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Outside lampost trips circuit when wet

I have two lamposts on either side of my front patio. They are mounted to the concrete, and the wiring is buried. Occasionally, usually when it's wet outside, turning on the lights will trip the circuit breaker. Sometimes this happens immediately after turning on, sometimes it takes a while. I'm assuming there's an issue with the wiring in the ground, and it's causing a short. I'm wondering how hard of a fix this is, and how much it's likely to cost to fix. My house is on a slab, if that makes a difference in how the wiring is run.

Re: Outside lampost trips circuit when wet

If you have standard CFL lamps installed try replacing them w/ incandescent. They should be rated for damp locations.

Also, if the wire is direct buried it may have been cut during gardening since it is only required to be 6" deep if 20A GFCI protected.

Worst case would be if someone installed Romex (paper filler) vs UF wire.

Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

Re: Outside lampost trips circuit when wet

First do as semiretired suggests and check the light bulbs.

If your problem persists, rewire the lamps.

In CA the requirements for wiring are:
- 6" deep for wires in rigid metal/intermediate metal conduit
- 18" deep for wires in rigid nonmetalic (gray pvc)
- 24" deep for direct buried APPROVED wires.

The rules may be the same in your state, just check.

Regarding the cost: costs of labor and materials vary from region to region, therefore you will have to contact local contractors for bids.

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