions

I have an outdoor flag on the side of my house. I like to fly it 24/7, but it should be lit at night. I have a full size spotlight on it, but the GFI I plug it into breaks every time the humidity rises. After the outlet breaking and resetting so many times, now it has finally broken and won't reset, so I know I have to replace it. I've tried to insulate the and prevent moisture, but that was no help. All the gaskets are in place and I've taped over every little place that moisture can get into with electrical tape. I'm at my wits end as to what to do next, so I have a few questions.:

What if I replace the outlet with a regular outlet, i.e., not GFI?

Are there any other ways to prevent a GFI from breaking so much (yea, I know it's doing its job.)

Have any of you had success with solar lighting for flag poles?

Thanks. Any and all thoughts are appreciated.

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Old 05-29-14, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
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How many times over the years have you replaced the GFCI receptacle unit?

You could install a GFCI breaker for that entire circuit and install a regular receptacle where the GFCI receptacle used to be. Or install a GFCI receptacle in the next upstream outlet box for that circuit indoors and install a regular receptacle outdoors where the GFCI used to be.

Nowadays they make 3x5 inch lift-up receptacle covers to keep rain out of the prong holes. I think that the 2011 National Electric Code requires these covers for outdoor receptacles.
Old 05-30-14, 04:21 PM
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I would recommend some low voltage lights. They make some good spots that should light your flag pole well. I think the issue is having the electrical connection (cord and plug) in the elements. While you might still have to ground fault the low voltage transformer, if it is in a dry location the chance of the GFCI tripping is greatly reduced.
Old 05-30-14, 07:53 PM
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Allan I'm sure his issue is more with the nuisance of having to reset it than having to replace it when it's broken. When he says 'breaking so much' he means tripping. It also doesn't matter whether he installs the GFCI indoors or out, it's still going to trip.

Aintnorock - circuits serving hardwired outdoor lighting fixtures are not required to be GFCI. So if you hardwire the light fixture, and install a dusk-to-dawn photocell, you can eliminate the GFCI. If you want to keep it cord-and-plug, it will have to stay GFCI.

Are we talking about a pole mounted light? Or is this a plug-in spotlight staked in the yard shining on a 3x5 mounted to the side of your house? If it's on the ground/reachable I would not remove the GFCI - because if the bulb breaks it becomes a shock hazard to kids/pets.

Solar lights are junk for anything but path markers. I haven't come across na solar spotlight yet that puts out light worth a damn.
Old 05-30-14, 08:32 PM
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In a proper setup, the GFI shouldn't be tripping. The box should have an in-use (bubble) cover, which will keep the plug and receptacle dry. Make sure your spotlight housing is also gasketed or protected.

The reason the GFI is tripping is that there's some kind of short to ground. Old GFIs may be more susceptible to false tripping, but now with a new one, it should limit it to real issues.

Maybe a new spot light fixture is in order?
Old 05-31-14, 03:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 699
First , 120 VAC decorative lighting is problematic . Water and electricity is not a good combination .

Is it rain water causing problems or when you water the lawn ? Rain water contains do few dissolved solids / minerals , that it is not very conductive . Tap water from a sprinkler usually is much more conductive .

If you can not keep the water out , try a small weep hole to let it drain back out .

Is the lite mounted on the house ?

God bless
Old 06-02-14, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 235
Flag Pole Light

Go on Amazon and type Solar Flag Pole Light. There are several options that should work for you.
Old 06-03-14, 01:20 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cressona, Pa, USA
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What floodlight holders are you using? I use numerous of the Red Dot "Spike Light" and have no issue with them all being plugged into 1 GFCI circuit.

. I've tried to insulate the and prevent moisture, but that was no help. All the gaskets are in place and I've taped over every little place that moisture can get into with electrical tape.
NEVER do that, all you do is trap moisture. What you do to prevent nuisance trips is put your connections on bricks. That way when it rains, the connections are up out of the water. Another thing to be sure of is make sure you use a good quality extension cord with no cuts or nicks in it as that'll let in enough moisture to trip the GFCI.

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