GFI question

Hello, We have our outside lights and sprinklers system on a circuit, forgive me if I don't know how to describe it, or plug. Once in awhile, the GFI will be triggered and I have to pop in the button again. The outside sprinklers and lights, Malibu, stop working. The contractor who installed it told us to drill small holes into the plastic cover that covers the electrical plugs, to give it circulation and to avoid condensation. But this did not help. He also said that a electrical outlet or plug might need to be replaced. I put in some plastic "baby electrical protectors." on the outlets that are not being used. It is summer and doing anything to avoid the GFI being tripped up again. It seems that when the Malibu lights were connected, the GFI would go off more.
Help
John
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<snipped>
It seems that when the Malibu lights were connected, the GFI would

John, where is the transformer for your Malibu lights located? Is it in a dry area so that the low voltage connectors are secured from the weather? Is it possible that the connectors for each light are coming in contact with any moisture? These things could have an effect on the GFI.
Jim
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Noted and agreed. Thanks for the clarification - don't want the OP to get the wrong info.
Jim
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Transformer isolates from ground only in theory. For example, one setup had a 12 volt transformer to power underwater lights. Periodically, the GFCI would trip. Chipmunk had bitten into low voltage wire, exposing one 'after transformer' wire completely to dirt. This low voltage leakage (all transformers have leakage) was just enough to trip GFCI when ground was especially moist.
GFCI is tripping because there is leakage from one wire to earth. If leakage was on high voltage side, then tripping would be instantaneous. If leakage was through transformer and low voltage wire, then GFCI tripping would be intermittent.
Drilling holes and baby outlet protectors is simply a waste of time. Find the cut wire or leaking seal that is in contact with something that gets moist and that makes electrical contact with earth.
Jim Mc Namara wrote:

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I went on a service call once where ants had packed dirt in an outside outlet box and the moisture it held was tripping the GFI.
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If the outlet is exposed to the weather (as opposed to being under a sheltered porch), it sounds like water may be getting into the outlet. It's not clear to me if the contractor installed the outlet and plastic cover, but the plastic cover needs to be replaced with a weatherproof "in-use" cover.......that's been code for some time. An "in-use" cover doesn't need holes drilled in it to get air circulation........the holes for the cords are sufficient. After installing the new cover with gasket (and possibly replacing the receptacle if corroded), silicone the upper 2/3's of the cover where it meets the siding. Also, if the Malibu transformer is installed too close to the ground (Malibu recommends at least 12 inches), water may be splashing up on the low volt connections on the underside of the transformer. Same for the GFCI if it is too low. Things to check anyway.
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wrote:

Get what is called an in-use cover. It is a plastic bubble that goes over thepotlet, sealing it while allowing things to be plugged in.

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