Christmas Light Blues

Reply

  #1  
Old 12-20-07, 12:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,627
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Christmas Light Blues

I have 2 strings of indoor/outdoor lights, just the small bulbs with two wires sticking out.

Fuses in the plug end are ok. I plug them in and not a single light works. When plugged in I get 120 volts on the other end of the string so the juice is going through.

There are 2 wires coming out of the male plug then after the first light there are 3 wires.

Any ideas on what I can check next?

Thanks,

Baldwin
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 12-20-07, 12:22 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
One of the bulbs is bad or is not installed properly. You can try to remove and replace each bulb one at a time (just pull out and out back in). That may or may not work. If that does not work then try replacing them one at a time.

These bulbs are designed to short circuit when they burn out. This allows the rest of the bulbs to remain lit. Sometimes the bulbs create an open instead of a short when they burn out, causing all the bulbs on that section of the string to not work. The other problem is that the bulbs sometimes become lose in their connector.

Usually, you end up throwing away the string and replacing it.
 
  #3  
Old 12-20-07, 12:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,627
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
"...Sometimes the bulbs create an open instead of a short..."


I didn't know that, I'll give it a try.

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 12-21-07, 02:27 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: (near) Boise, ID
Posts: 442
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I would get a new set and use your non-working set for spare bulbs. Just for fun, you can power a single light with a regular (AA, C, D, etc) battery. Kids love this trick (well I did anyway but I was a weird child), but with lead in the insulation, it probably isn't recommended.
 
  #5  
Old 12-21-07, 03:48 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,627
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Well...I guess I'm stubborn. I've spent the last two days unplugging and plugging in 200 bulbs and not a one will work. You'd think at least the first on a string would work...I guess not.

I don't understand the three wires between the lights, some sort of back up I thought.

Maybe Santa just doesn't like me.


Baldwin
 
  #6  
Old 12-21-07, 04:23 PM
Unclediezel's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Fear not, Each year I take at least two sets into the front yard for the "sacrificial slaughter of lights"

the third wire is for the "Second half of the set".I'm Assuming these are 100 bulbs to a set?

Every 50 bulbs are in series with each other, and each set of 50 is in parrallel with the previous set. The third wire carries the neutral to the end of each "SET".
Start at the plug, count in 50 bulbs, and you will find your splice. Since NOTHING works, check continuity thru the third wire working with each "set of 50 "at a time.
TRY THIS
http://christmas.howstuffworks.com/christmas-lights.htm
 

Last edited by Unclediezel; 12-21-07 at 05:00 PM.
  #7  
Old 12-21-07, 05:11 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The third wire carries power for the second (and perhaps third) section of the lights and for the string to string receptacle at the other end.
 
  #8  
Old 12-21-07, 05:27 PM
Unclediezel's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by racraft View Post
The third wire carries power for the second (and perhaps third) section of the lights and for the string to string receptacle at the other end.
OOPS..

Bob is right. The neutral wire runs from bulb to bulb adn the hot meets at the ends of each "SET OF 50".

Although, the sets I bought this year arent "POLARIZED"...I was kinda surprised, as I thought this was mandatory?
 
  #9  
Old 12-21-07, 05:58 PM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I don't know whether it is a hot or neutral that goes light to light, but there is a hot and a neutral that runs from one end to the other.

If it's a hot that goes light to light then it connects to the neutral at the end of each section of the string. If its a neutral that goes light to light then it connects to the hot at the end of each section of the string.
 
  #10  
Old 12-21-07, 09:25 PM
Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 4,239
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The plug is non-polarized, which means any of the three wires can be hot or neutral depending on which way the plug is inserted.

Either way, those confounded strings of lights are nothing but a waste of resources. Pulling the bulbs and inserting new ones means you have a 50% chance of making good contact at each bulb. If even one light is twisted or its contact wires are a bit out of place, half the string is out. Most people spend a few minutes, then toss the whole string in the garbage.

I liked it much better when everything was parallel. (Today, however, the electric bill for the lights would be $400.)
 
  #11  
Old 12-21-07, 09:30 PM
Unclediezel's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Unclediezel View Post
Each year I take at least two sets into the front yard for the "sacrificial slaughter of lights"
After about 20 minutes , I go to the garage and get the biggest hammer I can find.
Or... I pop all the bulbs out and use it to tie up the tree when I send it out to the trash.
 
  #12  
Old 12-22-07, 01:26 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,627
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
My quest for success continues.....one string working!


"Sometimes the bulbs create an open instead of a short when they burn out..."


You got that right. Out of 18 bad bulbs only 4 showed continuity, the rest were open. So much for that design.


Thanks,

Baldwin
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: