Why Your Christmas Lights Go Off
How to Get Your Christmas Lights Working: Why Strands of Christmas Lights Do Not Work and How to Fix the Problem.
Repairing Christmas Lighting
Electrical Question: Why do my Christmas lights burn for a few minutes and then go off?
- My questions is I bought some icicle Christmas lights at a dollar store.
- I have 13 boxes of 100 lights and 3 boxes of 300 lights to put on top my home.
- Every time I plug the extension cord to them they burn for a few minutes then they go off.
- I can replace the first string and they will burn for a while then they go off again?
What can I do to get them to work by Christmas?
Thanks for your electrical question Mike.
Background: Mike, a Handyman from Virginia.
How to Fix Christmas Lights that are Not Working
Application: Troubleshoot Christmas Light Problems.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Depends on the extent of the outdoor lighting that will be installed.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester and a fiberglass or non-metal ladder.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with strands of outdoor holiday lights and work from a ladder. Having a helper will help prevent the lights from being tangled together.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit or power source and test it before installing the Christmas light strands.
Notice: If you plan to install additional electrical wiring or timer controls the project should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Side Note: Mike, this reminds me of the National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, The movie is a kick in the pants, if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it because he is decorating his house just like you with hundreds of Christmas lights and he has circuit problem as well.
Why Strands of Christmas Lights Do Not Work and How to Fix the Problem
- I believe that you are overloading your Christmas light strands.
- You can only daisy chain or connect together so may strands of Christmas lights together before they blow an internal fuse located at one end near the plug.
- When installing several strands of outdoor Christmas holiday lights you will need to plan out your circuits.
- The number of strands of lights that can be connected together will be indicated on the instructions of the specific type of lights that you have.
- LED lights are a great alternative which give a great appearance and helps to keep the energy costs low. Some locations offer trade in or rebate programs where the utility company will replace the older incandescent lights with energy efficient LED light strands. Check with your local electric utility company for more information about energy efficient Christmas lights.
More about Home Electrical Wiring
Troubleshooting and Repairing Electrical Wiring
An Ohm Meter will be helpful to test the fuse of the light strands.
For more information about Electrical Wiring
Home electrical wiring projects with pictures and wiring diagrams.
This link is helpful as a Handyman
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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