Outdoor Lighting - Sudden Problem

Old 09-28-16, 03:26 PM
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Outdoor Lighting - Sudden Problem

Hello all. I am hoping someone could help me determine what is going on with my exterior lighting. I am not the one who originally installed it, but for the past year everything was working perfectly. Now all of a sudden, when I flip on one of the specific light switches for some of the exterior lights, they go on and the fuse blows. I initially thought the obvious - circuit overload (note the exterior lights are all hardwired into the fuse box - no separate transformer). BUT... they have been working as they are supposed to for the past year. No changes have been made to them to cause this - not even a light bulb change!

So here is what I have: there are 7 landscape path lights, 1 exterior accent light, and 1 lamp post lamp running on this particular circuit. I have a number of other landscape lights running on different circuits, but with the same load, etc and those continue to run fine. It is just this one run.... So anyway, they run into the circuit box where the fuse that keeps blowing is a 15 amp fuse. Again, the others, with the same loads (or even higher) also run to 15 amp fuses and none of those blow... and this one didn't blow for a year - now it suddenly does - every time I try to turn it on.

I believe the lights are all daisy chained together. which makes the troubleshooting a bit tricky. Further, all of the lines are run underground which would make inspecting it physically a pain in the ass. Of course the installer did not use conduit - just buried the cable.

I did inspect what I could see visibly and nothing looks out of the ordinary or dug up, etc. Any thoughts on this one or tips on easy ways to troubleshoot before I start trying to dig up all of the wires. It is a good 50 yard run of lights.

Any thoughts or tips from those much more knowledgeable than I would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Old 09-28-16, 04:29 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Most likely daisy chained. Usually from the closest to the house to the farthest.
It's very common to just run UF cable.

You could try removing the bulbs first to see if a bulb socket has shorted.
Otherwise you can use the divide and conquer method. That means you go to the fixture in the approx middle of the circuit and take the connections apart. If the problem remains....it's towards the house. If the problem is gone... it's away from the test point.

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