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Thread: icicle lights

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Washington
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    409

    icicle lights

    Well, its that time of year again. I just hung the 60 feet of icicle lights which drape over the front porch. Plugged them in and.....oh no, only the first 15 ft work.(they worked last year) Should'nt be a problem to get them all working. What was the fast easy way to repair these?
    Buck
    Buck

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    3,034

    Re: icicle lights

    Wallmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Seattle, WA
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    16,737

    Re: icicle lights

    Step 1: Plug them all in before you hang them. Oh, never mind, you are past that point.

    Step 2: Start at one end, and check for missing bulbs. Most of these strings will go out if a bulb is missing, but may stay on if a bulb is just burned out (but is still plugged in).

    Step 3: If you find no missing bulbs, then go back to the beginning, and check the tightness of each bulb (i.e., wiggle them) one-by-one. One might be loose enough to block the path for current to flow through the string.

    Step 4: If you haven't solved it yet, then you need to perform a "float test" on the string. You do that test by throwing it into a nearby river or lake, to see if the string floats.

    Of course, you might just use Allen's solution right up front, and save yourself the work.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2008 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,122

    Re: icicle lights

    You can use a non-contact tester and trace from socket to socket to see where circuit is open. Just be sure to orient plug in receptacle so that wire you are tracing is the hot. Works for me.
    John, Chair City, NC
    Technology: Mans best efforts to make things as good as they used to be

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    477

    Re: icicle lights

    hey buck did you check those tiny little fuses in the plug caps?

    You could always splice the plug onto the other end, then you'd only have 15 feet to figure out

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    409

    Re: icicle lights

    No, I did'nt check the fuses....did'nt know they were in there. Thanks.

    I did go through steps 1 thru 3 as described in Charlie's post though, and was about to move on to step 4.

    Thanks
    Buck
    Buck

  7. #7
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    Re: icicle lights

    If ll else fails Wallmart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    16,737

    Re: icicle lights

    Here's a step 3.5 for you (i.e., before resorting to step 4): Unplug the last string from the next to the last string, and plug it into an extension cord. If it lights up, then there is a problem between the first string and the last. You can isolate the string that has the problem in this way, without having to take down the lights.
    Charles E. Beck, P.E., Seattle
    Comments based on 2008 NEC unless otherwise noted.

  9. #9

    Re: icicle lights

    Check the fuse in cord cap of the first string.

    There should be two fuses. One is for the first half of the string (usually 33') and the second is for the second half and the cord cap on the end. If that second fuse is bad, then only the first 15' will work including any strings connected down string. I would bet my money that that is the issue.
    -Matt
    Benson Polytechnic High School, Portland Oregon, Residential and Commercial Electric Major

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Milford, MA
    Posts
    1,592

    Re: icicle lights

    Without a doubt the most difficult install I've done this year was my own outdoor Christmas lights.
    Formerly J Erickson as username.

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