How NOT to waterproof 240V

lithgowlights

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A few days ago I was sent a couple of images of a local display showing their 240V waterproofing...


The first image, taken while it was actively raining, shows wet walls and puddles on the path to the left. The second is a closeup of that image showing two 240V powerboards out in the open, along with a number of plugpacks and transformers. They are soaking wet, out in the rain - seriously, how can some people have such little regard for the dangers of 240V. Their show was run that night, only a few hours after this was taken.


240V is deadly, and this is asking for trouble. You could kill yourself, your spouse, kids, a visitor or even some innocent child who runs in the yard to see your pretty lights.


I urge everyone on the forum not to be this silly!
 

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Bevo

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What the? ??? are they for real. As the person in control of that property they will be responsible if someone gets hurt.
 

Superman

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Ahrr. She'll be right mate, there's a surge board in there somewhere, the bloke at the shop said it would be ok
 

ryanschristmaslights

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Now some ways that I've covered my 240v connections from the weather...

A metal box which sits over elevated lattice with a few powerboards inside. Covered/uncovered:
xmas11-waterproofing_1a.jpg xmas11-waterproofing_1b.jpg


An IP44 single waterproof connection box from Bunnings. Not that cheap at $10 each, but they last 2-3 seasons.
xmas11-waterproofing_2a.jpg xmas11-waterproofing_2b.jpg
 

fasteddy

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As an electrician this amazes me that they are relying on a safety RCD (GFI) switch protect them from electrocution. I have seen these fail many times in the past, it is only a last defense to protect life. Unfortunatly some people have no clue
 

lithgowlights

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Eddy, I totally agree, but based on the lights being on during rather heavy rain, I seriously doubt there IS an RCD on the circuit. I know rain is relatively free of many salts needed to increase it's conductivity to the point where current can flow, 240V AC does not need much to start a few mA flowing to earth or neutral, both are only a few mm away inside the power boards..

Maybe they are relying on the heating from the leakage current to keep things dry :eek:

As for here, yes I have 240V in the yard, but with the exception of 4 remaining ropelight items which have the connections taped with waterproof self-bonding HV tape and then are in the same enclosure Ryan showed. The controllers have a single piece of heavy duty 240V lead running back to the front deck where they plug into RCD outlets under cover. That RCD is tested using a 10, 20, 30 & 40mA plug in RCD tester borrowed from an appliance tester. The 4 plugs have different earth leakage resistances and are designed to test RCD's to ensure they work. Mine are listed as 30mA, but trip at 20mA most of the time, and always at 30mA.

All the boxes are sealed to ensure rain can not enter them, and the air inlets at the bottom wont allow water to be sucked in, and the outlet vents are angled down to stop rain getting in there too. Oh and aluminium fly screen on the vents ensures no crawlies can get in eithor.
 

Christmas on Clarafield

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All my exposed 240V connections are housed inside an outdoor rated saftey box. Which apart from being common sense (although it appears not everyone possesses this!) it is also lockable for added protection.
 

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random

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lithgowlights said:
240V is deadly, and this is asking for trouble. You could kill yourself, your spouse, kids, a visitor or even some innocent child who runs in the yard to see your pretty lights.

Absolutely. If it was only person who did that at risk it would just be a Darwin award candidate, but the chances of kids and visitors coming onto the property and not realising what's going on is a real worry.
 

JPB

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pipersmall said:
All my exposed 240V connections are housed inside an outdoor rated saftey box. Which apart from being common sense (although it appears not everyone possesses this!) it is also lockable for added protection.
As Rumpole said "Funny thing about common sense . . . Is that it is not very common !"
 

BradsXmasLights

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Oh man that's scary! What's more scary is they went to the trouble to build a simple megatree - yet the Electricity +water concept is no where to be seen.

Despite all the complex stuff on this site's Wiki, perhaps a Christmas Lighting 101 section could come in handy. eg:
A) The basic types of lights - incan, LED, 240V, transformer based, etc. What is safe outside / weatherproofing
B) How to get cables outside (eg: not through swinging door/frame
C) How to attach lights to gutters/trees/etc.
 

toodle_pipsky

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Shared your pics Dave with our OH&S person - she has no words . . . . .
Thankfully I've avoided having too much power stuff out in the yard, it's all in the controller shed. But the 1 exposed plug in the yard has one of those red enclosures on it ziptied to the fence and a single powerboard is in another enclosure from Bunnings.

Those Plug Pods look pretty nifty, where can you get them from?
 

lithgowlights

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I have seen similar ones to that before david, but with a short plastic stake to keep them upright if you cant hang them from somewhere. I think it was at Bunnings, but cant be 100% sure as I never bought one. Anything is better than doing nothing.
 
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