How to Fix Christmas Lights without a Tester

It happens. Each year millions of Christmas lights have been broken when you unplug them and throw them into your garage or basement.

Also, people (You may also) can’t make out the broken light at that time. But, when it’s time to reuse them in Christmas or Thanksgiving, the problem comes out.

The bulbs of Christmas lights are fragile and prone to breakage. They are light and breakable without getting many hits. As the bulbs and linked in a series wired, it's quite tricky to find out the exact broken or fused bulb. 

However, there are several ways to fix Christmas Lights depending on the problem. But the most common issue it to check the blown a fuse and replace it.

Common issues of the Christmas Lights

  • Blown Fuses
  • Defective Bulb
  • Bad Socket or Wiring
  • Corroded Socket

Blown Fuses

Blowing a fuseis the most common issue for series wired bulbs. It can turn the entire string dark in a second. Also, it doesn’t spare any part of the line as the strings are connected end-to-end. So, when the fuse is blown, all the bulbs can’t get electricity to be lit. So, at first check the fuse when lights show problem from being lit.

Required Tools:

  •  A screwdriver

Procedure to check and replace the blown fuses:

  • Usually, a string of Christmas lights requires one or two fuses. But, the latest LED lights require one a tiny fuse. However, unplug the string of lights which shows the problem. It may need some force to be opened. Carefully handle it and open the box.
  • An unbroken wire is running through each fuse. If the wire is broken, you have to replace it. The fuse is normally transparent and easy to spare. Here, remember that you’ll never plug the lights back while working through this method.
  • Then use a thin screwdriver to lever the blown fuses gently. If it needs replacement, check the resistance and rating inscribed on the fuse. Typically, the Christmas Lights fuses are 3A ratings, but you may be ensured by asking an employee of the store while shopping another fuse for replacement.
  • Never use a fuse of higher rating or lower resistance. It may cause major fire risk and turn your day to dust. 
  • After having the new one, pop it into the slot and close the plastic cover. Plug the lights and see the problem is gone. However, if you follow the processes, and still the problem exists, you may check the following methods. Hope you can successfully fix the problem.

Defective Bulbs

Finding the defective bulb(s) is much easier as it happens a section of the entire string. So, when the bulb(s) is not working in a specific part, you have to change the bulbs of that section. Here, the bulb can be dead, or the connection between the bulb and the socket isn't working.

So, grasp each bulb and pull away from the socket. Then check the two bulb copper leads as they are well-placed and not missing or twisted. Continue to check each bulb until you find the culprit dead bulb. When you find it, remove it or replace it.

Bad Socket Or Wiring

A bad socket or wiring may completely damage your entire string. The bulbs won’t lit though they are alright and well-plugged.

Required tools:

  • A wire cutter
  •  A wire stripper

Procedure to check and replace the bad socket or wiring

  • Before going through the procedure, make sure that whole string is completely unplugged from any electrical sockets. If you have followed the previous methods and failed, the socket may be broken and need to be repaired.
  • Now, remove the defective socket from the light strand by using a wire cutter.
  • However, if a new bulb still won’t light up, the problem may be in your wiring. So, remove one or two bulbs nearby the problem and make it live again. Removing one or two helps other to burn and light brightly.
  • At first, unplug the lights and cut the wire by the wire cutter on either side of the broken socket. Then strip about ½ inch insulation from each cut end by a wire stripper.
  • Now, twist the two ends of the wires. You can also use a twist connector to hold it in place.

Corroded Socket

The problem of a corroded socket is found rarely for the Christmas lights. However, before going into the process to check the corroded fix socket, make sure that the entire string is unplugged from any electrical connection.

Required tools:

  • A scratch brush

Procedure to check and replace a corroded socket

  • The contacts inside the socket may be loosed by filling with dirt and grime for over time uses. So, the bulb and the socket can’t connect to each other which results in no power to the bulb.
  • So, clean the wire contacts inside the socket by using the scratch brush. When the socket, as well as all the contacts, is clean, insert the bulb into the socket.
  • Now, plug the socket in the electrical connection and enjoy the Christmas Day.

The Quickest Method Of Fixing The Christmas Lights

Isn't it horrible and time-consuming to check 400 bulbs in a string? As it requires much time, people lost their interest to check all the bulbs and threw the lights into the garbage when they find any defect. However, you can follow this method to check all the bulbs within minutes.

Required tools:

  • A Multimeter

Procedures of the fastest method

  • At first divide the number of lights into two distinct sections. Then remove the middle bulb of the string and check it with the multimeter. Then connect the first bulb to the first socket and repeat the process for the second one.
  • Then connect the second bulb to the socket in the middle of the string. Connect it to the wire of the previous socket.
  • Now, check with the multimeter. If the meter buzzes for the first half strings, the problem is in the second half. On the contrary, it the multimeter doesn't work as designed, you have concentrated on the first half of the string. 
  • Check the entire string by dividing it into several sections. It's a lot quicker to test each bulb of the 400 bulbs string.
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