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Christmas lights and fuses



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 9th 06, 11:16 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 3,770
Default Christmas lights and fuses

I am putting the big lights (C-9s) on my tree outside (yeah I know but
it IS 74 degrees here today). I put a 4 strands of 25 on the same
extension cord instead of the three I usually do, figuring that if I
have too much and blow a fuse, then I can run another extension cord to
the odd one. I was testing it today and after about an hour I noticed
that they weren't working any more. Upon review, though, the SECOND
strand was the one not working, not the one plugged into the extension
as usual. I had tried all of the lights before putting them up and they
obviously were all on during the early test.
So... since it wasn't the fuse on the first strand that went
bye-bye, is this likely to be a bad fuse on the second strand, a bad
second strand or should I just grit and keep the run down to three
strands?
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  #2  
Old November 10th 06, 01:01 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 312
Default Christmas lights and fuses

On Thu, 09 Nov 2006 22:16:25 GMT, Kurt Ullman
wrote:

I am putting the big lights (C-9s) on my tree outside (yeah I know but
it IS 74 degrees here today). I put a 4 strands of 25 on the same
extension cord instead of the three I usually do, figuring that if I
have too much and blow a fuse, then I can run another extension cord to
the odd one. I was testing it today and after about an hour I noticed
that they weren't working any more. Upon review, though, the SECOND
strand was the one not working, not the one plugged into the extension
as usual. I had tried all of the lights before putting them up and they
obviously were all on during the early test.
So... since it wasn't the fuse on the first strand that went
bye-bye, is this likely to be a bad fuse on the second strand, a bad
second strand or should I just grit and keep the run down to three
strands?


It's too early for Christmas lights grin

OK, here is the way to do it.

One strand is 225 watts (25X9)
Four strands is a total of 900watts.

Any 15 A breaker can handle this and at least one more strand. (as
long as its not used for other things too).

Your problem is you are stacking the cords. DO NOT do that.
Plug EACH light string into it's one outlet. In other words, get a
power strip (made for outdoor use). Plug each string into one of the
outlets on that power strip and your problem is solved.
Last Christmas I noticed they make power strips just for this use.
They have a built in stake to stake them to the ground. Kind of a
nice setup, although they were around $25. I believe I saw them at
Walgreens.

If you insist on stacking the strings, use a 3Way (cube tap) and only
stack TWO strings per outlet tap.

BTW: If you are using an extension cord for this, be sure to use at
least a #14 gauge cable.

Mark
  #3  
Old November 10th 06, 01:53 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 3,770
Default Christmas lights and fuses

In article ,
wrote:

On Thu, 09 Nov 2006 22:16:25 GMT, Kurt Ullman
wrote:

I am putting the big lights (C-9s) on my tree outside (yeah I know but
it IS 74 degrees here today). I put a 4 strands of 25 on the same
extension cord instead of the three I usually do, figuring that if I
have too much and blow a fuse, then I can run another extension cord to
the odd one. I was testing it today and after about an hour I noticed
that they weren't working any more. Upon review, though, the SECOND
strand was the one not working, not the one plugged into the extension
as usual. I had tried all of the lights before putting them up and they
obviously were all on during the early test.
So... since it wasn't the fuse on the first strand that went
bye-bye, is this likely to be a bad fuse on the second strand, a bad
second strand or should I just grit and keep the run down to three
strands?


It's too early for Christmas lights grin

Yeah I know. I am gonna put them up while it is nice and not turn
them on until Tgiving evening.


OK, here is the way to do it.

One strand is 225 watts (25X9)
Four strands is a total of 900watts.

Any 15 A breaker can handle this and at least one more strand. (as
long as its not used for other things too).

Sorry, I obviously did not say it right. It is the fuse on the
strand itself that is blowing. Also, it the second strand on the line.
If it was an overload I would think that the first one (the one I plug
into the extension cord) would be the one to blow? The fuses in the
individual strands are 5A.


