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.
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.
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
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:
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
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.