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I have 2 sets of low voltage lights on 2 different transformers…

Customer Question
I have 2 sets of...
I have 2 sets of low voltage lights on 2 different transformers powered from the same gfi circuit breaker, one set works fine, but when I turn on the other set the gfi trips. This set will trip the gfi even if the first set is not on. The GFI circuit breaker is in a subpanel that services my pool. I have removed all the bulbs from the troubled set of lights and replaced them one at a time until I detected a problem. The bulb that tripped the GFI had ants in the low voltage wiring connector, I removed the ants and the lights worked fine for a week or so. Now I have the tripping problem again and cannot seem to be able to pinpoint the soucre of the problem with this light set. The lights runs are split with a "T" splice forming 2 runs for the transformer that has the problem. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Electrical
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
6/19/2010
Electrician: Sir Sparks, President/Owner/ Master Electrician replied 8 years ago
Sir Sparks
Sir Sparks, President/Owner/ Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2,532
Experience: US State Certified & UK Electrical Contractor for all electrical fields/disciplines
Verified

Hi,

 

Try killing power, spraying both sides of the connector with WD40 and letting it dry before trying again. If this doesn'rt work let me know and we will trouble shoot further.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
what connector are you referring to?. There are 11 lights connected in the runs. shouls i take apart all the connections and reassemble them after the WD 40 is applied? Why doesn't the other set of lights go out when they are assembled in the same manner?
Electrician: Sir Sparks, President/Owner/ Master Electrician replied 8 years ago

I misunderstood and thought you had a connector at the end of the run.

You will need to start isolating the fault by disconnecting one of the "T's" at a time and then one lamp at a time from the defective "T"

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I have tried this trobleshooting method already by removing all bulbs and replacing them one at a time until I get a fault. But I am not able to isolate this fault as I was with the first time it happened with the ants. Sometimes when I replace a bulb in the run it does not affect the fault, other times when I put the same bulb in during another troubleshooting session it does cause a fault. It doesn't seem to be any one bulb this time, is there a superceding reason other than bulb connections that could be causing the fault?
Electrician: Sir Sparks, President/Owner/ Master Electrician replied 8 years ago
Actually the transformer should act as an isolation for the low voltage secondary side. This means that the GFCI ojn the 120 volt dide should not trip no matter what the condition of the wiring on the low voltage side. The only explanation is that you have a defective transformer. Before buying another one try swapping over the two transformers and running ONLY the circuit that was defective. If it no longer trips you have proved it was the transformer.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I have already tried this as well. I switched out the transformers and I still have the problem on that line. The lights worked fine all of the fall and winter without tripping the GFI. It was not until the summer that I began experiencing a problem and Only with the one run. COULD the GFI Braker be defective or not installed right, if so how to test without buying a new one?
Electrician: Sir Sparks, President/Owner/ Master Electrician replied 8 years ago

No, the breaker is doing it's job by tripping, and as I say there must be a wiring fault which is somehow connecting line and load side of the transformer.

 

I will opt out in case another expert has views.

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Electrician: Mike G., Master Electrician replied 8 years ago
Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 8,424
Experience: Proven Professional 49 years Experience
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Hi, I'm Mike and I'll be glad to assist you.

1) How are the transformers connected to the power and where?

2) To check for the cause you'll need to remove the wires from the GFCI and put them on a regular bresker and the neutral bar. If the breaker trips you have a short, if it doesn't you have a fault to ground.

Let me know what happens.

Edited by Mike G. on 6/19/2010 at 2:55 PM EST
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