GFI Alternative

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jshimmin, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. jshimmin

    jshimmin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    Subdivision entrances always seem to have more issues with GFI's tripping than anywhere else. When it happens, it's always perceived as an issue with the lights.

    Are there any suggestions on how to mitigate the problems associated with GFI's?

    I've put in different models and all have the same reliability. Most of the systems are LED's with less than 100 watts of load on the transformer.
  2. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380

    What kind of cover is on the GFCI? All outside GFCI's always fail due to moisture and corrosion on the internal circuit board. The GFCI is not moisture and water proof like our landscape lights so you must try to prevent the moisture from entering using a proper in use cover like this:

    Nuisance trips are very common on GFCI receptacles with the normal flap cover plate on them as when something is plugged into them obviously rain and moisture can get in.
    I would start by replacing the GFCI and installing a new "in use cover" like the link above.

  3. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,763

    The code-keeper covers are a MUST if something is plugged in, but additionally, they now make "weather resistant" outlets and GFI's now (look for a blue "WR" on the front). Not a big difference, but they have plating to resist corrosion on the contacts. You could also squeeze dielectric grease in on the contacts and any openings, to keep moisture out, but its nasty sticky stuff, so some people might complain.
  4. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    You can also provide GFCI protection back at the breaker panel (example: Cutler Hammer CL120GF). You will, however, still need a waterproof cover for the standard receptacle at the transformer.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I prefer to use GFI breakers over GFI receptacles. they are more expensive but seem to cause fewer false trips and trouble calls.

    Moisture in the branch circuits is often the culprit with trouble GFI calls. Either the outer jacket of the NMWU gets shaved or split or a poor connection is made with the Teck cable. In either case these are almost impossible to fix. In these cases a new circuit will need to be run = $$$
  6. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380

    Just one other thought here and not too many of you would ever know this....You cannot have two GFCI devices on the same electrical circuit as this would cause the devices to trip.
    Just lets say in this example that the outside plug is a GFCI receptacle and that 15AMP or 20AMP circuit is protected by a GFCI Breaker. This would most certainly cause one of the two devices to trip.

  7. nikster78

    nikster78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    James i agree.. Breakers for the most part are in a more controlled environment. Moisture is hard to beat.
  8. nikster78

    nikster78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    How about 2 gfci plugs?
  9. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    Length from the breaker point is sometime an issue. Bear that in mind if you are running great distances it has been known to cause tripping.
  10. nikster78

    nikster78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    How far do you guys run a lead...100' 250' what watts, what gauge? Not talking LED here that's a different forum?

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