Your problem is you are stacking the cords. DO NOT do that.
Plug EACH light string into it's one outlet. In other words, get a
power strip (made for outdoor use). Plug each string into one of the
outlets on that power strip and your problem is solved.


Apparently I misspoke yet again. Each batch of strands goes to its
own extension cord which then goes to its own outlet on the deck. They
aren't even going into a power strip.

Last Christmas I noticed they make power strips just for this use.
They have a built in stake to stake them to the ground. Kind of a
nice setup, although they were around $25. I believe I saw them at
Walgreens.

If you insist on stacking the strings, use a 3Way (cube tap) and only
stack TWO strings per outlet tap.

BTW: If you are using an extension cord for this, be sure to use at
least a #14 gauge cable.

Don't remember the guage, but they are big honkin' Woods Heavy Duty and
not the glorified lamp cord.
  #4  
Old November 10th 06, 04:42 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 664
Default Christmas lights and fuses

In article
,
Kurt Ullman wrote:

It is the fuse on the strand itself that is blowing.


There is a simple and CHEAP fix for those stupid, wimpy, fuse-in-the-plug
light sets: Cut off that worthless and trouble prone fused plug and REPLACE
it with a REAL (regular) plug. Problem solved. (no joke)

OK, UL-lovers and hand-wringers: Flame away... (pun intended)
--

JR
  #5  
Old November 10th 06, 06:37 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 922
Default Christmas lights and fuses

Jim Redelfs wrote:
In article
,
Kurt Ullman wrote:


It is the fuse on the strand itself that is blowing.



There is a simple and CHEAP fix for those stupid, wimpy, fuse-in-the-plug
light sets: Cut off that worthless and trouble prone fused plug and REPLACE
it with a REAL (regular) plug. Problem solved. (no joke)

OK, UL-lovers and hand-wringers: Flame away... (pun intended)

No! The world is coming to an end. You
can't do that! Next, people will be
grinding down the fat prong on plugs to
defeat the useless polarization .... oh
wait,
that's a good thing ..... never mind.
Seriously, many things that have polarized
plugs really don't need them, especially
something like Christmas lights. The one
thing that using a polar plug does, is
to allow using only 1 fuse in a
fuse/plug (instead of 2).
Fusing Christmas light strings (or
stands) does protect from people doing dumb
things, but for the most part, is an
irritation and makes money for the
manufacturing
company.
  #6  
Old November 10th 06, 06:44 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 312
Default Christmas lights and fuses

On Fri, 10 Nov 2006 00:53:55 GMT, Kurt Ullman
wrote:

In article ,
wrote:

On Thu, 09 Nov 2006 22:16:25 GMT, Kurt Ullman
wrote:

I am putting the big lights (C-9s) on my tree outside (yeah I know but
it IS 74 degrees here today). I put a 4 strands of 25 on the same
extension cord instead of the three I usually do, figuring that if I
have too much and blow a fuse, then I can run another extension cord to
the odd one. I was testing it today and after about an hour I noticed
that they weren't working any more. Upon review, though, the SECOND
strand was the one not working, not the one plugged into the extension
as usual. I had tried all of the lights before putting them up and they
obviously were all on during the early test.
So... since it wasn't the fuse on the first strand that went
bye-bye, is this likely to be a bad fuse on the second strand, a bad
second strand or should I just grit and keep the run down to three
strands?


It's too early for Christmas lights grin

Yeah I know. I am gonna put them up while it is nice and not turn
them on until Tgiving evening.


OK, here is the way to do it.

One strand is 225 watts (25X9)
Four strands is a total of 900watts.

Any 15 A breaker can handle this and at least one more strand. (as
long as its not used for other things too).

Sorry, I obviously did not say it right. It is the fuse on the
strand itself that is blowing. Also, it the second strand on the line.
If it was an overload I would think that the first one (the one I plug
into the extension cord) would be the one to blow? The fuses in the
individual strands are 5A.


