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Old 09-19-2013, 10:51 AM
 
Location: WA
5,538 posts, read 22,616,410 times
Reputation: 6293

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I have an outdoor 120 GF outlet box that is used to power a large water feature. It has been trouble free for almost a year and in the past three months subject to at least a half dozen ground faults that appear to be caused by ants trying to move into the outlet.

I have tried various insecticides, sealing the outdoor cover as best I can, etc. with no lasting success. It is work to clean the ants, spray, reset the circuit, and top off the system (I lose about 200 gallon of water on each shutdown).

Has anyone else had a similar problem and found the solution? I am frustrated and open to new ideas.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:38 PM
B4U
 
Location: the west side of "paradise"
3,612 posts, read 7,490,201 times
Reputation: 4432
Are you getting alot of rain lately? They may just have originally tried to get out of it.
Even if you've sprayed, their fremone odor was not removed and they will follow the old trail.
Try turning power off, wipe everything down with an almost dry rag with rubbing alcohol.
Get a product called Terro, which comes in drops or bait and put it in the path or near the nest. They are attracted to something sweet in the product and it's poison chemical is brought to the queen and the nest dies off. Great stuff and very inexpensive.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:37 PM
 
12,799 posts, read 16,487,743 times
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Does not surprise me that ants would trip out a GFCI. Perhaps a residual insecticide would stop them from coming.
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Old 09-20-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: In the realm of possiblities
2,713 posts, read 2,482,721 times
Reputation: 3256
I had fire ants in Texas that for some reason were attracted to anything electric. My water well quit working and when I popped the cover off the solenoid switch it was packed with ants to the point where the points couldn't even touch. B4U had some good suggestions. My episode was years ago, and the only thing I had was Amdro to sprinkle around. It helped, but didn't stop them.
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Old 09-20-2013, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
41,373 posts, read 52,663,795 times
Reputation: 116543
We used AMDRO over a year ago, haven't seen an ant since.
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