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Mini Lights – Three Common Problems Found

Holiday decorating with last-years incandescent mini-light strings can be difficult if they are not working right. Often, these strings are intertwined and hard to unravel. Furthermore, both individual bulbs and sections of them might not come on when plugged in. Here is how to fix three common problems found with these strings.

Make sure the string’s two-wire 120-volt circuitry and its fuses are working okay.
Test the bulbs for poor contact in their sockets.
Find and replace any burnt-out or non-working bulbs.
Step 1. Test the 120-volt circuit wires. Assuming the string in question has two 50-bulb sets, plug it into a working outlet. If the entire string remains Alphafysiotherapie Shockwave behandeling dark, one of three common things could be wrong with it.

A buss fuse in the string’s male plug is blown, which killed the 120-volt circuit.
Two bulbs (one from each set or more) are making poor contact in their sockets.
Two bulbs (one from each set or more) are completely burnt out (i.e., both of their filaments and bypass shunts are out).
To test the two circuit wires, simply plug a very small 120-volt low-current-drawing device (small lamp, radio etc) into the female end of the string while it is still plugged in, and then turn it on. If it comes on, the circuit wires are okay. The problem is with the bulb wire. If the device does not come on, then more than likely one or both of its fuses are blown. However, one of these two circuit wires could also be damaged. So, before checking the fuses, look the string over for any obvious wire damage, like, a major pinch or cut, which usually is not there.

If no damage is found, slide the male plug’s panel open, and pry out the two small 3-amp buss fuses from their squeeze-type contacts. If they are bad (with burnt darkened glass shells), replace them with new ones. These fuses can be purchased at most hardware stores in bundles of five or more. Retest the circuit. The device should now come on.

Note: many electrical devices pull more current than the mini-bulbs. So, when a small device is plugged into the mini-string to check its circuitry, the device itself could blow one of the fuses in the male plug. Yet, despite that, this test shows that the circuitry wires are okay. Just replace the blown fuses, and move to the next step.

Step 2. Check bulbs for poor contact in their sockets. If sections of the bulbs are still dark, run your fingers across the tips of them, jiggling each one bit. If a bulb is making poor contact, this slight movement could cause it along with other bulbs to flicker because poor contact by one bulb will cause a whole 50-bulb set to go dark.

Pry this bulb from the socket and scrape the outer surfaces of its two lead wires (wrapped about the outside edge of the plastic base) with a sharp edged device until shiny. Re-seat this bulb/base back into the socket. It and the other lights that flickered should now stay lit.

Step 3. Find and replace burnt-out or non-working bulbs. First, assuming sections of the string are still dark, look for bulbs obviously darkened or burnt. Replace them with bulbs of the same voltage requirement, usually near 2.4-volts.

Pry the bad bulbs and their bases from their sockets. Replace them with new ones in these same bases. Re-seat these bases with their new bulbs back into their sockets. Test the string for working lights. If most of the bulbs come on at this time, find and replace any that are still unlit.

If sections of the string are still dark, look for bad bulbs that do not look burnt out. To do that, examine each bulb with a magnifying glass in front of a background light to find the ones with broken or missing filaments. Replace these bulbs with new ones as described above.

Conclusion. Because only a bad wire, blown fuses and a few bad bulbs can cause a dark string, these three steps will yield a working string of mini-lights most of the time. For more information on replacing bulbs and troubleshooting mini-lights, see the following sites.Mini Lights – Three Common Problems Found

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