I hate GFCI's

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    these incandescent are a huge reason I am doing away with them. I got a few cases of pro series LED in from CDI, they look exactly like incandescent believe it or not. Sealed bulbs, so once they go they go, but unless the lens is cracked through the diode I am told they will stay lit. They are a little bit more than the contractor series from HBL, but less headaches, that is worth more.
     
  2. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    we used to do 13 commercial buildings for this ownership group here locally. All the buildings were at one exit. everytime it would rain we would have to go up on the roofs and reset the gfci's. I am talking dozens of outlets. I noticed one building that never had to be reset. why? the GFCI was wired improperly. I loved that building.

    The real kicker is when you plug into an outlet that also controls something important inside. we moved a cord to another circuit today for a client that had a fridge inside the garage. when that one pops, the food can spoil. luckily we discovered that before we were on the hook for food replacement.

    And some houses and buildings never pop. I don't know why, other than other homes may be better or worse "grounded".

    true story- we do a building for one of the local electric companies. it is LED, probably around 4-500 and we had 6 GFCI outlets to choose from, and ran several timers to those outlets. what a mess it was the first year resetting all those every time it rained. then the maintenance guy tells me they always used to plug into this old outlet under the stairs outside. we ran all the power to that plug, one timer, and have had no problems with it other than massive bulb replacement in the last 3 years.
    and yes, we have lost customers over gfci's.
     
  3. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    I'm glad this thread came back from the dead. Lots of good info. I had my first GFI call back this year from an old outlet. Then I had my second and third call from a second house. Finding the reset point on installs will be a must from now on. Plus making customers aware of this potential problem in advance can help.
     
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    we will be including GFCI info on our new 3 tab cut flyer that goes into our bid packets. If consumers are aware of the water issue and why it exists, they are much less likely to fire you.
     
  5. greenbaylawns

    greenbaylawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 564

    Amen... I thought I was doing something wrong.. You East coast guys are getting what we got Sat night...I just finished fixing all our problems...Fingers crossed!
     
  6. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Posts: 121

  7. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,979

    Pretty much not a drop this season here in central Texas. Less then 1" since Early October.
     
  8. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    Yep, driving me nuts....doesnt start raining until the timers kick on....nice and dry all day when the lights are off
     
  9. Birchwood

    Birchwood LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    I have found that a GFCi that is at 90% is much more likley to trip than one at say 50% the extra load is already super sensetive.

    Another thought older home with out GFCI's do just fine without them.
     
  10. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308


    Dave, just so everyone is clear, the GFCI trips on load (amp) imbalance between the hot and neutral. Amperage is what kills you. They are designed for personnel protection only and their primary function is to prevent a person from becoming a grounding rod. There are many reasons that can cause a GFCI to trip, water is not the only one even if it is probably the most common one with christmas lights. If a GFCI is tripping find the problem and fix it, once you have ruled out a bad GFCI.

    Also you have suggested here to replace GFCI's with new 20 amp versions, however it is a code violation to use a 20 amp receptacle of any type on a 15 amp circuit.
     

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