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Ask Repairman1981 Your Own Question
Repairman1981
Repairman1981, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 4555
Experience:  10 years Repairing Appliances, Factory Trained in Several Major Brands Self employed owner at All Better Appliance
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my tree is only 4 years old. 30% of the lights are out...

This answer was rated:

my tree is only 4 years old. 30% of the lights are out... what do I do.

Repairman1981 :

when you say 30% is it a certain strand, or is it just random lights?

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

it appears to be a strand ... not just lights

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

checked all the plugs

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

all connected

Repairman1981 :

There are fuses in the plug to each strand if the whole strand is out then it's likely just the fuse

Repairman1981 :

However I would personally just replace the strand

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

you cannot replace the strand. Lights are built into the tree. they do not come out

Repairman1981 :

A strand of lights is pretty cheap. Even if it's a prelit you can leave those off and wrap a seperate strand on it. Won't look bad.

Repairman1981 :

Not saying replace

Repairman1981 :

\Leave off and wrap a seperate strand over that section

Repairman1981 :

IF the fuse is blown, there was a reason

Repairman1981 :

Short is most likely cause

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

how does it short out in the garage not being used?

Repairman1981 :

you will be in the same boat, unless you think that strand may have gotten wet while plugged in there is no reason the fuse would blow

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

all but one strand was working last year

Repairman1981 :

and now all but 1 still?

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

now at least 5 strands out of 13 or so... it is a 9ft tree

Repairman1981 :

Right as they age the strands will fail

Repairman1981 :

It is what they all do

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

strands fail or the fuses?

Repairman1981 :

Pre lit trees are never wired in series (meaning if 1 bulb is out the whole strand goes dark) they wire them so if one goes out the rest work

Repairman1981 :

So if a whole strand is out it's a power supply problem or a fuse

Repairman1981 :

If you have working lights it's not a supply problem

Repairman1981 :

Do you have a volt meter

Repairman1981 :

?

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

no volt meter

Repairman1981 :

you really need one to diagnose it, or you need to just replace the strands

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

have you seen this type of tree in person?

Repairman1981 :

yep and I know how much better it looks with the pre lit lights, but I'm telling you if there is a short in the lights tracking it down is a nightmare for a skilled electronics tech

Repairman1981 :

if your not good at it your gonna want a different option

Repairman1981 :

This isn't gonna be a simple do this and bing it's done problem other than change the fuses

Repairman1981 :

In each plug there should be a tiny one

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

there are 2 tiny fuses per plug.

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

Just cant'

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

cannot tell which plug has the bad fuse

Repairman1981 :

you can usually see in a glass fuse if it's blown

Repairman1981 :

just get out a magnifying glass

Repairman1981 :

There is a tiny wire between each end

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

sort of hard when the plug is way inside the tree. Can't see much at all

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

plugs don't extend out

Repairman1981 :

I know, just remove them all (KILL THE POWER FIRST)

Repairman1981 :

and check them then put them all back in

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

so you are confident it is bad fuses... and not a whole bunch of lights that could be out

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

meaning... could more than 4 bad lights take out a strand?

Repairman1981 :

The way the strand is wired, if 4 lights go out the rest of the strand will still work.

Repairman1981 :

The chances of a whole strand going out is very slip

Repairman1981 :

slim

Repairman1981 :

The fuse will kill the whole strand

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

ok... so a volt meter will do what?

Repairman1981 :

So based on the number of strands and all you have going on you have a fuse problem

Repairman1981 :

You check power to the strand, if you have it and it's not lighting you check resistance and compare to a working strand

Repairman1981 :

Should be the same

Repairman1981 :

You might find 1 dead strand is killing the rest and you might could bypass the 1 bad one and not worry about the rest

Repairman1981 :

Or you might find out the fuses are bad on all 5

Repairman1981 :

I wouldn't buy a voltmeter just for this if you had one I would use it but if not just swap the fuses, you can change them all for less than a meter

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

It is hard to tell which plug/fuse is connected to the bad strands. It takes more patience than I can bare.....

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

ugh...

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

I thought this thing would last at least 4 years.

Repairman1981 :

I know, the fuses do sometimes go bad in storage

Repairman1981 :

My lights needed 4 fuses this year and all worked fine when I put them away

Repairman1981 :

It happens

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

you have confirmed what I suspected. I have such bad luck with xmas lights I stopped using them externally on the house. They all go half out. crud...

Repairman1981 :

Same on a tree just not outside, so not as bad

Repairman1981 :

But honestly 4 years and only one out last year you got your money's worth

JACUSTOMER-qqjuec42- :

thanks for your time.

Repairman1981 :

Either fix it or replace ... personally I would wrap it and get another year then replace after christmas

Repairman1981 :

But that's just me

Repairman1981 :

Your welcome. Lemme know if you need anything else

Repairman1981 :

Have a good rest of the evening

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