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Discussion Starter #1
I have no idea what I am doing wrong. Last year my coals kept tripping the GFI, I thought I had it figured out when I discovered that the mowers had clipped a wire when they were trimming (When I had asked them not to). So I threw it out and built a new one for this year. I had everything out for a few days and then the other night the GFI started tripping again

It takes a little while at first then I reset it and it happens faster. So I unplugged the coals and it has been fine. I made it out of the orange outdoor lights, I was going to use LED's but I have not seen any in the stores. I used whiffle balls to made air pockets for it and I used great stuff, so it is built just like others have done and posted.

Any ideas? I love the effect and it is really bumming me out that I had to shut it off.
 

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Is there anything else pluged into the GFI? If so does the trip it? If nothing else is try pluging something in and see if that trips it. If it does then the GFI is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nope once I unplugged the coals the GFI has not tripped. I just checked a few minutes ago and everything else is still lit up. I thought I had a bad GFI last year and I replaced it, then finally figured out that the mowers had nicked a wire along the edge of the coals. This is a brand new set for this year and the mowers have not been here yet since I set it up so it isn't that either.
 

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Do have a gfi in your kitchen? If so, try plugging them into there and see if that trips. There might be a broke bulb or a loose wire to the plug or a bulb socket. Try a set of (dare I say it) xmas lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pardon my lack of knowledge, but what is a gfi?
Ground fault interupt, it is a saftey device in outlets that have potential to come into contact with water. The weird thing is when the new one started acting up it was dry as a bone, so it has to be overheating but that doesn't make much sense either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I just did an experiment. I brought them inside and plugged them in to a GFI in the kitchen - the rest of the lights outside are still on and the gfi has not tripped since I unplugged the coals. I left it plugged in the outlet in the kitchen for a while and it did not trip the gfi in there. I did notice however one of the strands would fade off and on, so there has to be a short in there someplace. It isn't enough to trip the GFI on its own but it seems when it is coupled with the other load from the other stuff it is.

That sucks, I tested the strands several times before I foamed them. I will have to see if I can find some LEDs someplace this weekend and make another one - again.
 

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It sounds as if it's over heating... I realize that doesn't make much sense with string lights but i'm going to share my experience / input with you. If you can locate them; go with LED's! I made my first glowing coals prop a few weeks ago. First time I made them with regular string lights. Got em all foamed and dried, turned them on and walked away for a good 2 or 3 hours. Came back to real smoke rising up from any gaps or holes in the great stuff! I unplugged them and picked up (my base is made with cheap / thin laminated particle board from a bottom storage draw on a crib) to move outside and burned the snot out of my hands.... Regular string lights cover in insulation is a recipe for disaster under the right circumstances. I went to Target the next day and picked up some (kinda pricey - I think $15.00 for a 100 count string) orange flickering LED's and remade.

Long and short of it - Covering regular string lights in insulation will do exactly what insulation is meant to do... Trap and build up heat.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Mine are covered and I watch them like a hawk. No issues yet, but I do plan on re-making them next year with LEDs. I think it depends a lot on the particular manufacturer of the string. Some seem, to get really hot while others only get warm. LEDs are getting cheaper all the time though so there is really no reason to not make the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I finally found some at Target so this will be my third version of the coals. Hopefully using the LED's this time will be the last time I have to make them.
 

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the lights could be just enough to over power (draw to many amps) the outlet causing the gfi to trip.
The glowing coals was designed with the led lights in mind.
kmart is a good source for orange lights.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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I've had the actual GFI outlet itself go bad and keep tripping. I bought one at Lowe's to replace it and that took care of the problem.

Maybe you've got a bad one, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've had the actual GFI outlet itself go bad and keep tripping. I bought one at Lowe's to replace it and that took care of the problem.

Maybe you've got a bad one, too.
That's what I thought last year and replaced the outlet. I unplugged the coals yesterday and everything stayed on last night just fine, and they came on tonight and have been on all night so far with no issue. So it is definitely the coals. I picked up new LED lights today at Target so I am going to rebuild it one more time.
 
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