We know the feeling of unpacking the Holiday decorations, only to find your strands of lights aren’t working. Here are some quick tips from our friends at Ace Hardware, on how to identify the problem, and fix broken holiday lights.
Fuses and repair tools
Light sets have two fuses inside the male plug. If they blow out, they are easy to replace. To tell if you need to replace the fuse, plug the bad set into an outlet. Grab a set of lights you know are working properly, and plug them into the set that isn’t working. If the good set still lights up, the fuses are not causing the problem. You can also use a voltage meter to test the wires coming out of the side of the plug. Test both sides – and if there is no power detected, replace the fuses. To replace a fuse, unplug the lights, slide open the hatch in the plug, and pop out the fuse with needle-nose pliers. Use a flat head screwdriver to help insert the new fuses. *Standard mini light 3 amp* *Commercial Grade 5 amp* *C-Sets 7 amp*
Light repair tools such as the Lightkeeper Pro, are easy to use and can also test your fuses. When replacing a fuse, always remember to use one with the same amperage as the original fuse.
If fuses are working, another common problem could be the bulb. One burnt out bulb can knock out a section of mini lights. Incandescent bulbs have a shunt that acts as a bypass when the bulb’s filament burns out. The Lightkeeper Pro can send a pulse into the light set, repairing the faulty shunt. If that doesn’t work, the set may be burnt out from just one bad bulb. Using your Lightkeeper, you can check each light bulb socket for electrical current. If you find a bulb that doesn’t set off the tester, replace that bulb, or the one just before it. To replace, unplug the lights, pull out the old bulb with its plastic base. Some replacement bulbs have the base already attached. If not, then straighten the wires on the new bulb, and thread them through the two slots on the base, smooth them down, and put it back into the light set.
Shop safe and local this holiday season by taking advantage of our alternative ways to shop. Shop online at acehardware.com, give us a call, and consider our curbside pick up or delivery options.