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Electrical Wire and Cable

Why an Outdoor LED Light Can Trip a GFI Outlet

Why does an outdoor LED light fixture trip a GFI Outlet? This electrical wiring question is about an Electrical Problem with a GFCI Outlet in the Back Yard of a Old Home that is connected to an LED Light Fixture.


Electrical Problem with a GFI Outlet

Electrical Question: Why does an outdoor LED light fixture trip a GFI Outlet?

This electrical wiring project involves an Electrical Problem with a GFCI Outlet in the Back Yard of a Older Home.

Dicky, who is a Handyman in Hubertus, Wisconsin encountered the following Electrical Problem:

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Dicky.

LED Light Trips a GFI Outlet

Application: Electrical Problem with a GFCI Outlet.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the GFCI Outlet, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the GFCI Outlet should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in Hubertus, Wisconsin. A permit and inspections may also be required.
Resources to help you do electrical wiring in your area:
Locate Electricians or Electrical Contractors in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Electrical Contractor License, Building Permits and Electrical Codes

Electrical Problem with an LED Light Tripping a GFCI Outlet

GFCI Outlet Electrical Problem
The GFCI Outlet must be wired from the wiring of the same circuit, therefore the wiring must be contiguous, and not connected to other circuit wires because this could cause the GFI Outlet to trip, but there is more to this problem as described below.

The GFCI Circuit Wire Length
This is what I suspect to be the cause of this tripping GFI outlet:
The 250 foot length of the circuit wires can create a voltage drop that would affect the performance of the GFCI Outlet.

GFCI Outlet Circuit Repair
Due to the length of this circuit, the size of the circuit wires should be increased.
For example:
If this is a 15amp circuit, then consider installing #12 AWG Copper wire.
If this is a 20amp circuit, then consider installing #10 AWG Copper wire.
If the circuit wires are inside a conduit then it is best to use stranded wires instead of solid wires.

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