I hate GFCI's


LawnSite Senior Member
If you were offering advice and suggestions and came across that way, you would be viewed differently. You make assumptions, and accusations and expect to be viewed as valuable. You may be a retired electrician, and that is wonderful. As most can easily comprehend, this thread is about lending advice to people of how to do things the right way, not ridicule and criticize.

Most all of us, and I say most as I can not speak for all, are trained, are certified, carry a specific electrical policy for what we re doing as well as GL and WC. We use UL certified products, secure our connections off the ground regardless of grounded or not, as well as dress the connections appropriately. I will agree that the GFCI's are doing their job when they trip, no argument there. I for one test all my lines running for amp draw, prior to securing as well.

Since you choose to spout your retirement as an electrician, I am a retired paramedic, and if you are going to make a statement back it up. Here's the truth regarding electrical shock and electrocution, the amps is the largest concern, hence the reason medical treatment is measured in joules and miliamps - It takes both amperage (current) and voltage. 8 mA of current conducted through the body is considered a maximum safe limit. Ground fault interrupter devices for personnel protection usually have a 5 mA trip rating for this reason.
Resistance of dry skin is generally about 100 kilohms or greater, so in dry conditions, it would require about 1,500 volts to conduct the 15 mA or greater current that is likely to kill you.
If the skin is wet or damaged, the resistance through the body will be greatly reduced, and a much lower voltage may be lethal.
Direct contact with 100 volts or less, though not considered safe, is not likely to harm you because it is not of sufficient potential to conduct a fatal magnitude of current through the body.

With that being said, if you want to be constructive, and helpful to answer questions or make suggestions please continue to monitor the thread and make helpful and constructive suggestions. If you just want to be a troll and criticize, kindly go to a grass chopping thread as that is what you are doing now, and pursue them.


LawnSite Fanatic
District 9 CA
Direct contact with 100 volts or less, though not considered safe, is not likely to harm you because it is not of sufficient potential to conduct a fatal magnitude of current through the body.
You can exceed the let go threshold with almost no voltage if your resistance to ground is low. The let go threshold varies for each person, as does dry skin resistance, but generally ranges in the 10 - 20 mA range and 1000 to 100,000 ohms respectively. With that in mind ......

I = 120 volts / 1000 ohms = 120 mA ----> if sustained will likely kill you.

David Gretzmier

LawnSite Gold Member
I have very little patience or the time to educate electrical contractors on how to install Christmas lights properly and safely.

you want broad strokes, here are broad strokes- electricians as a group have very little or no respect for anyone who does anything with electricity, unless they are a master electrician. that includes heating and cooling contractors, handymen, low voltage lighting contractors, irrigation installers, low voltage dog fence folks, security system and audio video installers. and Christmas light guys. just take your pick. in their world, we are all untrained, uneducated folk who have no business with any wires that have any voltage in them. Rarely have I ever heard an electrician happy about anyone other than electricians legally doing anything with electricity. So yes, in their world, the government or code should step in and stop all 3rd party folks from charging anyone to do anything with electricity. unless you have the education and certification of an "electrician" of course.

I have a master electrician on my staff that installs our outlets,hard wired digital timers, sub panels, breakers, etc. he is an awesome guy and does great work.

But this is what kills me- he, like most electricians over 40, never went to college or trade school to learn how to be an electrician. never took tech classes in high school or nights. he worked under an electrician for a period of time, and took a test, then worked long enough to take another test. he learned how to do what he needed to do on the job. this should begin a theme here.

here's another secret-don't tell anyone- most all the guys that work for the electric company are not electricians. you know, the guys that handle the gigantic transformers, substations, and those wrist sized wires that carry 10's of 1000's of volts AND lots and lots of amps. how can this be you ask? How can they NOT be electricians? shouldn't those guys have all kinds of certifications and years of training and education? and guess what, yes they do. but... surprise! They learn most of it on the job. just like we do, to do exactly what we do. and guess what, the guys at the nuclear, coal, or natural gas plant where that electricity comes from... are not electricians either. They learn on the job and are trained to do what they do.

while someone may be an awesome 30 year experience electrician, that does not even begin to make them be a novice Christmas light guy. That makes about as much sense as a guy that works at the electric company would be an expert at wiring a home. or the guy that works at the nuclear plant would know how to run the substation or the wires on the pole. please, learn THIS -stick to giving advice in the area you HAVE experience with and leave the other guys that are upline or downline from the wires you know alone.

And as an aside, who retires from being an electrician to become a landscaper? in my mind and what I have seen, electricians for the most part have higher wages, cleaner work environments, nicer trucks, less range and scope of work, can work inside, and have a much higher level of respect as a professional among homeowners than landscapers.