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Help with Troubleshooting Christmas Lights

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  • Help with Troubleshooting Christmas Lights

    I have several strings of lights where certain portions of lights are not lighting up. How do I go about finding out where the trouble lies? I've tried the most obvious - checking to see if the bulbs have burnt out or not, but that can take a very long time with certain strings.
    PhenomeNhan Audio Video

    Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
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  • #2
    You got plenty of time so... :D
    Hugh
    MELODY US Distributor
    www.angelcityaudio.com

    A man is only as good as his words.

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    • #3
      What type of bulbs bub?:)

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      • #4
        I had the same problem this year with some "Icicles" I put up.
        I ended up plugging in each string and grabbing each bulb and pushing
        and pulling until I found a "questionable" bulb and replaced it.

        Doesn't take that long if there are two of you working from
        each end! Sorry, only way I can think of doing it - 'cept buying
        new ones! :no clue:

        PS> Like Hugh said ...."you got plenty of time" lol :stirthepot:

        good luck!
        M

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        • #5
          Thanks, guys (except for Hugh) :)

          They're the old-fashion small bulbs like those used in icicle lights. I'm slowly replacing them with the LED ones. It would probably be cheaper for me to just get new ones, esp. since the darker colors take longer to visually inspect. Just wondering if theres a quicker method than inspecting each unlighted bulb at a time.

          PS, Mr Hugh, I think you'd rather have me spend my time doing other things ;)
          PhenomeNhan Audio Video

          Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
          [email protected]

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          • #6
            a co-worker recommends something like this..

            http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...3&blockType=G3

            you can use it to follow the voltage down the string and locate the problem area (bad bulb, bad connection, bad string, etc) ... does other stuff too (bulb checker, etc).

            cheers,
            ..dane
            (The first to sport a signature on TCAforum..)
            "Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a great burden." - Philo of Alexandria
            "Love God and be nice to people." - Brooks Everett of CBC
            d&k's webpage

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            • #7
              They don't work all that well, especially if you have a three wire string.

              I unplug the string then using piercing alligator clamps on my ohmmeter with a continuity speaker, pierce the line in front of the first bulb that is out then go down about half way and pierce another part of the line to see if the loss of conductivity is within that range. If so go back about 6 and retest, etc until I find the problem bulb. If conductivity was good, then I switch the starting clip to the end of the bad section and work that area. When it's time to pull a bulb, a pair of side cutters gingerly in the separation line brings the bulb holder out. Not gingerly, you break the bulb.

              If you don't have piercing alligator clips you can pierce the wire with a straight or safety pin and grab onto that.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the suggestions, Dane and Jack. I'll give it a shot if I have some time. Does piercing the wires affect it in any way?
                PhenomeNhan Audio Video

                Your authorized ONIX dealer for the Great States of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.!
                [email protected]

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                • #9
                  It hasn't so far, either the ones inside or outside. I sure the potential for some voltage leakage exists, but we haven't had an issue even with the set that we have on the outside railing in wet weather.

                  At work for testing wiring on automobiles I had purchased "T-Head" style straight pins from Joann's fabrics years ago, which made handling the pins much easier.

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