It’s that time of year again when people are stringing up Christmas lights to get into the holiday spirit. But sometimes, these lights can cause problems, especially with safety switches and circuit breakers that are designed to protect you from harm. In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips on how to stop Christmas lights tripping the breaker.
What to do if your Christmas lights trip the breaker
Christmas lights are a holiday tradition for many families. However, if your lights trip the breaker, it can put a damper on the festivities. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Make sure that you are using the correct size bulb for your light strand. Using a larger bulb than recommended can cause the breaker to trip.
Try not to overload your outlets. If you have several light strands, plug them into different outlets so that they are evenly distributed.
LED light are usually 75% more efficient than older incandescent lights. Because LED lights don’t use too much power, circuit breakers can usually handle them. However, if you’re using LED lights, it’s more likely that there is a short in the strings of lights.
Check for frayed wires or damaged sockets. If you find any problems, throw out the affected strand and replace it with a new one.
Check the insulation along the string of lights. See if any copper is exposed by running your fingers over it until you feel a rough area with broken insulation.
Look for water. If it has recently rained, or there has been snow or perhaps it’s been a hot Australian summer, and there is moisture, all of these things can get into light fixtures and cause your breaker to trip.
By following these tips, you can prevent your Christmas lights from tripping the breaker and enjoy a hassle-free holiday season.
How do I hook up Christmas lights without tripping the breaker?
While holiday lights can add a touch of cheer to any home, they can also be a leading cause of breaker trips. Each year, thousands of homeowners experience the frustration of tripped breakers, resulting in dark houses and wasted time. To avoid this hassle, it is important to take some simple precautions when hanging Christmas lights.
Don’t overload the circuit
Within America, most homes have electrical outlets on 15-amp circuits, but some newer residences also boast 20-amp circuits for outlets in the garage or outside. The amp rating, which tells you how many lights and other devices the circuit can handle without causing its breaker to trip, is typically 15-amp for lighting circuits (which often include outlets). A good rule of thumb is to never load a circuit above 80%. So, for example, a 20-amp circuit can handle 16 amps without issue and a 15-amp circuit can take 12 amps safely.
Check the amperage
If you’re not sure whether your light sets are compatible, check the packaging. If that’s unavailable, look at the tag or plug on the cord. If your amplifier has an amperage rating, you’re all good to go. If it only provides wattage, divide the wattage number by 120 to find its amperage. For example, a light string that uses 250 watts will draw 2.08 amps (250/120 = 2.08). It’s possible to get away with six strings of these on one circuit, but it’s safer to stick with five. Remember that the total power for the Christmas lights is just an estimate; if anything else is using the same circuit, there will be less power available for the lights.
How do you fix a short circuit in Christmas lights?
Christmas lights are a festive way to decorate your home during the holidays, but they can also be a source of frustration when they stop working. A common problem is a short circuit, which occurs when the flow of electricity is interrupted.
One way to fix a short circuit is to find the point of interruption and tape the wires together. This will create a conductive path for the electricity to flow, restoring the Christmas lights to working order.
Another method is to replace the entire string of lights with a new one. This is often the easiest and most effective solution, especially if multiple strings of lights are experiencing short circuits. By taking a few minutes to troubleshoot the problem, you can enjoy your Christmas lights for many seasons to come.
Although it may be frustrating when your Christmas lights trip the breaker, there are some easy things you can do to fix the problem. Follow the steps in this guide and if you need help from a professional electrician, Finnley Electrical is here to help. We’re available 24/7 for all your electrical needs, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.