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Stefan

Tomato Cage Mini-Tree Grounding?

I've read some posts which indicate that a wet tomato cage can cause the GFCI outlet to pop.  I've read some posts that indicate they haven't had any issues.

 

I started down the road of doing PVC and flex pvc mini-trees, but just didn't have the look I wanted and I just couldn't get the lights to lay the way I wanted.  So, revisiting the tomato cages.

 

Does anyone have any tips on an easy solutions for grounding?  I've seen someone suggest using a plywood base which wouldn't be bad, but I don't have a lot of tools and ripping plywood won't be doable for me.

 

Appreciate any suggestions.  

 

Thanks in advance  :)

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A bunch of ways you could try:

 

Coat the portion that you will be sticking in the ground - my choice would be Plastic coat http://www.plastidip.com/home_solutions/Plasti_Dip

 

Take some wood dowels and attach them to the legs with snap ties

 

Take the cage out and have it powder coated

 

Used sealed Lights on the cages

 

wrap the cage in plastic then put lights on

 

Put an umbrella over each tree just when it rains though..... :blink:  :huh:  ;)

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The Umbrella Idea WORKS WONDERFULLY, ( except when its Windy)!! LOL.    .I've  Ben using tomato cages for several years staked to the ground with rebar, NO issues w/ GFI So far.

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Thank you both for the responses.  I did a search for the plasti dip...homedepot carries it!   http://www.homedepot.com/p/Performix-Brand-Plasti-Dip-11603-6/202196703#.UpJWCMRwqSo

 

I may go this route, just to be safe and not have to worry about tripping plugs.  We're getting sleet and ice here in Oklahoma City today.....typical weather for us.  

 

Thanks again!

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Thank you both for the responses.  I did a search for the plasti dip...homedepot carries it!   http://www.homedepot.com/p/Performix-Brand-Plasti-Dip-11603-6/202196703#.UpJWCMRwqSo

 

I may go this route, just to be safe and not have to worry about tripping plugs.  We're getting sleet and ice here in Oklahoma City today.....typical weather for us.  

 

Thanks again!

 

Should work out well

My problem with the paint was no patience on my part who said it needed to dry...

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I would look more toward using plastic to insulate the metal from ground.  Wet wood will conduct so you're really not solving anything.

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Honestly, nothing I've tried ever helps. If it rains enough, the GFCI trips. But I still wrap the bottom in the styrofoam used to insualte pipes. It just makes me feel better I guess.

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I am a newbie and this will be my first yr. making a LOR Christmas. I made 8 tomato cage trees, 4 arch's, and a 12 ft. mega tree which I am still working on.

 

It may or may not work but I am planning on trying Plastic Tent stakes as legs, Maybe about 6 or 8 per tomato frame.

 

Drill small hole the size of the tomato cage frame close to the top of the plastic stake and then cut a small slot on the peg and snap it onto the bottom of the tomato cage,

 

I think I can also have it up a little off the wet ground if I do not pound the stakes all the way down that way. The stakes will help stablise it from really high wind etc. plus have it up off the wet ground maybe a 1/2 inch to a inch.

 

Just a thought for something for me to test out.

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I make bases out of PVC pipe that I attach to the bottom of the cage so it isn't sitting directly on the ground.  I used 3/4 inch PVC pipe cut into 4 pieces then joined in the center with a PVC cross to form an X shape.  Each end of the X has an elbow attached to the end.

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I prefer the look of 2ft mini trees.  However they have metal rods and same issues too & the solution was as stated above to coat each with plastic dip.   I should also mention that the only wire-frame issues I've had were with incandescent lights.  None on the wire-frames switched over to LED.

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I have had no issues with my tomatoes cages and I live in FL where we get plenty of rain and gfi tripping. I make sure the plugs and lights stop just short of the ground so they don't make contact and use the baby-proof plug protectors in ALL empty plug ends and back plugs.

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The wire cage is NOT what is tripping the GFCI. It's like castlechristmas is saying, get the plugs up off the ground. Don't tape your connections. Water will get in and can't get out. So when it is dry, you're still tripping. If using incandescent C7 or C9 strings, make sure there is a weep hole in the socket or make sure you mount base up to horizontal. Cuts down on rusting out your sockets too.

Edited by MEGA ARCH

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I havent never had problem with metal mini tree or wireframes. They both is pushed in ground.If it trips. It s due to a short in wiring or rain where wires gets wet.It s not the trees I have close to 70 mini trees and 2 mega trees around 200 frames maybe more.

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How about covering your plugs (connected ones that is) with the liquid tape? Or still same issue as with regular electrical tape?..I was gunna put the liquid stuff at least on the backs with the open backs.  Then probably use some electrical grease for the power cord to lights connection.  Cause last year I had issues with my GFIs tripping....didn't the year before that everything was connected to just an outdoor timer. Last year was when I added LOR and music.

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I have done tomato cage-based mini trees for two years now and I have not experienced problems with GFCIs tripping when it is raining.

I do make really sure my plugs are securely mated together to preclude water intrusion.

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It's been said before, but I'll say it again.  Outdoor incandescent light plugs need no taping, plugging, or sealing.  Leave them in the pouring rain and they work perfectly fine.  HOWEVER, lay on the ground or standing water you have issues.  Most shorts are NOT the fault of the plugs.

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