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Old 05-18-2017, 07:21 PM   #1
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GFCI questions


We had 50mph winds and 1.4" of rain in 20 minutes today.

1) A couple hours later a GFCI circuit went out. Presumably some water worked it way into an outlet. It is back on now. Can I just ignore it, or do something.

2) It is the first time this has happened, but my wife uses the outside outlets for Christmas lighting, and they have tripped the GFCI several times. It is a real pain because my computer is on the same circuit. I can't move the GFCI outside because one of the outlets is in an unfinished basement and that requires a GFCI.
Could I put a second one outside? If one of the outlets after it has a ground fault, would it trip the second GFCI (after my computer) rather than the first one?
If it is a matter of which is more sensitive, I could swap them if it doesn't work right.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:43 PM   #2
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Re: GFCI questions


Waterproof the outlet. Use a quality product with a tight waterproof seal.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:52 PM   #3
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Re: GFCI questions


I have proper outlet covers; but nothing is absolutely waterproof against horizontal rain. All it takes is a drop.

The circuit dropped out for a while, but it is back now.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:13 PM   #4
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Re: GFCI questions


Any time I have a GFCI trip, I have to hit the reset button. How is yours just coming back on by itself
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:00 PM   #5
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Re: GFCI questions


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Originally Posted by ZTMAN View Post
Any time I have a GFCI trip, I have to hit the reset button. How is yours just coming back on by itself
Mine doesn't either; I have to hit reset.
There is some moisture in one of the outlets. Sometimes it creates a groundfault; sometimes it doesn't. If I try it 30 minutes after it trips, it is usually okay for while. At least that is my guess at the situation.

Eventually it will dry out and the problem will go away. Unless I am wrong.

Complicating my problems right now; we lost power 6 hours ago and I am running on a generator that only does a few circuits. None of them are close enough to my computer to be useful; except the one that has the ground fault.
They said we would have power back 2 hours ago; now they say in the morning.
And my 11 week old puppy was scared out of her mind by the thunder. She hasn't really recovered yet.
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Old 05-19-2017, 12:53 AM   #6
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Re: GFCI questions


you would be much better off just putting these outside outlets on dedicated circuits and GFCI's.
that way if they go off, then the rest of the house is not in convenienced.
maybe a PITA ? but worth the results !
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Old 05-19-2017, 07:01 AM   #7
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Re: GFCI questions


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Originally Posted by Toller View Post
I have proper outlet covers; but nothing is absolutely waterproof against horizontal rain. All it takes is a drop.
Perhaps you need to get a different brand or type of cover. Any Outlet/Cover combination should be rated at IPn3 at least (Water falling as a spray at any angle up to 60 from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.),
or better still, IPn4 (Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.).
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Originally Posted by dmxtothemax View Post
you would be much better off just putting these outside outlets on dedicated circuits and GFCI's.
that way if they go off, then the rest of the house is not in convenienced.
maybe a PITA ? but worth the results !
Another thought is to provide a switch (preferably indoors) to turn off the outside outlets, except when devices such as the Christmas lighting are plugged into them. (You could then turn those lights on and off from inside!)
A normal single pole switch may be adequate but using a double pole switch to open both the Line and Neutral may be preferable.

Perhaps another problem is that in North America you mount the outlets flat on the wall and then just provide covers over them - which seems not to work, in your case.

(I have never noted any such problems with these http://www.clipsal.com/Trade/Product...tNo=WSC227/1/2 in this country, (which, actually, don't have "covers") since, when wall mounted, the outlets point down at 45˚ and they are generally switched off when not in use.
They are rated IP53

Others come with a cover flap as well - for extra protection http://www.clipsal.com/Trade/Product...CatNo=WSC227F2
They are rated IP54)
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Old 05-19-2017, 04:42 PM   #8
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Re: GFCI questions


Quote:
Any Outlet/Cover combination should be rated at IPn3 at least...
Not in the USA. Ours are rated under the NEMA ratings, not IEC.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:09 PM   #9
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Re: GFCI questions


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Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
Not in the USA. Ours are rated under the NEMA ratings, not IEC.
OK.

What would be the equivalent and how is it indicated?
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Old 05-19-2017, 11:16 PM   #10
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Re: GFCI questions


As far as in use covers, I believe the best I've seen are a type 3R.

If you would like to get more acquainted with the NEMA enclosure types, they are detailed here.
https://www.nema.org/Products/Docume...sure-types.pdf
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Old 05-23-2017, 05:37 AM   #11
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Re: GFCI questions


Quote:
Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
As far as in use covers, I believe the best I've seen are a type 3R.

If you would like to get more acquainted with the NEMA enclosure types, they are detailed here.
https://www.nema.org/Products/Docume...sure-types.pdf
Thank you for the reference,

Looking at that document, I suggest that Type 3R would be inadequate [Ingress of water (Rain, snow, and sleet)].
since, having consideration of the OPs initial post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toller View Post
We had 50mph winds and 1.4" of rain in 20 minutes today.
at least Type 4 would be necessary [Ingress of water (Hosedown and splashing water)]

If the best "available" are only rated as Type 3R, it is probable that therein lies the problem which Toller has!
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