Your problem is you are stacking the cords. DO NOT do that.
Plug EACH light string into it's one outlet. In other words, get a
power strip (made for outdoor use). Plug each string into one of the
outlets on that power strip and your problem is solved.


Apparently I misspoke yet again. Each batch of strands goes to its
own extension cord which then goes to its own outlet on the deck. They
aren't even going into a power strip.

Last Christmas I noticed they make power strips just for this use.
They have a built in stake to stake them to the ground. Kind of a
nice setup, although they were around $25. I believe I saw them at
Walgreens.

If you insist on stacking the strings, use a 3Way (cube tap) and only
stack TWO strings per outlet tap.

BTW: If you are using an extension cord for this, be sure to use at
least a #14 gauge cable.

Don't remember the guage, but they are big honkin' Woods Heavy Duty and
not the glorified lamp cord.


SOunds to me like you have a defective string of lights.
Could be a short in the wire, or as simple as a bad bulb where the
filament got wedged between the rods that support it.
I'd take the strand in the house and carefully check for any bare or
broken wires. If there are some, either tape them, or replace the
light string. If not, Take out all the bulbs and reinstall them one
at a time. If one bulb blows the fuse, you found the bad bulb. The
nice thing about those large bulbs is you can test one bulb at a time,
unlike the mini bulbs where when one goes out they all go off.

When you check the string, be sure to look into the base of the
socket. That is where the wires often get wrapped around each other.
Of course on some strings, you cant see the base of socket. If you
have an ohm meter, you can also test each socket with the bulbs
removed. Of course this can be time consuming, so if all else fails,
you may need to just replace that string.

One other thing. Does that string work by itself? If you are
stacking plugs, the fuse in the first one is also powering the second
one, etc. A 5A fuse can only handle ONE string, which is why I told
you not to stack the plugs.

Mark

  #8  
Old November 10th 06, 02:00 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,205
Default Christmas lights and fuses


There is a simple and CHEAP fix for those stupid, wimpy, fuse-in-the-plug
light sets: Cut off that worthless and trouble prone fused plug and REPLACE
it with a REAL (regular) plug. Problem solved. (no joke)

OK, UL-lovers and hand-wringers: Flame away... (pun intended)
--

JR


You know those fuses were added for folks like my wife who would string
20 together and wonder why their home burnt down.....

polarized polugs GFCIs, grounded plugs, and all the rest are there for
our safety and protection.

  #9  
Old November 10th 06, 02:33 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 376
Default Christmas lights and fuses

Kurt Ullman wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I think the diagnosis will take more time than
replacement, and the string is low enough on the tree that it will only
a minor pain to change it out.


A string of 25 8 watt bulbs would draw less than 2 amps. Two strings
in series would not blow out that 5 amp fuse. Clearly there must be a
short in that string. Load would approach excessive if three strings
were connected through that same 5 amp fuse.

  #10  
Old November 10th 06, 02:37 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 664
Default Christmas lights and fuses

In article . com,
" wrote:

There is a simple and CHEAP fix for those stupid, wimpy, fuse-in-the-plug
light sets: Cut off that worthless and trouble prone fused plug and REPLACE
it with a REAL (regular) plug. Problem solved. (no joke)

OK, UL-lovers and hand-wringers: Flame away... (pun intended)


You know those fuses were added for folks like my wife who would string
20 together and wonder why their home burnt down.....


If the circuit to which those "20" were connected was equipped with proper
overcurrent protection, that would not happen. If the circuit were NOT so
protected, Christmas lights would be the LEAST of her concern.

polarized polugs GFCIs, grounded plugs, and all the rest are there for
our safety and protection.


Add to your list seatbelts, helmets, airbags, lawnmower deadman controls and
the like. It's amazing we have lived as long as some of us have without such
protections. We used an increasingly little-used safety device: Our brain
and common sense.
--

JR
 




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